PhD programs

PhD in Chinese or Japanese

The PhD in Chinese or Japanese is designed to prepare students for careers in teaching and research at the college and university level. Students in the PhD program will attain a deeper and broader understanding of East Asian languages (practical fluency in two is required in some cases). They will receive specialized training in the research skills and theoretical constructs of a particular field. They will also become acquainted with the unique demands and joys of teaching, which requires breadth and inventiveness as well as expertise.

Admission Requirement

MA degree in a relevant discipline.

Course Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours beyond those taken for the MA, in departmental courses, as follows: five courses (15 credit hours) at the 400 and 500 levels, of which a minimum of two courses must be at the 500 level; one course (3 credit hours) in research methods/bibliography; and four seminar courses (16 credit hours), including the seminar in East Asian Studies scholarship. Please note that fourth-year language courses do not count toward the five required 400-500-level courses. A dissertation is required.


A minimum of 12 to 15 credit hours of course work in an outside (non-EALC) field, such as comparative literature, fine arts, folklore, history, political science, religious studies, or other approved departments. Examination in the minor if prescribed by the department or program concerned.

Language Requirements

Before the qualifying examination, students must demonstrate proficiency, both oral and reading, in the student's major language, as well as reading proficiency in French, German, or another European language relevant to their research area.  For some areas of research, proficiency in a second modern East Asian language or a classical East Asian language is necessary.  Specific program requirements will be determined in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s Advisory Committee, according to departmental guidelines.

Qualifying Examinations

Upon completion of course work, two written examinations in subject fields (one in the major field of specialization, one in a historical period of the major cultural area), and one oral exam.


On an approved subject in the major language or culture. Up to 15 credit hours may be taken for the dissertation. Following approval by the research committee, the dissertation proposal is presented orally to the department.

Final Examination

Upon completion of the dissertation, a final oral examination on the dissertation and major area.

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