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Applying to the Ph.D.

The Application Deadline for 2016-17 admissions has passed. Please check back in September for more application details for 2017-18. The deadline submit your application for 2017-18 will be on Tuesday, December 6, 2016, 5:00 pm PST.  

Our department offers Doctoral Programs in Chinese, and Japanese. All students contemplating application for admission to graduate study must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. Candidates for the degree are expected to acquire a thorough familiarity with Chinese or Japanese literature and linguistics, an adequate command of relevant languages, and a comprehensive knowledge of East Asian history, social institutions, and thought. The applicant need not have majored in Chinese or Japanese as an undergraduate, but must have had the equivalent of at least three years of training in the language in which he or she intends to specialize, and must also demonstrate a command of English adequate for the pursuit of graduate study. Applicants should not wish merely to acquire or improve language skills, but to pursue study in one of the following fields:

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chinese
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Chinese, Archaeology Subplan
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Japanese
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Japanese, Linguistics Track

Admission to Candidacy

Students are evaluated by the graduate faculty during their second year at Stanford. The evaluation is based on a research paper of 25-30 pages documented and with a bibliography, written for an EALC major seminar above the 200 level. Students are also expected to have a GPA of at least 'A-' and demonstrate satisfactory work as a teaching assistant. If the faculty have serious doubts about a student's ability to work for the Ph.D., they convey this to the student. During the subsequent Spring Quarter, the faculty formally decide by vote whether a student should be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. or offered an extension. In cases of extension of pre-candidacy, a clear plan is developed for the student, and a reassessment completed within two academic quarters.

If a student goes to the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University or the Inter-University Center (IUC) for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama during the first two years of study, the department may consider an extension for admission to candidacy. The timing of the evaluation of a student admitted with an M.A. in East Asian Studies is decided on an individual basis.

Candidacy is a milestone different from the comprehensive exams, which are regularly held in the third year. Mastery of the field exams is not to be equated with the potential for doing research. Admission to candidacy indicates that the department faculty consider the student qualified to pursue a program of study leading to the Ph.D.

For more information regarding the application process and eligibility, please visit Stanford's Grad Admissions webpage.

 Applicants must apply online through our University website: Stanford Graduate Admissions: Starting Your Application.