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East Asian Studies

For more information contact

Asian/Pacific Studies Institute
Box 90411
Durham, NC 27708-0411
(919) 684-2604


General Information

Degree offered:
M.A., Certificate
Test required:
GRE General
Application Deadlines

Program Description

The Asian/Pacific Studies Institute at Duke offers a master's degree in East Asian Studies, as well as a certificate in East Asian Studies (available to students enrolled in other degree programs at Duke in the Graduate School, the Nicholas School of Environment and Earth Sciences, the Law School, the Fuqua School of Business, the Pratt School of Engineering, and the Sanford School of Public Policy).

Duke's East Asian Studies program offers comprehensive coverage of East Asian politics, societies, history, and cultures, with particular strengths in literature; modern history; comparative history and culture; film, media and visual studies; comparative studies of capitalism; and religious studies. Duke’s interdepartmental concentrations in Japanese history and East Asian colonialism, and in modern Chinese literature, film and cultural studies are among the deepest in the nation. Duke also has close ties with East Asia faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and students can receive credit for courses at either institution.

To earn the MA, students must complete a total of 10 courses (30 semester hours). At least 8 must be courses on East Asia. One of the required courses is an integrated core course. Courses must be taken from at least two different departments with no more than four courses from one department. Students must complete a capstone project and pass an oral exam. Capstone projects are major research papers; capstone committees consist of three professors, including at least two (2) from the APSI core faculty list. Proficiency in an Asian language equivalent to 3rd-year collegiate-level (or higher) is also required.

The certificate requires completion of four courses from an approved list of courses relating to this region, as well as minimum language proficiency (two years) in an East Asian language.

The department also offers a joint JD/MA program with the Duke School of Law; contact the Law School Admissions Office at (919) 613-7200 for more information.

Other Requirements

*Applicants with TOEFL scores of 100 and above or IELTS scores of 7 and above are preferred.

* While priority is given to applications received by the Graduate School deadline of January 30, East Asian Studies will consider fall applications until May 1.


Spring Application