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Master of Arts in Asian Studies

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 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 and the Chinese Studies option, 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.

Master of Arts in Asian Studies (30-42 units)

The MA in Asian Studies provides a comparative understanding of the cultural, economic, and soco-political 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 four core courses are required for all students.

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

Required Core Courses (12 units):

  • A/ST 600. Asian Studies and Languages: Research and Methodologies (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Asian Studies or consent of instructor.
  • A/ST 620. Comparative Traditional Cultures of Asia (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Asian Studies or consent of instructor.
  • A/ST 630. Asia and Globalization (3)
    Prerequisite: A/ST 600 or consent of instructor.
  • A/ST 697. Research Capstone and Practicum (3)
    Prerequisites: A/ST 600; A/ST 620 or A/ST 630.

Electives (18 units):

  • From six-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.

Chinese

  • CHIN 410./510. Chinese Information Processing (3)
    Prerequisite: CHIN 202, or equivalent, or consent of instructor.
  • CHIN 421. Current Affairs in China (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • CHIN 451./551. Chinese Culture and Tradition (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • CHIN 462/562. Contrastive Analysis of Chinese and English (3)
    Prerequisite. CHIN 201, Consent of instructor.
  • CHIN 485./585. Masterpieces from China
    Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.
  • CHIN 490./590. Selected Topics in Chinese Studies (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

Japanese

(All Japanese courses, including content courses, are taught in Japanese.)

  • JAPN 421/521. Selected Readings/Writing in Japanese (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 422/522. Technical Japanese (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 451/551. Japanese Civilization (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 452. Japan: Its Land, People and Culture (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 453 Japanese Culture as Social Process (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 350, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 461/561. The Structure of the Japanese Language (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 462/562. Contrastive Analysis of English and Japanese (3)
    Prerequisites JAPN 302 and 312 or equivalent as determined by instructor.
  • JAPN 471. Readings in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Literature (3)
    rerequisite: JAPN 371 or equivalent as determined by instructor.
  • JAPN 482/582. Pedagogical Grammar (3)
    Prerequisites: JAPN 302 and 312, or consent of instructor.
  • JAPN 490. Selected Topics in Japanese (3-6)
    Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor.

Remaining elective units may be fulfilled from the following courses*:

  • ANTH 501. Current Trends in Anthropological Theory (3)
    Prerequisites: ANTH 401 or equivalent, and graduate standing.
  • ANTH 560. Ethnographic Research Methods (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.
  • A/ST 610. Seminar in Asian Studies (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate Standing in Asian Studies.
  • A/ST 695. Directed Readings (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Asian Studies and consent of graduate advisor.
  • GEOG 596. Geographic Thought and Literature (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • GEOG 650. Seminar in Cultural Geography (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • GEOG 666. Seminar in Urban Geography (3)
    Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
  • GEOG 696. Seminar in Geographical Research Methods (3)
    Prerequisites: GEOG 596, graduate standing in geography, and consent of instructor.
  • HIST 440/550. The Silk Roads (3)
    Prerequisite: HIST 211 or HIST 131 or consent of undergraduate/graduate advisor.
  • HIST 442/552. The Indian Ocean in World History (3)
    Prerequisite: HIST 211 or HIST 131 or consent of undergraduate/graduate advisor.
  • HIST 501. Theories and Methodologies of History (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in History.
  • HIST 512. Migration and Ethnicity in Modern China (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing.
  • HIST 518. Central Asia and Afghanistan, Twentieth Century (3)
    Prerequisite: Upper Division Standing.
  • HIST 590. Selected Topics in Comparative History (3)
    Prerequisite: Graduate standing in History.
  • HIST 682. Seminars in Asian History (3)
    Prerequisites: Six units of upper division Asian history or consent of instructor.
  • SOC 430. Sociology of Globalization (3)
    Prerequisites: SOC 100 and upper division standing.
  • SOC 536. Sociology of Race, Racism, and Racial Relations (3)
    Prerequisite: SOC 656 and SOC 696 or consent of instructor.
  • SOC 540. Urban Sociology (3)
    Prerequisites: SOC 356, SOC 357 or consent of instructor.

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

Advancement to Candidacy

Students should see the Graduate Advisor to file Advancement to Candidacy after at least 6 units but no more than 15 units of graduate coursework are completed. We encourage students to complete their MA within two-three years.

Students must have taken A/ST 600 as well as have fulfilled the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR). For the GWAR requirement see http://www.csulb.edu/divisions/aa/gwar/ .

Advancement must take place at least two semesters prior to taking the Comprehensive Exams. The Comprehensive Examination Approval Form must be filed with the department at the time of Advancement. Advancement to Candidacy is a formal contract listing courses the student has taken, is taking, and will take. Changes to contract may be made in consultation with the Graduate Advisor.

The comprehensive examination is two questions selected from a set of five questions established by the candidate’s comprehensive examination committee of three faculty members. The candidate has six hours to complete the comprehensive exam.

*For a description of these proficiencies download a copy of the 2012 “ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines” from the Internet.


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