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East Asian Studies, Master of Arts

Institute for Asian Studies


Earn a master's degree in East Asian Studies at St. John's University in New York City!

The Master of Arts (M.A.) program in East Asian Studies at St. John’s offers you comprehensive and critical study of the historical, social, economic, political, and cultural developments of the Asian world, both as a whole and as individual societies. It will also provide you with experience in the critical use of sources and presentation of research.

You may elect a thesis or non-thesis option to complete the program. We strongly recommend the thesis option if you wish to continue your graduate studies beyond the master’s level. You must take at least one semester of Chinese or Japanese language instruction regardless of program track.

Contact Information
Bernadette Y. Li, Ph.D., Director
Institute for Asian Studies
[email protected]

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In addition to the requirements for admission to graduate study in St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, students who apply to the M.A. in East Asian Studies are expected to have taken at least six credits of related coursework as an undergraduate. If you hold an undergraduate degree from a foreign institution, you’ll also be required to submit TOEFL examination scores.

Graduate Admission Information
Office of Graduate Admission
[email protected]



Thesis Option

The thesis option for the M.A. in East Asian Studies requires 33 credits, including six credits of master’s thesis research and a written thesis. If you elect this option, you must take either ASC 102 (Great Books from China) or ASC 300 (Introduction to Source Materials on China). You’ll choose your remaining courses in consultation with your advisor.

Non-Thesis Option

The non-thesis option for the M.A. in East Asian Studies also requires 33 credits, but all credits are to be applied to coursework. You must take either ASC 102 (Great Books from China) or ASC 300 (Introduction to Source Materials on China), and will select all other courses in consultation with your advisor.

Students in both tracks of the degree must take at least one semester of Chinese or Japanese language courses and successfully complete a comprehensive examination.

Career Outcomes

In today’s global market, professionals with cross-cultural knowledge and bilingual skills are in high demand. With knowledge of the history, culture, and languages of China, you’ll be ready to enter just about any field. From business and law to education and the arts, special opportunities are available to those with comprehensive and critical understanding of the world’s fastest-growing region.

Our graduates have gone on to further study in doctoral and advanced professional programs both in the United States and abroad. They have also landed jobs in such diverse fields as business, administration, education, libraries, and health care. Positions held by our alumni include: professors at American, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean universities; secondary education teachers in both America and China; writers; artists; librarians; military officers; government officials; investment bankers; newspaper reporters and television anchors; travel agents; entrepreneurs; and accountants.

Tuition and Financial Aid

Endowed Scholarships

Graduate students in the Institute for Asian Studies may apply for the Dr. David Choy Scholarship and the Pearl M.T. Tsai, Alfred M.H. Tsai, and David M. Choy Scholarship.

For more information, please see our Endowed Scholarships page. 

Graduate Assistantships

You may apply for administrative graduate assistantships throughout the University. These positions offer tuition remission and, typically, a stipend. You can find more information about graduate assistantships on the Graduate Assistantships and Fellowships page.