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Critical Asian Humanities

For more information contact

Director of Graduate Studies
MA in Critical Asian Humanities
Duke University
Box 90414
Durham, NC  27708-0414

Phone: (919) 668 2603



General Information

Degree offered:
Faculty working with students:
The program has 8 core faculty, but students can take courses with Humanities and East Asian Studies faculty from throughout the university
16 (8 per matriculating class)
Students receiving Financial Aid:
Part time study available:

Program Description

The Master of Arts in Critical Asian Humanities is a terminal degree offered by the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The MA provides training in the critical analysis of written, visual, and performance cultures of the greater Asia, including East Asia and the Middle East. Integrating approaches and methodologies from literary studies, film studies, and cultural studies, we will offer an innovative and comprehensive program of study that will provide students with the skills needed to pursue either a doctoral or professional degree in a related area, or a career in field relating to East Asian culture and society.

The curriculum of the CAH-MA consists primarily of courses on East Asian and the Middle Eastern cultural studies and cultural studies methodologies. Students must also attain advanced language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew, or Arabic, equivalent to three years of college-level study. Up to two East Asian or Middle Eastern language courses may be counted toward the 10-course requirement. Students who already have proficiency in one Asian language are not required to study a second language, though they are welcome to do so.

Under the direction of a faculty advisor, each student will complete an MA thesis and submit it to their thesis committee. The thesis committee will be composed of three faculty, at least two of whom must be from AMES. The degree is dependent on the acceptance of the thesis and successful completion of an oral examination.


Application Information

Application Terms Available

Application Deadline
February 15

Graduate School Application Requirements
See the Application Instructions page for important details about each Graduate School requirement.

  • Transcripts: Unofficial transcripts required with application submission; official transcripts required upon admission
  • Letters of Recommendation: 3 Required
  • Statement of Purpose: Required
  • Résumé: Required
  • GRE Scores: GRE General Required
  • English Language Exam: TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo English Test required* for applicants whose first language is not English
    *test waiver may apply for some applicants
  • GPA: Undergraduate GPA calculated on 4.0 scale required

Department-Specific Application Requirements (submitted through online application)
Applicants with TOEFL scores of 100 and above or IELTS scores of 7 and above are preferred.

Writing Sample
None required

We strongly encourage you to review additional department-specific application guidance from the program to which you are applying: Departmental Application Guidance