Degree Requirements

  • Students must choose to specialize in one of the following regions: China, Japan, Korea, or Tibet. (Vietnam will be available starting with the Fall 2024 cohort.)
  • Language proficiency equivalent to the 3rd-year level of Chinese, Japanese, or Korean, or second-year level of Tibetan in accordance with their country of specialization. The language requirement may be met by passing Columbia’s language placement examination or through coursework.

  • Yearlong MARSEA core seminar (GR6220: MARSEA Core Seminar I – Fall and GR6221: MARSEA Core Seminar II – Spring).
  • Master’s thesis dealing substantially with the country of specialization.
  • 2 graduate-level modern history courses on the country of specialization. Comparable work may be substituted with permission from MARSEA’s Academic Director.
  • 3 graduate-level regional courses selected from at least two different fields: at least one of the three courses must focus on an Asia Pacific country or sub-region other than one’s country of specialization. These courses must include at least one colloquia and/or seminar. One language course at the 4th-year level or above may be counted towards this requirement. Courses dealing with the region as a whole or dealing with relations between East Asia and other countries (such as the U.S.) may also be taken to fulfill this requirement.
  • 1 graduate-level elective course, which may focus on topics outside of East Asia.
  • All students must complete 30 credits and 2 Resident Units (the GSAS equivalent of 2 full-time semesters).