Doctor of Philosophy in Asian Studies (PhD)

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 PhD 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. In addition to the guaranteed four years of funding to all PhD students, 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
Doctor of Philosophy
Subject
Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
Mode of delivery
On campus
Registration options
Full-time
Specialization
Asian Studies
Program Components
Dissertation
Faculty
Faculty of Arts

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Program Enquiries

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

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

Deadline Details

Application Deadline

Deadline to submit online application. No changes can be made to the application after submission.

Transcript Deadline

Deadline to upload scans of official transcripts through the applicant portal in support of a submitted application. Information for accessing the applicant portal will be provided after submitting an online application for admission.

Referee Deadline

Deadline for the referees identified in the application for admission to submit references. See Letters of Reference for more information.

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2019
Canadian Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 30 November 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2019
International Applicants
Application Deadline: 30 November 2019
Transcript Deadline: 30 November 2019
Referee Deadline: 15 December 2019

Funding Sources

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Career Outcomes

30 students graduated between 2005 and 2013: 1 graduate is seeking employment; 1 is in a non-salaried situation; for 4 we have no data (based on research conducted between Feb-May 2016). For the remaining 24 graduates:


RI (Research-Intensive) Faculty: typically tenure-track faculty positions (equivalent of the North American Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor positions) in PhD-granting institutions
TI (Teaching-Intensive) Faculty: typically full-time faculty positions in colleges or in institutions not granting PhDs, and teaching faculty at PhD-granting institutions
Term Faculty: faculty in term appointments (e.g. sessional lecturers, visiting assistant professors, etc.)
Sample Employers in Higher Education
Simon Fraser University (2)
University of Lethbridge
Montana State University
City University of Hong Kong
Miyazaki Sangyokeiei University
SUNY New Paltz
Augustana College
Oita University
University of Macau
University of York
Sample Job Titles Outside Higher Education
Independent Scholar
PhD Career Outcome Survey
You may view the full report on career outcomes of UBC PhD graduates on outcomes.grad.ubc.ca.
Disclaimer
These data represent historical employment information and do not guarantee future employment prospects for graduates of this program. They are for informational purposes only. Data were collected through either alumni surveys or internet research.
Career Options

Recent PhDs in Asian Studies have landed postdoctoral fellowships and academic positions at institutions across the globe, including teaching positions at the Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Victoria, Lethbridge, and Winnipeg in Canada; University of Cincinnati, Harvard, Stanford, SUNY New Paltz, and the University of Montana, in the US; and York (UK), Ritsumeikan (Japan), and the University of Indonesia.

 

Tuition / Program Costs

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$104.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,665.26$2,925.58
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$4,995.78$8,776.74
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. 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

Enrolment Data

 20182017201620152014
Applications5045272224
Offers159597
New registrations75563
Total enrolment4238393939

Completion Rates & Times

This program has a graduation rate of 57.14% based on 21 students admitted between 2006 - 2009. Based on 14 graduations between 2015 - 2018 the minimum time to completion is 4.00 years and the maximum time is 8.00 years with an average of 6.27 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: 22 March 2019]. 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].

Upcoming Doctoral Exams

Tuesday, 3 December 2019 - 9:00am - Room 203

Julie Vig
Participating in Other Worlds: Locating Gurbilas Literature in the Wider World of Brajbhasha Traditions

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 )
  • 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)
  • 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

Recent Doctoral Citations

  • Dr. Eunseon Kim
    "Dr. Kim asks what socio-historical contexts led to a linguistic understanding of the epithet 'Nation of Propriety in the East' for Korea. She traces the genealogy of representations of linguistic politeness, and examines how Koreans and non-Koreans constructed saturated cultural images of Korean honorifics." (May 2019)
  • Dr. Alexey Lushchenko
    "Dr. Lushchenko has shown how medieval historical texts were used to create guides to leadership in seventeenth-century Japan. He examined the content and context of several previously unstudied commentaries that offer advice to rulers on governance and ethics. His findings clarify new aspects of pre-modern statecraft, education, and scholarship." (November 2018)
  • Dr. Zeng Yang
    "Dr. Yang studied the life of an eighth-century Buddhist monk of mixed Indian and Sogdian descent. He illustrated how a religious system of Indian heritage was integrated into the state institutions in China. His work enriches our understanding of cross-Asian cultural exchange and the relationship between the state and Buddhist church in medieval times." (May 2018)
  • Dr. Clayton Howard Ashton
    "Dr. Ashton studied new historical texts to examine how theories of human psychology were used to design early political institutions. He demonstrated a correlation between the rise of China's first empire and the rituals that affect people's emotions. This research changes our understanding of early political and religious history." (November 2017)
  • Dr. JeongHye Son
    "Dr. Son examined the ways Koreans living in Japan transmit their Korean language to their children who were born in Japan. The study reveals Korean children are socialized into multiple perceptions of language and identities through everyday interactions with others. She highlights the relationship between their perceptions and identities and their language usage." (May 2017)
 

Apply Now

If you don't have a UBC Campus-Wide Login (CWL) please create an account first.
 

September 2020 Intake

Application Open Date
01 October 2019
Canadian Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019
International Applicant Deadline
30 November 2019
 

Supervisor Search

 

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