Master of Arts in Asian Studies (MA)

Overview

UBC's Asian Studies Department is the flagship Asian Studies department in Canada and is widely acknowledged as one of the finest in North America. The Department awards a thesis-based MA in Asian Studies to students working in a variety of regions and disciplines.

The department boasts over 20 graduate faculty, as well as a many tenure-track instructors and lecturers with wide-ranging expertise. Our more than 60 graduate students specialize in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and South Asian Studies and craft individual programs within and across various humanities disciplines, including linguistics, literary study, history, philosophy, religious studies, and popular and visual culture. The Department offers instruction in the following languages: Cantonese, Modern and Classical Chinese, Hindi/Urdu, Modern and Classical Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, and Sanskrit.

The department is a hub for research activities related to Asia, including large collaborative projects, multiple lecture series and workshops, and professional development opportunities, which provide students ample opportunities to develop their expertise, pursue their interests, and develop professional connections with scholars from around the world. It also regularly hosts postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars. The program offers a range of funding opportunities and support for research activities.

What makes the program unique?

In addition to our strengths in language and literary studies, the Asian Studies Department stands out for the geographic and disciplinary breadth of its faculty. It offers a range of coursework, from specialized research seminars to comparative Pan-Asian, methodological and professional development courses, drawing on the diversity of faculty and student specializations.

The UBC Library is the second-largest research library in Canada and the Asian Library boasts one of the finest Asian collections in North America, with a particular strength in East Asian materials. 

Quick Facts

Degree
Master of Arts
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Asian Studies
Program Components
Coursework + Thesis required
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

90
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Funding Sources

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

We encourage all applicants to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund your graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

In addition to scholarships and awards, applicants may be eligible to apply for financial aid or other benefits in the form of loans, bursaries, tax credits, or similar.

Career Options

Students pursuing the MA degree have gone on to top-ranked PhD programs around the world; others have put their skills to use in public service, education, journalism, translation, publishing, museums and cultural education, consulting, and business.

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

These statistics show data for the Master of Arts in Asian Studies (MA). Data are separated for each degree program combination. You may view data for other degree options in the respective program profile.

Enrolment Data

 20192018201720162015
Applications7075544346
Offers142111815
New registrations59977
Total enrolment2326262424

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 80.56% based on 36 students admitted between 2009 - 2012. Based on 24 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 0.99 years and the maximum time is 5.00 years with an average of 2.48 years of study. All calculations exclude leave times.
Disclaimer
Admissions data refer to all UBC Vancouver applications, offers, new registrants for each year, May to April [data updated: 10 March 2020]. Enrolment data are based on March 1 snapshots. Program completion data are only provided for datasets comprised of more than 4 individuals. Rates and times of completion depend on a number of variables (e.g. curriculum requirements, student funding), some of which may have changed in recent years for some programs [data updated: 27 October 2019].

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Ahmed, Rumee (Islam,Muslims,law,theology,Quran,Koran )
  • Bailey, C. D. Alison (pre-modern literature, specifically fiction and literary criticism)
  • Baker, Donald Leslie (Cultural and religious history of Korea)
  • Chen, Jinhua (East Asian state-church relationships, monastic (hagio/)biographical literature, Buddhist sacred sites, relic veneration, Buddhism and technological innovation in medieval China, and Buddhist translations)
  • Chiu-Duke, Josephine (History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, Chinese and Taiwanese history, political thought and institutions, liberal democracy)
  • Duffy, Kay Jane (Literary or Artistic Works Analysis, Literary or Artistic Work Dissemination or Reception Contexts, Social Determinants of Arts and Letters, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Premodern Chinese Literature, Early Medieval China, Sinographic Sphere)
  • Fulton, Bruce (Literary translation, Modern Korean fiction, women)
  • Hur, Nam-Lin (Japanese, cultural foundations, religion, international relations)
  • King, Ross (Korean linguistics, dialectology,language pedagogy, history of language )
  • Laffin, Christina (Arts, Literature and Subjectivity, History of Major Eras, Great Civilisations or Geographical Corpuses, premodern Japanese literature, medieval Japanese history, women's writing, Japanese women's history, travel writing, autobiography, Japanese poetry, Literacy, socialization, wet nursing, narratology)
  • Li, Duanduan (Chinese linguistics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics, Chinese language and culture, second language acquisition, language socialization, Chinese heritage language education, bilingualism and multilingualism, Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics, Multilingualism, Second Language Acquisition, Heritage language Teaching and Learning, Language Socialization, Research Methodology, Technology in Language Teaching, Language Teaching Material, Development, Chinese Applied Linguistics)
  • Lynn, Hyung Gu (South Korea, North Korea, Japan, politics, economics, popular culture, society, international relations, Korea and Japan, ranging in chronological coverage from the late-19th century to the present, and in subject matter from international relations to contemporary popular culture)
  • Main, Jessica (Buddhism, Ethics, and Human Rights; Modern Buddhist Institutions, Law, and Governance; Buddhists and Buddhist Institutions Active in Modern Society: Social Welfare; Healthcare and Healing; Protest Movements; Rehabilitation, Incarceration and Corrections; Youth Culture, Physical Culture, and Scouting; Modern Japanese Religions and Society; Japanese True Pure Land Buddhism)
  • Mostow, Joshua Scott (Inter-relations between text and image, especially in Japanese culture, Japanese women)
  • Murphy, Anne (Arts and Cultural Traditions, Religion, Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Philosophy, History and Comparative Studies, cultural history, Early Modern Studies, Punjabi Studies, South Asian Studies)
  • Nosco, Peter (17th-18th century Japan construction of individuality and individual identity during the early modern Tokugawa period)
  • Oberoi, Harjot Singh (South asia, how classical empires shaped the British Raj in India, critical theory, the formation of private libraries, law and society, transnational cultures, and complex systems)
  • Orbaugh, Sharalyn (modern Japanese culture (literature, film, manga, animation, kamishibai); East Asian women’s issues; anti-racist pegagogy, Japanese narrative and visual culture)
  • Rea, Christopher (Modern Chinese literature and cinema since the 19th century, Chinese cartoons and visual culture, Chinese print and popular culture, Chinese internet culture, humour and satire, Taiwan, Chinese culture, modern Chinese history, translation )
  • Rusk, Bruce (Literary or Artistic Work Analysis, Social Determinants of Arts and Letters, Arts and Cultural Traditions, Exegesis and Sacred Text Critics, Lexicography and Dictionaries, Early Modern China, Confucianism, Authentication Studies)
  • Sathaye, Adheesh (early medieval Sanskrit drama, aesthetics, and narrative literature; Sanskrit epics, Marathi devotional performance traditions, and theories of textual production, performance, and folkloristics; South Asian folklore, narrative theory, and cultural studies)
  • Shakya, Tsering (confluence of politics, ethno-national identity and religious practice in cultural production and social transformation across both historical and contemporary Tibet and the Himalayas; contemporary minority policy and social media in the PRC.)
  • Shin, Leo (Later imperial China)

Pages

Sample Thesis Submissions

Further Program Information

 
 
 

Supervisor Search

 

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