General Info

  • Faculty working with students: The program has 16 core faculty and 13 affiliated faculty. Students can take courses with Humanities and East Asian Studies faculty from throughout the university.
  • Students: 16 (8 per matriculating class)
  • Students receiving Financial Aid: N/A
  • Part time study available: No
  • Application terms: Fall
  • Application deadline: February 15
Application Info


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



Program Description

The Master of Arts in Critical Asian Humanities in the Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (AMES) combines critical theory and area studies, with an emphasis on visual culture, performance culture, gender studies, migration studies, and empire studies of greater Asia. Our strength lies in the modern and contemporary periods in the Middle East and East Asia. Our innovative and comprehensive curriculum provides students with skills and training needed to pursue careers in academia and professional fields that ask for regional specialization.

AMES closely collaborates with the Asian/Pacific Studies (APSI) Institute at Duke University. AMES and APSI sponsor speaker series, international conferences and visiting scholars from around the world. They also offer forums for graduate students to share their work.

The curriculum of the CAH-MA consists primarily of courses on East Asian and the Middle Eastern cultural studies and cultural studies methodologies. Students are encouraged to take courses with Humanities and East Asian Studies faculty from throughout the university. Duke also has close ties with Asian Studies faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and students can receive credit for courses at either institution. Students must  attain advanced language proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Arabic, Turkish, or Hebrew, 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.

Students will work closely with a faculty adviser to develop an individual research project, culminating in an MA thesis. The degree is dependent on the successful completion of the thesis and its oral defense.


Application Information

Application Terms Available: Fall

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