check icon
MARSEA Degree Requirements

All MARSEA students declare China, Japan, Korea, or Tibet as their country of specialization. In addition, the following requirements must be fulfilled (in accordance with Columbia University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences degree requirements).

book icon
The MARSEA Curriculum

MARSEA students must attain at least third-year level proficiency in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or second-year level proficiency in Tibetan to earn the degree. The language requirement may be met by passing a language placement examination at Columbia, or through coursework. In addition, the degree program requires completion of a master’s thesis and 8 courses from a wide range of offerings in Anthropology, Architecture, Business, Economics, History, International Affairs, Literature, Law, Political Science, Social Work, and Sociology (for a minimum of 30 credits). Students must take the yearlong MARSEA core seminar (total of 2 courses), 2 courses on the modern history of their country of specialization, courses in at least 2 different disciplines, and at least 1 course on an East Asian country or sub-region other than the country of specialization. Students must complete a minimum total of 30 credits of graduate coursework to earn the degree.


clipboard icon
Summary of Basic MARSEA Degree Requirements
  • Proficiency equivalent to the third-year level of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or second-year level of Tibetan
  • The two courses of the yearlong MARSEA core seminar
  • Two graduate-level modern history courses on the country of specialization
  • Three appropriate graduate-level regional courses (at least one of which is a colloquia or seminar)

  • One elective (any graduate-level course, can be outside of East Asia)
  • Master’s thesis
  • Minimum of 30 credits in total
  • Two residence units (equivalent to 2 full-time semesters at Columbia)