Asian Studies (MA/MS)

The university offers an interdisciplinary program in East Asian Studies leading to the Master of Arts (MA) and master of science (MS) degree. The curriculum includes courses in anthropology, art history, Asian studies, Chinese language and literature, cinema studies, comparative literature, geography, history, international studies, Japanese language and literature, journalism, Korean language, linguistics, political science, religious studies, and sociology. Students who complete three years equivalent of Southeast and /or South Asia language study abroad or in other institutions may, with the support of an Asian Studies faculty advisor, construct a special concentration in Southeast and/or South Asian Studies. The program is administered by the Asian Studies Committee, which is composed of faculty members with Asian specializations.

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission, and it is expected that applicants have some undergraduate preparation in courses relating to Asia. Students lacking adequate Asian language or disciplinary training must take appropriate preparatory courses, for which no graduate credits are earned.

Prior to registration, the Asian Studies Committee assigns each student an advisor, who helps the student develop an individual program. During the first year, the student should request that an Asian Studies graduate committee be formed to provide guidance throughout the second year of study and thesis preparation. Graduate students should meet with their advisors at least once a term.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this program, students will be able to:

  • Exhibit broad knowledge and understanding of the Asia region, including its history, cultures, languages, politics, economics, societies and diversities.
  • Use multiple disciplinary approaches and transnational perspectives to critically analyze, interpret, and contextualize major issues and themes in Asian cultures and societies.
  • Exhibit familiarity with the current academic literature on at least one of the issues or themes in LO 2.
  • Exhibit proficiency in at least one research methodology (or approach such as literary or artistic criticism), in relation to issues or themes in LO 2.
  • Demonstrate effective written and verbal communication skills.
  • Demonstrate advanced language competence (3 years) in a major Asian language.

Students must complete 48 credits of graduate study, including at least 44 in Asia-related courses, and a final project. Graduate credit for language study may only be earned for work beyond the second-year level.

600-Level Courses. The Division of Graduate Studies requires that at least 9 credits in courses numbered 600–699 must be taken in residence. 

Graded Courses. 24 of the total credits required must be earned at the University of Oregon for a letter grade. A minimum of 36 credits of course work and a minimum of 9 credits of Thesis (ASIA 503) is required. Credit for the thesis is given pass/no pass. In the final term, master's students must register for at least 3 credits, at least 1 of which must be in Thesis (ASIA 503).

Final Project Options.

Two Seminar Papers Option. Students choosing this option submit two Asia-related papers written for graduate seminars or colloquiums and pass an examination based on the submitted papers in their final term. The examination committee will include two members of the Asian studies faculty proposed by the student and approved by the director.

Thesis Option. Students choosing this option are required to take a minimum of 9 credits of Thesis (ASIA 503) as part of the 48 credits required for the degree. Credit for the thesis is given a grade of pass/no pass at the completion of the thesis. Students form a two-member thesis committee in their second or third term. Thesis writers are expected to defend their theses in the second year. In the final term, master's students must register for at least 3 credits, at least 1 of which must be in Thesis (ASIA 503).

In some circumstances, and in consultation with advisors, students may petition the director to extend the defense date of their thesis or seminar paper for up to but no more than two academic terms.

Continuous Enrollment and On-Leave Status. Master's students are expected to maintain continuous enrollment for a minimum of 3 credits each term until all degree requirements have been completed, unless on-leave status has been approved. 

Minimum GPA. Graduate students must maintain at least a 3.00 grade point average (GPA) in all graduate courses taken with a graded option.

Time Limit. All requirements for the master's degree must be completed within a seven-year time period.

Asian Studies Major: Area Studies Track

(Using the Two Seminar Papers Option as an Example)

ASIA 611Perspectives on Asian Studies: [Topic]1
ASIA 612Theory and Methodology in Asian Studies: [Topic]3
Seminars or colloquia8
Two courses in architecture, art history, literature, music, religious studies8
Two courses in anthropology, economics, geography, international studies, political science8
Two history courses8
Two courses in a region other than the primary language and civilization focus 18
ASIA 605Reading and Conference: [Topic] (only if needed to complete credit requirement)4
Total Credits48

Perspectives on Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 611), Theory and Methodology in Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 612), and interdisciplinary courses may be used to satisfy this cross-regional awareness requirement.

Asian Studies Major: Disciplinary Track

(Using the Thesis Option as an Example)

Courses within the primary region of focus, drawn from two or more departments16
Courses in primary discipline with at least one theory or methods course chosen in consultation with an advisor or the program director12
Courses in region other than primary focus 18
ASIA 503Thesis9
Additional course work3
Total Credits48

Perspectives on Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 611) and Theory and Methodology in Asian Studies: [Topic] (ASIA 612) may be counted toward this cross-regional focus.

Academic courses are to be mutually agreed upon by an academic advisor and the program director. A list of Asia-related courses approved for inclusion in the Asian studies graduate curriculum is available from the program coordinator.

Students should also review the Division of Graduate Studies' regulations for information on the university’s general master of arts degree requirements.