Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture, Ph.D. (Ithaca)
Field of Study
The Field of Asian Literature, Religion and Culture offers students interested in pursuing advanced studies of the literature, culture, religion(s), and intellectual history of any given region in East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
Students are required to take, for credit, twelve to fourteen courses (six or seven during the first year) and complete an M.A. thesis by the end of the second year. Students who wrote an M.A. thesis (in English) in their major subject before matriculation at Cornell may request a waiver of the thesis requirement. Each student then chooses three areas of specialization (usually two in the major discipline and one in another literature, theoretical field, or a different discipline) and chooses one faculty member to represent each concentration. The student works with this faculty committee to define the three areas and prepare appropriate reading lists. By the end of the third year the student must pass written and oral examinations in each subject (these are called Admission to Candidacy Exams or A Exams). By the time of the A Exams, students must be fluent in their major language and have at least a reading knowledge of a second Asian language and one non-English European language. Doctoral students are encouraged to spend a year in Asia for advanced language training or dissertation research. Teacher training and one year of classroom teaching are part of the professional preparation.
Concentrations by Subject
- Asian religions
- East Asian literature and culture
- South Asian literature and culture
- Southeast Asian literature and culture
- theory and method (minor)
Application Requirements and Deadlines
Fall, Jan. 10
Applicants are required to hold, at minimum, an undergraduate degree from an accredited university or college. Applicants are generally expected to have significant language preparation before application (at least three years’ competency for those interested in an East Asian literature). Prior work in literature, culture, religious studies, or the intellectual history of an Asian area is desirable. All applicants are required to submit GRE general test scores and a writing sample.
- all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam for Non-Native English Applicants
- three recommendations
- GRE general test
- three years of study in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Vietnamese language
- academic writing sample (approximately 25 pages)
- TOEFL minimum score of 600 paper-based or 250 computer-based
Learning outcomes for the graduate field Asian literature, religions, and cultures PhD degree. Learn more...