The graduate program in the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations offers the PhD in East Asian Languages and Civilizations in the principal fields of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean literature; Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Inner Asian history (including Tibet); East Asian Buddhism; and East Asian arts, film, and cultural studies. In addition, the program also offers the PhD in history and East Asian languages (HEAL) in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and Inner Asian history, and in the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Manchu, Mongolian, and Vietnamese languages; faculty also offer literary Tibetan in the Department of South Asian Studies.

For those interested in pursuing a master's degree, the Committee on Regional Studies–East Asia offers an AM in Regional Studies–East Asia. More information on the PhD in history with a special field in East Asian history is available from the Department of History

Harvard Resources

Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies
Harvard Art Museums
Harvard University Asia Center
Harvard-Yenching Institute
Harvard-Yenching Library
The Korea Institute
Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

Admissions Requirements

In evaluating applications, faculty consider proven academic excellence, the extent of appropriate language training and prior experience in East Asia, letters of recommendation, writing ability (as demonstrated by a writing sample no longer than 20 pages), and GRE scores, together with the student’s own statement of purpose and proposed subject of study. No student can be admitted unless it is felt there is a faculty member who can provide adequate training and supervision.

For those seeking the PhD in East Asian languages and civilizations, the admissions committee gives strong preference to applicants who achieved distinction in their undergraduate or graduate work, and who are adequately prepared to meet the language requirements of the doctorate. The PhD in history and East Asian languages is designed to accommodate the needs of students who desire a more language-intensive program of study of East Asian history. Candidates are expected to have demonstrated special aptitude and competence for advanced work in East Asian history. Admission will be based primarily on distinction in undergraduate or graduate work, including evidence of high achievement in history or related fields, and evidence of adequate preparation in one of the East Asian languages.

Students considering applying to the program may find it beneficial to establish direct contact with faculty prior to applying and are welcome to make a visit to Cambridge to see the campus, its resources, and to meet with faculty. 

More information on choosing a PhD program is available from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and the GSAS Student Handbook details program requirements.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for East Asian Languages and Civilizations

East Asian Languages and Civilizations Faculty