East Asian Languages and Cultures

Program Category: PhD Programs
Chair: Wei Shang
Director of Graduate Studies: Tomi Suzuki
Website: ealac.columbia.edu
Degree Programs: Full-Time: MA, MPhil, PhD

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers a PhD (MA/MPhil/PhD) program with an interdisciplinary approach to the literature, culture, history, and languages of East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, and Vietnam) and a particular emphasis on critical methodology and comparative study. An array of East Asian courses in other areas such as political science, sociology, anthropology, art, law, history, and business is also available, as are interdisciplinary programs with the departments of Religion and History and the Interdepartmental Committee in Comparative Literature and Society. The department’s close ties with various East Asian institutions in New York City and abroad provide a stimulating cultural environment.

Columbia's C.V. Starr East Asian Library, with more than a half million volumes of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean languages books, is one of the largest East Asian library collections outside East Asia and a premier center for East Asian research in the United States. The collection, which is particularly strong in literature, philosophy (especially Buddhism and neo-Confucianism), and history, is supported by more than 1.1 million volumes of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Tibetan Books. As well as 2.5 million E-Book titles, 40,000 E-Journals, and 90,000 volumes of secondary materials in Western languages on all aspects of East Asia, past and present.

Fellowships are awarded in recognition of academic achievement and in expectation of scholarly success. Teaching and research experience are considered an important aspect of the training of doctoral students; accordingly, fellowships for PhD students include some teaching and research apprenticeship.

Certificate in Comparative Literature and Society

The Institute for Comparative Literature and Society (ICLS) awards a certificate in Comparative Literature and Society. For more information, see the ICLS website.

If applying for Tibetan Studies, previous training in Tibetan language, classical and/or modern, is highly desirable, and training in Chinese language may strengthen an application as well, but applicants' language training and needs will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Application Requirements: 

Deadline for Fall Admission: Thursday, December 9, 2021
Resume Requirement: Yes
Writing Sample: Yes; 15-20 pages
GRE General: GRE recommended but not required
GRE Subject: No
Degree Programs: Full Time
Letters of Recommendation: 3