Master of Arts in Regional Studies - East Asia
Summary of Basic Requirements
- Language: Proficiency equivalent to three years of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or two years of modern Tibetan
- Modern History: Two modern history courses on the country or area of focus
- Regional Courses: Six appropriate regional courses (at least two of which are colloquia or seminars)
- Electives: Two elective courses
- A master's thesis (this course does not count as an elective)
- Resident Requirements and Credits: Minimum of 30 credits in total (approximately 10 courses) Students are required to complete two residence units at Columbia University.
DETAILED DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Students should closely consult the Student Affairs Officer regarding their proposed course of study. The requirements listed above must be fulfilled in accordance with Graduate School of Arts and Sciences degree requirements. No credits from an outside institution and no undergraduate courses will be counted toward the degree requirements. No courses can be taken for R credit nor Pass/Fail. Any exception to the requirements below must be approved in advance with written permission by the Institute Director. Please see the MARSEA Handbook above for full details of the MARSEA Program.
- Language Proficiency equivalent to the third-year level of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or the second-year level of modern Tibetan. The language requirement may be met through coursework or by passing a language placement examination at Columbia. The examination is offered each semester on the Friday before classes begin. For more information contact the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at 212-854-5027 or http://www.columbia.edu/cu/ealac.
- Modern History
Two courses in the modern history of the appropriate country or area (same as that of language proficiency). Comparable work may be substituted with written permission of the Institute Director.
- Regional Courses
Six regional courses selected from at least two different fields: at least one of the six courses must focus on an Asia Pacific country or sub-region other than the student's country or area of specialization. These courses must include at least two colloquia and/or seminars and are drawn from a wide range of offerings in Anthropology, Business, Economics, History, International Affairs, Literature, Law, Political Science, and Sociology. Courses dealing with the region as a whole or dealing with the region's relations with other countries or regions may also be taken to fulfill this requirement. Students taking an East Asian language at the fourth-year level or above may count two semesters of language toward this requirement.
Two elective courses not necessarily dealing with East Asia.
The master's thesis must be at least thirty pages in length and deal with a modern or contemporary topic in the social sciences that focuses on East Asia. It must substantially incorporate the student's country or region of focus, although other countries can be dealt with in the paper.
Approval of the thesis topic must be obtained from the Institute Director. A thesis proposal must be submitted and approved by the Director one semester before the student writes and submits his/her thesis (i.e., to submit a thesis in the spring semester, the student should submit a proposal in the preceding fall semester; to submit a thesis in the fall semester, the student should submit a proposal in the preceding spring semester).
The thesis submission deadline varies, but is always near the end of the semester. The thesis proposal due date is always early in the semester prior to the thesis submission.
Click here for the thesis grade form.
The thesis proposal must include the following:
- a title
- a one to two page narrative of the subject, research methodology, and conceptual framework
- a preliminary bibliography
- To assist students with choosing a thesis topic, a thesis topic discussion will be held mid-semester. This discussion will be an opportunity for students to get feedback from each other and at least one faculty member. The Institute will assist students in finding an academic advisor.
- Each student works with a professor who serves as thesis adviser. As most students choose to take a paper written for a seminar course (generally an 8000 or 9000 level course which requires the submission of a substantial paper) and expand it into a thesis, the professor from the seminar course typically serves as the thesis adviser. Students may, however, work with any faculty member of the Institute.
Each thesis is reviewed by the Institute Director. The Director's approval is required for the thesis requirement to be completed.
Students should register for a thesis course in the semester that they write the thesis.
For those students interested in presenting the results of their research to their fellow students and others, the Institute will arrange a thesis presentation at the end of the semester.
Students are required to complete two residence units at Columbia University. One full residence unit is equivalent to full-time registration for one semester. Students must formally apply to the Student Affairs Officer to be granted extended residence status which includes a plan for completion with specific courses taken during extended residence.
A one semester course is typically worth three credits, and meets for three hours per week over approximately 15 weeks. A full-time student typically takes a minimum of five courses or 15 credits per semester.