Why study East Asian languages and cultures?

The areas of East Asia covered represent 3 of the oldest continuous civilizations of the world. The great historical contributions of China, Japan, and Korea in literature, philosophy, and art are widely recognized and studied throughout the world. Today, the highly advanced industries of Japan, the enormous human resources of China, and the rapidly growing economies of Korea and Taiwan have contributed to the development of extremely valuable socio-political and economic ties between these areas and the United States.

M.A. Program Overview

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) is the only department in Kansas offering a regular program of instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of East Asia.

The EALC Thesis M.A. program trains students who will devote themselves to becoming effective links between the Far East and the United States.  Students concentrate in Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian Cultures, usually entering the program with at least two years of college-level language. The program typically takes two years to complete, including the defense of a required Master's thesis.

FLAS Fellowships

Students in the M.A. program may also be eligible for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship through the Center for East Asian Studies.  FLAS fellowships include:

  • Summer award - up to $5,000 for tuition and a stipend of $2,500 for living expenses for summer language study equivalent to one full year of language study
  • Academic Year award -  full KU tuition and a $15,000 stipend for living expenses for academic year study that includes two semesters of language and six credits or more of East Asian culture courses.

Students in the joint J.D./M.A. or who are also admitted to other programs are strongly encouraged to apply for this funding.

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Admission to the M.A. program

Apply to the EALC M.A. program via the Office of Graduate Studies online application system. For additional information regarding departmental admissions requirements, deadlines, and the application process, please visit the graduate admissions page of the EALC Department website, or contact the EALC Department Graduate Program directly at ealc@ku.edu.

Master’s Program

The department offers a master’s degree in East Asian languages and cultures. The student declares his or her concentration in 1 of 3 options.

  • Chinese language and literature
  • Japanese language and literature
  • East Asian cultures

Students of Chinese or Japanese language and literature gain in-depth knowledge of these ancient civilizations, which have produced some of the world’s greatest literature.

Students of East Asian cultures develop a broad interdisciplinary knowledge of East Asia. This concentration is for students pursuing professional or noncollege teaching careers, for students in the early stages of language training, or for students who have already acquired competence in an East Asian language.

Prerequisites

Entrance requirements for a concentration in either Chinese or Japanese language and literature include

  • 3 years of the modern language and, for Chinese language students, one year of classical Chinese or the demonstrated equivalent. Students not meeting this prerequisite may be admitted with deficiencies provided they achieve this level of proficiency outside the minimum of 30 graduate credit hours required for the degree.**
  • 2 lecture courses dealing with East Asia.

Entrance requirements for a concentration in East Asian cultures are

  • At least 2 years of an East Asian language. Students not meeting this prerequisite may be admitted with deficiencies provided they achieve this level of proficiency outside the minimum of 30 graduate credit hours required for the degree.**
  • 2 lecture courses dealing with East Asia.

Requirements for Chinese or Japanese Language and Literature Concentration

  1. A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours:
    1. Fourth-year level of language courses.**
    2. At least 18 credit hours must be taken in the department in residence.
    3. 6 of these 18 credit hours must demonstrate research capacity in the student’s major language in lecture courses or seminars.
    4. EALC 700 Introduction to East Asian Studies and the relevant bibliography course must be included.
    5. No more than 3 hours of directed readings courses may be included in the required 30 hours.
    6. Students are expected to take at least one course at the 500 level or above in the literature of their concentration.
    7. Students must take 1 course that deals wholly with an East Asian country outside their concentration.
  2. A thesis (3 credit hours) involving significant use of materials in the student’s major language.

Requirements for East Asian Cultures Concentration

  1. A minimum of 30 graduate credit hours:
    1. Third-year level of language courses.**
    2. At least 24 credit hours, taken in the department in residence.
    3. EALC 700 Introduction to East Asian Studies must be included in the student’s curriculum.
    4. Students are expected to select 1 of the East Asian cultures for concentration and to include in their programs at least 2 courses dealing wholly with an East Asian culture outside their concentrations.
    5. Students may not take more than 3 hours of directed readings.
    6. Students may, in consultation with the department graduate advisor, take other credit hours in a discipline or disciplines closely related to their studies.
      East Asian area courses are offered in anthropology, film and media studies, geography, history, history of art, linguistics, philosophy, political science, religious studies, sociology, and theatre.
    7. Students must take 1 course at the 500 level or above in the literature or thought of the country of their concentration.
  2. A thesis (3 credit hours) that must deal with a subject in the concentration chosen by the student.

**A language course result lower than 'B' may result in a departmental recommendation for probation status.  If language coursework performance does not improve after one semester, the student may be recommended for dismissal. 

East Asian Courses in Other Departments

Anthropology
ANTH 565Popular Images in Japanese Culture, Literatures, and Films3
Communication Studies
COMS 557East Asian Communication3
Economics
ECON 583Economic Issues of East Asia3
Film and Media Studies
FMS 541Asian Film3
FMS 743Contemporary Japanese Film3
Geography
GEOG 796Asian Regions: _____2-3
History
HIST 510Topics in: _____2-3
HIST 582Ancient Japan3
HIST 583Imperial China3
HIST 584Modern China3
HIST 587Age of Shoguns: Early Modern Japan3
HIST 588Japan, 1853-19453
HIST 589Japan Since 19453
HIST 590Cultural History of Korea3
HIST 593Modern Korea3
HIST 605Medieval Japan3
HIST 696Seminar in: _____3
History of Art
HA 545Early Chinese Art3
HA 788Proseminar in Japanese Art3
HA 789Proseminar in Chinese Art3
HA 822Seminar in Buddhist Art: _____3
HA 980Seminar in Chinese Art: _____3
HA 990Seminar in Japanese Art: _____3
Political Science
POLS 656Governments and Politics of East Asia3
POLS 668Reform in Contemporary China3
POLS 676International Relations of Asia3
POLS 678Chinese Foreign Policy3
POLS 956The Governments and Politics of Asia2-3
Religious Studies
REL 508Religion in China3
REL 509Religion in Japan3
REL 510Religion in Korea3
REL 733Seminar in Eastern Religious Texts: _____3
REL 762Seminar in Eastern Religious Thought: _____3
REL 776Seminar in Religion and Society in Asia: _____3
Theatre
THR 527Asian Theatre and Performance3

For additional courses in the above disciplines, see appropriate sections of the online catalog.