East Asian Studies

Program Overview

The graduate program in East Asian Studies is offered in two fields: Classical East Asian and Modern East Asian, leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.

The Department of East Asian Studies is a place for learning and research about the cultures of China, Japan, and Korea, and their interactions with one another and the rest of the world. An emphasis is placed on interregional and interdisciplinary work, including the fields of history, literature, philosophy, cinema, and cultural studies in modern and premodern times. Prospective students must come to the program with strong skills in at least one East Asian language.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline MA:

20-Jan-2020

PhD:

08-Jan-2020

MA:

20-Jan-2020

PhD:

08-Jan-2020

Supporting documents deadline MA:

20-Jan-2020

PhD:

8-Jan-2020

MA:

20-Jan-2020

PhD:

8-Jan-2020

Minimum admission average MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

A-minus average in Master’s

Direct entry option from bachelor's to PhD? PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in courses in the relevant discipline)

PhD:

Yes (minimum A-minus average in courses in the relevant discipline)

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? MA:

After

PhD:

Before

MA:

After

PhD:

Before

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? MA:

No

MA:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? MA:

Applicant

PhD:

Graduate unit

MA:

Applicant

PhD:

Graduate unit

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s

MA:

3 sessions

PhD:

4 years; 5 years if entering directly from bachelor’s


Master of Arts​

Program Description

East Asian Studies offers three tracks through its MA program: 1) MA through coursework, 2) MA with Major Research Paper (MRP), and 3) MA with thesis. It is possible to switch between the three tracks as long as all requirements are fulfilled.

Applicants should consult the department's website for complete details on the MA program, applications, course offerings, and profiles of the graduate faculty.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of East Asian Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Successful completion of an appropriate bachelor's degree from a recognized university with a major in East Asian studies and at least a B+ standing in the final year.

  • Applicants without a major in East Asian studies may also be considered, provided they demonstrate sufficient scholarly interest and academic preparation in East Asian studies.​

  • Statement of approximately 500 words (two pages) setting out the student's main fields of interest and proposed course of study.

  • Two letters of recommendation from scholars who have knowledge of previous academic work.

  • Programs are based on the study of original texts. This presupposes knowledge of the relevant languages.

  • A 10- to 15-page sample of the applicant's academic writing in English.

  • Non-native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the paper-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE). Applicants taking the Internet-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections. Comparable scores on similar tests are also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • The program may be completed through one of three routes:

    • Coursework: normally 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) with at least 2.0 FCEs in EAS courses, including the required course EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia (0.5 FCE).

    • Coursework plus Major Research Paper (MRP): the MRP must be written with the guidance of a supervisor after the completion of coursework. Normally 4.0 FCEs as follows:

      • 3.0 FCEs of coursework including at least 1.5 FCEs in EAS courses, including the required course EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia (0.5 FCE)

      • EAS 1150Y Major Research Paper (1.0 FCE).

    • Coursework plus thesis: the thesis must be written with the guidance of a supervisor after the completion of coursework. Normally 4.0 FCEs as follows:

      • 3.0 FCEs of coursework including at least 1.5 FCEs in EAS courses, including the required course EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia (0.5 FCE)

      • EAS 1250Y MA Thesis (1.0 FCE).

  • Courses are selected in consultation with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

  • Students are encouraged to continue with necessary language study, but language courses are not included in the FCEs.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

The PhD program is a research degree that prepares students to teach and research in the area of East Asian Studies. The program consists of course work, language study, comprehensive exams, a dissertation prospectus, writing of a dissertation, and a final oral examination on the dissertation.

Applicants should consult the department's website for complete details on the PhD program, applications, course offerings, and profiles of the graduate faculty.

Applicants may enter the PhD program via one of two routes: 1) following completion of an appropriate MA degree or 2) direct entry after completing a BA degree.
 

PhD Program

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of East Asian Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Normally, completion of the MA program in the Department of East Asian Studies, or its equivalent from a recognized university, with an average grade of at least A–.

  • Statement of approximately 500 words (two pages) setting out the student's main fields of interest and proposed course of study.

  • Three letters of recommendation from scholars who have knowledge of previous academic work.

  • Programs are based on the study of original texts. This presupposes knowledge of the relevant languages.

  • A 10- to 15-page sample of the applicant's academic writing in English.

  • Non-native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the paper-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE). Applicants taking the Internet-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections. Comparable scores on similar tests are also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 non-language full-course equivalents (FCEs), including at least 2.0 FCEs in EAS courses, to be selected in consultation with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. 2.0 FCEs must be completed in Year 1, with an average grade of at least A–. The remaining courses are normally completed by the end of Year 2, maintaining an average of at least A–.

    • EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia is a required course if not taken previously. If EAS 2020​​H has previously been taken, students are required to take an additional 0.5 FCE.

    • Students are permitted to take some of their courses in other departments.

  • A comprehensive qualifying examination, undertaken with the guidance of a supervisory committee, must be taken by November 30 of Year 3. The committee will provide the student with three questions (in a Major, Minor, and Adjacent field), for which the student must provide written answers within seven days. Within one week after submitting the answers, the student will meet with the committee to provide an oral defence of the answers. The committee will decide whether the student has passed or failed in each of the three fields on the basis of the written answers and oral defence taken together. If the student fails the Major field, he or she will be given one more chance to pass an entirely new examination, within three months of the first attempt. If the student passes the Major field but fails either one or both of the Minor and Adjacent fields, then he or she will be given one more chance to take an examination consisting of new questions in the fields failed, within six weeks of the first attempt. Third attempts are not permitted.

  • An appropriate level of proficiency in at least one language (other than English) relevant to the student's areas of study must be demonstrated by November 30 of Year 3; the language(s), level of proficiency, and method of evaluation are to be determined by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the student's supervisor. Students will take a language placement test (or multiple tests, depending on the area of study) at the beginning of their program. Upon receiving the placement result, students must meet with their supervisor. If the appropriate level of proficiency has not been demonstrated, the student and their supervisor will devise a plan for achieving proficiency by November 30 of Year 3. The plan will be approved by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

  • Within one to three months after completing the comprehensive examination, students are required to produce a dissertation prospectus to be approved by their supervisory committee. The committee will meet to consider the dissertation prospectus and provide the student with feedback. The student will make the revisions and submit the prospectus to his/her supervisor for final approval, which must be given by the end of the student’s third year. After the dissertation prospectus is approved, the student advances to candidacy.

  • After completing all of the above requirements, students are required to produce a doctoral dissertation with the guidance of their supervisory committee. The completed dissertation must be defended at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

4 years

Time Limit

6 years
 

PhD Program (Direct-Entry)

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Department of East Asian Studies' additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Admission to the PhD program normally requires completion of the MA program in the Department of East Asian Studies, or its equivalent from a recognized university, with an average grade of at least A–. However, departmental assessment may also permit registration directly from a BA degree in the most exceptional cases where, for instance, there is a very high grade point average or a well-documented demonstration of capacity for original research.

  • Statement of approximately 500 words (two pages) setting out the student's main fields of interest and proposed course of study.

  • Three letters of recommendation from scholars who have knowledge of previous academic work.

  • Programs are based on the study of original texts. This presupposes knowledge of the relevant languages.

  • A 10- to 15-page sample of the applicant's academic writing in English.

  • Non-native speakers of English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Applicants taking the paper-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 600 and 5 on the Test of Written English (TWE). Applicants taking the Internet-based TOEFL must achieve a minimum score of 100/120 and 22/30 on the writing and speaking sections. Comparable scores on similar tests are also acceptable.

Program Requirements

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 non-language full-course equivalents (FCEs), including at least 2.0 FCEs in EAS courses, to be selected in consultation with the Coordinator of Graduate Studies. 2.0 FCEs must be completed in Year 1, with an average grade of at least A–. The remaining courses are normally completed by the end of Year 2, maintaining an average of at least A–.

    • EAS 2020H Critical Approaches to East Asia (0.5 FCE) is a required course if not taken previously. If EAS 2020​​H has previously been taken, students are required to take an additional 0.5 FCE.

    • Students are permitted to take some of their courses in other departments.

  • EAS 1150Y Reading and Major Research Paper (1.0 FCE), to be written with the guidance of and assessed by the student’s academic supervisor, must be completed by August 31 of Year 2.

  • A comprehensive qualifying examination, undertaken with the guidance of a supervisory committee, must be taken by February 28 of Year 3. The committee will provide the student with three questions (in a Major, Minor, and Adjacent field), for which the student must provide written answers within seven days. Within one week after submitting the answers, the student will meet with the committee to provide an oral defence of the answers. The committee will decide whether the student has passed or failed in each of the three fields on the basis of the written answers and oral defence taken together. If the student fails the Major field, he or she will be given one more chance to pass an entirely new examination, within three months of the first attempt. If the student passes the Major field but fails either one or both of the Minor and Adjacent fields, then he or she will be given one more chance to take an examination consisting of new questions in the fields failed, within six weeks of the first attempt. Third attempts are not permitted.

  • An appropriate level of proficiency in at least one language (other than English) relevant to the student's areas of study must be demonstrated by November 30 of Year 3; the language(s), level of proficiency, and method of evaluation are to be determined by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies, in consultation with the student's supervisor. Students will take a language placement test (or multiple tests, depending on the area of study) at the beginning of their program. Upon receiving the placement result, students must meet with their supervisor. If the appropriate level of proficiency has not been demonstrated, the student and their supervisor will devise a plan for achieving proficiency by November 30 of Year 3. The plan will be approved by the Coordinator of Graduate Studies.

  • Within one to three months after completing the comprehensive examination, students are required to produce a dissertation prospectus to be approved by their supervisory committee. The committee will meet to consider the dissertation prospectus and provide the student with feedback. The student will make the revisions and submit the prospectus to his/her supervisor for final approval, which must be given by the end of the student’s third year. After the dissertation prospectus is approved, the student advances to candidacy.

  • After completing all of the above requirements, students are required to produce a doctoral dissertation with the guidance of their supervisory committee. The completed dissertation must be defended at a Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

5 years

Time Limit

7 years

Trevor Stirling

“Graduate school will shape your career for the rest of your life. ”

Trevor Stirling
PhD Candidate, Electrical & Computer Engineering
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