The department offers graduate programs leading to the MA and the PhD degrees with several concentrations. At the MA level, students may concentrate on a particular discipline or they may develop a more general program of study relevant to East Asia. PhD programs, however, are rigorously based in traditional academic disciplines. Students should enroll in a broad selection of courses offered by the various faculty involved with the student’s areas of concern.

A. Admissions Requirements

Admission requirements set by the Graduate College are described in the Graduate Catalog, or online and on the East Asian Studies Website. Departmental requirements are available from the Graduate Coordinator, The Department of East Asian Studies, 102 Learning Services Building, 1512 1st St., P. O. Box 210105, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721. Applications are submitted electronically via the Graduate College online portal, GradApp.

Application Materials

In order to process your application, all of the following must be provided in your online application:
(see Application Procedures)

  • Application fee. Paid at time of application submission.
  • One set of official transcripts and degree/diploma certificates from all college-level schools you have attended.
  • English proficiency scores for international students. GRE scores for domestic and international applicants are optional. 
  • Two letters of recommendation from people familiar with your academic background and potential for graduate study.
  • A statement of purpose that specifies the program for which you are applying (Japan MA, China MA, General EAS MA (indicate CHN or JPN, unless you intend to focus on both), China PhD, Japan PhD, EAS PhD) and explains your degree interests, disciplinary focus, and if desired, your career objective. You should also explain your academic, experiential, and linguistic qualifications for graduate study in our department. (Prerequisite for the PhD is MA.)
  • Fill out the Financial Aid Form
  • Applicants for the PhD are asked to submit a writing sample.

If you are an International student, also be prepared to include proof of English Proficiency following the guidelines listed on the Graduate College website.

Materials should be uploaded with your online application.  Be sure to follow the directions for the application precisely. Admission to a graduate degree program is the joint responsibility of both the Graduate College and the academic department. Your materials will be carefully evaluated by both entities.

B. Admissions Criteria

Generally, applicants for admission to either the MA or PhD programs must satisfy several departmental criteria in addition to those set by the Graduate College.

  • There must be a correspondence between a student’s academic interests and programmatic focus and the department’s programs, evaluated on the basis of the student’s statement of purpose and previous preparation. Candidates for admission to the graduate program must have the support of one faculty member within whose general area the student proposes to work. The number of MA and Ph.D candidates to be admitted annually is determined by the availability of faculty in the students’ fields.
  • The student’s apparent potential for graduate study as evidenced by the previous academic record and relevant achievements is very important. The department requires a GPA of 3.0 for regular admission for the MA and a GPA of 3.5 for the PhD, in a system where 4.0 represents “A.”
  • Non-native speakers must demonstrate proficiency in English adequate for a satisfactory performance in graduate studies. The Graduate College has specified acceptable English Proficiency credentials listed here

The Graduate Admissions Committee advises the relevant faculty when applicants indicate that they wish to work in a particular area, so that the faculty concerned can have the opportunity to examine the dossiers of these prospective students.

The Graduate Admissions Committee also prepares a brief summary of applicants’ qualifications and interests to aid the faculty in making application decisions. This summary is discussed and decisions made by the faculty at a regular meeting.

As the Graduate Catalog explains, students who are denied admission because they do not meet admissions standards may enroll as Non-Degree Seeking Students at the University. After they have completed 12 consecutive units of graduate level study (500- level or higher), they may reapply to EAS. The University requires that their GPA for that work be at least 3.25. No more than twelve units earned while in this status may later be considered for application toward an advanced degree awarded at the University, if they are granted regular graduate standing.

C. Admissions Deadlines

For Fall admission, applications, fees, and required credentials for international or domestic (US citizen) applicants must be submitted to the Graduate Admissions Office before January 15th.

Admission at other times during the year (spring or summer semesters) is not normally granted. In the case of exceptional circumstances, the applicant should consult the department for further information. Two exceptions to this policy will be considered for spring admission: (1) military personnel who have just 18 months to complete their work, and (2) University of Arizona undergraduate students or EAS MA students who graduate from the U of A in the winter and who want to avoid missing a semester (must have the strong support of at least one faculty member from East Asian Studies).

Spring admission of students - University of Arizona undergraduates who wish to enter an MA program immediately upon completing the BA or EAS MA students who wish to continue into the Ph.D program should conform to the regular October 1st application deadline for Spring semester admission.

D. Admissions Categories

In the regular application process, students may be accepted in two categories:

  • Regular Graduate Standing: Admission without special conditions
  • Admission with Deficiencies: If a student who otherwise meets EAS criteria for admission has a deficiency in preparation (language deficiency) sufficient to impair his/her graduate work, the student will be accepted for Regular Graduate Standing but with the requirement to remove the deficienciy. Such work would not earn graduate credit towards the degree. Once the work has been completed, the department will submit a memo to the Degree Check section of the Graduate College informing them that the deficiency has been removed. If deficiencies are substantial, an applicant will be advised to complete an appropriate preparation and then reapply to EAS.

E. Other Admissions Information


Re-admissions are handled by the Department Head, after they have been endorsed by the primary academic advisor in the department, and are not subject to the same deadlines and review process as applications for admission to one of the degree programs.


The Graduate Catalog provides a calendar of important deadlines to the graduate student. The calendar indicates submission deadlines for the forms required to progress through and to complete one’s graduate program. Meeting these deadlines is the responsibility of the student.


Information regarding fees can be found at