Graduate Program

EALC offers graduate students advanced training in the languages, literatures, and cultures of China, Japan, and Korea. Our students have combined approaches from cultural studies, literature, linguistics, film and media studies, and other disciplines to broaden more traditional paradigms and provide a different perspective on the reading of the texts in their fields. By allowing a greater degree of flexibility, our interdisciplinary approach enhances students' research skills and enables them to become well-rounded scholars. Appropriate cross-registration with other departments allows students to enhance their theoretical and methodological training.



EALC currently offers a Doctorate of Philosophy in East Asian Languages and Cultures.  Students seeking a terminal M.A. degree should consider applying to the Ph.D. program instead.

  • Required Courses

  • A student's total graduate course work must be at least 60 units, including 4 units of doctoral dissertation (794ab) and the following courses:

    I. Core courses:
    • EALC 505: Introduction to East Asian Languages and Cultures
    • EALC 601 & 603: series of 2-unit courses on Professional Development --or their equivalent
    • A theory and methodology course in EALC or an equivalent course in a related program
    II. Four courses in East Asian languages and literatures
    III. Four courses in East Asian cultures and civilization
    IV. Three additional courses in a target discipline or field

    No more than four courses at the 400 level may be applied to the total requirement of 60 units. The Graduate Studies Committee in EALC determines the fulfillment of the course requirements.

  • First-year Screening

  • A screening procedure will be conducted before the student begins their second year.The Graduate Studies Committee will review the student’s performance comprehensively through the submission of a research statement, seminar paper, and statement from the student's advisor.

  • Guidance Committee

  • Upon successful completion of the screening procedure, the student is expected to begin forming a 5-member guidance committee, whose purpose is to help the student prepare for the qualifying examination. The committee must be approved by the Graduate School at the time the student applies to schedule a qualifying examination.

  • Qualifying Procedure

  • During the third year of study, a student should complete the qualifying procedure.  This procedure has both a written and oral component. Student sits for written examinations in three fields approved by the guidance committee.  An oral examination based on the written exams follows.  At the time of the oral examination, the student will submit a dissertation prospectus. The dissertation prospectus must be approved within six months of completing the oral examination. Upon successful completion of the written and oral examinations, the student officially enters candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.

  • Foreign Language Requirement

  • A student must have at least 4 years of course work or its equivalent in the language of his/her specialization.  In addition, the student should acquire or demonstrate competence in a second East Asian language.  This requirement may be met by two years’ worth of course work.  The Graduate Studies Committee in consultation with a student’s academic advisor will determine  whether the second East Asian language should be classical or modern.

  • Dissertation

  • Defense and presentation of the dissertation will follow regulations defined by the Graduate School.

  • Certificate in Foreign-Language Teaching

  • The certificate in Foreign-Language Teaching provides certification in the theory and practice of second or foreign language teaching for student language teachers concurrently enrolled in graduate degree programs in foreign languages or related graduate programs at USC; for graduates of such programs who are teaching languages; for external candidates concurrently enrolled in similar programs at accredited colleges or universities; or for graduates of such programs who are teaching languages. The certificate is meant to supplement graduate study in the literature or linguistics of foreign languages. It is also meant to supplement classroom teaching.

EALC April 2015 Inaugural Graduate Student Conference

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  • Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • 3501 Trousdale Parkway, Taper Hall 356
  • Los Angeles, California 90089-0357

  • All photos taken by Elissa L., Yulee Kim and Ka Wong