MA Program

Master of Arts Program

East Asian Studies offers three tracks through its MA program: MA through Coursework, MA with Major Research Paper and MA with Thesis. It is possible to switch between the tracks as long as all requirements are fulfilled.

In recent years, almost all MA candidates have chosen Option 1 or Option 2. Option 3 generally takes longer to complete.

In all cases, students are encouraged to continue with necessary language study but language courses are not counted towards the total of required courses. Students who want to develop their language proficiency during the program normally take two years to complete the program. They may also take advantage of opportunities to study abroad during the summer session.

Option 1:     MA through Coursework

For the MA through Coursework students must successfully pass 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in non-language graduate level courses. As the majority of graduate courses are worth 0.5 FCE, for the MA through Coursework students usually have to complete 8 courses. Some graduate courses in other departments are worth 1.0 FCE, which would reduce the total number of courses.

At least 2.0 FCEs must be in East Asian Studies and include EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia. A maximum of 2.0 FCEs may be taken in other departments.

An average course load per semester is 2-3 courses. The MA through Coursework can be completed in one year (3 sessions, full time), but may more likely require 4 sessions because not many graduate courses are offered in the summer session.

Courses are selected in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

Option 2:     MA with Major Research Paper (MRP)

For the MA with Major Research Paper students must successfully pass 3.0 FCEs in non-language courses. This is usually fulfilled through 6 graduate level courses (worth 0.5 FCE each).

At least 1.5 FCEs must be in East Asian Studies courses and include EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia. A maximum of 1.5 FCEs may be taken in other departments.
Courses are selected in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

The MRP counts as 1.0 FCE. Students who wish to write an MRP must, with the help of the Graduate Coordinator, identify a supervisor from among East Asian Studies faculty and receive their agreement to supervise by the end of February of the first year at the latest.

The MRP is a research paper that is approximately 40-60 pages in length and deals substantially with sources in East Asian languages. The MRP is graded (letter grade).

Option 3:     MA with Thesis
For the MA with Thesis students must successfully pass 3.0 FCEs in non-language courses. This is usually fulfilled through 6 graduate level courses (worth 0.5 FCE each).
At least 1.5 FCEs must be in East Asian Studies courses and include EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia. A maximum of 1.5 FCEs may be taken in other departments.
Courses are selected in consultation with the Graduate Coordinator.

The thesis counts as 1.0 FCE. Students who wish to write a thesis must, with the help of the Graduate Coordinator, identify a thesis supervisor from among East Asian Studies faculty and receive their agreement to supervise by the end of February of the first year at the latest.

The East Asian Studies MA thesis is written in close consultation with the Supervisor. It is approximately 60-80 pages in length and deals substantially with sources in East Asian languages. The Supervisor will decide if the thesis is deemed worthy of acceptance and will recommend conferral of the MA degree to the Graduate Coordinator. Theses are graded as CR/NCR; they do not receive a letter grade. The final thesis is uploaded to a public thesis repository.

MA Timelines
Students proceed through the MA with MRP or Thesis on different timelines, according to their own interests and resources. The most common timelines are:
• One year (3 sessions, full time): coursework is completed during the fall and winter sessions and the MRP/thesis is written over the summer. As long as an MRP or thesis is approved and formally submitted by mid-September (check the FAS calendar for the exact date each year), the student does not have to pay fees for the second fall session.
• One and half years (4 sessions, full time): coursework is completed during the fall and winter sessions and the MRP/thesis is written over the summer and second fall sessions.
• Two years (6 sessions, full time): coursework is completed during the first year and the MRP/thesis is written in year two.

The minimum time required for the MA program is one year (3 sessions, full time) and the maximum time allowed is three years.