Asian Studies

Master of Arts (in Asian Studies)
Master of Arts (in Asian Cultures and Languages)
Doctor of Philosophy (in Asian Cultures and Languages)

For More Information

Campus address: Will C. Hogg Building (WCH) 4.134, phone (512) 471-5811, fax (512) 471-4469; campus mail code: G9300

Mailing address: The University of Texas at Austin, Graduate Program, Department of Asian Studies, 120 Inner Campus Drive G9300, Austin TX 78712

URL: http://liberalarts.utexas.edu/asianstudies/

Facilities for Graduate Work

Asian materials are distributed throughout the University of Texas Libraries, including the Perry-Castañeda Library, the Fine Arts Library, the Benson Latin American Collection, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, and the Harry Ransom Center. Asian maps are located primarily in the Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection and the Geology Library.  

The Ransom Center houses one of the finest rare book and manuscript collections in North America.  Among its archives are items from the personal library of Sir William Jones, founder of the Asiatic Society; correspondence and manuscripts of novelist Paul Scott, Anita Desai, and Raja Rao; papers of Samuel Selvon and Nancy Wilson Ross; rare photographs attributed to Deen Dayal; and photo albums once owned by the Earl of Mayo. Sanskrit manuscripts from Dr. Patrick Olivelle were also added after he completed work on the Manavadharmasastra. Within the manuscript and book collections acquired from Great Britain are numerous titles on the British Empire. Among the materials in the Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum are oral histories and policy papers related to Kashmiri politics, the Food for Peace Program, international relations with the subcontinent, and an extensive collection on the Vietnam War. The Benson Latin American Collection contains over 4,000 volumes that cover immigration from Asia to the Caribbean and South America, and the associated cultural phenomena of the diasporic communities.

Areas of Study

The Master of Arts with a major in Asian studies is an interdisciplinary degree with a regional concentration on East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), South Asia, or both. The degree is intended primarily for those preparing for careers in fields such as business, communication, government, information studies, law, the military, and teaching, or to prepare for further advanced study in another discipline or area studies program.

The Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees with a major in Asian cultures and languages are intended for students whose career objective is college or university teaching. For these degrees, students concentrate in Chinese, Hindi, Japanese, Korean, Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil, Telugu, or Urdu. 

There is considerable flexibility in meeting degree requirements. Each student, in consultation with the graduate advisor and faculty mentor, designs an individual program within the framework of the requirements given in Degree Requirements.

Graduate courses are offered regularly in the histories, cultures, religions, languages, and literatures of Asia. The study of these languages and cultures may also be included in programs leading to master’s or doctoral degrees in other disciplines.

Graduate Studies Committee

The following faculty members served on the Graduate Studies Committee (GSC) in the spring 2023 semester.

Manasicha Akepiyapornchai
Kamran Ali
Joel P Brereton
Kirsten Cather
Sung-Sheng Yvonne Chang
Indrani Chatterjee
Wenhong Chen
Adam John Clulow
Donald R Davis Jr
David J Eaton
Oliver Freiberger
Lalitha Gopalan
Sumit Guha
Kathleen M Higgins
Heather Anne Hindman
Madeline Y Hsu
Brian Hurley
Syed A Hyder
Ward W Keeler
Shanti Kumar
Janice Leoshko
Huaiyin Li
Xiaobo Lu
Patricia Maclachlan
Madhavi Mallapragada
A Azfar Moin
Youjeong Oh
Joseph P Olivelle
Robert M Oppenheim
Dalpat Singh Rajpurohit
Mark Ravina
Elizabeth Richmond-Garza
Sharmila Rudrappa
Rupert Snell
Joseph Straubhaar
Luke Christopher Waring
Alexandra K Wettlaufer

Admission Requirements

Master of Arts with a Major in Asian Studies

This program is intended for students who wish to acquire deeper knowledge in Asian studies and related language skills in order to pursue a career in business, government, nongovernmental organizations, or the like, or to prepare for further study in another discipline or area studies program. Successful applicants hold a bachelor’s degree, often in a related field, and have a strong interest in China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, or some combination of these. Since they will specialize in one of these geographic areas and study at least one language of that area to an advanced level, previous language training is highly recommended. Those who apply to the program without language training may complete first- and second-year college level language coursework after they are admitted, but these courses will not count toward the semester hours required for the master’s degree. 

Master of Arts / Doctor of Philosophy with a Major in Asian Cultures and Languages

This program is intended for students who wish to obtain a doctorate in order to pursue an academic career in the study of China, Japan, Korea, or South Asia. They may apply to enter the program with a bachelor’s degree in area studies or a related field. Most applicants will have knowledge of an Asian language before applying for admission. Students without this knowledge but whose applications are otherwise outstanding may also be accepted into the program. Students may complete first- and second-year college level language coursework after they are admitted, but these courses will not count toward the credit hours required for their master’s and doctoral degrees. Successful applicants holding only a bachelor’s degree will initially be enrolled in the master of arts program, with the expectation that after obtaining the master’s degree they will continue their study in the doctoral phase of the program. Applicants who already hold a master’s degree in a related field may be admitted directly to the doctoral phase of the program. Such applicants normally have an advanced level of proficiency in the language and graduate-level coursework in the area of their specialization.