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Applying to the Graduate Program

The application deadline for entry in 2025-26 is Tuesday, November 26, 2024, 11:59 pm PST, and the application, once open, will be available on the Stanford Graduate Admissions website in September 2024.

Graduate study at Stanford is offered in more than 60 departments and programs. Since you may submit only one application per academic year, it is essential that you carefully review the available programs. 

The H&S Dean's Office has composed a new resource for prospective graduate students, which provides helpful information to students who are considering graduate school: Guide on Getting into Grad School. If you are considering applying to Stanford graduate programs and need assistance with the application fees, consider applying for a fee waiver: Graduate Fee Waivers.

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

Please note:

  • GRE testing is not required for Admissions.
  • Students are required to send in official transcripts after receiving an offer of admission.
  • Final candidates may be contacted for Zoom interviews.

For inquiries regarding graduate admissions, please email asianlanguages [at] stanford.edu (subject: Grad%20Admissions%3A) (asianlanguages[at]stanford[dot]edu)

Stanford University Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible for admission to graduate programs at Stanford, applicants must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold before enrollment at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  • Applicants from institutions outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing.

See minimum level of study for International applicants

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures (EALC) welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. Review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and statements of purpose in order to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

English Language Proficiency

Adequate command of spoken and written English is required for admission. Evidence of adequate English proficiency must be submitted before enrollment is approved by Graduate Admissions.

TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) scores are required of all applicants whose first language is not English.

International students enrolled at Stanford must be able to read English with ease, understand rapid idiomatic English as used in lectures and group discussions, and express thoughts quickly and clearly in spoken and written English. Admission is offered only to students who are fully prepared in English or who have advanced intermediate proficiency in English that could be raised to the required level by enrollment in a summer intensive English program.

Stanford TOEFL Requirement Details

 

Applying to the Ph.D.

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 East Asian Languages and Cultures, 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 East Asian Languages and Cultures as an undergraduate, but must have had the equivalent of at least three years of training in the language in which they intend 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:

  • Chinese Literature and Culture
  • Chinese Linguistics
  • Chinese Archaeology
  • Japanese Literature and Culture
  • Japanese Linguistics
  • Korean Literature and Culture
  • Trans-Asian Studies

The EALC Department offers 5 years of 12-month funding to students who have been admitted into the Ph.D. program. Financial support is provided through a combination of fellowship, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships. While in the program, students are encouraged to seek outside funding/fellowships.

Application Requirements:

1.  Application Form
The application form is completed online through the University Graduate Admissions website.

2.  Application Fee
There is an application fee of $125. Fee waivers are available for eligible students.

3.  Statement of Purpose

4.  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The University sets the TOEFL score requirements, submission information, and waiver request which can be found on the University Graduate Admissions website.

5.  Official Transcripts
Transcripts are required from all prior college level schools attended for at least one year. A scanned copy of the official transcript is submitted as part of the online application. Please do not mail hard copy transcripts to the department at the time of application. We will contact you at a later date if we need an official transcript.   

6.  Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders must submit their letters through the online system and paper letters will not be accepted. In deciding whom to ask for letters of recommendation, give preference to people who have taught you and/or directed your research activities, or people who know you and your work well. Late letters may be submitted but we cannot guarantee review of materials received after the deadline. 

7.  Writing Sample
A writing sample is required, preferably in a related topic, but in any case something that displays your research abilities and writing skills. The writing sample should be approximately 15 pages in length and is also submitted with the online application. We do not accept any paper application materials. 

For more information regarding the application process and eligibility, please visit the University Graduate Admissions website.

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

Applying to the M.A.

Our department offers master's programs in Chinese and Japanese. All students contemplating application for admission to graduate study must have an undergraduate degree from an accredited university. The applicant need not have majored in East Asian Languages and Cultures 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:

  • Chinese Literature and Culture
  • Chinese Linguistics
  • Chinese Archaeology
  • Japanese Literature and Culture
  • Japanese Linguistics
  • Korean Literature and Culture
  • Trans-Asian Studies

The M.A. programs offered by the EALC Department each consist of 45 units and admitted students are expected to enroll in a minimum of 8 units per quarter. The average time-to-degree is 4.5 quarters (1 academic year and 1-2 quarters). Stanford tuition rates can be found on the Student Services website.

The EALC Department offers limited tuition fellowships to students who have been admitted into the M.A. program and encourages applicants to seek outside funding/fellowships.

Application Requirements:

1.  Application Form
The application form is completed online through the University Graduate Admissions website.

2.  Application Fee
There is an application fee of $125. Fee waivers are available for eligible students.

3.  Statement of Purpose

4.  Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
The University sets the TOEFL score requirements, submission information, and waiver request which can be found on the University Graduate Admissions website.

5.  Official Transcripts
Transcripts are required from all prior college level schools attended for at least one year. A scanned copy of the official transcript is submitted as part of the online application. Please do not mail hard copy transcripts to the department at the time of application. We will contact you at a later date if we need an official transcript.   

6.  Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation are required. Recommenders must submit their letters through the online system and paper letters will not be accepted. In deciding whom to ask for letters of recommendation, give preference to people who have taught you and/or directed your research activities, or people who know you and your work well. Late letters may be submitted but we cannot guarantee review of materials received after the deadline. 

7.  Writing Sample
A writing sample is required, preferably in a related topic, but in any case something that displays your research abilities and writing skills. The writing sample should be approximately 15 pages in length and is also submitted with the online application. We do not accept any paper application materials. 

For more information regarding the application process and eligibility, please visit the University Graduate Admissions website.

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

Knight Hennessy

Stanford Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Join dozens of Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences students who gain valuable leadership skills in a multidisciplinary, multicultural community as Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS).

KHS admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your studies at Stanford.

Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment.

If you aspire to be a leader in your field, we invite you to apply. The KHS application deadline is October 12, 2022. Learn more about KHS admission.