Regional Studies–East Asia (RSEA) is a vibrant interdisciplinary master's degree program designed to educate students in the languages, societies, and cultures of East Asia. The RSEA program affords students interested in a professional career of engagement with East Asia an opportunity to pursue a flexible and varied course of instruction related to their career interests. It also serves the needs of students who wish to enter a PhD program but require further background training in the field of East Asian studies. The RSEA program prepares students for careers in higher education, politics, the military, journalism, international organizations, and the business and financial sectors.

RSEA dates back to 1946, when renowned China scholar John King Fairbank launched a full-time seminar leading to a master’s degree known as Regional Studies–China. The seminar was later expanded to include Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, and became the program known as Regional Studies–East Asia.

For three-quarters of a century, RSEA has transformed the field of East Asian Studies and produced over 1,700 alumni in all walks of life. Many of the RSEA program’s alumni have achieved distinction in academia and public service. 

Admissions Requirements

Admission to the RSEA AM program is highly competitive. Successful applicants will have demonstrated the potential for academic achievement at the graduate level. In evaluating applications, the RSEA admissions committee takes into consideration all elements of an applicant’s background. In particular, the statement of purpose should introduce the applicant's academic background and goals while describing a detailed plan of study in RSEA. Furthermore, each proposed plan of study is evaluated to assess the availability of suitable resources to provide adequate training and supervision to an applicant, if admitted. 

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

Regional Studies–East Asia provides more information including FAQs about admissions on their websiteGSAS Policies details the program’s academic requirements.

Regional Studies–East Asia Faculty