Master's Degree in East Asian Languages & Cultures

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures at the University of Kansas is the only department in Kansas offering a regular program of instruction in the languages, literatures, and cultures of East Asia.  Students in the Master's Degree program in EALC study under close supervision with nationally known scholars of Chinese, Japanese, and Korean.  The graduate program trains students who will devote themselves to becoming effective links between the Far East and the United States.

Students concentrate in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or East Asian Cultures, usually entering the program with at least two years of college-level language. The program typically takes two years to complete, and now includes a Thesis option and a Portfolio option.  Further details regarding pre-requisites and requirements for degree may be found on our M.A. Degree page.

The department also offers a joint J.D./M.A. degree in cooperation with the KU School of Law.

If you completed a Bachelor’s degree and wish to take an upcoming graduate-level course in the department, you may apply as a non-degree-seeking (NDS) student.


EALC Graduate Student Handbook (PDF)

List of Master's Thesis Titles from EALC Graduates (PDF)

KU Office of Graduate Studies

KU College Office of Graduate Affairs

Departmental & Thesis Advising

During the first year of coursework, students choose a faculty member to be their Faculty/Thesis advisor and who will eventually serve as the exam/thesis committee chair.  A thesis advisor may be a faculty member in another department who is a specialist in East Asian Studies.

All M.A. students in the department will also work closely with the department Director of Graduate Studies, Keith McMahon, who will advise on the selection of coursework in the chosen degree track, make recommendations on choosing and generally developing a thesis topic, conducting research and writing a thesis/research papers. 

Directed Readings Courses

Directed Readings courses are designed for students who have exhausted all relevant, regular course offerings in a particular subject area and have a project to propose for independent study. A Directed Readings course is one in which a faculty member supervises a student's independent study project, typically the topic of the student's Master's thesis or research papers.

Mentoring for Graduate Teaching Assistants

GTAs teaching language sequence courses receive close mentoring designed to provide support for the teaching assistant and raise the quality of instruction in the department.  Language instruction GTAs in the department may be required to enroll each semester in a 1 hour practicum course in their target language;

  • EALC 701 Practicum in Teaching Chinese
  • EALC 702 Practicum in Teaching Japanese
  • EALC 703 Practicum in Teaching Korean

The faculty mentor leading the course will work closely with the GTA on applicable second language acquisition theories and principles of foreign language pedagogy and focus on enhancing teaching methodologies, instructional techniques, and development of pedagogical materials.