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Regional Studies–East Asia

The flexible nature of this program allows you to create your own curriculum in areas as wide-ranging as Japanese translation, East Asian politics, or Chinese archaeology.

You will choose your courses across disciplines and fields to fit your academic plans while working with leading academics. You will be able to access the vast resources of the Harvard Library system, including the Harvard Yenching Library and the Fung Library.

Examples of student academic papers include “David and Goliath? How China Envisions the Role of Small States in an Era of Great Power Competition,” “PROJECT TERRA: U.S.-China-led Global Energy Diplomacy for Climate Change,” and “Space Read, Made, and Played: Maps in Japanese Video Games in the Twenty-First Century.”

With over 1,400 living alumni, the program has a presence in many academic institutions around the world, including Harvard University, Peking University, and Yonsei University. Others have gone into non-academic positions as ambassadors and diplomats in the United States, Japan, and Italy; some in the military, business, media, and financial industry, and even a symphony in France.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from Regional Studies–East Asia and requirements for the degree are detailed in Policies.

Areas of Study

China | Japan | Korea | Multiple Countries

Admissions Requirements

Please review admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from Regional Studies–East Asia.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required and should not exceed 20 pages plus references. The writing sample must be in English and may be an academic paper you have previously submitted to a class, or a part of your senior thesis. The writing sample should focus on your proposed area of research and provide insight into your academic ability.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should introduce the applicant's academic background and goals while describing a detailed plan of study in Regional Studies–East Asia.

Standardized Tests

GRE General: Required
iBT TOEFL minimum score: 100
IELTS minimum score: 7.5

Contacting Faculty

Applicants are asked to indicate in their application three Harvard faculty members whose work is closely related to their own interests. Applicants do not need to contact any member of the faculty.


See list of Regional Studies–East Asia faculty


Degrees Offered


Questions about the Program?

Department of Regional Studies–East Asia