Admission Requirements

Candidates are admitted under the general regulations specified in the School of Graduate Studies Calendar as well as more specific regulations in the Calendar pertaining to the Department of East Asian Studies. Completed applications, including all supporting documentation, must reach the department by the deadline.

Admission is based on the candidate’s undergraduate and graduate record, on the evidence of the references, and on the statement of purpose. Admission is competitive; the minimum qualifications do not ensure acceptance.

For further information about application procedures and admission, please email our Undergraduate & Graduate Assistant, Norma Escobar. If you would like to discuss the department’s fit with your academic interests, feel welcome to send an email to Professor Yue Meng, Associate Chair, Graduate.

The minimum admission requirements for the MA and PhD programs are below.

MA Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of East Asian Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.
  • Successful completion of an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a major in East Asian studies and at least a B+ standing in the final year.
  • Applicants without a major in East Asian studies may also be considered, provided they demonstrate sufficient scholarly interest and academic preparation in East Asian studies.​
  • Statement of approximately 500 words (two pages) setting out the student's main fields of interest and proposed course of study.
  • Two letters of recommendation from scholars who have knowledge of previous academic work.
  • Programs are based on the study of original texts. This presupposes knowledge of the relevant languages.
  • A 10- to 15-page sample of the applicant's academic writing in English.
  • Non-native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the paper-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE). Applicants taking the Internet-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections. Comparable scores on similar tests are also acceptable.

PhD Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of East Asian Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.
  • Normally, completion of the MA program in the Department of East Asian Studies, or its equivalent from a recognized university, with an average grade of at least A–.
  • Statement of approximately 500 words (two pages) setting out the student's main fields of interest and proposed course of study.
  • Three letters of recommendation from scholars who have knowledge of previous academic work.
  • Programs are based on the study of original texts. This presupposes knowledge of the relevant languages.
  • A 10- to 15-page sample of the applicant's academic writing in English.
  • Non-native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the paper-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE). Applicants taking the Internet-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections. Comparable scores on similar tests are also acceptable.

Direct-entry PhD Minimum Admission Requirements

Same requirements as PhD, except departmental assessment may also permit registration directly from a BA degree in the most exceptional cases where, for instance, there is a very high grade point average or a well-documented demonstration of capacity for original research.