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Program at a glance

many students at gradautation

M.A. Degree

The Master of Arts degree in East Asian Studies offered by the Center for East Asian Studies allows students to design an interdisciplinary course of study tailored to their individual intellectual interests and career goals.

The purpose of the master's program is to further develop knowledge and skills in East Asian Studies and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through completion of courses in the primary field and related areas, experience with independent research, and language training. Applications are invited from four types of prospective students:

  • Those who wish to concentrate on East Asia for the Ph.D., but have not yet decided on the particular discipline in which they prefer to work.
  • Those who have settled on a discipline, but want to obtain intensive area studies and language training before beginning their doctoral program.
  • Those who wish to specialize in East Asian Studies in preparation for careers in fields such as law, business, pre-collegiate teaching, journalism, or government service. It should be stressed that, in addition to the M.A. in East Asian Studies, additional training in a professional discipline is usually essential to finding employment in the professions.
  • Those who already possess other professional training or experience and now want to deepen their understanding of East Asia.

The M.A. program allows students a great deal of flexibility in combining language training, interdisciplinary area studies, and a disciplinary concentration. Students are required to demonstrate third year level proficiency in the Chinese, Korean or Japanese, according to their research-area focus (either through coursework at Stanford or testing at the 4th year or higher in language-placement exams), to take the one-unit core course in East Asian Studies, and to complete at least nine area studies graduate courses, three of which must be in a single department. An M.A. thesis, usually an expansion of a paper written for a graduate seminar or colloquium, is required.

The program is typically completed within 1 to 3 years, depending on the course load taken and the foreign language level of the student. Though it is recommended to have some prior language training, you do not need to have knowledge of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean prior to the start of the program. Advanced language students or students who are native speakers of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean can potentially complete the program within one year.

Applicants are reminded that completion of the CEAS M.A. program does not constitute automatic admission to any departmental Ph.D. program. Acceptance into a doctoral program is determined through a separate application to that program via the normal Stanford graduate admission process.

B.A. Degree

A Bachelor of Arts degree in East Asian Studies is administered through the Department of East Asian Languages & Cultures.

Joint Degree Program

Students interested in receiving a law degree can apply to the Stanford Law School and, if accepted, complete the joint degree program where they can work towards an M.A. in East Asian Studies and a Doctor of Jurisprudence (J.D.) degree simultaneously, with a substantial number of courses allowed to count toward both degrees.

The Law School is the only degree program with CEAS where the units taken can count towards both degrees. Students must apply separately for admission to the School of Law and the East Asian Studies program. Learn more about the School of Law and its joint degree programs.

Dual Degrees with Other Programs

Many graduate students in the M. A. program in East Asian Studies plan to pursue careers other than university teaching. Because a background in East Asian Studies alone is often insufficient qualification for work in many non-academic professions, CEAS MA students may be interested in supplementing their East Asian Studies degree.

Students may apply to a number of other programs on campus, including departments such as East Asian Languages and Cultures or the Stanford Teacher Education Program in the School of Education or the MBA Program in the Graduate School of Business, to name a few. Program requirements for each degree do not overlap and must be fulfilled separately. Application and acceptance into any other program is entirely independent of the East Asian Studies M.A. program and acceptance into the CEAS M.A. program does not guarantee acceptance into or imply higher priority in the admissions process for those programs.

Doctoral Degrees