Graduate Emphasis in East Asian Languages & Literatures

M.A. Program

Currently, students are not admitted to an M.A. only degree program. In special circumstances, they may be granted an M.A. in recognition of progress toward the Ph.D., normally after six quarters of coursework and submission of two approved seminar papers, which will serve as the M.A. examination.

Doctor of Philosophy in East Asian Languages & Literatures

Requirements for Admission
In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to graduate study at UCI, specified by UCI Graduate Division, all students must present the following for review by an Admission Committee composed of members of the faculty in East Asian Languages and Literatures:
  • Records of prior scholastic performance, including all college transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Samples of written work
  • Aptitude scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
Although the Department does not require entering students to have received an undergraduate degree comparable to its own, it recommends as much preparation in an East Asian language as possible. It also welcomes applications from students whose language training may not be as extensive but who have shown promise in the study of related disciplines. The study of another appropriate language is encouraged as well.

Please also refer to APPLICATION PROCESS.
General Program Requirements:
Upon admission to the program, the student will be assigned a Faculty Advisor who will help the student plan a program of study consisting of 15 graduate-level quarter-courses of work beyond the B. A. in the appropriate concentration.
Before advancement to candidacy (normally after three years of graduate study), the student must:
  • Complete required coursework as detailed in the appropriate concentration.
  • Prepare one paper of publishable quality pending approval of the Faculty Advisor
  • Complete language requirements as listed in the appropriate concentration
  • Prepare five research reports (i.e. critical reviews) on current scholarly materials (books or significant articles) to be decided upon in consultation with the Faculty Advisor
  • Submit the Ph.D. Exam Reading List (with a rationale for the four topics chosen) for approval of all members of the Ph.D. Exam Committee at least one quarter before the intended exam date.
  • Pass the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination.

All graduate students (including teaching assistants and associates) must enroll for a minimum of 12 units or three courses each quarter. At least 8 units must be in graduate level courses. Any exception must be approved by the Associate Dean of Graduate Studies. It is departmental policy that part-time graduate students must enroll for 8 units. Students on a fellowship or grant are responsible for meeting the specific requirements of their individual situation. International students must check with the International Center to ascertain whether part-time study is commensurate with their visa status.


Upon acceptance to the doctoral program and in consultation with the Departmental Graduate Director, the student is assigned a primary Faculty Advisor and an alternate Faculty Advisor (in case the primary advisor is temporarily absent). In accordance with the student's stated interests on the application for admission, the Faculty Advisor will help the student map out an appropriate course of study that prepares the student for the qualifying exams and the writing of the doctoral thesis. The Faculty Advisor will, if applicable, evaluate the transcripts of students who transfer from other graduate programs in order to determine which courses will apply toward requirements for the Ph.D.

All students are required to meet quarterly with their Faculty Advisor no later than the second week of instruction. The purpose of these meetings is to advise students in their courses of graduate study, monitor their progress towards the timely completion of the Ph.D. degree, and keep them up-to-date on departmental and university requirements. If necessary, the Faculty Advisor may convoke a meeting of professors with whom the student has studied to evaluate academic progress and performance.

The Faculty Advisor will head the Ph.D. Exam Committee and presumably (although not necessarily) direct the dissertation. The Faculty Advisor chairs the Ph.D. Exam Committee and organizes and coordinates the qualifying exam. In addition, the Faculty Advisor informs the Departmental Graduate Director and Graduate Coordinator about the qualifying exam (dates, committee membership, outcome). The student may petition the Departmental Chair or Graduate Director for a change of advisor or committee (except between the qualifying exam and any retake); any change must be approved by the Departmental Graduate Director.


As the date of the Qualifying Examination approaches, the Faculty Advisor will work with the student to form the Ph.D. Exam Committee. The Ph.D. Exam Committee comprises five faculty members, including a professor from another department at UCI who will serve as the "outside member". The majority of the Ph.D. Exam Committee members must hold primary or joint appointments in the department. The committee, chaired by the Faculty Advisor, will read the student's written exams and participate in the oral exam. The Ph.D. Exam Committee, by unanimous vote, will determine if the student passes the Qualifying Examination.

To refer to the Qualifying Exam Checklist, please go to FORMS.

Upon completion of the Qualifying Examination, the results should be submitted to UCI Graduate Division on the Report of the Ph.D. Candidacy Committee, Ph.D. Form I. The Ph.D. Form I must be signed by all committee members at the time the candidacy examination is concluded, and submitted even if the student failed the examination. If the unanimous recommendation of the Committee is favorable, the $90 Advancement to Candidacy Fee must be paid to the campus Cashier's Office, by the student, which validates the Ph.D. Form I after which it should be submitted to UCI Graduate Division. The signed and validated Ph.D. Form I serves as the application for advancement to candidacy. The candidate and graduate program will be notified of formal advancement and the appointment of a Ph.D. Dissertation Committee by UCI Graduate Division.

After successful completion of the qualifying exams, some members of the Ph.D. Exam Committee may comprise the Ph.D. Dissertation Committee, which is made up of three members and chaired by the Dissertation Chair. A majority of the committee shall be affiliated with the department. The main functions of this committee are to participate in the dissertation proposal, read drafts of the dissertation distributed by the Dissertation Director, submit commentary to the Dissertation Director to be relayed to the student at the Director's discretion, participate in the defense of the dissertation, and to ultimately accept the finished dissertation by signing on the title page.
Advancement to Candidacy (ABD)
Students who complete the qualifying examinations successfully will become ABDs, i.e. advance to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree. They will then write a doctoral dissertation on a topic developed in consultation with the Dissertation Committee. Some period of study abroad, for enhancement of language proficiency and/or dissertation research, is strongly encouraged.


The Ph.D. candidate must allow Dissertation Committee members at least three weeks from the time the manuscript is received until the committee members' signatures are needed; the faculty will not assume responsibility for missed deadlines and additional enrollment fees if this three-week reading period is not provided by the candidate. The Dissertation Committee certifies that the completed dissertation is satisfactory through the signatures of all committee members on the signature page of the completed dissertation.


Upon completion and approval of the dissertation, the Dissertation Committee recommends, by submission of Ph.D. Form II, the conferral of the Ph.D. subject to final submission of the approved dissertation for deposit in the University Archives.


The submission of the dissertation is the last step in the program leading to the award of an advanced degree. All dissertations submitted in fulfillment of requirements for advanced degrees at UCI must conform to certain University regulations and specifications with regard to format and method of preparation. The Dissertation Director and student are responsible for the content and final presentation of the manuscript. Students are encouraged to attend information sessions offered each quarter, which discuss manuscript preparation and filing procedures.

After the dissertation has been approved by the committee, the original and the photocopy are submitted with the appropriate forms to University Archives (Main Library, Room 525, (949) 824-7227). There is also an option effective 2009 that the dissertation may be submitted electronically. See UCI Dissertation - Electronic Submission for details. The librarian will inspect the manuscript for completion and proper preparation (e.g. appropriate paper type, margins, pagination) according to the UCI Thesis and Dissertation Manual. The librarian will also verify that the committee signatures have been obtained and the degree paperwork has been completed. Library Archives has the responsibility of insuring that the established procedures and standards for manuscript preparation are upheld.

The advanced degree manuscript is expected to be submitted by the deadline in the quarter in which the degree is to be conferred. Friday of the tenth week of classes is the deadline for submitting theses and dissertations during each quarter. However, those students who complete requirements and submit dissertations after the end of the tenth week of classes and prior to the start of the subsequent quarter will earn a degree for the following quarter, but will not be required to pay fees for that quarter. In order to avoid payment of fees, manuscript, all forms, and degree paperwork must be submitted prior to the first day of the quarter in which the degree is to be earned. Please refer to the Office of Graduate Studies Filing Deadlines form for up-to-date information.