The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures offers programs of study leading to the degrees of master of arts (MA) and doctor of philosophy (PhD) in East Asian languages and literatures. Students may choose to specialize in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean studies.
In addition to departmental requirements, graduate students must fulfill the general requirements of the Graduate School listed in that section of this catalog.
The Chinese, Japanese, and Korean studies programs, which prepare students to work in a variety of professional and academic fields, provide intensive training in linguistic and textual analysis and an extensive exposure to literary theory, film studies, and comparative and cultural studies. The department encourages students to develop their specialization in East Asian literatures and films in broader, more comparative, and more interdisciplinary and transnational perspectives than has been the case in traditional programs. The faculty’s research and teaching interests cover the major fields, genres, and chronological divisions of Chinese and Japanese literature and film. They encourage creative connections and challenges to conventional disciplinary boundaries by exploring the relationships between literature-cinema and such areas as history, law, linguistics, politics, religion, philosophy, sociology, theater and the performing arts, and women’s and gender studies.
Several members of the department’s faculty participate in the Comparative Literature Program. For more information, see the Comparative Literature section of this catalog.
The departmental Chinese, Japanese and Korean linguists work closely with the Department of Linguistics in research, teaching, and program development in theoretical and applied linguistics. Interested students are encouraged to work closely with a departmental advisor to pursue a specialization or field in East Asian linguistics and/or East Asian second-language acquisition.
In addition, several members of the department's faculty are affiliated with other UO graduate programs, including the graduate specialization in translation studies, graduate certificate in new media and culture, graduate certificate in women's and gender studies, and cinema studies.
Complete details and answers to specific questions about graduate programs in the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures are available from the department’s graduate secretary.
An applicant for admission to the MA program should have completed an undergraduate major in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language, literature, or linguistics, or have equivalent experience.
An applicant for admission to the PhD program should have completed an MA degree in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language and literature, linguistics, or have equivalent experience.
Graduate program applications are submitted via an online process found at the department’s web site. In the course of completing the application, students are required to upload the following:
- Statement of Purpose. The 750-word statement of purpose should address the applicant’s specific academic preparation or experience, all areas of research interest, career goals, and reason for attending the University of Oregon. In addition, PhD applicants should include potential research questions
- Writing Sample. The writing sample must come from a course that shows up on the transcript. International students must submit a sample in English and may submit an additional sample in Chinese or Japanese
- Transcripts. Unofficial copies of undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts should be uploaded from all institutions attended. In addition, official transcripts from these institutions should be sent to the University of Oregon, Office of Admissions, 1217 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-1217
- Letters of Recommendation. Three persons familiar with the applicant’s academic experience and ability to carry out independent research must be identified. The online application requests contact information (name, position, institution, telephone number, and e-mail address) from each of these people. Upon submission of the online application, each person will be notified via e-mail and provided with instructions on how to upload their recommendations
- Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores. The GRE test is required for all applicants. Applicants should take the test in time for the official results to arrive to the university prior to January 1. The online application is self-reporting, however official GRE scores need to be sent to the University of Oregon (institution code 4846) and the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (department code 2601)
Applications are due by January 1. New students are typically admitted to the program for fall term.
Graduate Teaching Fellowships
A number of graduate teaching fellowships (GTFs) are available each year for new graduate students in the department. Students must apply to the department by January 1 for admission and appointment the following fall term. During each term of the appointment, graduate teaching fellows must register for and complete at least 9 credits of course work that can be applied to the degree program.
First-year GTFs must attend an orientation and training workshop, which is held the week before fall term begins.
Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Chinese Studies: Option One
This is the usual option for students seeking the MA degree in East Asian languages and literatures with a specialization in Chinese studies. It prepares students for study at the doctoral level.
|CHN 523||Issues in Early Chinese Literature||4|
|CHN 524||Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature||4|
|CHN 525||Issues in Modern Chinese Literature||4|
|EALL 611||Critical Approaches||2|
|CHN 503||Thesis 2||9|
Students must pass a comprehensive written examination at the end of study or write a master of arts thesis.
Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Chinese Studies: Option Two
A master’s student may, in consultation with the student’s advisor, apply for early entry to the PhD program. Such applications are typically made spring term but, in any event, after at least two terms at the university. Applications must include transcripts, three recommendations, and a statement of the student’s prospective course of study. Students who elect this option are awarded the master’s degree upon completion of the course work for the PhD degree. Students must pass a comprehensive oral examination that covers the student’s primary areas of study.
|CHN 523||Issues in Early Chinese Literature||4|
|CHN 524||Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature||4|
|CHN 525||Issues in Modern Chinese Literature||4|
|EALL 611||Critical Approaches||2|
Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Japanese Studies
The master of arts degree in East Asian languages and literatures with a specialization in Japanese studies courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
|Classical Japanese Literary Language|
|Advanced Readings in Japanese Literature|
In addition to the completion of the required courses, students must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of study or complete a master of arts thesis. The examination and degree-granting process differs for terminal MA students and for students who apply for continued study in the university’s PhD program (see below).
Terminal MA Students
Those students who are not planning to go on to the PhD must successfully pass a two-part written examination based on the following reading list:
- Approximately twenty works of Japanese literature, Japanese film, or both, which should provide comprehensive coverage of major periods, writers, and genres of Japanese literature and film. The student’s advisor will provide a model reading list
- Approximately ten works of general theory and criticism, based on the student’s specialized area, which can be outside of Japanese studies
- Approximately ten works in a specialized area of the student’s own choosing
The first part of the exam shall include questions pertaining to broad issues in the field of Japanese literature and film deriving from section one of the student’s reading list. The second part of the exam, to be administered a week later, shall cover more specialized questions deriving from sections two and three of the student’s reading list. The student shall have forty-eight hours for each part to produce the final typed, double-spaced exams of approximately ten to twelve pages each.
Consulting the faculty committee, the advisor shall determine whether the student has successfully fulfilled the requirements for the MA degree, and shall confer one of the following grades: distinction, clear pass, marginal pass, or failure. Should the advisor determine that the candidate has not been successful, he or she may recommend that the student be given one additional opportunity to pass the exam during the next academic term.
Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Korean Studies
The M.A. degree in EALL with a specialization in Korean, literature, film and culture requires successful completion of a minimum of twelve graduate-level courses (at least four credits each). These courses must be chosen in consultation with the student's advisor.
In addition to completion of the required courses, students must pass a comprehensive examination at the end of study or write and defend a MA thesis.
Option 1: MA Comprehensive Exam
Students who choose to take a comprehensive exam must successfully pass a two-part written examination based on a reading list of:
- Korean literature and/or film, which should provide comprehensive coverage of major periods, writers, and genres of Korean literature and/or film. Approximately 20 works.. The student's advisor will provide a model reading list.
- General theory and criticism, based on student's specialized area, which can be outside of the Korean studies. Approximately 10 works
- A specialized area of the student's own choosing. Approximately 10 works.
The first part of the exam shall include questions pertaining to broad issues in the field of Korean literature and/or film deriving from section one of the students' reading list. The second part of the exam, to be administered a week later, shall cover more specialized questions deriving from sections two and three of the student's reading list. The student shall have forty-eight hours for each part to produce the final typed, double spaced exams of approximately 10-12 pages each.
Option 2: M.A. Thesis
Students who elect to write a thesis must register for 9 credits of Thesis (KRN503).
- Two terms before graduation, meet with advisor during the first week of term to set up a two member committee and a schedule for submitting thesis or project drafts (i.e. first week of winter term if planning to graduate spring term).
- At least six weeks before the date of the thesis or project defense, submit a draft to main advisor for approval. The advisor is expected to return comments within two weeks. There will then be a continuing dialogue between the student and advisor until the manuscript is considered complete. If approval is not obtained at this point, there is no guarantee that the student will be able to graduate that term.
- Submit a clean copy of thesis or project to advisor and committee members either two weeks before defense or four weeks before filing date for approved thesis as published by Graduate School.
MA Students Seeking Entry to PhD Program
If the student also decides to seek admission into the PhD program, the MA exam administered shall include the oral component:
An oral examination shall take place no later than the seventh week of the term in which a request for the degree has been made. It shall consist of a one- to two-hour interview with the faculty committee, which is required to be formed by the student and the advisor before the student takes the comprehensive exam, and shall include evaluation of the following:
- the student’s skills in critical thinking, reading, listening, and writing
- the student’s ability to formulate a pedagogical approach to topics appropriate to the student’s career goals
- a discussion of career options and prospects.
The committee shall determine whether the candidate has successfully fulfilled the requirements for the MA degree, and shall confer one of the following grades: distinction, clear pass, marginal pass, or failure. This determination is independent of the student’s candidacy to the PhD program. As in the case of terminal MA students, should the committee determine that the candidate has not been successful, it may recommend that the student be given one additional opportunity to pass the exam during the next academic term.
Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program
The PhD program in East Asian languages and literatures is designed to provide students with a high level of competence in their area of specialization and a familiarity with applicable methodologies and theories. The program has four components:
- course work
- comprehensive examination
- prospectus for the dissertation
- the dissertation itself
Specific courses and projects used to fulfill requirements must be approved by the student’s advisor, who works with the other faculty members to develop the student’s program.
Timeline for Completion of the PhD Program
Course work—two years
Comprehensive examination and prospectus approval—one year
Dissertation writing and defense—two years
Additional Course Work
Depending on the student’s background when admitted to the PhD program, additional course work may be required.
PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Chinese Studies
The PhD degree in East Asian languages and literatures with a specialization in Chinese studies requires completion of a minimum of six 4-credit graduate-level courses beyond those required for the MA degree. Depending on the student’s background or preparation at the time of admission to the PhD program, the number of required courses may be nine or twelve. Courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor.
|CHN 523||Issues in Early Chinese Literature 1||4|
|CHN 524||Issues in Medieval Chinese Literature 1||4|
|CHN 525||Issues in Modern Chinese Literature 1||4|
PhD in East Asian Languages and Literatures, Japanese Studies
The PhD with a specialization in Japanese studies requires students to successfully complete nine graduate courses beyond the number required for the MA degree. These courses must be chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor. Appropriate courses in related fields (e.g., Japanese history, religion) may be substituted with the advisor’s approval.
Students in the PhD track must successfully complete a comprehensive examination and prospectus defense (culture students) or qualifying paper (linguistics students) in order to advance to candidacy (all but dissertation) status. By the end of their second year in the program at the very latest, each student should identify a committee of three faculty members who will oversee his or her training for the comprehensive examination. Since each person’s needs and interests may be different, students are expected to work closely with their primary advisor at all stages of the process.
The goal of the comprehensive examination is to ensure that students have received training broad enough to qualify as a teacher beyond the narrow research focus of their dissertation. The comprehensive examination is composed of a written and an oral component.
In conjunction with their primary advisor, students choose three fields, a major field and two minor fields, each to be advised by a faculty member in that area. Cultural fields may be determined by genre, time period, or methodology; linguistic fields may be determined by theoretical orientation, language orientation, and methodology. In conjunction with their advisors, students develop a reading list of twenty to forty items for each field. For culture students, these items may include both primary and secondary texts; the composition of each reading list will be tailored to the individual student’s needs. It is expected that reading lists will develop organically from graduate seminars and readings and conferences.
For each field, the student will submit a comprehensive examination paper. The papers may be developed from a term paper written for a seminar or written for the sake of the examination, as determined by the advisor. These comprehensive examination papers should demonstrate the student’s broad knowledge of a field. Ideally, for the major field, this paper will be the basis for a dissertation chapter. In some instances, students may be asked to develop a syllabus rather than write a research paper.
Advisors have two weeks to read and approve each comprehensive examination paper. After the three comprehensive examination papers have been approved by the field examiner and the primary advisor, the student schedules an oral examination. The oral examination (one to two hours in duration) is an opportunity for the three examiners to engage the student in an in-depth conversation about the items on the reading lists. The goal of the oral examination is to ensure that students have enough familiarity with both the critical and primary works in the field to teach at the postsecondary level. The oral examination is not open to the public.
Both parts of the comprehensive examination should be completed by the end of the student’s third year in the program. It is at the discretion of the committee to determine if students should have a second opportunity to sit for an oral examination if the first attempt is not successful. At the discretion of the committee, those students whose performance is deemed unsatisfactory may be granted a terminal MA.
Prospectus (Culture Track)
Before scheduling the prospectus defense, students need to notify the graduate secretary of the membership of their dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department). The prospectus defense is the first meeting of the entire dissertation committee to provide feedback on the dissertation research project. The prospectus, a document of twenty to thirty pages, should introduce the research question, the methodology, and a basic outline of the dissertation; a bibliography is required. Once the advisors approve a draft of the dissertation prospectus, certifying that in their opinion the project is well-conceived and viable, the student schedules a meeting of the entire committee. A defense is an opportunity for the committee to ask questions and provide advice and direction for the research project. The prospectus defense is public.
In order to leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the prospectus defense should take place during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable prospectus by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA.
Qualifying Paper (Linguistics Track)
As the equivalent of the prospectus defense for culture track students, linguistics students are expected to produce an original publishable paper, of substantial length and quality, in a subfield of linguistics. This qualifying paper should demonstrate the student's ability to carry out an empirical study and write an analytical research paper. The unmodified MA thesis cannot serve this purpose.
A committee consisting of the advisor and a second faculty member familiar with the subfield will referee the qualifying paper. The student may be asked to revise the qualifying paper before it is accepted as satisfactory work. Upon documented completion of the paper, the student needs to identify a dissertation committee (three faculty members from the department and one from another department) and notify the graduate secretary. The student then confirms the dissertation topic and presents a prospectus constituting a short abstract detailing their research topic. This should be done within one term of completing the qualifying paper. After the prospectus has been approved, the student will advance to candidacy.
To leave enough time for the dissertation research and writing, the qualifying paper and prospectus should be completed during the third year of study and no later than the winter term of the fourth year. Students who are unable to complete a viable qualifying paper by spring of their fourth year in the program will be granted a terminal MA.
The comprehensive examination is distinct from the dissertation prospectus or qualifying paper. The comprehensive examination papers and oral examination involve general preparation and give the student an opportunity to show broad knowledge of a field. The prospectus defense for culture-track students is more narrowly focused on the dissertation project and demonstrates the student's ability to identify and define a research project. Similarly, the qualifying paper for linguistics students is focused on the student's main research area and demonstrates the ability to undertake a research project. The comprehensive examination and prospectus defense or qualifying paper enable students to demonstrate that they can be successful as teachers and researchers. Students will advance to ABD (all but dissertion) status after the successful completion of both the comprehensive examination and the prospectus defense or qualifying paper, in addition to the completion of all required course work.
A dissertation committee is formed at least one month before the prospectus is presented for review and approval. This committee advises the student on writing the dissertation and approves the completed dissertation.
Students who have taken an MA comprehensive exam in Japanese studies do not need to take a PhD comprehensive exam. However, they need to orally defend the dissertation prospectus within one academic term after the completion of course work to facilitate the student’s completion of the dissertation as well as to let the faculty community clearly know the progress of the student toward the completion.
Consulting the advisor, the student (either terminal MA or applicant to the PhD program) can complete an MA thesis instead of passing a comprehensive examination at the end of study. Students who elect to write a thesis are strongly recommended to register for 9 credits of Thesis (JPN 503). As in the case of students who take comprehensive examinations, the advisor in consultation with the faculty committee shall determine whether the student has successfully fulfilled the requirements of the MA degree, and shall confer one of the following grades: distinction, clear pass, marginal pass, or failure. Should the advisor determine that the candidate has not been successful, the advisor may recommend that the student be given additional time to revise the thesis or to pass the exam during the next academic term.