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M.A. in Asian Studies

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This program is designed for students who did not major in Asian Studies as undergraduates or who want more work in language and area studies before entering the professional, business, or Ph.D. fields. One to two years of study is required, depending on language proficiency. 

The Field of Asian Studies has three concentrations, and each student will choose one: East Asian studies, South Asian studies, or Southeast Asian studies. Students are, however, welcome to work between these geographical boundaries as they attain mastery of the language(s) and culture of one. More details about the Master's in Asian studies and all of its requirements are available from the Department of Asian Studies

Requirements

The Field of Asian Studies has three concentrations, and each student will choose one: East Asian studies, South Asian studies, or Southeast Asian studies. Students are, however, welcome to work between these geographical boundaries as they attain mastery of the language(s) and culture of one.

Language Competency

Language expertise is considered a prerequisite for doing competent research in any area of Asian Studies. Thus students should come to Cornell with that expertise or work toward it in the course of their academic training here. The Field expects all students to attain to a minimum of a second-year level competency by the completion of the M.A. degree. Most students will go beyond that level.

Coursework

A plan for appropriate coursework should be developed in consultation with one’s committee chair. All students must do at least two full-time semesters of coursework that usually includes 6–8 courses, and can consist of language classes, specialized courses in Asian Studies, disciplinary work outside of Asian Studies, seminars, and independent studies. Students must receive a grade of B or above in courses counted toward the degree.

Thesis

All students will submit a final thesis on a project developed in consultation with their committees. The thesis may be a more developed version of a seminar paper or papers that has been expanded and subjected to additional revision and review. Theses are typically 40-50 pages or more in length.

Additional Information

Academic Type

  • Master's

Program