Q: I don't have any background in teaching Japanese and I didn't study this field in college. Is it difficult for me to be accepted into the program?
A: There are students who have neither undergraduate degrees related to teaching languages nor teaching experience, but who are still accepted to the program. You do not have to worry about your qualifications for the program. However, it is crucial that you explain your motivation for participating in the program and your future plans, career goals, etc. in your hand-written statement of purpose, which is a requirement for applying to the program.
Q: How much is the tuition for the M.A. program?
A: The tuition for 2013 will be finalized in March. Typically, the tuition increases by 5 % each year. In 2012, the tuition was $11,648. In addition, there are other charges, such as Facility and Health Service fees. Unfortunately, there are no scholarships available for this program.
Q: I understand that if I am accepted into the program, I can take only 3 M.A. courses for 6 weeks (NOT 9 weeks) this summer. How much is the tuition for 6 weeks?
A: The cost of the tuition for the summer 2013 is the same for both the 6 week and 9 week program. The tuition is not based on the number of weeks you attend each year. Rather, graduation requires three years of classes, and the tuition is divided amongst these three years. Specifically, students fulfill the requirements for the M.A. degree in three consecutive summers or within a period of six years**, and every student is required to pay the full tuition each summer for the three years. The three installments of the full tuitions cover 12 courses in total; 2 three-week pedagogy courses (Elementary and Interemediate/Advanced), 9 two-week M.A. courses, plus M.A. Thesis Research.
**Rarely, students will choose to complete the M.A. over the course of four summers (instead of the usual three summers). In this case, the student may take a Pedagogy course (Elementary or Intermediate/Advanced) during one summer and complete the remaining courses over an additional three summers. In this special case, the tuition for one of the three summers will be decreased to reflect the fact that the student has already paid for the Pedagogy course.
Q: I would like to take the three-week pedagogy course only as a non-degree student. Can I take Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course this summer? How much is the tuition?
A: Those who have completed the Elementary Japanese Pedagogy course before (as either degree or non-degree students) may take the Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course. Furthermore, those with years of experience teaching Japanese at the college level may apply to take the Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy course as non-degree students for summer 2013. The tuition was $3,948 for the three-week pedagogy course in 2012. Again, it increases by 5 % each year.
Q: When are Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses offered? Also, in what cycle are the other M.A. courses scheduled?
A: Elementary and Intermediate/Advanced Pedagogy courses are offered alternately every year. The Elementary course is scheduled for 2014 and 2016, while the Intermediate/Advanced course is scheduled for 2013 and 2015, respectively. The other courses rotate over a three-year period. For example, the 3 M.A. courses offered in summer 2013 will next be taught in 2016.
Q: When do students write their M.A. Thesis?
A: After completing all the course work over three summers, they write the first draft of their M.A. thesis by January, and submit the completed paper in March.
Q: How many courses am I supposed to take in the second and third year? Also, when will I complete the program and earn my degree?
A: The following schedules represent the courses a student would take if completing the M.A. in three consecutive years, beginning in the summer of 2013 or the summer of 2014, respectively. ***The 2013 new M.A. students will take only three M.A. courses this summer (6 weeks, 6/24/2013-8/02/2013).***.
Beginning in 2013
1st Year (summer 2013): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks) 2nd Year (summer 2014): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) 3rd Year (summer 2015): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) and register M.A. Thesis Research March, 2016: Complete the M.A. Thesis May, 2016: Obtain M.A. Degree
Beginning in 2014
1st Year (summer 2014): Elem. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) 2nd Year (summer 2015): Inter/Adv. JPN Pedagogy + 3 M.A. Courses (9 weeks) 3rd Year (summer 2016): 3 M.A. Courses (6 weeks) and register M.A. Thesis Research March, 2017: Complete the M.A. Thesis May, 2017: Obtain M.A. Degree
(1) Official Transcripts
(2) Two letters of recommendation
(3) Handwritten Statement of Purpose in Japanese
Q: Do I need to use a specific form for statement of purpose in Japanse?
A: No, but it must be "handwritten" on a single sheet of plain paper. Do not use "genkou youshi".
Q: I'm interested in only one of the M.A. courses which will be offered this summer. Is it possible to take only one course?
A: No, students must take all the courses. Unfortunately, we do not have any enrollment option that would allow you to take only some courses.
Q: How should I request for an application packet?
A: You must apply using the following online application. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences is no longer printing applications.
Application Information of GSAS (The Graduate School of Arts and Science, Columbia University)
Q: Can I get an F-1 student visa if I am accepted into the program?
A: Yes. After you submit the appropriate documentation, the International Students and Scholars Office will issue you a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 form) to allow you to apply for an F-1 student visa at the US embassy. Bear in mind that the I-20 will only be valid during the program period for the year you will be enrolled.
Q: Is it possible to obtain a one-year OPT visa to work in the United States after completing the MA program?
A. Unfortunately, students are not eligible to apply for OPT after the completion of their program because the program lasts only two months each year and they do not accumulate enough time in F-1 status. According to immigration regulation, in order for a student to apply for OPT, he or she must be in status for at least an academic year. In other words, they need to be register fulltime for at least one full academic year before they can apply for OPT.
Q: Where can I get more information on TOEFL?
A: Please refer to the following TOEFL website.
TOEFL Official Website
ACTFL Certified Proficiency Testing Programs
Q: When do we register for courses, and pay tuition?
A: Registration will take place after the first day of classes. The tuition and other fees must be paid during the first week of the program.
Q: How can I pay tuition?
A: Checks, money orders, traveler's checks and cash are accepted at our Cashiering windows on campus. Checks must be in U.S. currency drawn on a U.S. bank. You can also pay by credit card, but the university has contracted with a third party processor for those who choose to pay by credit card. The processor will charge a non-refundable convenience fee to the credit card user based on the amount of the payment. American Express, Discover, and MasterCard are accepted.