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.

  • Screening Procedures

  • Annual Review

    • The Graduate Studies Committee will conduct an annual review of all Ph.D. students at the end of the Spring semester. By April 1, all students in year 1, 3, and later will submit a 1-page (single-spaced) progress report and an updated curriculum vitae. These materials will be the basis of each student’s one-on-one consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies to occur during the month of April.

    Second-Year Screening and MA Degree Conferral

    • The Graduate Studies Committee will conduct an early-year screening of Ph.D. students at the end of their second year. All second-year students are required to submit, by April 1, a research statement (1 to 2 single-spaced pages), a research paper representing their best work (20 to 30 double-spaced pages), a curriculum vitae, and a course transcript. Also by April 1, primary faculty advisors will submit an evaluative report of progress for each of their advisees. The Graduate Studies Committee will then assess the students’ academic performance and either recommend or not recommend advancement to the qualifying exam stage. Regardless of the outcome of this assessment, all students meeting the requirements will be recommended for conferral of the MA degree.
  • 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.

  • Academic Warning

  • At any stage of the program, regardless of scheduled reviews, a student may receive a warning for failing to maintain satisfactory academic performance. Warning letters are issued by the Graduate Studies Committee under recommendation and submission of evidence by the student’s primary advisor. Each warning must come with a probationary period, and it must specify a set of requirements that the student must meet by the end of probation. A student’s dismissal will be contingent upon failure to satisfy the requirements in the concurring judgment of the primary advisor and the GSC.

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