Where can I obtain an application? What do I need to submit?
The application is accessible online and must be submitted online There is an application fee. (Some students in special circumstances are eligible for a fee waiver).
In addition to the online application you will also need to submit several kinds of support materials:
i. GRE, and TOEFL or IELTS: GRE general test is not required by the department if you are applying for the Ph.D. program and the M.A. program. For the joint M.A. and Journalism program, the GRE is waived for fall 2021 only. Either the TOEFL or the IELTS is required for non-native English speakers or those who do not have a B.A. or M.A. degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English. Please see test score FAQs.
ii. Academic Transcripts: You are strongly encouraged to scan and submit these electronically when you submit your application. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable but if you are admitted, you will have to submit final and official paper copies of your transcripts later. If your GPA is not shown on the transcript, you will need to calculate it and supply it in the application. Here are further instructions and FAQs about transcripts.
iii. Statement of Academic Purpose (Ph.D.) describing past and present work as it relates to your intended field of study and indicating your principal area(s) of topical and geographical interest, as well as the central theoretical questions that are motivating your pursuit of a graduate degree. Finally, please indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,200 words in length.
iv. Statement of Academic Purpose (M.A.) describing your past and present work—and your academic training—as it relates to your intended field of study and your academic and career goals. Also, indicate your reasons for choosing to work within the Department of East Asian Studies at New York University. The statement should not be more than 1,000 words in length.
v. Writing Sample (all programs except the Joint M.A. in East Asian Studies/Journalism): An academic writing sample is required. It should be an academic paper (e.g., term paper or other academic writing) of about 15-30 double-spaced pages for the Ph.D. program, or 15 double-spaced pages for the master's program. The paper must be in English, and should be an indicator of your best work, ideally with some relation to your proposed field of study.
vi. Statement of Academic Purpose (Joint M.A. in East Asian Studies/Journalism) that in addition to the Statement of Academic Purpose instructions above, includes a personal essay (1,000-1,500 words) for Journalism describing your background, intellectual interests, work experience, existing body of work. Please visit the Journalism program website for more information.
vi.2 Writing Sample (Joint M.A. in East Asian Studies/Journalism): Two different writing samples are required. One should be an academic writing sample as described above. The second should represent your aptitude for journalism. A clip from your college newspaper, a personal essay, academic research paper, and short fiction are all acceptable.
vii. 3 Letters of Recommendation from persons who know your academic qualifications and are familiar with your research, interests, and studies. Here are further details about letters. In accordance with GSAS policy, please have your references upload their letters directly to the online application.
vii. Resume or CV
viiii. A short Personal History essay (optional)
When is the application deadline?
The deadlines for 2021 applications are the following:
- January 4 for Ph.D. program and Joint M.A. In East Asian Studies/Journalism program
- March 13 for M.A. program *** our departments provisional deadline is May 1st. We will continue to view applications until May 1st and decisions will be made on a rolling basis.
- November 1 for M.A. Program ** Spring 2021 Admissions **
What are your GRE requirements?
i. GRE for Ph.D. Applicants: GRE general test not required. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee.
ii. GRE for M.A. Applicants: GRE general test not required. Please do not send us GRE scores. If you do, the scores will not be reveiwed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee.
iii. GRE for Joint M.A. Applicants to East Asian Studies/Journalism: The GRE general test requirement is suspended for fall 2021 due to COVID-19. Please do not send us GRE test scores. If you do, the scores will not be reviewed or considered by the department's Admissions Committee. In subsequent terms, the general test is required.
When's the earliest I can apply?
The online application is usually available starting early September, but there is no strategic advantage to applying early; we review all our applications at the same time. Just make sure all your materials get to us by January 4 if you are applying for the Ph.D. or Joint M.A. and Journalism programs and by March 13 if you are applying for the Master's program.
Is there a special application for international students? How will my transcripts be evaluated?
For these and other international student questions, please view GSAS’ FAQs for international student applicants.
How important are each aspect of the application weighed?
For example, letters of recommendations are considered and valued just as much as test scores, as well as the individual’s statement of academic purpose.
Components of your application are evaluated as a whole, and as a matter of policy, we cannot disclose details about what makes an application successful or how to improve your application.
What educational background do I need?
In order to enroll in the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS), you must have received a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college or university of acceptable standing (in some countries, the equivalent degree could be called a “masters” degree). It is not formally required that your bachelor’s degree is in East Asian Studies. However, your application won’t be successful unless we can see you have a comparable level of preparation.
There is no requirement to have done a master’s degree (in some places, these are called MPhil or BPhil or MLitt) before applying to our Ph.D. program. You can apply directly to the Ph.D. However, many others, especially those with thinner undergraduate backgrounds in East Asian Studies, have strengthened their background with a master's degree.
Will it handicap my application if I didn’t immediately apply to graduate school after my undergrad degree?
Not at all. Oftentimes, this time in between makes people more ready for grad school when they get to it. However, we will want to see that you’ve actively and recently been doing work of the sort our graduate students do when you do apply.
My background and interest in East Asian Studies is such-and-such, can you tell me whether or not I’ll be a good fit for the program?
Generally speaking, the graduate program in the Department of East Asian Studies is committed to a critical and, whenever possible, interdisciplinary examination of East Asia. Our core faculty members specialize in modern Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literatures, film, media studies and popular culture; modern East Asian cultural and intellectual history; comparative studies of nationalism, colonialism, postcolonialism, gender studies and cultural politics; East Asian urban studies; critical theory; and early China studies.
The faculty in our department inevitably have expertise in specific regions, and our classes are often--but not always--nation-centered. But we are quite interested in students who might wish to take a more regional approach, and so if that is what you wish to do, it would be welcomed.
The Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) will be happy to answer questions about potential research interests, but please keep in mind that we can’t make specific judgments about an applicant until we formally review their application, and we can’t give feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of individual applications, even if it were possible.
Is there a language requirement for admissions?
Prospective M.A. students must have at least 2 years of an East Asian language prior to entering the program, and achieve advance level by time of degree.
Prospective Ph.D. students must enter the program with at least third-year language ability in an East Asian language and achieve, in addition, to advance level of their first East Asian language, research level proficiency in a second East Asian or major European language.
Can I be excused from the TOEFL/IELTS requirements? Can TOEFL/IELTS scores arrive after the application deadline?
The TOEFL or IELTS test is required for all applicants who are not native speakers, unless you have completed a bachelor or master’s degree at an institution where the language of instruction in English. You don’t need to do anything to inform the grad school that you are eligible for this waiver; they will be able to determine that from your regular application materials.
If your test scores do not reach us until (shortly) after the application deadline, please self-report the scores on your application, or email them to us as soon as they are available. However, we may have already set your application aside as incomplete; and we cannot guarantee to go back and reconsider applications. Also, GSAS must receive your official test scores by the time we make our final decision, or we won’t be permitted to make you an offer. Given that there are constraints on when you’ll be able to take the TOEFL tests, we recommend that you schedule them early in the fall.
What is the TOEFL institutional code?
GSAS requires official test scores, sent to them directly from TOEFL or IELTS. For more information and instructions, please review GSAS Testing Requirements FAQs.
What are my options for submitting materials late and/or adding additional materials to my application after the deadline?
The department and GSAS have the following policies for late submssion of materials:
i. Deadlines for uppdates to transcripts for fall term grades:
- January 15 for Ph.D. Program
- April 30 for M.A. Program
ii. Deadlines for updates to resumes and other information:
- January 15 for Ph.D. Program
- April 30 for M.A. Program
iii. Letters of Recommendation, Test Scores and Official Transcripts: Letters of recommendation that arrive after the program's application deadline will be added to the application when received. Also, official transcripts if not included when the application was submitted, will also be added. There is no end date for stopping when they are added, but there are no guarantees that the department will take them into account if they arrive too late for consideration.
iv. Personal Statements, Research Papers, and Writing Samples: We do not accept updates to these items once the application has been submitted.
How can I tell if my application materials were received?
Please review your Application Status Page which has a checklist of the various parts of the application and whether we have received them or not.
When do you announce decisions?
For the Ph.D. program, we try to announce all our decisions, both first-round and second-round offers, and also rejections, by mid-to-late March. Sometimes it takes until early April. GSAS policy does not permit us to answer individual queries about decisions. All our decisions must first be finalized with GSAS, and they will email announcements.
For the M.A. program, decisions are announced on a rolling basis after the initial deadline of March 1. Our department's provisional deadline is June 1 for M.A. applicants. For Spring 2021 admissions, we will try to announce our decisions before Winter Break.
If you are worried that an announcement hasn’t reached you, first check if we have the most updated changes to your email address and then email firstname.lastname@example.org with any changes.
Why wasn’t I accepted?
Our department receives many excellent applications and can only extend offers to a handful of them. As a matter of policy, we are not permitted to discuss details regarding individual decisions.
What is the typical amount of time it takes to complete the M.A. degree?
Most students take 2 years to complete the M.A. degree.
What kind of financial aid is available for M.A. students?
When admitted, the Director of Graduate Studies and the student’s advisor will be able to advise students on scholarship funding. We typically provide summer research funds to our graduate students (preference will be given to Ph.D. students), but M.A. students are encouraged to apply for teaching and course assistant positions to supplement their living expenses. The University offers some scholarships to M.A. students and M.A. students who receive competitive fellowships from external agencies may be eligible to apply for matching tuition awards through the Graduate School’s Tuition Incentive Program.
How long does it usually take to complete a Ph.D. in East Asian Studies?
Students typically take from 5-7 years to complete the degree.
What sort of financial aid is available? Does it matter whether I am an international applicant?
All our Ph.D. offers come with the same standard financial aid package, which includes a 5 year, full-funding support package through the MacCracken Program. The MacCracken Package includes a full-tuition scholarship, generous and competitive stipend, a Dean’s Supplementary Fellowship Grant for start-up educational costs, remission fees, and student health insurance coverage. If you’ve won an external fellowship, be sure to let us know! This will affect the details of your financial aid.
Opportunities for teaching are available and compensation is in addition to the fellowship offer. The terms of the fellowship (as well as student visas for international students) severely constrain your eligibility for other employment.
I was admitted! When do I have to make my decision by?
For students applying to the Ph.D. program, NYU has signed the Council of Graduate Schools Resolution. This promises that admitted students with financial aid offers aren’t required to accept the offer before April 15. However, making your decision earlier will greatly help students on our waiting list and the department better create the incoming class.
If you accept the offer before April 15, you are allowed to cancel the acceptance at any time until April 15. After April 15, you cannot accept an offer from another school without first obtaining a written release from NYU. The other school cannot offer you financial aid except conditional on your supplying that written release from NYU.
You can notify us by email of your decision to accept or decline our offer, but you must also follow the instructions in your offer letter, where details will be provided.
Can I transfer credits from another institution?
Yes, our graduate students can get some course credit for graduate-level work done previously (whether in a degree program or not). Generally, this will be subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies. Please wait until we’ve made our admissions offers before asking about transfer credits in your individual circumstances.
Can I take courses in other departments?
Yes, if it is relevant to your research studies. As part of the NYU community, the graduate program in East Asian Studies works closely with and benefits from a plethora of interdisciplinary programs, centers, and institutes. With the approval of your advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies, you can enroll in courses offered in other departments.
Students in the Ph.D. program may also take courses relevant to their research but not available at NYU through the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium.
What do your students do after graduation
Our M.A. and Ph.D. students have gone on to a fairly diverse spectrum of trajectories after attaining the degree--including Ph.D. programs (for M.A. Students), teaching positions at other universities, working for the U.N., curatorial positions in art museums (both in NY and in Asia), and even positions within the state department. Please see our NYU EAS Spotlight highlights on our department’s website.
Can I sit in on a class?
Yes. If you’d like to sit in on a class, please contact email@example.com.
May I defer my admission to the program?
Yes, but you must petition the department for approval and make a written request to Graduate Enrollment Services (firstname.lastname@example.org). If approved, you may be required to pay a tuition deposit of $250 to hold your place in the Graduate School.
Can I see a sample of the courses you offer?
Please see our course listings.