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

Requirements

TOEFL (ibT) Overall Score Requirement

90
22
21
22
21

IELTS Overall Score Requirement

6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

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$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,632.61$2,868.22
Tuition per year$4,897.83$8,604.66
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$930.14 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,884.10 (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. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Statistical Data

Enrolment Data

 20172016201520142013
Applications5443464241
Offers11815119
New registrations97767
Total enrolment2624242324

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 81.58% based on 38 students admitted between 2008 - 2011. Based on 22 graduations between 2014 - 2017 the minimum time to completion is 1.66 years and the maximum time is 5.00 years with an average of 2.70 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: 9 March 2018]. 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: 23 September 2018].

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.

  • 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 (Chinese and Taiwanese history, political thought, human rights, democracy, intellectuals)
  • 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 (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 (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 (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)
  • Slingerland, Edward (Asian Studies, Chinese philosophy, philosophy, religion, religion and conflict, secularism, spontaneity, ethics, science-humanities integration, interdisciplinarity, interdisciplinary research, Chinese thought, religious studies (comparative religion, cognitive science and evolution of religion), cognitive linguistics (blending and conceptual metaphor theory), ethics (virtue ethics, moral psychology), evolutionary psychology, the relationship between the humanities and the natural sciences, and the classical Chinese language)
  • Thobani, Sunera (Critical race, postcolonial and feminist theory )

Further Program Information

 
 

Program Information

Application Enquiries

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.