The MA in Contemporary East Asian Studies is a new interdisciplinary degree program focused on 20th and 21st-century East Asia that will provide students with 1) in-depth, interdisciplinary knowledge of the modern history, politics, economies, and societies of one East Asian country, e.g. China, Korea, or Japan; 2) broad knowledge of modern East Asia, and 3) social science research skills and methods appropriate to international area studies.

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 Criteria and How to Apply

To be considered for admission to the M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies, students must meet all University Policies and Degree Requirements for Admission.

In addition to the University Requirements for admission, the Center for East Asian Studies has the following pre-requisites of its own for graduate admission:

  • Proficiency in an East Asian Language at either the second- or third-year level, depending on the concentration.

Prospective students who do not meet these prerequisites may be admitted provisionally or on a probationary basis for a limited time, provided they work to clear their provisional or probationary status.

Application Materials & Procedures

Applicants to our program should complete the KU Application for Graduate Study.

An application fee must accompany the application.

The following items need to be prepared in advance and uploaded along with the online application:

  • A two-page statement of purpose explaining your educational and academic objectives.
  • Three letters of recommendation, each accompanied by the Graduate Letter of Recommendation Form.
  • A writing sample that demonstrates your writing skills and basic research capacity
  • A current C.V. or resume
  • One Official Transcript for all post-secondary education. Although there is an option for uploading unofficial transcripts to the online application, an official transcript should also be sent directly from those previous institutions to KU via email: GAPC@ku.edu or mail: Graduate Admissions, 1450 Jayhawk Blvd., Strong Hall 313, Lawrence, KS 66045
  • International students must submit official scores from a standardized English proficiency standardized test (e.g. TOEFL, IELTS-Academic, or PTE) taken within the past two years. Official scores must be sent by the testing agency to the KU.

Please Note: Though the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is not required for admission, it is recommended. KU Code: 6871.

Although May 1 is the final deadline for submitting an application for a Fall semester start, our graduate committee will complete a first round review of applications on or before May 1. To ensure that your application is included for first priority consideration, please ensure that all materials are received no later than April 15.

Students are encouraged to apply for Fall semester admission.  However, under certain circumstances, it may be possible for students to begin the program in the Spring or Summer semesters.

If you wish to learn more about the M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies at The University of Kansas, please visit the CEAS M.A. Program in Contemporary East Asian Studies website, or contact Ayako Mizumura at ceasma@ku.edu

Master's Program

All candidates for the M.A. degree in Contemporary East Asian Studies are required to complete 30 semester hours of graduate credit. Language requirements depend on the concentration.

In addition to completing required coursework, students in both concentrations must prepare one research paper and successfully pass an oral defense of that paper to the satisfaction of an M.A. examination committee.

The Center for East Asian Studies offers two concentrations:

1) Contemporary East Asia

2) Foreign Affairs Studies (FASt): Contemporary East Asia in Global Context

Degree Requirements for Contemporary East Asia Concentration

The conventional M.A. program is usually completed in 18 months to 2 years, depending on prior language training. Students selecting this concentration may or may not have previous language experience but proficiency at the third level (advanced) is required for the degree. Credit earned in introductory and intermediate language courses will not count toward the required 30 hours. If such courses are taken after admission, they will add substantial time to the program. Students must fulfill the required 30 semester hours of graduate credit which include A) three (3) required courses, and B) seven (7) graduate-level elective courses:

A. Three (3) Required Courses:

  • CEAS 704: Contemporary East Asia
  • CEAS 710: Interdisciplinary Research Methods for Global Contexts, or a graduate level social science or history methodology course approved by the CEAS Program Advisor. 
  • CEAS 802: Research Seminar

B. Seven (7) Elective Courses which meet the following criteria:

  • At least three (3) courses on one country (China, Korea, or Japan)
  • Two (2) courses on a second country
  • Four (4) of the courses must be in the social sciences 
  • No more than three (3) courses can be in a single discipline
  • No more than two (2) courses can focus on periods prior to the 20th century
  • Two (2) advanced East Asian language courses can be included
  • No more than three (3) hours of directed readings can be counted

Degree Requirements for Foreign Affairs Studies (FASt) Concentration

Foreign Affairs Studies (FASt) is an accelerated, 12 month program for students with second-level (intermediate) language proficiency and substantial first-hand experience in East Asia. This concentration is usually selected for professional advancement and designated for students who intend to complete the M.A. in a twelve month period. This accelerated program requires an additional fee per semester for the first three semesters. Students must fulfill the required 30 semester hours of graduate credit which include A) four (4) required courses, and B) six (6) graduate-level elective courses:

A. Four (4) Required Courses:

B. Six (6) Elective Courses which meet the following criteria:

  • At least three (3) courses on one country (China, Korea, or Japan)
  • Two (2) courses on a second country
  • Four (4) of the courses must be in the social sciences
  • No more than three (3) courses can be in a single discipline
  • No more than two (2) courses can focus on periods prior to the 20th century
  • Two advanced East Asian language courses can be included
  • No more than three (3) hours of directed readings can be counted

If you are a Foreign Area Officer interested in our FASt program, please read information for FAOs