About the M.A Program

Berkeley’s Asian Studies MA is an interdisciplinary degree program that provides students with access to the university’s world-renowned faculty and facilities. The MA program cuts across conventional disciplinary lines, providing students interested in regions from northeast Asia to south and southeast Asia an opportunity to take courses in the humanities and interpretative social sciences, and conduct in-depth research in their specialty. Students engage in course work in multiple departments, gain reading knowledge of at least one — and often two — Asian languages, and have the flexibility to design a cross-disciplinary individual program according to their own interests and approaches. No two programs are alike, and students work closely with the Student Affairs officer and with a faculty mentor in designing their customized academic plan.

The Group in Asian Studies is housed in Berkeley’s Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, under the Division of Arts and Humanities in the College of Letters and Science, and benefits from long-standing relationships with many other academic departments and programs across the campus engaged in research on Asia. Bringing together approaches from disciplines from across the humanities and the interpretative social sciences, the Asian Studies MA program offers comprehensive and advanced training in the languages and cultures of the region, and prepares students to enter a wide range of related doctoral programs, as well as professional careers in fields related to Asia.

The University of California is a lively, international renowned center of scholarship and teaching in the area of Asian Studies. Faculty from across campus engage in teaching and cutting-edge research concerning Asia. Our students take classes and work with outstanding faculty in disciplines as diverse as Anthropology, Buddhist Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, Film/Media Studies, Geography, History, History of Art, Journalism, Music, Philosophy, Religion, South and Southeast Asian Studies, Sociology, and others.

These resources are supplemented by extensive library facilities and by the programs of the six major area centers of the Institute of East Asian Studies that offer lecture series and conferences throughout the year. The Bay Area itself, with its diverse communities, museums, performing arts, religious institutions, and thriving financial and technological sectors provides unlimited cultural opportunities for the student interested in reaching beyond the confines of the university.