M.A. in Contemporary East Asian Studies

*The information on this page applies to students already admitted to and/or enrolled in the CEAS MA program. While we are no longer admitting students through the Center for East Asian Studies, the program will be moving to Global & International Studies program as a Contemporary East Asian Concentration.*


The M.A. in Contemporary East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary degree focused on 20th and 21st century East Asia, with emphasis on cultural and social issues. This program provides students with in-depth interdisciplinary knowledge of a selected East Asian country (China, Korea, or Japan); a broad knowledge of modern East Asia; and social science research skills and methods appropriate to international area studies.

Program oversight is provided by the CEAS Director, Graduate Advisor, and a graduate committee composed of CEAS faculty affiliates.

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Requirements for the M.A. in Contemporary East Asia Studies

A conventional M.A. program usually completed in 18 months to two years, depending on prior language training. This concentration can be used either for professional advancement or as preparation for a doctoral degree.

Proficiency in an East Asian language is not required for admission to this program, but proficiency at the second (intermediate) level is required for the degree. Credit earned in introductory and intermediate language courses will not count toward the 30 hours required. If such courses are taken after admission, they will add substantial time to the program. 

Candidates in this concentration are required to complete A) 30 semester hours of graduate credit, including 3 required core courses and 7 elective courses B) M.A. Examination.  

A) Required Coursework

Course NameCredit Hours
CEAS 704 Graduate Seminar in Contemporary East Asia3
CEAS 710 Interdisciplinary Research Designs for Global Contexts, or a graduate level social science or history methodology course approved by the CEAS graduate advisor.3
CEAS 898 Research Project Writing3
7 elective courses: at least 3 courses on 1 country (China, Korea, or Japan) and 2 on another country; 4 of these courses must be in the social sciences, no more than 3 can be in a single discipline, and no more than 2 can focus on periods prior to the 20th century. 2 advanced East Asian language courses can be included. A maximum of 3 hours of directed reading be counted toward the required 30 hours.21

B) M.A. Examination Requirements

Along with completing required coursework and meeting the language requirement, students must fulfil the following requirements:

  1. prepare a publishable research paper,
  2. successfully pass an oral defense of that paper to the satisfaction of an M.A. examination committee, and
  3. submit your paper to academic journal(s) to be considered for publication.

The purpose of the M.A. research paper requirement is to train students in writing, conceptualization, research, and presentation of the subjects in their area of specialization in social science.


Current and prospective graduate students can contact CEAS to set up an appointment with the Director of Graduate Studies. For advising questions regarding research progress, course credit towards degree, and M.A. research paper/thesis, please contact: 

Dr. Ayako Mizumura, mizu@ku.edu

For advising questions regarding the application process, university requirements, resources, petitions, program milestones, exam scheduling, graduation, and any other questions related to student success, please contact:

Alec Graham, Graduate Program Coordinator CEAS Graduate Program, College Office of Graduate Affairs, alec.graham@ku.edu785-864-2318, 310 Bailey Hall