The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers a Ph.D. degree for interested students. Applicants for admission to the Graduate Program are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies or other appropriate fields and knowledge of at least one East Asian language. International students must submit their scores on a TOEFL or IELTS exam taken in the last two years. (For more information, please refer to the Graduate School’s Proficiency in English webpage.)

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures accepts applications for admission to the
Fall term only.

Apply Online

Application materials and supporting documents should be received by:
December 1, 2023 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (8:59 p.m. Pacific Standard Time)


Applications are only accepted online and must be submitted through the Graduate Admissions Office website (see the link above).

The online application requires:

  • A completed online application form and application fee
  • Statement of Purpose with specific information about interests and goals: upload online as PDF
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: recommenders should upload their letter online *
  • Writing Sample (written in English): upload online as PDF file
  • GRE scores are no longer required

Additional requirements:

Official hard copies of the following documents must be mailed to the Office of Graduate Admission at the following address:

University of Southern California
USC Office of Graduate Admission
3601 South Flower Street, Room 112
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0915

  • Official TOEFL or IELTS Scores (for international students) — Official scores must be sent to USC Graduate Admission by the testing agency. ETS School Code: 4852.
  • Official Academic Transcripts from ALL institutions attended — International students should submit official transcripts and copies of degrees in both their original language and in English translation.
  • Please review the Transcript Requirements guidelines from the Office of Graduate Admissions for submitting official transcripts.
  • Do not mail official transcripts to the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures.

*Please do not send duplicate copies of any uploaded documents directly to the EALC department. The only exceptions are the letters of recommendation. If the letters cannot be uploaded, please ask your references to email the letters to

Financial Assistance

All doctoral students are provided with a competitive funding package in the form of fellowships, research/teaching assistantships, or a combination of these. Students also receive full tuition and health insurance benefits.

The most common offer of admission to the EALC Ph.D. program is five years of funding: often broken up into three years of fellowship and two years of teaching assistantship in culture and literature courses. Students are eligible to apply for various university fellowships such as university-wide fellowships administered by the Graduate School, National Resource Fellowships administered by the East Asian Studies Center, departmental fellowships, and a wide variety of other fellowships.

However, we strongly suggest that applicants visit the USC Graduate School financial resources page to view all funding options available. After reviewing the materials, you should contact those programs or agencies which meet your qualifications and needs, and obtain an application. Although the majority of these sources are for U.S. citizens, there are a number for which international students are eligible.


If you have questions about the application process, please contact the Program Specialist, Julianne Vu, at