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Asian Languages and Literature

Department Overview

225 Gowen

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers instruction in the principal languages and literatures of Asia, including East, Southeast, Central, and South Asia. Emphasis is placed on the roles of these languages within the cultures they serve as well as on linguistic, textual, and literary analysis. Courses on Asian literature in English are offered for majors and nonmajors alike.

Undergraduate Program

Adviser
223A Gowen, Box 353521
(206) 543-4996

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature offers the following undergraduate programs:

  • The Bachelor of Arts degree with majors in Chinese, Japanese (with either a linguistic or literature concentration), Korean, South Asian languages and literature (Hindi and Sanskrit), and Asian Languages and Culture
  • Minors in Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian Language and Culture, Japanese, Korean, South Asian languages and literature, and Asian Languages and Cultures

Bachelor of Arts

Suggested First- and Second-Year College Courses: First and second years of the target foreign language(s): Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or South Asian (Hindi or Sanskrit). (For the Asian Languages and Cultures major, first year of an Asian language, or languages.) Any courses relating to the area or discipline of major study.

Department Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 20 credits of college coursework (or department-approved equivalent) in the intended primary language of concentration. The most recent course completed in the intended primary language of concentration must be taken through the UW, with a minimum 2.5
  2. Completion of one writing course (W-prefix) taught in English with a minimum 2.0 grade.
  3. The department prefers that prospective majors present a cumulative 2.50 GPA. Students with a cumulative GPA below 2.50 may be considered for the major if they submit materials in addition to transcripts, clarifying any aspect of past coursework. Denied applicants may appeal.
  4. Transfer students must be enrolled at the UW before applying to the major.
  5. For the major in Asian Languages and Cultures, students in good academic standing may declare the major at any time, without fulfilling requirements stated above.

Note: A student entering the junior year without two years of the appropriate foreign language is not able to complete the degree requirements in two years unless he or she takes accelerated courses such as Chinese or Japanese through the UW during summer quarter.

Major Requirements

Chinese

50-80 credits

  1. Modern language courses (15-45 credits): To include a minimum of 15 credits beyond the third-year level chosen from CHIN 411, CHIN 412, CHIN 413, CHIN 421, CHIN 422, CHIN 423, CHIN 470, CHIN 482, CHIN 496 (when the topic is advanced language instruction), and I BUS 490 (when the topic is business Chinese). Students who have been evaluated and placed beyond fourth-year Chinese may satisfy the modern language requirement by taking 15 additional credits of classical Chinese (see adviser for approved list of classical Chinese courses).
  2. Classical language courses (10 credits): CHIN 451, CHIN 452
  3. Literature and Linguistics courses (15 credits): CHIN 342 or CHIN 442; an additional 10 credits from ASIAN 201, ASIAN 204, ASIAN 207 (when China is the topic), ASIAN 211, ASIAN 263 (when China is the topic), CHIN 373, CHIN 374, CHIN 380, CHIN 381, CHIN 385, CHIN 443, CHIN 453, CHIN 461, CHIN 462, CHIN 463
  4. China-related humanities and social science courses (10 credits): from ASIAN 200, ASIAN 211, ASIAN 401, and ASIAN 404 if not already used to satisfy other requirements. See adviser for approved list of additional courses. .

Japanese

75 credits

45 credits in language, including 30 credits beyond the second year, selected according to the student's choice of literature or linguistics concentration; 20 credits of a literature or linguistics sequence; and 10 credits of area-related humanities and social sciences, as follows:
  1. Literature Concentration
    1. Language: 45 credits, with a minimum of 30 credits beyond the second year. (second year: JAPAN 211, JAPAN 212, JAPAN 213; third year: JAPAN 311, JAPAN 312, JAPAN 313; fourth year: 15 credits from JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 445, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, and JAPAN 473)

      Students who, upon the determination of the faculty in Japanese, are permitted to begin their study of Japanese at the University at a level higher than JAPAN 211 substitute, in consultation with the undergraduate adviser, an equivalent number of credits in additional courses drawn from JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 445, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 473, and with prior approval, other Japan-related humanities or social science courses.

    2. Literature sequence: 20 credits, including JAPAN 321, JAPAN 322, JAPAN 323, and 5 credits from JAPAN 395, JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 460, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, and JAPAN 473, if not used to satisfy the language requirement.
    3. Area-related humanities or social science courses: 10 credits at the 300 level or above, at least 5 of which must be from outside the Department of Asian Languages and Literature; may be taken from JAPAN 342, JAPAN 343, JAPAN 395, JAPAN 440, JAPAN 442, JAPAN 443, and JAPAN 460; other Japanese literature courses not used to meet the literature requirement; and related courses from other departments.
  2. Linguistics Concentration
    1. Language: 45 credits, with a minimum of 30 credits beyond the second year. (second year: JAPAN 211, JAPAN 212, JAPAN 213; third year: JAPAN 311, JAPAN 312, JAPAN 313; fourth year: 15 credits from JAPAN 421, JAPAN 422, JAPAN 423, JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 445, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, and JAPAN 473)

      Students who, upon the determination of the faculty in Japanese, are permitted to begin their study of Japanese at the University at a level higher than JAPAN 211 substitute, in consultation with the undergraduate adviser, an equivalent number of credits in additional courses drawn from JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 445, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 473, and with prior approval, other Japan-related humanities or social science courses.

    2. Linguistics sequence: 20 credits, including at least 15 credits from JAPAN 342, JAPAN 343, JAPAN 395, JAPAN 440, JAPAN 442, JAPAN 443; 5 of the 20 credits may come from JAPAN 321, JAPAN 322, JAPAN 323, JAPAN 460, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 473, LING 400, or related courses from other departments.
    3. Area-related humanities or social science courses: 10 credits at the 300 level or above, at least 5 of which must be from outside the Department of Asian Languages and Literature; may be taken from LING 400, JAPAN 321, JAPAN 322, JAPAN 323, JAPAN 395, JAPAN 460, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, and JAPAN 473; or related courses from other departments.

Korean

75 credits

  1. 45 credits in the Korean language, 15 beyond second-year level
  2. 30 credits in literature and area-related humanities or social science courses

South Asian Languages

70 credits

  1. Language: 45 credits beyond first-year level in a single South Asian language (Hindi or Sanskrit)
    1. Basic Language: For Hindi - HINDI 201, HINDI 202, HINDI 203, HINDI 301, HINDI 302, HINDI 303; for Sanskrit - SNKRT 201, SNKRT 202, SNKRT 203, SNKRT 311, SNKRT 312, SNKRT 313
    2. Advanced Language, Literature, and Linguistics: 15 credits at 400 level, all drawn from either the following Hindi or Sanskrit courses, depending on the basic language selected: For Hindi - HINDI 404, HINDI 421, HINDI 422, HINDI 423, HINDI 431, HINDI 451; for Sanskrit - SNKRT 491, SNKRT 492, INDN 401, INDN 402, INDN 410
  2. Literature in Translation (10 credits): ASIAN 203, ASIAN 206
  3. South Asian History (5 credits): One course from among HSTAS 202, HSTAS 401, HSTAS 402, HSTAS 403, HSTAS 404
  4. South Asian Humanities and Social Sciences (5 credits): Chosen in consultation with adviser. A list of courses that satisfy this requirement is included on the expanded description of the major available from the adviser.
  5. Capstone Seminar (5 credits): INDN 490

Asian Languages and Cultures

60 credits

  1. Core Courses
    1. Primary language. Second-year level (course numbered 203 or above) in one Asian language (15 credits)
    2. Literature, culture, linguistics at 300-400 level, chosen from Asian Languages and Literature courses, not primarily using original-language materials. See department for list of approved courses. (5 credits)
  2. Electives
    1. Literature, culture, linguistics, chosen from Asian Languages and Literature courses, not primarily using original-language materials. See department for list of approved courses. (10 credits)
    2. Language, literature, culture, linguistics. Any combination of language and/or disciplinary Asian Languages and Literature courses, subject to majorís other requirements. See department for list of approved courses. (30 credits; 10 credits may be chosen from outside Asian Languages and Literature.)
  3. At least 30 credits at the 300-400 level
  4. Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the major
  5. Minimum 30 credits taken in residence through the UW

Minor

Minor Requirements

Chinese: 30 credits

  1. Language courses: 15 credits at or above the third-year level chosen from CHIN 212, CHIN 213 (CHIN 212 and CHIN 213, heritage-track Chinese, considered equivalent to third-year level), CHIN 301, CHIN 302, CHIN 303, CHIN 411, CHIN 412, CHIN 413, CHIN 421, CHIN 422, CHIN 423, CHIN 451, CHIN 452, CHIN 453, CHIN 470, CHIN 482, and CHIN 496 (when the topic is advanced language instruction)
  2. Introduction to Chinese Linguistics (5 credits): either CHIN 342 or CHIN 442
  3. China-related humanities courses (10 credits): at least one of ASIAN 200, ASIAN 201, ASIAN 204, ASIAN 207 (when China is the topic), ASIAN 211, ASIAN 263 (when China is the topic), ASIAN 401, ASIAN 404, CHIN 373, CHIN 374, CHIN 380, CHIN 381, CHIN 385, CHIN 443, CHIN 461, CHIN 462, and CHIN 463; remaining credits from above or from an approved list of China-related electives
  4. Minimum 2.00 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the minor
  5. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW

Indonesian Language and Culture: 30 credits

  1. Language Courses: 15 credits of second- and/or third-year Indonesian language (INDO 211, INDO 212, INDO 213; INDO 311, INDO 312, INDO 313)
  2. Culture Courses: 15 credits of humanities and social science courses offered through the UW, chosen from approved Indonesian-related content courses or joint-listed equivalents. See department website for approved list.
  3. Minimum 15 credits from 1 and 2 (above) taken at the 300 level or above
  4. Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the minor

Japanese: 30 credits

  1. Language courses: 15 credits at the third-year level (JAPAN 311, JAPAN 312, JAPAN 313) or above
  2. 15 credits in additional language or literature/culture courses. Acceptable courses include, but are not limited to: JAPAN 321, JAPAN 322, JAPAN 323, JAPAN 342, JAPAN 343, JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433, JAPAN 440, JAPAN 442, JAPAN 443, JAPAN 460, JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 473; ART H 316, ART H 317; ART 321; ECON 494; GEOG 313; HSTAS 422, HSTAS 423; MUSIC 495; POL S 435. Acceptable language courses include those offered by the technical Japanese program, the Jackson School of International Studies, the School of Law, and the Foster School of Business.
  3. Minimum 2.0 grade required for each course applied to the minor
  4. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW.

Korean: 30 credits

  1. Language courses: 15 credits at or above third-year level (KOREAN 301, KOREAN 302, KOREAN 303, and/or KOREAN 345)
  2. 15 credits in Korea-related humanities and social sciences courses: ASIAN 207 (when Korea is the topic), ASIAN 498 (when Korea is the topic), HSTAS 212, HSTAS 481, HSTAS 482, KOREAN 415, KOREAN 416, KOREAN 417, KOREAN 445, KOREAN 499, JSIS A 448
  3. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW.

South Asian Languages and Literature (Bengali, Hindi, Sanskrit, Urdu): 30 credits

  1. Language courses: 15 credits at the second-year level or above in a single Indic language: for Bengali, BENG 201, BENG 202, BENG 203; for Hindi, HINDI 201, HINDI 202, HINDI 203; for Sanskrit, SNKRT 201, SNKRT 202, SNKRT 203; for Urdu, URDU 201, URDU 202, URDU 203
  2. South Asia related humanities and social science courses (15 credits): Literature (5 credits) ASIAN 203 or ASIAN 206; South Asia area studies (10 credits) chosen in consultation with adviser. A list of courses that satisfy this requirement may be found on the following website: https://asian.washington.edu/south-asian-undergraduate-minor.
  3. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW.

Asian Languages and Culture: 30 credits

  1. Primary language (15 credits): second-year (200-level) courses, or above, in one Asian language
  2. Language, literature, culture, linguistics (15) credits: 10 credits of disciplinary (non-language) courses; 5 credits may be chosen from outside Asian Languages and Literature. (See department for list of approved courses.)
  3. Minimum 15 credits at the 300-400 level
  4. Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA for courses applied to the minor
  5. Minimum 15 credits taken in residence through the UW

Student Outcomes and Opportunities

  • Learning Objectives and Expected Outcomes:

    • Language: A student of one of the languages achieves competency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Skills acquired for the minor include the ability to manage simple spoken communicative tasks and social situations; to understand sentence-length utterances on familiar topics in face-to-face situations; to read simple connected texts dealing with personal and social topics; to write short essays on familiar topics grounded in personal experience and immediate surroundings. Skills acquired for the major include the ability to manage spoken communicative tasks, including topics of common interest, description and narration, expression of personal viewpoints, and presentation and support of an argument; to understand the main idea and important details of connected spoken discourse, ranging from face-to-face situations to radio and TV broadcasting; to understand the main idea and important details of written texts in a range of styles and registers; to write routine social correspondence using the appropriate conventions, and to write connected essays of several paragraphs in an appropriate linguistic register.
    • Linguistics: A student with a minor achieves competency in understanding the basic structure of the language, including its grammatical forms, writing system, and phonology; recognizing the languageís historical relationships with other languages in the geographical region; understanding the structured and hierarchical nature of linguistic systems. A student with a major additionally achieves competency in understanding basic linguistic concepts and terminology in such fields as syntax, morphology, and phonology, and applying them to the analysis of the linguistic structures of the language; understanding the historical development of the language, including its historical linguistic features and dialectal development; recognizing the relationship between linguistic structures and literary forms and devices.
    • Literature: A student with a minor achieves competency in identifying major works and forms within the literary tradition; understanding the place of selected literary texts within the ongoing tradition; understanding the historical and cultural contexts of major literary forms and works; understanding the roles of literary works and literary activity within the culture; utilizing basic research skills. A student with a major additionally achieves competency in reading selected literary texts in the original; employing linguistic and philological analysis as tools for understanding literary texts; performing formal analysis of literary texts; analyzing literary texts with reference to relevant literary traditions and intertextual dynamics; analyzing literary texts with reference to their historical background and broader cultural context; practicing critical reading of primary and secondary texts; employing research and writing skills to produce formal written analysis of literary texts.
    • Asian Languages and Cultures: Common Skills: Basic foundation in at least one Asian language, including competency in speaking listening, reading, and writing; fundamental skills in critical thinking, research, and oral and written communication; knowledge of various Asian cultural traditions, familiarity with disciplinary methodologies of the humanities. Shared Outlook: Appreciation of Asian cultures in broader regional and international contexts, emphasizing mutual relations and influences. Skills Specific to Studentsí Individual Choices: Varying levels of competence in from one to three Asian languages; advanced proficiency in disciplinary methodologies; more in-depth knowledge of selected Asian cultural traditions; comparative understanding of cultural phenomena and their history across different regions of Asia. Career Preparation: Skills in one or more languages, critical thinking, research, and written and oral communication; capacity to explore and find connections among diverse fields of knowledge; adaptability, broad skill set, and learning capacity (as opposed to narrow specialization) necessary to succeed within the diverse and rapidly changing technological, economic, social, and cultural environments of todayís global economy in such fields as teaching and research, professional programs, consulting firms, commerce, law, the media, museums, cultural institutions, public administration, government agencies, and non-governmental organizations.

  • Instructional and Research Facilities: None
  • Honors Program: With College Honors (Completion of Honors Core Curriculum and Departmental Honors). With Distinction (Completion of Departmental Honors requirements in the major). See adviser for requirements.
  • Research, Internships, and Service Learning: None offered
  • Department Scholarships: None offered
  • Student Organizations/Associations: None

Graduate Program

Graduate Program Coordinator
225 Gowen, Box 353521
(206) 543-4996

The department offers programs of study leading to the master of arts and doctor of philosophy degrees with specializations in (1) the languages and literatures of China; (2) the language and literature of Japan; (3) the languages and literatures of South Asia, subsuming Sanskrit and Hindi; (4) the language and literature of Korea; Buddhist studies. All graduate students affiliate themselves with one of these programs. The department does not offer degrees or specializations in language pedagogy.

Master of Arts, Buddhist Studies

Admission Requirements

  1. Undergraduate major in the language and literature of specialization (four years of language training if the language is Chinese or Japanese; fewer years of language acquisition may be acceptable in South Asian languages), or equivalent background. Other students may qualify for admission, but must acquire program prerequisites during the earliest stages of their graduate study.
  2. Statement of academic goals
  3. Three letters of recommendation addressed to the Graduate Program Coordinator

Degree Requirements

45-54 credits plus language requirements

  1. Coursework requirement:
    1. Non-thesis program: 45 course credits, 18 at the 500 level and above. Seminars and text reading courses must be included. Language study through the fourth-year level in the major language and through the second-year level in a second Asian language.
    2. Thesis program: 45 course credits plus 9 thesis credits. Minimum 18 of the 45 course credits at the 500 level or above. Seminars and text reading courses must be included. Language requirements the same as in the non-thesis program. MA thesis. Oral examination.
  2. Foreign language requirements: Competence in the major language, and completion of course requirements in the second Asian language as outlined above. Languages may include one classical language and one relevant modern language, or two classical languages. One language must be Sanskrit. Reading knowledge of one foreign language relevant to area of specialization, other than English and the student's native language, i.e., may be the student's second Asian language or a European or Asian research language.

Master of Arts, Chinese

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the junior and senior years
  2. Three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose
  3. Strong undergraduate preparation in one of the following: Chinese language and literature, another foreign language and literature, Asian regional studies, comparative literature, linguistics, English, philosophy, or history. Completion of four years of modern Chinese and one year of classical Chinese, each with a minimum 3.00 GPA.
  4. Students lacking such preparation may be admitted provisionally, and are required to make up deficiencies during their first year of residence.

Degree Requirements

38-40 credits

  1. Two options: (1) thesis program, and (2) non-thesis program which requires two seminar or research papers in lieu of a thesis, and two 500-level departmental courses in addition to the requirements specified below.
  2. Coursework requirements:
    1. Second-Year Classical Chinese(15 credits): CHIN 551, CHIN 552, CHIN 553
    2. Methods and Materials (5 credits): CHIN 559
    3. History of Chinese Literature (5 credits): Any one course of the following three-quarter sequence: CHIN 461, CHIN 462, CHIN 463
    4. Chinese Language (5 credits): CHIN 442
    5. Minimum one course from each of the following two groups (8-10 credits):
      1. Group I -- Literature: CHIN 461, CHIN 462, CHIN 463; CHIN 482; CHIN 554, CHIN 555, CHIN 556; CHIN 561, CHIN 562, CHIN 563; CHIN 573; CHIN 575; CHIN 580; CHIN 582; CHIN 583; CHIN 590; CHIN 591, CHIN 592, CHIN 593
      2. Group II -- Linguistics and Philology: CHIN 443; CHIN 531, CHIN 532, CHIN 533; CHIN 540; CHIN 541; CHIN 542; CHIN 544; CHIN 557; CHIN 558
  3. Foreign language: May be another Asian language or European language, but not student's native language; must be relevant to student's program of study.
  4. MA examination: Covers Chinese literature: second part focuses on language (linguistics and philology) and texts. Normally taken no later than autumn quarter of the third year.

Master of Arts, Japanese Language and Literature

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the junior and senior years
  2. Three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose
  3. Strong undergraduate preparation in any of the following: Japanese language and literature, with the equivalent of at least four years' work in the language; another language and literature, Asian regional studies, comparative literature, linguistics, art history, English, philosophy, or history.
  4. A student lacking such preparation may be admitted, but is expected to concentrate initially on coursework to compensate for deficiencies. In case of inadequate training in Japanese, intensive courses are available.

Degree Requirements

45-75 credits

  1. Coursework: Minimum 45 credits above the 300 level earned through a combination of coursework and research. At least 18 credits in numerically graded courses at the 400 and 500 level, and 18 credits at the 500 level and above.

    The following courses normally constitute a minimal level of training: JAPAN 321, JAPAN 322, JAPAN 323 (no graduate credit); JAPAN 421, JAPAN 422, JAPAN 423; JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433; JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 473. Students with a background comparable to this may enter more advanced courses. Less well prepared students may require a program considerably in excess of the minimum 45 credits.

    The student completes requirements by submitting (1) a thesis, or (2) two research papers.

  2. Foreign language requirement: one language in addition to the language of specialization. Can be either European or Asian, but should not be English. Must be relevant to student's program of study, i.e., provides access to a body of critical literature on the field, e.g., French or German, or improves studentís grasp of the structure or etymological sources of Japanese, e.g., Chinese or Korean. May not be student's native language.
  3. MA general examination: two written examinations, one pre-modern (pre-Meiji) literature, the other modern.

Master of Arts, Japanese Language and Linguistics

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the junior and senior years
  2. Three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose
  3. Strong undergraduate preparation in any of the following: Japanese language and literature, with the equivalent of at least four years' work in the language; another language and literature, Asian regional studies, comparative literature, linguistics, art history, English, philosophy, or history
  4. A student lacking such preparation may be admitted, but is expected to concentrate initially on coursework to compensate for deficiencies. In case of inadequate training in Japanese, intensive courses are available.

Degree Requirements

45-75 credits

  1. Coursework: Minimum 45 credits above the 300 level earned through a combination of coursework and research. At least 18 credits in numerically graded courses at the 400 and 500 level, and 18 credits at the 500 level and above.

    The following courses normally constitute a minimal level of training: JAPAN 421, JAPAN 422, JAPAN 423 (if language training is necessary); JAPAN 342 (no graduate credit); JAPAN 343 (no graduate credit); JAPAN 440; JAPAN 442; JAPAN 443. Students with a background comparable to this may enter more advanced courses. Less well prepared students may require a program considerably in excess of the minimum 45 credits.

    The student completes requirements by submitting (1) a thesis or (2) two research papers.

  2. Foreign language requirement: one language in addition to the language of specialization. Can be either European or Asian, but should not be English. Must be relevant to student's program of study, i.e., provides access to a body of critical literature on studentís field (e.g., French or German), or improves studentís grasp of the structure or etymological sources of Japanese (e.g., Chinese or Korean). May not be student's native language.
  3. Linguistics: Two written examinations in Japanese linguistics, whether in descriptive linguistics, theoretical linguistics, applied linguistics, or sociolinguistics.

Master of Arts, Korean

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the junior and senior years
  2. Three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose
  3. Strong undergraduate preparation in any of the following: Korean language and literature, another language and literature, Asian regional studies, comparative literature, linguistics, English, philosophy, history, or an approved area in the humanities or social sciences
  4. Three years of Korean language training. Students lacking such preparation take the necessary courses their first year of residence.

Degree Requirements

39 credits

  1. Coursework: KOREAN 415, KOREAN 416, KOREAN 417; ASIAN 498 or KOREAN 462; KOREAN 531; KOREAN 532; ASIAN 700. Also, (1) submit a thesis, or (2) submit two research papers in lieu of a thesis.
  2. Foreign language requirement: one language in addition to the language of specialization. Can be either European or Asian, but should not be English. Must be relevant to the student's program of study. May not be the student's native language.
  3. MA examination: Written examination in two parts: one in pre-modern Korean literature, the other modern. Normally taken no later than autumn quarter of the third year.

Master of Arts, South Asian Languages and Literature

Admission Requirements

  1. Minimum 3.00 undergraduate GPA in the last 90 quarter or 60 semester credit hours
  2. Three letters of recommendation and statement of purpose
  3. Preference given to students with prior preparation in a South Asian language and literature, in South Asian regional studies, or in a humanistic discipline pertinent to the study of South Asian civilization. Students lacking such preparation may be admitted but must add courses to compensate for deficiencies. South Asian language specializations at the UW are Sanskrit and Hindi.

Degree Requirements

45-75 credits

  1. Coursework:
    1. Non-thesis program: 45 course credits, 18 at the 500 level and above. Language study through the fourth-year level in the student's major language and through the second-year level in a second South Asian language. Two approved seminar papers.
    2. Thesis program: 45 course credits plus 9 thesis credits. At least 18 credits at the 500 level or above. Language requirements are the same as in the non-thesis program. An acceptable MA thesis. Oral examination.
  2. Foreign language requirements: Competence in the major South Asian language, and completion of course requirements in the second South Asian language as outlined above. Reading knowledge of one foreign language relevant to the studentís research, other than English and the student's native language. This language may be the student's second South Asian language or a European language.

Doctor of Philosophy, Buddhist Studies

Admission Requirements

MA degree in Asian Languages and Literature at the UW and satisfactory evaluation by South Asian language faculty. Students with comparable background, usually successful completion of a relevant MA degree at another institution, may be considered.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Competence in their major Asian languages
  2. Written examinations in two research languages other than English and the student's native language (i.e., one written examination in addition to that completed at the MA level)
  3. Ability to do original research utilizing primary languages of Buddhist traditions in accord with chosen areas of concentration
  4. Recommended: competence in a modern research language in order to pursue research in the field, e.g., in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tibet, China, or Japan
  5. Four written field examinations. At least two normally relate to some aspect of Buddhist studies; a third is within the purview of South Asian languages and literature; a fourth may be in an adjacent field or discipline.
  6. Comprehensive oral examination
  7. Dissertation

Doctor of Philosophy, Chinese

Admission Requirements

  1. Completion of 45 credits (minimum three quarters) of graduate study in the department.
  2. Petition stating post-MA academic plans and goals.
  3. Normally an MA degree in Chinese language and literature or an MA in another pertinent field; e.g., linguistics, comparative literature, philosophy, history, or Asian regional studies. A student, however, must satisfy all course and examination requirements for the departmentís MA program. Upon admission, such a student should be prepared to take courses in modern Chinese at the 500 level, and should have at least two years of Classical Chinese.
  4. Students intending to go directly from the BA to the PhD need exceptionally strong background preparation in literary study or linguistics, are expected to satisfy all curriculum requirements for the MA, and must petition the department for special permission to bypass the MA.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, as follows:

  1. Course requirements: Complete the course requirements for the MA in Chinese. Equivalent courses from other programs may be substituted subject to written approval by the regular instructor of the course in qu Complete course requirements for the MA in Chinese. Equivalent courses from other programs may be substituted subject to written approval. CHIN 461, CHIN 462, CHIN 463 not taken for the MA must be taken for the PhD. Post-MA coursework should be designed to strengthen weaknesses in the studentís background, and to establish and develop four fields of special study that the student pursues in depth.
  2. Field requirements: Four fields. Familiarity with both original texts and secondary scholarship of each field. Show potential for carrying out original research in these areas or fields. Written field examinations.

    The four fields must reflect both the primary components of the department's graduate-level offerings, i.e., language (linguistics and philology) and literature. In at least one field students are encouraged to incorporate some aspect of Chinese history and culture, exclusive of strictly literary or linguistic facets. A student may offer one field from outside the department; e.g., general linguistics, literary criticism, a non-Chinese literature, Chinese philosophy or religion, or a particular period of Chinese history. Such a field must be related in a significant way to the student's overall course of study.

  3. Examinations: Taken in the four fields separately. Prior to the general examination the student demonstrates reading knowledge of an additional Asian language and a pertinent European language. (The foreign language reading examination required for the MA may apply to this requirement.)

Doctor of Philosophy, Japanese

Admission Requirements

Students are admitted first to the department, then later petition for entry to the PhD program. Applicants with an MA in Japanese literature and culture from another institution complete at least 45 credits of coursework, then submit a petition, which allows them to bypass other MA requirements. Students without an MA in Japanese literature and culture enter the MA program and complete all requirements before submitting a petition. See the Japanese MA program for more information.

Degree Requirements

95 credits

  1. Course requirements: In addition to the minimum 45 credits or equivalent required for the master's program, at least 50 credits of coursework at the graduate level, 20 of which at the 500 level.
    1. Modern Japanese: JAPAN 431, JAPAN 432, JAPAN 433 (may be bypassed with previous training, if approved)
    2. Classical Japanese and kambun: JAPAN 471, JAPAN 472, JAPAN 505 (may be bypassed with previous training, if approved)
    3. 10 credits in classical Japanese literature and culture: JAPAN 571, JAPAN 572, or JAPAN 573
    4. 10 credits in modern Japanese literature and culture: JAPAN 531, JAPAN 532, or JAPAN 533
  2. Additional coursework may be required.
  3. Language requirement: In addition to English and Japanese, proficiency in a third language related to the student's course of study.
  4. Fields: Advanced studies in three distinct fields. One must be classical Japanese literature and one modern Japanese literature. Each requires a substantial research paper. The third field may be pursued outside the department.
  5. General examination
  6. Dissertation and final examination

Doctor of Philosophy, Korean

Admission Requirements

Completion of at least two quarters of graduate study in the department. Either the MA degree, or all coursework for the MA in Korean literature (or the equivalent). Students should be prepared to take 500-level courses in Korean.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Coursework:
    1. Korean language and literature: Beyond the course requirement and examination for the MA in Korean literature, KOREAN 531, KOREAN 532, ASIAN 800.
    2. Chinese (and/or Japanese) language and literature: Students interested in pre-modern Korean literature take two years of Chinese, at least one year of classical Chinese, and a survey course on pre-modern Chinese literature. Students interested in modern Korean literature take either: (1) three years of Chinese and a survey course in Chinese literature, or (2) three years of Japanese and a survey course in modern Japanese literature.
    3. Linguistics: To help students prepare for the field examination in a language-related area. Possible courses include ASIAN 401, JAPAN 440.
    4. Interdepartmental: Korea-related courses in other disciplines such as history and anthropology. Familiarity with other literatures and cultures, and coursework in departments such as Comparative Literature, Cinema, and Media Studies, or other language and literature programs, also recommended.
  2. Field examinations: Four areas of study, or "fields.Ē A student may offer one Korea-related field from outside the department; three fields are prepared with department faculty. One may be in another Asian language or literature. At least one field must be related to language.
  3. Language examinations: Proficiency in an additional Asian language and a European language. (The foreign language required for the MA meets this requirement.)
  4. General examination, dissertation, final examination

Doctor of Philosophy, South Asian Languages and Literature

Admission Requirements

Normally entry is contingent upon successful completion of the MA degree in Asian Languages and Literature at the UW and a satisfactory evaluation by South Asian Language program faculty. Students with sufficient background, usually successful completion of a relevant MA degree at another institution, may be considered.

Degree Requirements

90 credits

  1. Languages: Competence in the major South Asian language, to include written examinations in two research languages other than English and the student's native language (i.e., one examination in addition to the examination completed at the MA level). One of these must be a European language.
  2. Fields: Four written field examinations, at least three of which must fall within South Asian languages and literature. A fourth may have as its subject an adjacent field or discipline, e.g., an aspect of South Asian history or art history.
  3. Comprehensive oral examination
  4. Dissertation

Financial Aid

Financial aid for graduate students newly entering the department is very limited and is awarded on a competitive basis. National Resource Fellowships are awarded for the study of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. The department offers incoming graduate students limited opportunities for teaching assistant positions in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. Since some financial aid is determined by need, all prospective students are urged to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and to apply for other forms of aid mentioned in the department's cover letter to prospective students.