University of Virginia Graduate Programs in Asian Studies

East Asia Center, University of Virginia.
New Cabell Hall B027

University of Virginia
P.O. Box 400781
Charlottesville, VA 22904.
Phone: 434-924-7836

Programs: MA in East Asian Studies

The Master of Arts Program in East Asian Studies is designed for students who want multi-disciplinary exposure to East Asia at the graduate level and also competence in an East Asian language. It is a terminal degree. Although some students do go on to PhD programs in various disciplines, most students go on to Asia-related employment.

Students are encouraged to construct courses of study suited to individual interests and career goals by combining language training, multidisciplinary area studies and some disciplinary concentration. The range of possible specialty tracks within the program extends from modern and contemporary China or Japan to the East Asian religious traditions. Students usually take 21 months–two academic years and the intervening summer–to complete all requirements for the degree, though the program can be completed more quickly if no additional language work is necessary. In planning their schedules students should allot a generous amount of time to the completion of their MA Thesis.

Recent students have praised the program for the degree to which it allows students to design their own course of study. The program is flexible and allows students to combine Asia-related courses from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with courses from both the Business and Law Schools here at the University.

Although there is not a standardized career path for our MA students, past graduates of the MA and MBA/MA programs have gone on to work for: Continental Bank, McKinsey & Co, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Bank of Tokyo, Sanwa Bank, General Motors and a variety of government and academic jobs. A small number have entered PhD programs, including Berkeley, Columbia and UCLA. Former students are working in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Korea, and the United States.

Institution Focus: 
Strictly Interdisciplinary

Admission Deadlines:   
January 15 for Fall Admission , November 1 for Spring Admission


Prospective applicants are reminded that the Asian Studies Masters Degree program is an interdisciplinary program. Those with a specific interest in a single academic discipline and a regional focus on Asia should consider applying to the appropriate academic department. The interdisciplinary nature of the program imposes other important demands on the student. Students are expected to meet the requirements of graduate-level courses in a variety of disciplines. Therefore, it is essential that applicants can demonstrate excellent writing skills, analytic ability, and intellectual maturity. Further, because completion of the degree requires demonstration of third-year competence in either Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Tibetan language and because of the demands of non-language, graduate-level courses, preference is shown for applicants with one to two years of previous language training. Applicants from China or Japan are not eligible for this program unless their intent is to study a language other than their native language. The admissions committee looks for combined verbal and quantitative GRE scores of above 1200 and an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.2.

Financial Aid:

Unfortunately, we are not currently able to offer grant assistance or teaching opportunities to any students in the M.A. program. Many students in the program find part-time work at the University or in Charlottesville to help defray expenses. Graduate School tuition and fees in the 2004-2005 academic year are $7,817 for Virginia residents and $19,925 for out-of-state residents. Other expenses average $6,500 for single students. There are currently no graduate fellowships or assistantships available in East Asian Studies. Students can apply for financial aid through the work/study and student loan programs. For more information, contact the Office of Financial Aid to Students, P.O. Box 9021, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Virginia 22906, phone 434-982-6000.