About the Program
Administered through the East Asia Center, the 4+1 B.A./M.A. Program for UVa Students is an interdisciplinary program intended for students who want in-depth exposure to East Asia at the graduate level while also gaining competency in an East Asian language. The program is designed for students who seek a rich knowledge of East Asia as preparation for careers in business, government service, and media, or as preparation for entering professional schools or doctoral programs. We now offer a streamlined pathway into the M.A. program for suitably qualified UVa undergraduates in the College or in other Schools who already have had exposure to East Asian studies through their majors, minors, or language training. Undergraduates can apply directly to the Center for promotion into the master’s program without having to pay an application fee and sit for standardized tests.
Any Third or Fourth-year student who wishes to be considered for admission to this program should submit an application by March 31. If accepted into the program, and following receipt of the B.A. degree, a student will continue at the University as an M.A. student. The M.A. degree in East Asian Studies requires 30 graduate credit hours, an M.A. thesis, and demonstration of language proficiency in an East Asian language at the third-year level. Details of the requirements are set out below. Students usually take 21 months—two academic years and the intervening summer—to complete all requirements for the degree. Only undergraduate students who are exceptionally well prepared and who do not need additional language work to fulfill the language proficiency requirement can expect to complete the program more quickly.
Third-year students accepted into the program may take two graduate-level courses (5000 or above; 6 credits) in their final year of undergraduate study that will count toward the M.A. But note that the credits for the two graduate-level courses taken in the undergraduate years cannot be counted toward the student’s major or toward the 120 credits required by the College of Arts and Sciences for the B.A. degree. Please make sure that the graduate-level courses you take in your 4th year are being credited as they should be to your M.A. degree.
Application deadline for Fall admission is March 31st.
Degree Requirements for a Master of Arts in East Asian Studies:
- Completion of a total of 30 graduate credit hours, as follows:
- 24 credit hours of graded graduate-level coursework, including 18 credit hours in Asia-related courses and a distribution of at least six credits each in a minimum of two different departments
- 6 credit hours of non-topical research (EAST 8998 and 8999) toward preparation and writing of the Master's thesis.
- Please note that non-Asian courses and independent study credits must be approved by the Graduate Committee of the East Asia Center
- By the time of graduation, students must achieve and demonstrate language proficiency in an East Asian language at the third-year level. No language courses below the 5000 level may be used to satisfy the 24 credit hour requirement. This certification can be achieved by passing third-year language courses here at the University or through an examination administered through the Department of East Asian Languages, Literatures, and Cultures.
- Complete a Master's thesis under the guidance of two faculty advisors (at least one of whom is an East Asia faculty member) and undergo an oral defense.
Students with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.2 are eligible to apply.
All inquiries can be directed to the Director of Graduate Admissions, John Shepherd (email@example.com). Complete an application form (click here) and follow the included instructions for appending the following required documentation. Completed Applications are Due March 31st.
- A 500-word statement of purpose outlining the intellectual interests to be pursued in the M.A. program. A strong statement will also include some discussion of how the applicant’s previous coursework in East Asian studies/languages has prepared him or her for graduate study.
- A transcript or transcripts of undergraduate work up to the time of application.
- A writing sample of 10 pages or longer that demonstrates the applicant's analytic and writing skills. The writing sample preferably should be on an East Asian topic.
- Reference letters from two professors, one of whom should come from the student’s major department/school. References should be submitted directly to the East Asia Center and may be submitted via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).