Nov 28, 2023  
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate and Graduate Catalog

Asian Studies, M.A.

The Master of Arts (MA) in Asian Studies provides a comparative understanding of the cultural, economic, and socio-political significance of Asia in the 21st century. It requires competency in one or more Asian languages. To achieve this, MA students are encouraged to study abroad for part of their course work. Graduates from the MA program in Asian Studies can expect to be much more competitive for positions in the Foreign Service, State Department, K-12 and community college education and administration, international finance and industry, non-governmental organizations, academic publishing, professional translation work, and Ph.D. programs in Chinese, Japanese, or Asian Studies.

Admission Requirements

  1. A Bachelor’s degree in a major in Asian Studies, or a field with an emphasis on Asia, including Cultural Geography, International Business, and International Studies and Linguistics.
  2. A 3.0 (“B”) GPA in Asia and Asian language related courses taken as an undergraduate. (A student whose GPA is less than 3.0 may appeal to the Department’s Graduate Committee for a possible waiver of this requirement.)
  3. English language competency:
    International students must take either the TOEFL or the IELTS exam. For admission to graduate study, a minimum score of 80 on the iBT TOEFL is required. TOEFL official score results must be submitted from the Educational Testing Service (ETS). The CSULB institution code for TOEFL reporting is 4389. If you choose to take the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.0 in each sub-section is required. Upon admission, your English competency will be assessed by the AAAS Department and an additional two English language courses may be required (English 301A, 301B).
  4. Asian language requirement:
    For the MA in Asian Studies, non-native speakers should be competent in an Asian language to the Intermediate-low level according to the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.* Non-native speakers who have lived abroad may be tested for this competency and should contact the Department for further information.
  5. Two letters of recommendation (preferably from academic sources).
  6. A short statement of the candidate’s objectives in pursuing the A/ST MA degree.

Requirements for the MA:

  1. By the completion of his or her A/ST MA program, the language competency of a non-native speaker is expected to be at least equivalent to the Intermediate-High level according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.
  2. A minimum of 30 units of 400-level upper-division and graduate courses, of which 70% must be at the 500-600 level in a program approved by the Graduate Advisor and 50% must be in courses organized primarily for graduate students.
  3. A graduate student must obtain a B or better grade in core courses to continue in the program.

MA in Asian Studies (30-42 units)

The MA in Asian Studies provides a comparative understanding of the cultural, economic, and sociopolitical significance of Asia in the 21st century. It requires competency in one or more Asian languages. It culminates with an MA comprehensive exam and a project in A/ST 697  that demonstrates the knowledge and skills which students have both brought to and acquired through the core curriculum.

The Asian Studies core courses are required for students in all options.

MA in Asian Studies course requirements: 18 units of core courses and 12 units of electives, selected with consultation of the graduate advisor.

Electives (12 units)

From six to twelve units of electives from 400-level or graduate language courses in Chinese or Japanese.

Students are required to bring their Asian language competency in Japanese or Chinese to the Intermediate- High level or above according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines. They are also encouraged to study two Asian languages. Asian languages, other than Chinese and Japanese, may meet this requirement in consultation with the graduate advisor.


*Courses in other disciplines, such as the MBA program, may be substituted as electives in consultation with the graduate advisor.