M.A. Program Guidelines

Course Requirements

Nine courses are required for the degree, at least five of which must be graduate seminars (200 level classes). The other four may be upper division courses (100 level classes) or additional graduate courses. Please note: lower division language classes (below the 100 level) do not count toward completion of the required nine classes.

Of the nine courses, at least five must be in the student's area of concentration including one survey course chosen in consultation with the Graduate Studies Chair. At least one course should be in a cultural area other than the area of concentration. No more than two courses in the 500 series (independent studies) may apply toward the nine courses and only one of these courses may be counted toward the minimum of five graduate courses required for the degree. For a complete outline of degree requirements, see "Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees" available in the program office and on the Graduate Division homepage.

International students may also be required to take English as a Second Language 33A, 33B, 33C, 34, 36, or other English as a Second Language courses.

Language Requirements

A minimum of three years of an East Asian language, either Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or demonstrated equivalency is required in addition to the nine courses required to complete the degree.

Some students enter the program already proficient in their East Asian language of choice, and may therefore be able to complete the degree in a shorter period of time. For those students seeking further language development, the East Asian Studies MA is a great way to pursue an additional year (or perhaps two for some students) of language study while simultaneously engaging in graduate level coursework. Taking such language courses will, however, inevitably lengthen the time necessary to complete the degree. Finally, students who have mastered one East Asian language are free to use their time to study a second East Asian language, but such classes will be purely electives and will not count toward the degree. Students requiring significant language study are encouraged to do intensive summer work either at UCLA or abroad.

Students should be advised that some graduate level classes require advanced proficiency in an East Asian language (or perhaps its ancient variant such as classical Chinese or Japanese) in order to enroll. While such enrollment requirements are not the norm, they are not uncommon.

Academic Advisers

Upon entrance into the program, the chair of the program will serve as each student’s temporary academic advisor. In this capacity, the chair and the advising office will serve to aid incoming students during the first quarter.

Because the East Asian Studies degree does not offer a thesis option, however, students in the program will not have an official faculty advisor. That being said, many students will choose to work closely with a particular faculty member in an unofficial capacity. Students interested in working with a particular faculty should contact them directly to express their interests, and indeed potential applicants are encouraged to contact such faculty before applying to the program. Working closely with a particular faculty member is not required, however.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

The comprehensive examination consists of the submission of three research papers (at least one seminar and two upper division papers) and evaluation of them by the ad hoc committee. The original evaluators of each paper will constitute each student’s three-person ad hoc committee.

The average acceptable paper for comprehensive examination is between 15 and 20 pages in length. Each paper submitted should include the professor’s comments and their evaluation (this may take many forms, edits on the paper, notes written in the margin, typed comments, etc).

When a student is ready for comprehensive examination, they may submit hardcopies of each paper to the program’s counseling office (Bunche Hall 10373). The papers should be submitted by the last day of classes during the quarter the student wishes to graduate. The departmental chair will review the comments from the grading professors to determine satisfactory/unsatisfactory. Please submit the three papers in bound form with the Comprehensive Exam Approval Form provided at the very beginning.



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