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Graduate Program Director:

Professor grace [dot] fong [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Grace Fong)grace [dot] fong [at] mcgill [dot] ca ( )(514-398-5885)

Graduate Program Coordinator:

lynda [dot] bastien [at] mcgill [dot] ca (Lynda Bastien )(514-398-4400 ext. 09015)

Admission requirements

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold by September of the year of entry, a bachelor's degree in East Asian Studies or related fields. Applicants are expected to have proficiency in the East Asian Language(s) most useful for the proposed graduate work (preferably three years or more of course work or equivalent).

Applicants must hold, or expect to hold by September of the year of entry, a Master's degree in East Asian Studies or related fields.

Application Procedures

The East Asian Studies Department application deadline for the Fall term is January 6

As of October 15 2012, McGill’s formerly paper-based graduate application process has been replaced with a more convenient electronic version.  For detailed instructions on how to apply and how to upload required supporting documents in the new version, please see:  http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/prepare

You must pay a non-refundable application fee of $102  or your application will not be processed.

In addition to the online application form, a student must also upload the following documents onto Minerva:

Uploading documents FAQ:  http://www.mcgill.ca/gradapplicants/apply/submitting-your-documents/faq

1.  Transcripts: your record of study from each university-level institution or college attended so far. 

An unofficial copy of your complete university-level academic record to date must be uploaded, using Minerva. Please note that uploaded transcripts will be considered as unofficial. 

Once you are admitted, you will be required to supply official transcripts before enrolling for courses.

2.  Two letters of reference submitted on the official letterhead of the recommending professor's department.

  • You must identify on the application form two instructors, who are familiar with your work, and who are willing to write the letters of recommendation.
  • You must provide a valid institutional e-mail address for each referee.
  • McGill University will send an e-mail to each referee you identify on the application form, asking for a reference in support of your application to be admitted.  If no response is received, a reminder message will be sent every two weeks. In rare cases a referee may decline the request; you will be advised by e-mail if your selected referee declines, and you will be asked to provide an alternate. Referees will be invited to log-in to a secure portion of the McGill website, where they can upload the letter(s) of reference.

3.  Curriculum Vitae and a research statement The research statement (approximately 500 words for Master's and 5 pages for Ph.D.) should indicate potential supervisor, the field in which the applicant wishes to pursue, and the reasons for applying to the program. A description of the proposed research project, with brief bibliography, should be included.

4.  Test scores: Any student who has not studied at a Canadian institution must submit official copies of their GRE (Graduate Record Examination) scores. These score reports must come directly from the Educational Testing Service: a photocopy will not be accepted.

The codes for reporting GRE scores to the department are as follows: the Institutional Code for McGill University is 0935 and the code for the department ("Asian Languages") is 2601.

For all non-native speakers of English, the Department of East Asian Studies also requires proof of proficiency in English. The most common test is the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). The minimum score required by the Department is 577 the paper-based test or 86 on the internet-based test. The codes for reporting TOEFL scores to the department are as follows: the Institutional Code for McGill University is 0935 and the code for the Department ("Far Eastern Languages and Literatures") is 29.

Alternatively, students proving their English proficiency may use the IELTS (International English Language Testing System) examination, for which the minimum score is an overall band average of 6.5.

McGill University only accepts IELTS scores submitted electronically by an IELTS test center. No paper test report forms will be accepted. An institutional code is NOT required. Applicants must directly ask the test center where the test is taken to send the test scores to McGill electronically using the IELTS system.  IELTS test centers worldwide are able to send scores electronically to McGill.

Program requirements for the MA Degree

For the M.A. program, the student is required to complete 45 credits, including 21 credits of coursework and a thesis (24 credits). The coursework typically consists of seven 3-credit graduate courses and must include one 3-credit seminar in theory/methodology and 6 further credits of graduate seminars.

A maximum of 6 credits of language courses at the 500-level or in a classical language may be counted towards course requirements. Students must have 4th level language equivalency by the completion of their MA program.

Program requirements for the PhD Degree

After successfully completing the MA degree or its equivalent, a student will be admitted to the second year of the PhD program. The Graduate Studies Committee will assign a committee( The Graduate Advisory Committee) to advise the student and specify the student's course program. Exceptional students with appropriate background at the undergraduate level may be admitted directly into the PhD program.

There are four requirements for obtaining the Doctoral Degree:

  1. Course Work (24 credits at the graduate level). Students must complete at least 24 course credits, courses, with a grade point average of 3.5 or better. On the basis of this course work, the student should identify three distinct fields for the Comprehensive Evaluation. Students may take up to 6 credits in another department with the approval of the Graduate Advisory Committee.
  2. Language - Candidate will be required to demonstrate proficiency in a second research language, which may include either modern or literary (classical) language, in addition to the primary Asian language of their research.
  3. PhD Comprehensive Evaluation - The student is required to pass the Comprehensive Evaluation within one year after completing course work.Exceptions have to be approved by the Graduate Advisory Committee. PDF icon Comprehensive Examination Policy
  4. Doctoral Dissertation - A thesis proposal (15-25 pages) should be submitted to the Graduate Advisory Committee within six months after successful completion of the PhD Comprehensive Evaluation, after consultation with the Graduate Program Director and the thesis supervisor. Before submission of the dissertation, candidates expected to spend time in Asia researching their project. The Ph.D. thesis shold represent original scholarship.

Graduate Student Supervision

The Graduate and Postdoctoral Support website offers research and evidence-based advice to graduate students and their supervisors on how to work together effectively and avoid common problems in supervision.

Courses for graduate students (MA and PhD)

Class schedule

For a class schedule of the following courses, please visit Minerva.

Courses in the Department of East Asian Studies

EAST 501 Adv Top in Japanese Studies 1

EAST 502 Adv Top in Japanese Studies 2

EAST 503 Adv Top in Chinese Studies 1

EAST 504 Adv Top in Chinese Studies 2

EAST 515 Seminar: Beyond Orientalism

EAST 520 Fourth Level Korean 1

EAST 521 Fourth Level Korean 2

EAST 530D1 Fourth Level Chinese

EAST 530D2 Fourth Level Chinese

EAST 533 Classical Chinese 1

EAST 534 Classical Chinese 2

EAST 537D1 China Today Through Transl

EAST 537D2 China Today Through Transl

EAST 540D1 Fourth Level Japanese

EAST 540D2 Fourth Level Japanese

EAST 543 Classical Japanese 1

EAST 544 Classical Japanese 2

EAST 546 Advanced Reading: Japanese

EAST 547 Advanced Translation: Japanese

EAST 550 Class Chin PoetryThemes&Genres

EAST 551 Technol of Self in Early China

EAST 552 course description not available

EAST 556 Advanced Reading in Chinese

EAST 557 Advanced Translation: Chinese

EAST 559 Adv Topics: Chinese Literature

EAST 560 Screen Cultures and Media Arts

EAST 562 Japanese Lit Theory & Practice

EAST 563 Images,Ideograms,Aesthetics

EAST 564 Structures of Modernity: Japan

EAST 569 Adv Topics:Japanese Literature

EAST 576 Advanced Reading in Korean

EAST 577 Advanced Translation: Korean

EAST 582 Japanese Culture and Society

EAST 600 East Asian Studies 1

EAST 601 East Asian Studies 2

EAST 619 Topics in Literary Theory

EAST 621 Bib & Research Methods: China

EAST 651 Seminar in Taoist Studies 1

EAST 652 Seminar in Taoist Studies 2

EAST 653 Chinese Popular Culture 1

EAST 654 Chinese Popular Culture 2

EAST 655 Premodern Chinese Poetry

EAST 656 course description not available

EAST 657 Women\'s Writings in Trad China

EAST 660 Seminar: Japanese Fiction

EAST 661 course description not available

EAST 662 course description not available

EAST 663 course description not available

EAST 690 MA Thesis Research 1

EAST 691 MA Thesis Research 2

EAST 692 MA Thesis Research 3

EAST 693 MA Thesis Research 4

EAST 694 MA Thesis Research 5

EAST 695 MA Thesis Research 6

EAST 696 MA Thesis Research 7

EAST 700D1/D2 Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination 1

EAST 701D1/D2 Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination 2

EAST 702D1/D2 Ph.D. Comprehensive Examination 3

EAST 750 course description not available

Courses in other departments


HIST 611 course description not available

HIST 618 Readings in East Asian History

HIST 658 course description not available

HIST 668 course description not available


POLI 649 course description not available


BUSA 625 Asia/Pacific Management

ORGB 685 Cross Cultural Management


RELG 546 Indian Philosophy

RELG 548 Indian Buddhist Philosophy

RELG 549 Japanese Buddhist Philosophy

RELG 557 course description not available

RELG 651 course description not available

RELG 654 course description not available

RELG 655 course description not available

RELG 658 Dogen: Philosophy and Practice

RELG 687 Research in Comparative Rel 1

Please not that many of these courses are not offered in each school term. Check Minerva, McGill's online course registration system, for current course offerings

Graduate funding and fellowship awards

Applicants for the M.A. or Ph.D. programs in East Asian Studies are automatically considered for financial support. Successful applicants may receive one or a combination of the following fellowships and awards:

  • Canadian Chinese Cultural Society of Montreal Inc. Scholarship in Chinese Studies ( Full time studies)
    Deadline: April 30
    Value: $5,000
  • Faculty of Arts Graduate Awards
    Value: Varies
  • Lin Fellowship
    Value: $5,000
  • Paul Hsiang Fellowship in traditional Chinese Poetry, Poetics and Literature
    Value: $15,000
    Renewable: once at the M.A. level; twice at the Ph.D. level
  • Ping Kwan Lau Award(For graduate students in their 2nd year and above)
    Value: Varies
  • Graduate Excellence Fellowships
  • Value: Varies
  • Provost's Graduate Fellowships
    Value: Varies

Additional information of Graduate resources Grants and Fellowships in East Asian Studies

In addition, there are 4 basic ways to finance your graduate studies at McGill:

  1. Competitive fellowships: These are scholarships awarded to students through national and university level competitions. Fellowships are the most prestigious awards because of the high level of competition. In general they range from a minimum of $5,000 per year to as high as $35,000 or more per year. Fellowships are awarded by a variety of organizations and there are a number of internal fellowships.( See below for list or awards)
  2. Stipends: These are scholarships paid to graduate students from a professor's grant. Because they are paid from a professor's grant, it is up to him or her to decide who to award it to. The value of individual stipends is determined by the professor, although some research councils set minimum levels.
  3. Assistantships: Graduate students can be offered two types of assistantships: teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Both are open to all graduate students, regardless of nationality.
  4. Loans and bursaries: These are based on financial need and not merit. The McGill Student Aid Office is responsible for administering all needs-based financial aid. For more information visit http://www.mcgill.ca/studentaid/.

Graduate Fellowships Competition Awards

  • The Alma Mater Student Travel Grant
    Value: $750
  • Huayu Enrichment Scholarship Program
    Duration of scholarship two, six, nine or twelve months
    Value: Approxiametly $760
  • Mr. & Mrs. Johnson Ng Wai Yee Fellowship
    Deadline Early April
    Value: $10,000 renewable
  • CSG Masters SSHRC
    Deadline October
    Value: $17,500
  • Doctoral SSHRC
    Deadline October/November
    Value: $19,000 to $35,000
  • SSHRC Doctoral Fellowships
    Deadline October
    Value: $20,000
  • Tomlinson Fellowship
    Deadline February 1
    PhD-$20,000 renewable (twice)
    MA -$15,000 renewable (once)
  • Trudeau Foundation Doctoral Scholarship
    Deadline November 1
    Value: $35,000

For more information on Graduate Funding and Fellowship awards contact the Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies Office website at http://www.mcgill.ca/gps/fellowships.