Skip to main content

Asian Studies M.A. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Asian Studies

Program Description

This program is designed for students whose career goals require only the M.A. degree, as well as for those who want to continue in a major Ph.D. field but do not have the necessary language or area background.

Asian languages currently taught at Cornell are Bengali, Burmese, Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin), Hindi-Urdu, Indonesian, Japanese, Khmer (Cambodian), Korean, Nepali, Sanskrit, Sinhalese, Tagalog, Thai, and Vietnamese.

East Asian studies. Proficiency in speaking and reading Chinese, Japanese, or Korean is required. Each candidate must complete one year of full-time study (normally four courses each semester) in Asian studies. Students who have some previous language training will be directed to courses at the appropriate level and may, if they are advanced enough, complete the M.A. degree requirements in as little as one academic year.

South Asian studies. Proficiency in one or more South Asian languages, usually the equivalent of three years of nonintensive study, is required. An intensive summer program in Nepali is currently offered each summer.

Southeast Asian studies. Proficiency in one or more Southeast Asian languages, usually the equivalent of three years of nonintensive language study, is required. Proficiency can be obtained in two academic years plus one summer, or in two summers and one academic year. In addition to language study, each M.A. degree candidate is expected to successfully complete a minimum of eight one-semester courses.

Asian studies is available as a minor field of concentration for master's or doctoral degree candidates admitted to a major field of the Graduate School. Candidates selecting a minor in Asian studies should discuss language requirements with their Special Committee. Major and minor work is also offered in the social sciences, history, literature, and religion.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-9099

350 Rockefeller Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY  14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • East Asian linguistics (minor)
  • East Asian studies
  • South Asian linguistics (minor)
  • South Asian studies
  • Southeast Asian linguistics (minor)
  • Southeast Asian studies



Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Feb. 1

Requirements Summary:

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the field's brochures to determine if their research and study interests parallel those of current field faculty members; brochures are available on request from the graduate field office. Applicants are required to submit GRE general test scores.

  • all Graduate School Requirements, including the TOEFL Exam or IELTS Academic Exam for non-native English applicants
  • three recommendations
  • GRE general test; TOEFL for foreign nationals

Learning Outcomes

  • Develop appropriate competence in an Asian language necessary for their research and/or applied objectives.
  • Demonstrate significant knowledge of a particular humanistic. social-scientific, or applied area within a recognized Asian regional or national zone.
  • Communicate effectively in written and spoken presentations.
  • Uphold standards of academic integrity scholarly and/or applied research.