University of Southern California
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Graduate Degrees

Master of Arts

The East Asian Studies Center offers an interdisciplinary master’s degree in East Asian Area Studies. The program provides a wide range of language, cultural, social, historical, political and economic courses and faculty expertise; individual courses of study may be designed to meet both continuing academic and professional objectives. Students may concentrate primarily on one country (China, Japan, Korea) or develop region-wide expertise through a combination of course work and the thesis project.

Admission Requirements

While an applicant for admission will normally have significant experience in East Asian language(s) and area studies as demonstrated through course work completed for the undergraduate degree, programs may be arranged for promising students without prior experience in East Asian studies. There is no formal language requirement for admission.

The student should have an undergraduate record satisfactory to the center. Three letters of recommendation from professors familiar with the applicant’s academic performance should be sent to the center director. All applicants are required to take the verbal and quantitative general tests of the Graduate Record Examinations.

Degree Requirements

This degree is under the jurisdiction of the Graduate School. Refer to the Requirements for Graduation section and the Graduate School section of this catalogue for general regulations. All courses applied toward the degree must be courses acceptable to the Graduate School.

Foreign Language Requirement
Students must be able to demonstrate oral and written proficiency in Chinese, Korean or Japanese through the third year level (equivalent to six semesters) before the M.A. program is completed.

Course and Thesis Requirements
Six courses (24 units), four of which must be at the 500 level or above, plus the thesis (4 units) are required. All students must complete: (1) EASC 592; (2) EALC 531, EALC 532 or EALC 533; and (3) one other course from a College of Letters, Arts and Sciences department. The three additional courses (12 units) may be taken from college departments or professional schools. All courses must be approved by the center director or advisor. A maximum of two courses at the 400 level may be counted toward the degree. All students must register for EASC 594ab Master’s Thesis for the thesis project.

Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration

The Marshall School of Business in conjunction with the East Asian Studies Center offers a joint M.A./M.B.A. degree that combines graduate business education with training in the cultures and societies of East Asia. Students enrolled in the joint degree program are required to complete a minimum of 72 units. All students must complete 48 units in the Marshall School of Business. Dual degree students may not count courses taken outside the Marshall School of Business toward the 48 units. In East Asian Area Studies, students have the option of taking five courses and writing a thesis (for a total of 24 units) or taking six courses and passing a comprehensive examination (for a total of 24 units).

Applicants for the joint M.A./M.B.A. are required to follow the admission procedures for the full-time M.B.A. program described here. GRE scores are not required for admission into the joint program.

Required Courses
Required M.B.A. courses: all required courses in an M.B.A. program.

Required EASC coursesUnits
EASC 592Proseminar on Issues and Trends in Contemporary East Asia4

and one course from the following list:

Cultural/Historical Foundations of East Asia
AHIS 518Seminar in Chinese Art4, max 16
AHIS 519Seminar in Japanese Art4, max 16
EALC 501History of Chinese Literature4
EALC 506Selections from Classical Chinese Literature4
EALC 515Classical Japanese Poetics4
EALC 531Proseminar in Chinese Cultural History4
EALC 532Proseminar in Korean Cultural History4
EALC 533Proseminar in Japanese Cultural History4
EALC 541Seminar: Japan4
EALC 543Seminar: Japanese Literature4
EALC 551Seminar: China4
EALC 553Seminar: Chinese Literature4
EALC 610Seminar: Buddhism and the Literary Arts in Japan4
HIST 535Studies in Japanese History4
HIST 536Studies in Chinese History2 or 4
HIST 540Studies in Modern East Asian History4, max 8
HIST 630Seminar in Japanese History2 or 4
HIST 635Seminar in Chinese History2 or 4

Elective Courses (Thesis Option)
During the second and third years of the program students must complete enough graduate units to bring the total number of units completed in the Marshall School of Business to 48, complete 12 units of East Asian Area Studies elective courses (three courses), and complete a four-unit thesis under the guidance of a faculty committee of three members. The subject will concern East Asia and may focus on business/finance.

Elective Courses (Comprehensive Examination Option)
During the second and third years of the program students must complete enough graduate units to bring the total number of units completed in the Marshall School of Business to 48, complete 16 units of East Asian Area Studies elective courses (four courses) and must pass a comprehensive examination in East Asian Area Studies.

Foreign Language Requirement
Students must be able to demonstrate oral and written proficiency in Chinese, Japanese or Korean language through the third year level (equivalent to six semesters) before the joint M.A./M.B.A. program is completed. Language course work taken to meet this requirement will not count toward the minimum unit or course requirements for completion of the degree program. Therefore, students without sufficient undergraduate language course work, native speaker capability or other prior training, are advised that additional units and course work beyond the minimum 72 units may be required in order to satisfy the foreign language requirement. USC offers beginning, intermediate and advanced Chinese, Japanese and Korean language courses during the academic year (fall/spring) and intensive 10-week language programs during the summer that provide beginning and intermediate level instruction.

Graduate Certificate


Graduate students interested in East Asian Area Studies must be enrolled in an advanced degree program in the Graduate School or in a professional school at the university. While preparing for an M.A., Ph.D. or other graduate degree, they may earn a certificate in East Asian studies which certifies special area competence beyond discipline requirements. The certificate requirements provide the student with two options. The first requires that the student write a thesis and take four graduate-credit courses in East Asian studies in any department. An oral examination is given on the thesis. The second option does not require a thesis. The student instead takes six graduate-credit courses in the East Asian area and takes an oral examination on three research papers and on relevant graduate work. As a part of both options some basic East Asian history and at least two years of study or the equivalent of an East Asian language are required. The student makes the basic decisions on the program to be followed in consultation with a three-member interdisciplinary committee approved by the Director of the East Asian Studies Center.

For further information, interested students may write to: Director, East Asian Studies Center, College House 101, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA 90089-0127.