PhD/MPhil Degree Requirements

The requirements listed below are special to this department and must be read in conjunction with the general requirements of the Graduate School.

Students in the M.A./M.Phil./Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Cultures may study Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan Studies, which requires a minimum of three years of study in an East Asian language for admission, and is designed for qualified full-time students. Some exceptions to this three year minimum requirement of language study may be granted for promising students of Tibetan Studies, due to the limited availability of such language training in the academic community; in these cases, previous study of Chinese will be expected. Requirements for literature candidates appear below under Chinese, Japanese, or Korean Literature and History. Requirements for history appear below under East Asian History.

Note: Entering students are required to take the language placement examination in the East Asia language of specialization at the beginning of the semester in which they enter the program, unless that language was the primary language of instruction at the institution from which they received the B.A. degree. Those Ph.D. degree candidates who feel prepared should also consider taking the Ph.D. qualifying examination at this time.

This section lists the requirements for the PhD program, which is overseen by the DGS in EALAC.

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The EALAC Ph. D. PROGRAM (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Tibetan studies)

Prior to entry into the program, the student must have completed at least three years of study in the East Asian language of specialization. In addition, a student who is a candidate for the M.Phil. and Ph.D. degrees must fulfill the following requirements:

I. Course Requirements

The student must take twelve one-semester courses for grade credit, at least six of which must be graduate-level colloquia or seminars. One of the twelve courses must be outside the student’s East Asian country of specialization. The student is strongly urged to take a methodology course appropriate to his or her discipline to be determined in consultation with the adviser. The student should take a bibliography course dealing with or appropriate to the country of specialization when available. The methodology and bibliography courses are counted as two of the twelve required courses. The choice of courses must be approved by the student’s adviser and by the DGS. Courses in first-year classical Chinese can be counted toward the twelve courses. Second-year classical Chinese can be counted as a graduate colloquium/seminar.

II. Research Papers and M. A. Degree

All students write the M.A. essay or its equivalent (for those entering with an M.A., a research paper), to be completed by the end of the third semester (second semester in the case of students in the History-East Asia program). Students who entered the program without an M. A. in East Asian Studies as well as those who have earned a M.A degree that does not match Columbia’s criteria for East Asian Studies degree should apply to the department to receive the M. A. degree upon completion of the M. A. thesis and course requirements. Two additional papers must be completed by the time of the oral examination, one paper based on research in primary sources, and one paper outside the student’s primary specialization to be chosen in consultation with, and submitted to, the adviser.

This is done by completing the following two steps:

1) Apply for the M.A. degree with the Registrar. This can be done online via their website:

http://registrar.columbia.edu/registrar-forms/application-degree-or-certificate

2) Submit the completed M.A. Degree Requirements Checklist for PhD Candidates form, signed by the advisor, to the EALAC office, 407 Kent Hall. This form is available on the department website:

http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ealac/forms/PhD_MA_Degree_Requirements_Checklist_Form.pdf

III. Language Requirements

Entering students are required to take the language placement examination in the East Asia language of specialization at the beginning of the semester in which they enter the program, unless that language was the primary language of instruction at the institution from which they received the B.A. degree. The student must fulfill the following language requirements listed below by field that are applicable to his or her work.

A. The primary language

1. Chinese language requirements: Fifth-year modern Chinese, or the equivalent; two years classical Chinese, or the equivalent. The second year of classical Chinese includes Chinese W4007x (Readings in Classical Chinese, part 1) in the first semester and Chinese W4008y (Readings in Classical Chinese, part 2) in the second semester. The following courses may be substituted for the second semester: Chinese G8009 and G8030 (Seminars in pre-modern Chinese Literature), History—East Asia G8060 (Seminar in Sources of Chinese History), History—East Asian G8034 (Seminar on Korean Historical Texts in Chinese).

2. Japanese language requirement: Five-year Japanese or the equivalent for all students; one year of classical Japanese or the equivalent; one semester of Kanbun or one year of classical Chinese.

3. Korean language requirement: Fifth-year Korean or the equivalent; Korean G8010, Advanced Korean in Mixed Script.

4. Tibetan language requirement: Third-year Tibetan or the equivalent; Third-year classical Tibetan or the equivalent. Chinese language training also relevant (see below).

5. Ph.D. language examination requirements: language exemption is fulfilled by earning a B or better in required courses. Those with equivalent course(s) completed elsewhere still must pass the placement examination.

B. Second and third languages

1. Required for the study of China: For Pre-Qing history and premodern literature: three years of Japanese or the equivalent. For Qing and later history, three years of Japanese or another preferred Asian language chosen in consultation with the advisor. For modern Chinese literature, three years of Japanese or two years of a European language. All students are encouraged to take a reading course in French (FRENS1204) or German (German 1115) and pass the reading exam, but the advisor should decide whether this is necessary.

2. Required for the study of Japan: For all students: Two years of a European language, or two years of a second Asian language in their classical or modern form, in consultation with the advisor. Pre-1800 history: two years of Classical Chinese.

3. Required for the study of Korea: For all students: three years of Japanese or the equivalent; for students in premodern literature: one year of classical Chinese or the equivalent. If necessary, reading knowledge of a European language in consultation with the advisor.

4. Required for the study of Tibet: For all students: reading knowledge of one European language or Japanese, chosen in consultation with adviser. For all students: three years of modern Chinese or two years of modern Chinese and one year Classical Chinese, chosen in consultation with adviser. In exceptional cases in which Chinese is not necessary for research interests, this requirement may be waived in consultation with adviser.

C. Second European language requirements

Second European language, if required by the adviser.

IV. Teaching Requirement

Participation in the instructional activities of the department for three years. As a rule, in the second, third, and fourth years of study, students gain exposure through teaching apprenticeships in the undergraduate East Asia program, largely offered by EALAC and the Committee on Asia and the Middle East. These assignments are determined by the DGS.

V. M.Phil. Oral Examinations

The student must take a two-hour comprehensive oral examination in three or four subject areas defined in consultation with the advisor and the DGS. Normally, one of these subject areas is outside the student’s country of specialization. The committee for the oral examination, which is put together by the advisor, consists of three or more faculty members. It is up to the student to consult carefully with the advisor and DGS in constructing an effective program and schedule. The oral examination is normally taken at the end of the third year (but no later than the end of the fourth year) of PhD study.

VI. Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus

In order to receive the M.Phil, the student must pass an oral defense of the dissertation prospectus before his or her M.Phil oral examination committee or before a dissertation prospectus committee selected by the advisor. The prospectus is usually a revision of the grant proposal submitted to outside funders at the beginning of the third year for dissertation research in Asia. The prospectus defense is normally carried out in conjunction with the M. Phil oral examination, but it may be taken afterwards, either within six months of the oral examination or before leaving for field research (whichever occurs first). For the purpose of fellowships requirements, it is possible to defend the prospectus in advance of the oral defense.

VII.  Dissertation Defense

See the University rules of dissertation preparation, defense, and deposit at http://gsas.columbia.edu/content/defending-your-dissertation.

VIII.  Dissertation

Those students who complete the requirements for the Ph.D. program except for the dissertation receive the M.Phil. degree. Ph.D. candidates are then required to complete and submit a dissertation, which must be prepared through research by the student conducted in close consultation with his or her Ph.D. faculty sponsor. The dissertation defense is held before five faculty members, two of whom must be from outside the department. The accepted dissertation (subject to whatever revisions the defense committee may deem appropriate) must be typed in conformity with the University’s dissertation format and deposited with the Dissertation Office.

IX. Advanced Standing

Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a M.A. or equivalent degree in East Asian Studies may be eligible for advanced standing.  These include students who received the M.A degree from a Columbia’s East Asian Studies program and those who earned a M.A degree from another institution that is the academic equivalent of the Columbia’s M.A. The granting of the Advanced Standing is decided by the department, and it gives 2 Residence Units, which will shorten the student’s study period by 4 courses. At the same time, it results in reduction of the student’s multi-year funding by one year, regardless the origin of the student’s M.A. degree.

In order to receive Advanced Standing, the student must submit his or her M.A. thesis or its equivalent, a research paper, for the department’s approval. Students with advanced standing must take eight (instead of twelve) one-semester courses for grade credits at least four of which must be graduate-level colloquia or seminars. Specific course requirements may be waived, if taken for the M.A., subject to the approval of the DGS. All other requirements remain the same as those of the Ph.D. program.

X. Conference Travel Funds

Each year, EALAC offers a limited number of small match-funds to support the EALAC PhD students to present papers in domestic and international conferences and workshops. The student must apply for approval prior to travel and can be reimbursed upon return for the appropriate amount to be decided by the DGS. The application should include: GSAS Travel Reimbursement Form, letter of invitation from the organizer, conference/workshop program that includes the title of his/her paper presentation, and an electronic copy of the paper (sent directly to the DGS by email).

XI. Annual Fellowship Renewal Form

The Phd student must fill out the annual fellowship renewal form in the spring of each year in order for the fellowship to be renewed. This form contains a checklist of the requirements and a schedule for the fulfillment of requirements. It also allows the student to indicate preferences for TA appointments. The forms, which must be signed by the respective advisors, are reviewed each spring by the Committee on Admissions and Fellowships.

XII. Distinction Awarded to Dissertations in EALAC

EALAC recognizes superior academic work in dissertations that rank in quality in the top 10% defended by our students by formally designating them as “passing with distinction.” This nomination can not be initiated by the sponsor. Following a unanimous vote by the members of a dissertation defense committee, the Chair of the committee must nominate the dissertation for distinction in a letter to the EALAC Chair and Director of Graduate Studies, who will determine whether distinction will be granted. Candidates are not to be informed that the committee has voted for distinction until the final decision has been made by the EALAC Chair and DGS. This recognition is conferred at the departmental level: GSAS no longer grants distinction to dissertations, but departments are free to grant it to superb work by their students.

Dissertations defended before Commencement but not deposited until afterward will be eligible for distinction if so recommended at the time of their defense.

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PH. D. PROGRAM IN EAST ASIAN HISTORY (History-East Asia Program)

Columbia University offers a program in East Asian History to Ph.D. students registered in either the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures or in the Department of History. The faculty, requirements, teaching assignments, and East Asian History program are the same for all students, regardless of their departmental affiliation. The History–East Asia Coordinator who works with the Directors of Graduate Studies in both Departments oversees the program.

I. Course Requirements

First-year students in East Asian History are required to enroll in History—East Asian G8910 (Introduction to History and Historiography). A total of twelve one-semester courses for credit are required, of which nine must be colloquia or seminars and one must be a bibliography course, or the equivalent, selected in consultation with the adviser.

II. Language Requirements

Entering students are required to take the language placement examination in the East Asia language of specialization at the beginning of the semester in which they enter the program, unless that language was the primary language of instruction at the institution from which they received the B.A. degree. The results are forwarded to the History–East Asia Coordinator, to the DGS in EALAC, and to the respective advisers. The Ph.D. language requirement is fulfilled by receiving a B+ or better in the required Asian language courses, or by demonstrating equivalent proficiency in the language placement examination. European language requirements can be fulfilled by exam either in the History Department or in the corresponding language department. Students must pass all required languages before taking the comprehensive Oral Examination and are encouraged to do so as early as possible.

A. The primary language

1. Required for the study of Chinese history: Fifth-year Modern Chinese or the equivalent; two years Classical Chinese or the equivalent. The second year of classical Chinese includes Chinese W4007x (Readings in Classical Chinese, part 1) in the first semester and Chinese W4008y (Readings in Classical Chinese, part 2) in the second semester. The following courses may be substituted for the second semester: Chinese G8009 and G8030 (Seminar in pre-modern Chinese Literature), History—East Asia G8060 (Seminar in Sources of Chinese History), History—East Asian G8034 (Seminar on Korean Historical Texts in Chinese).

2. Required for the study of Japanese history: Fifth-year Japanese (plus one semester of a translation-intensive course); one year classical Japanese or the equivalent; one semester of Kanbun, or the equivalent.

3: Required for the study of Korean history: Fifth-year Korean or the equivalent.

4: Required for the study of Tibetan history: Third-year Tibetan or the equivalent; third-year classical Tibetan or the equivalent.

B. Second and third Asian languages

1. Required for the study of Chinese history: Pre-Qing history: three years of Japanese or the equivalent; Qing and later: advanced proficiency in a relevant language, such as Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, Tibetan, etc., chosen in consultation with the adviser. For all: one European language, chosen in consultation with the adviser.

2. Required for the study of Japanese history: Pre-1800 history: two years of Classical Chinese. For all: one European language, chosen in consultation with the adviser. Students are encouraged to take another Asian language or languages.

3. Required for the study of Korean history: Pre-20th-century history: two years of Classical Chinese, or the equivalent; 20th century history: three years of Japanese, or the equivalent. For all: one European language, chosen in consultation with the adviser.

C. Second European language requirements:

Second European language, if required by the advisor.

III. First-year Essay, Research Papers and MA Degree

All students, including those already holding an M.A., write a first-year essay, to be completed by the end of the second semester. Students who enter the program without an M.A. should apply to their department to receive the M.A. degree upon completion of the first-year essay (which will count as the M.A. thesis) and course requirements. Two additional research papers, normally written for a seminar, must be completed by the time of the oral examination. At least one of these papers must be based on research in primary sources, and at least one must deal with a topic outside the student's major field of specialization. On completion of the first-year essay, continuation to the Ph.D. requires approval by the advisor, in consultation with the History-East Asia Coordinator and the DGS in the relevant department. Students must submit a one-page progress form at the end of each academic year. Download MA Degree Requirements for Ph.D. Students

IV. M.Phil. Oral Qualifying Examination

The purpose of the oral examination is to help students develop a general knowledge of several fields of history and scholarship so as to equip them to teach and write in areas beyond those of their specific research interests. The examination committee consists of four examiners in four fields, one of which will typically be in the major field of specialization (e.g., Modern Chinese History), two outside the specialization, and one outside East Asia (e.g., 20th-century France, Theories of Imperialism, etc.), the exact composition to be determined in consultation with the adviser. The oral examination is normally taken at the end of the third year (but no later than the end of the fourth year) of PhD study.

V. Teaching Requirements

After the first year, all students in History and EALAC get teaching assignments in the undergraduate East Asian program, offered mainly by EALAC and the Committee on Asia and the Middle East. These assignments are determined through consultation among the History-East Asia Coordinator and the DGSs of History and EALAC.

VI. Dissertation Prospectus

Within six months of the oral examination or before leaving for field research (whichever occurs first), the student will defend the dissertation prospectus before a committee of four faculty, including one outside the major field of specialization or representing issues of method. The composition of the committee is determined in consultation with the advisor. The prospectus is usually a refined version of the grant proposal submitted at the beginning of the third year to outside funders for dissertation research in Asia. For the purpose of fellowships requirements, it is possible to defend the prospectus in advance of the orals.

VII. Dissertation Defense

See the University rules of dissertation preparation, defense, and deposit at http://www.columbia.edu/cu/gsas/pages/cstudents/diss-office/dissertation/index.html.
The dissertation defense is a milestone ideally reached with all five members of a student’s dissertation committee present. When a committee member can only participate from afar, an accommodation may be made by employing audio or video conferencing during the defense. A maximum of two members of the dissertation defense committee may participate remotely, but the committee chair and the sponsor must be present at the defense.

The committee chair will register the need for remote participation on the GSAS Application for the Dissertation Defense, and will sign the voting sheet on the absent member’s behalf after the defense. Committee members who must participate remotely are requested to submit comments, questions, and a provisional vote in advance so that the defense exercise may proceed in the event technical difficulties are encountered during the proceedings.

Committee Member Absence in Exceptional Circumstances

The dissertation defense committee may convene when one member is prevented from participating by extreme circumstances at the time of the defense. Such a last-minute absence will count toward the total of two members allowed to participate remotely. If possible, the absent member should submit before the defense a report containing comments, questions, and a provisional vote on the dissertation's approval. The committee chair will convey these questions to the candidate at the defense and rule on the quality the responses made. If circumstances prevent the submission of a report before the defense, the absent member’s report should be sent as soon as possible after the defense to the dissertation defense committee chair and to the Dean of the Graduate School. The committee vote will not be considered final until the report is reviewed and the defense committee chair determines whether any further action is warranted.

VIII. Dissertation

Those students who complete the requirements for the Ph.D. program except for the dissertation receive the M.Phil. degree. Ph.D. candidates are then required to complete and submit a dissertation, which must be prepared through research by the student conducted in close consultation with his or her Ph.D. faculty sponsor. After the M.Phil. oral exam has been passed, the DGS, in consultation with the student’s dissertation sponsor, establishes a committee of two faculty members to oversee the dissertation. The dissertation committee must approve the dissertation prior to its submission for the defense, which, in accordance with University regulations, is held before five faculty members, two of whom must be from outside the department. The accepted dissertation (subject to whatever revisions the defense committee may deem appropriate) must be typed in conformity with the University's dissertation format and deposited with the Dissertation Office.

IX. Advanced Standing

Students who enter the Ph.D. program with a M.A. or equivalent degree in East Asian Studies may be eligible for advanced standing.  These include students who received the M.A degree from a Columbia’s East Asian Studies program and those who earned a M.A degree from another institution that is the academic equivalent of the Columbia’s M.A. The granting of the Advanced Standing is decided by the department, and it gives 2 Residence Units, which will shorten the student’s study period by 4 courses. At the same time, it results in reduction of the student’s multi-year funding by one year, regardless the origin of the student’s M.A. degree.

In order to receive Advanced Standing, the student must submit his or her M.A. thesis or its equivalent, a research paper, for the department’s approval. Students with advanced standing must take eight (instead of twelve) one-semester courses for grade credits at least four of which must be graduate-level colloquia or seminars. Specific course requirements may be waived, if taken for the M.A., subject to the approval of the DGS. All other requirements remain the same as those of the Ph.D. program.

Note: The Admissions Committee of the Department may recommend transfer of a student into the free-standing M.A. program if he or she does not show sufficient progress after the first year in the Ph.D. program.

 

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PH. D. PROGRAM IN EAST ASIAN RELIGION

I. Course Requirements

The student must take twelve one-semester courses for a grade, at least six of which must be graduate-level colloquia or seminars. One of the twelve courses must be outside the student’s East Asian country of specialization. The student is required to take Religion 6901, the primary methodology seminar of the Religion Department. Students are also strongly encouraged to take a bibliography course dealing with or appropriate to the country of specialization when available. The methodology and bibliography courses are counted as two of the twelve required courses. The choice of courses must be approved by the student’s adviser and by the DGS. Courses in first-year classical Chinese, first-year classical Japanese and Kanbun can be counted toward the twelve courses. Second-year classical Chinese can be counted as a graduate colloquium/seminar.

II. Language Requirements

Entering students are required to take the language placement examination in their primary East Asian language of specialization (Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) at the beginning of the semester in which they enter the program, unless that language was the primary language of instruction at the institution from which they received the B.A. degree. Requirements for each primary language are as follows:


A. Primary language

1. Students with Chinese as their primary language are required to complete Fifth-year modern Chinese or the equivalent, as well as one year of classical Chinese or the equivalent.

2. Students with Japanese as their primary language are required to complete Fifth-year Japanese or the equivalent as well as one year of classical Japanese or the equivalent. In addition, they are required to complete one semester of Kanbun or one year of classical Chinese.

3. Students with Korean as their primary language are required to complete Fifth-year Korean or the equivalent. In addition, they are required to complete one year of classical Chinese or one semester of Kanbun

B. Second and third languages

In addition to work in their primary language, students are also required to be able to use other research languages as well.

1. Students with Chinese as their primary language are required to also complete two years of Japanese or the equivalent. In addition, they are expected to complete either the equivalent of two years of a European language or two years of a third language in either classical or modern form chosen in consultation with the adviser.

2. Students with Japanese as their primary language are expected to complete the equivalent of two years of European language or two years of a second Asian language in either classical or modern form, in consultation with adviser.

3. Students with Korean as their primary language are required to complete the equivalent of two years of modern Japanese or Chinese. In addition, they are required to complete the equivalent of two years of one European language, to be chosen in consultation with the adviser.

III. M.Phil. Oral Examinations

The student must take a two-hour comprehensive oral examination in three or four subject areas defined in consultation with the advisor and the DGS. Normally, one of these subject areas is outside the student’s country of specialization. The committee for the oral examination, which is put together by the advisor, consists of three or more faculty members. It is up to the student to consult carefully with the advisor and DGS in constructing an effective program and schedule. The oral examination is normally taken at the end of the third year (but no later than the end of the fourth year, or third year for those with full advanced standing) of Ph.D. study.

IV. Ph.D. Dissertation Prospectus

PhD students are required to write and defend the dissertation prospectus within six months of completing the M.Phil. oral examinations. The student must pass an one-hour oral defense of the dissertation prospectus before his or her M.Phil oral examination committee or before a dissertation prospectus committee selected by the advisor.
The prospectus, which is at least 10 pages plus a bibliography, is usually a revision of the grant proposal submitted to outside funders at the beginning of the third year for dissertation research in Asia. The prospectus defense may be carried out in conjunction with the M. Phil oral examination, or it may be taken afterwards, before leaving for dissertation research.

V. MA Degree and Advanced Standing

 Same as in EALAC Requirements (above).