The most comprehensive collection of East Asian resources outside of China, a host of East Asian specific centers, a wide-ranging curriculum that covers more disciplines than other universities, and one of the largest and most esteemed East Asian studies faculties are just some of the reasons for choosing this program. You will gain access to the resources at the Harvard-Yenching Library, the Fairbanks Center for Chinese Studies, the Korea Institute, the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies, and the Asia Center. Your multidisciplinary curriculum will include the study of East Asian history, literature, religion, philosophy, and language.

Examples of theses that students have submitted include “Du Fu: Poet Historian, Poet Sage,” “Southern Capital: Staging Commerce in Seventeenth-Century Suzhou,” and “The Qing Invention of Nature: Environment and Identity in Northeast China and Mongolia 1750–1850.”

Graduates have launched academic careers at institutions in the United States (including Princeton University, Yale University, Columbia University, UC Berkeley, UCLA, Cornell University, the University of Chicago, Harvard University), Canada, Europe, Australia, and East Asia (China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Hong Kong). Others have secured positions as museum curators, in IT, and in non-profit cultural organizations.

Additional information on the graduate program is available from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations and requirements for the degree are detailed in GSAS Policies.

Admissions Requirements

Please review GSAS admissions requirements and other information before applying. You can find degree program-specific admissions requirements below and access additional guidance on applying from the Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations.

Academic Background

Applicants should have evidence of high achievement in history or related fields and evidence of adequate preparation in one of the East Asian languages. No student can be admitted unless it is felt a faculty member can provide adequate training and supervision.

Writing Sample

A writing sample is required and should pertain to your desired area of focus and demonstrate your ability to use and cite both primary and secondary sources skillfully. It should be no longer than 25 pages in length. If your writing sample is an excerpt from a longer piece of work, such as a thesis, you may include a brief abstract to provide context.

Statement of Purpose

The statement of purpose should be focused, informative, and convey your research interests and qualifications. You should provide a vivid picture of your intellectual profile: how you formulate research topics, how you pursue them, and how you articulate any interesting findings. It is important to emphasize how these experiences have influenced both your decision to undertake graduate study and your goals within the EALC/HEAL graduate program. You should also indicate which faculty members you are interested in working with, should you be admitted to the program. A typical length is 1 to 3 pages.

Contacting Faculty

Applicants 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.

Theses & Dissertations

Theses & Dissertations for East Asian Languages and Civilizations

East Asian Languages and Civilizations Faculty