Application to Degree Programs
All prospective graduate students must apply for the Ph.D. program. The department does not offer terminal M.A. degrees; instead, an M.A. degree may be earned while progressing toward the Ph.D.

Academic Advisor and Mentoring Committee
A Primary Advisor will be selected by the Admissions Committee at the time the student is sent a letter from the department recommending admission. Candidates for admission and new students will then have a contact point for questions about the program.

The Primary Advisor initially assigned may be changed by the student at any time, in consultation with the current Primary Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Make-up of Deficiencies After Acceptance
A student arriving with an M.A. may be admitted to start work on the Ph.D. requirements, but with the proviso clearly delineated in the letter recommending admission that any and all deficiencies for the Berkeley M.A. must be fulfilled in consultation with the Primary Advisor. The department may determine that the M.A. is not equivalent in coverage or quality and mandate a new M.A. from EALC (this includes the M.A. thesis).

A student with an M.A. will have a review after the first semester, and a comprehensive review after one year [E1.8]. If he or she fails this review, he or she will be sent a letter of warning (a copy of which will also be forwarded to the Graduate Division, [E1.8]) and given a year to rectify all deficiencies. The Primary Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies will carry out this review, then report to the department, which will determine the appropriate action.

Language Requirements

Chinese M.A.
Fluency in modern Chinese and a year of classical Chinese.

Chinese Ph.D.
Reading competence in a language other than Chinese relevant to the program, chosen in consultation with the Primary Advisor. In most cases, the second language will be three years of Japanese. In exceptional cases, this requirement may be satisfied by competence in another language, normally demonstrated by three years of language study at Berkeley or its equivalent (F3.2). (Coursework must be taken for a letter-grade.) Native speakers of a language other than English do not automatically fulfill the language requirement; the language must be appropriate to advanced research in the program (F3.2).

Japanese M.A.
Fluency in modern Japanese and a year of classical Japanese.

Japanese Ph.D.
Reading competence in a language other than Japanese relevant to the program, chosen in consultation with the Primary Advisor. Competence will normally be demonstrated by three years of language study at Berkeley or its equivalent (F3.2). (Coursework must be taken for a letter-grade.) Native speakers of a language other than English do not automatically fulfill the language requirement; the language must be appropriate to advanced research in the program (F3.2).

Number and Types of Courses Required for the M.A.
EA 200, "Proseminar: Approaches to east Asian Studies" is required, normally in the first year.

  • A minimum of three graduate seminars (four units each) in the student’s major language field (Chinese or Japanese) in the department will be required, for a letter grade. EA200 will not count toward the three required seminars. The department also encourages students to take a "Materials and Methods" seminar as part of the M.A. program.
  • 8 additional units, in consultation with the Primary Advisor.

All courses required for the degree must be finished by the last day of the semester in which the student expects the degree to be conferred (F2.3).

Students will have the option of taking additional seminars beyond the three required for the M.A. degree for two units, in which case no seminar paper is required. Each EALC seminar is structured with a 4 unit norm and 2 unit option.

Students who will need to acquire a second language from scratch to satisfy Ph.D. requirements (q.v.) will be advised to begin work on that language as early as possible.

M.A. Thesis
An M.A. thesis, usually based on a previous research paper and limited to 50 pages, is required. If the M.A. thesis involves a translation, the translation may be added as an appendix, which will not count toward the page limit.

An M.A. Thesis Committee of three will be appointed by the Primary Advisor and the Director of Graduate Studies in consultation with the student. University regulations (F22) call for a chair, an inside member, and an outside member (or the less preferable alternative of a second inside member). The Committee will comprehensively analyze comments on the thesis, work done to date, and then recommend or not recommend advancement to the Ph.D. program. A student may not advance to Ph.D. coursework until permission to advance has been received and the M.A. thesis has been signed. Acceptance of the thesis does not automatically entail permission to proceed to the Ph.D., which is a separate decision.

Advancement to Candidacy for the M.A. Degree
"Masters Students are not automatically advanced to candidacy; they must submit a formal application for advancement to candidacy no later than the end of the fifth week of classes of the semester in which they expect to receive the degree" (Graduate Studies Handbook F1.9).

Mechanism for Continuation or Termination at the M.A. level
A review of graduate students will take place in the middle and at the end of their first year and annually thereafter, and conveyed to the students in writing (E1.8).

Academic good standing requires the maintenance of a 3.0 grade-point average in all upper division and graduate courses (E1.4). A student with two or more Incompletes is academically ineligible to hold a student academic appointment (E1.4).

At the end of the M.A. program, a determination will be reached regarding permission to advance to the Ph.D. program.

If all requirements for the M.A. are not completed by the end of the fourth semester, the student will be warned that failure to complete the requirements by the end of the following semester may result in academic probation, in which case, the student cannot hold academic appointments or receive graduate fellowships (E1.7). A student who has been put on academic probation will not normally be eligible to proceed to the Ph.D. program until the condition is remedied.

Ph.D. Requirements
Two graduate seminars for a letter grade in the department are required after completion of the M.A., as well as at least one course outside the department in a cognate discipline, also for a letter grade.

Ph.D. Qualifying Examination
Students must apply to take the Qualifying Examination no later than three weeks before the exam date since the Graduate Division needs this time to review the application " (Graduate Studies Handbook F3.3). It is highly recommended that students submit this application as far in advance as possible.

In order to fulfill the eligibility requirements set forth in the Graduate Studies Handbook (F3.3), students must:

  • be registered for the semester in which the exam is taken, or, during winter or summer break, be registered in either the preceding or the following semester;
  • have completed at least one semester of academic residence;
  • have at least a B average in all work undertaken in graduate standing;
  • have no more than two courses graded Incomplete;
  • have completed the foreign language requirement (see Graduate Studies Handbook F3.2), which is satisfied by the EALC language requirements.

The Qualifying Examination must be conducted in English.

Choosing the Qualifying Examination Committee
In consultation with his or her Primary Advisor, a Qualifying Examination Committee is nominated at least one semester before the student enters the Qualifying Examination study period. After consulting with the Primary Advisor, the Director of Graduate Studies signs off on the nomination of the Qualifying Examination Committee. The committee is appointed by the Dean of the Graduate Division, acting on behalf of the Graduate Council. The EALC members of the Qualifying Examination Committee reserve the right to accept or reject the proposed outside field.

Note that “affiliated faculty” (also known as “below the line” appointments) cannot direct Ph.D. dissertations. They are considered “outside members” of the department. This means that in the case of a qualifying examination or Ph.D. dissertation, they can only serve as “outside members.”

Number of Members on the Qualifying Examination Committee

  • Three fields within the department, each with one examiner
  • One outside field (defined as a field not covered by the department) with one examiner

Qualifying Examination
The following will be required:

  • Three written examinations on fields within the department
  • One written examination on a field outside the department
  • Oral examination

The purpose of the Qualifying Examination is to insure that the student possesses adequate breadth and depth of preparation needed to conduct dissertation research and teach. The student will normally choose reading lists in consultation with examiners and then meet regularly to discuss those readings with them. The written examinations will be based on those readings and discussions. The oral examination that follows is not meant to be a separate field of enquiry; instead, it is designed to pursue issues raised in the written segments.

Normally there will be a nine-month period established for Qualifying Examination preparation (either fall and spring, spring and summer, or summer and fall). The student will set up meetings with his or her field examiners to take place during this period.

The written examinations will take place at the end of the Qualifying Examination study period. All four written examinations and the oral examination must be taken within a six-week period. Written exams will usually be given one week apart, with a minimum of 72 hours between each. Each examination is open book and take-home, to be returned the following day before 4:00 P.M. Each should be 10-12 double-spaced pages (2,000-2,500 words), with a maximum of 15 (3,000 words).

Each written examination will be read and judged by the examiner in charge of that field. Informal feedback on each written examination may be provided to the student immediately by the examiner. But the result of the written examinations will not be determined until all four are completed.

At the end of the written examination period, there will be a formal appraisal of the four examinations by the committee meeting as a group, and a decision will be made whether the student may proceed to the oral part of the examination or whether a remedial course of action is required.

The oral examination will take place one week after completion of the last written examination. It will last three hours and be attended by all four members of the Qualifying Examination Committee. It will be devoted to further investigation of issues raised in the written examinations.

In the case of a partial pass or failure, a remedial course of action will be required: partial reexamination, complete reexamination, or no recommendation to reexamine (F3.4). All members of the committee must be present for any reexamination.

A determination will be made after the written components of the Qualifying Examination to assess whether the student is ready to proceed to the oral examination (E1.8). If the student is judged unready, a remedial course of action will be determined before the student attempts the oral exam. A student may be allowed to take a second oral exam. However, if after the second attempt, the student is still judged unready, university regulations about program termination will apply. No third attempts to pass the qualifying examination are allowed.

Advancement to Candidacy for the Ph.D. Degree
The Graduate Studies Handbook (F3.5) specifies that in order to advance to candidacy the student must

  • satisfy the foreign language requirement;
  • pass the Qualifying Examination;
  • have no more than two courses graded Incomplete;
  • have a minimum 3.0 grade-point-average in all upper division and graduate work taken in graduate standing;
  • fulfill any other departmental requirements.

When a student has satisfied the eligibility requirements listed above, the student submits an application for advancement to candidacy to the Grade Division (F3.5). The Candidate in Philosophy (C. Phil.) degree may be awarded to students who have completed all degree requirements except the dissertation. Students recommended for the degree should possess the intellectual capacity to complete the requirements for the doctorate, according to Academic Senate regulations. If the faculty doubts a student can complete the requirements, the faculty should not recommend the Candidate in Philosophy degree (F4.1).

A minimum of four semesters of academic residence must be completed for the Ph.D., and six for the M.A. and the Ph.D. (F2.6).

Dissertation Prospectus
The prospectus is defined as a preliminary plan for the dissertation, accompanied by a preliminary bibliography. A document of no more than ten double-spaced pages (excluding the bibliography), it will be written in the semester following the successful completion of the Qualifying Examination and after the student has advanced to candidacy, and submitted to the primary advsior.

Dissertation Filing
After you have written and formatted your dissertation, and obtained your signatures, you are ready to file it with Graduate Division. You must your upload your electronic dissertation AND bring your final documents to 318 Sproul Hall before 5pm on the last day of the term (one week after Instruction ends).

Dissertation Colloquium
After the student submits the dissertation, the department may invite him or her to hold a Dissertation Colloquium on the subject of the dissertation, to be funded by the department.

Normative Time
Effective 2010, the student has ten semesters of Normative Time after entering the program to complete the Qualifying Examinations and submit a petition to Advance to Candidacy to be eligible for the Doctoral Completion Fellowship (DCF). If the student successfully advances before or during the tenth semester, he or she is awarded a Normative Time grant for one year of support. Eligible students may use the fellowship at any time after advancement to candidacy, through the end of the year Normative Time to Degree (NTD) plus one year.