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 (these must be MAILED to the department, not submitted online).
  • English proficiency scores for international students and GRE scores for domestic applicants and those from English-speaking countries. International students with U.S. degrees may substitute the GRE for the English proficiency score at their discretion. GRE scores are not required of international applicants. 
  • 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. 

Official transcripts should be mailed to the East Asian Studies Department, c/o Graduate Coordinator, P. O. Box 210105, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ 85721-0105. Other departmental 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 doctoral program must have the support of one faculty member within whose general area the student proposes to work. The number of Ph.D candidates to be admitted annually is determined by the availability of faculty in the students’ fields, but will ordinarily not exceed ten per year.
  • 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 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 B.A. should conform to the regular October 1st application deadline for Spring semester admission.

UA graduate students transferring from other departments or programs into EAS (MA or PhD applicants) ordinarily will be considered for Fall admission in the January 15th for domestic or international pool. In addition to their original UA application they must provide two UA letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and a sample of their academic work (seminar paper, etc.). Students wishing to apply for admission in the spring semester may request early consideration. Such applications, along with all materials, must be received by October 1st for both international and domestic students.

D. Admissions Categories

In the regular application process, students may be accepted under several categories:

  • Regular Graduate Standing: Admission without special conditions
  • Provisional Standing: EAS utilizes this category for students admitted with less than the departmentally required 3.0 GPA, and for students whose applications are incomplete. Students in the first category must demonstrate their ability for graduate study by completing 12 graduate units (500- level or above) of work with a G.P.A of at least 3.25 and by demonstrating in their class work a command of English adequate for graduate study. The courses so completed can be used in partial fulfillment of their graduate requirements, if the students are granted regular graduate status. Students admitted with provisional status because their applications are not complete are expected to provide the department with the missing materials during the first semester of residence. Students on provisional status who wish to be admitted to regular graduate status should obtain the “Provisional to Regular Graduate Status Request Form” from the Graduate College and follow the directions on the form. Only a student in Regular Graduate Status can be awarded a degree.
  • Admission with Deficiencies: If a student who otherwise meets EAS criteria for admission has a deficiency in preparation sufficient to impair his/her graduate work, the student will be accepted for Regular Graduate Standing but with the requirement to remove specified deficiencies. 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.
  • International Special: Non-immigrant student applicants from institutions outside the United States are sometimes admitted to the Graduate College as International Special Students. Students admitted to this status are full-time students, taking a minimum of nine hours of credit per semester. Those units may be in appropriate courses at either the undergraduate or graduate level. At the conclusion of the student’s first semester in residence, the Graduate College and the academic unit to which the student seeks admission will evaluate the student’s progress. If the academic unit recommends a change to Regular Graduate Status, the student can receive graduate credit for all graduate eligible work taken during the first semester in residence. If Regular Graduate Status is not recommended, a final evaluation of the student’s progress will be conducted following the student’s second semester in residence in International Special Status. Students awarded Regular Graduate Status can receive graduate credit only for the graduate eligible units taken during the one semester immediately preceding the award of Regular Graduate Status.

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