Asian Studies | College of Liberal Arts
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This program is intended for students who wish to obtain a doctorate in order to pursue an academic career in the study of the literature and languages of China, Japan, Korea, or South Asia. 

Students admitted directly to the PhD program already hold a Master’s degree in a related field and must complete at least thirty semester hours of coursework in addition to the dissertation courses. 

The PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages requires at least 30 credit hours of coursework, successful completion of qualifying exams, and a dissertation.  

Specialization in East Asia: Students who specialize in East Asia normally have a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean language and literature, or an area studies degree with a concentration in East Asia. Students must have completed at least two years of college-level Chinese, Japanese, or Korean with a grade of at least B in each course, or must demonstrate equivalent competence, before admission to the program.

Specialization in South Asia: Students who plan to specialize in South Asia should have a Master of Arts in area studies or a related discipline that includes significant coursework in a relevant South Asian language.

Requirements for the PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages

The following information is effective as of the 2022-2023 Graduate Handbook. Every effort has been made to insure the accuracy of this information.  In the event of discrepancy between this information and the Graduate Catalog, the Graduate Catalog takes precedence.

The PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages requires at least 30 semester hours plus a dissertation. Competency in at least one modern foreign language that will be used in research is required.  Areas of specialization must be approved by the Graduate Adviser.  The minor must be a different topic than the major; a student may have a secondary language or a relevant graduate portfolio program as his/her minor. 

The 30-hour PhD curriculum includes:

  • 15 hours in the student's major area of specialization 
  • 9 hours in the student's minor area of specialization
  • 6 hours graduate research methods of the appropriate discipline (e.g., historiography, literary theory or criticism, etc.)
  • Completion of the research language
  • Dissertation courses

Please see the suggested timeline for completing the PhD in Asian Cultures and Languages. 

Sample Degree Plans

South Asia