Graduate Division

East Asian Studies Ph.D.

Section 1


Our graduate curriculum enables students to gain familiarity with current scholarly questions concerning East Asian literatures and cultures. Students acquire advanced research knowledge of one East Asian language and sometimes reading knowledge of a second foreign language as needed. They select a specialization and may in addition select an emphasis, which add a special dimension to scholarly training and broaden students' marketability as teachers in institutes of higher learning.

  • Specializations: Chinese, Japanese, or East Asian Cultural Studies
  • Emphases: Asian American Studies, Critical Theory, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Translation Studies, and Visual Studies.

What Sets Us Apart?

  • Strong faculty research: Our faculty have expertise in a variety of fields such as cultural studies, intellectual history, literary studies, film and visual studies, environmental studies, and religious studies. We have published widely and won prestigious grants and fellowships.
  • Close interaction with faculty: Our students meet frequently with their advisor and the graduate faculty director and can easily set up independent reading and research courses with faculty.
  • Emphasis on transnational approach: We emphasize a transnational approach to the study of east Asia. Students have pursued such cross-border dissertation projects as Japanese literature written by Korean and Taiwanese authors, Korean travellers in Japan and Germany, and Sino-Korean coproduction of popular culture.
  • Close collaboration with other departments: We maintain close ties with other units in the School. Our affiliated faculty members come from History, Art History, Comparative Literature, Gender and Sexuality Studies and Asian American studies. They frequently serve on Ph.D. committees for our students.
  • Support for pedagogy training: Our students teach both language and content courses under the supervision of faculty and lecturers. They also have the opportunity to take a graduate pedagogy course (offered every year and with practicum).
  • Track record in job placements: When students go on the job market, faculty conduct multiple mock interviews, practice class instructions and help with crafting teaching philosophy. Our placement results speak for themselves: 75% of our graduates hold faculty positions, of which 75% are tenure-track.

Quick Facts

Program Type

Doctoral Program

Normative Time to Degree

7 years

Capstone Type


Accordion Section

Admissions Requirements

In addition to meeting the general requirements for admission to graduate study at UCI, specified by UCI Graduate Division, all students must present the following for review by an Admission Committee composed of East Asian Studies faculty members:

Unofficial transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended

  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Personal history statement and statement of purpose
  • TOEFL or IELTS scores (if applicable)
  • Writing sample
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (from within the last 5 years)

Although the Department does not require entering students to have received an undergraduate degree comparable to its own, it recommends as much preparation in an East Asian language as possible. The Department also welcomes applications from students whose language training may not be as extensive but who have shown promise in the study of related disciplines. The study of another appropriate language is encouraged as well.

For more information, please refer to the APPLICATION PROCESS.

Financial Support


The amount of teaching any candidate may do will depend upon the availability of teaching assistantships and the maximum limit of 12 quarters of appointments before the qualifying examination and 18 quarters of total teaching support. (Both are campus-wide limits.) Appointments are made on the basis of academic progress and performance as a teacher at the university level as well as funding. All other considerations being equal, students making normal progress toward the degree have a more compelling claim to support than those who do not. For instance, although students can receive up to 18 quarters of support, priority is normally given to those who have not yet used 12 quarters.

Renewal of an appointment is contingent upon satisfactory teaching performance, a good academic record, and funding.

The Department discourages students from assuming other jobs while holding teaching assistantships.Students who hold fellowships are not permitted to take other jobs. Only exceptionally can students enroll less than full time after advancement to candidacy.

In addition, it is NOT possible to teach (as a lecturer) at another UC campus while enrolled at UCI.

Students can expect program support to drop off after the completion of the qualifying examinations. Students at this stage become eligible for a variety of fellowships granted by outside agencies, and for TA ships offered by the Humanities Core Course. The program will do its utmost to assist students in locating and applying for these awards, but students should also take the initiative to locate opportunities on their own.

Financial Support within UCI:

Apart from teaching assistantships, there are a number of other awards that support the graduate program. Chancellor's Irvine, Regents', Cota Robles and Humanities Pre-Doctoral Fellowships can be awarded to entering students. Students who are advanced to candidacy and are working on their dissertations are eligible for an In-Candidacy Fee Offset Grant through their eighteenth quarter of registration. These students may also apply for one-quarter Regents’ Dissertation Fellowships, Humanities Dissertation Fellowships and Summer Dissertation Fellowships. Humanities Research Grants, which are awarded for specific research projects, are also available for continuing students. These grants are usually awarded for summer travel. Through the Diversity Fellowship Program, the University offers the Faculty Mentor Program Fellowship and the President’s Dissertation Fellowship. The Humanities Research Institute offers fellowship opportunities for advanced UC graduate students to work in collaboration on interdisciplinary topics.

Humanities Research Institute UC Graduate Student Fellowships
UC Pacific Rim Research Program

Tuition & Fees

Graduate/Credential Student Fees 2019-20

  Fall 2019 Winter 2020 Spring 2020 Annual
Student Services Fee 376.00 376.00 376.00 1,128.00
Tuition 3,814.00 3,814.00 3,814.00 11,442.00
Assoc. Grad Students Fee 9.00 9.00 9.00 27.00
Student Center Fee 139.69 139.69 139.68 419.06
Bren Events Center Fee 23.00 23.00 23.00 69.00
Recreation Center Fee 88.00 88.00 88.00 264.00
Document Fee * 80.00 0.00 0.00 80.00
Student Health Insurance 1,459.18 1,459.18 1,459.18 4,377.54
Total California Resident $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.87 $ 5,908.86 $ 17,726.60
Nonresident Supplemental Tuition 5,034.00 5,034.00 5,034.00 15,102.00
Total Nonresident $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.87 $ 10,942.86 $ 32,828.60


Posted 12 July 2019 at

The tuition, fees, and charges posted to your billing statement or account are estimates based on currently approved amounts. These figures may not be final. Actual tuition, fees, and charges are subject to change by the Regents of the University of California and could be affected by increases or reductions in State funding, or other developments. Accordingly, final approved levels (and thus your final balance due) may differ from the amounts shown.

* The Document Fee provides lifetime access to official transcripts and academic verifications without a fee for in-person pickup or delivery by USPS. In addition, there is no fee for mailing the initial diploma. Effective Fall 2018, new undergraduate, professional, and graduate students are assessed the one-time document fee. Eligible students are able to use financial aid to cover the Document Fee.

Core Faculty

Jessica Chen, M.A. California State University, Long Beach, Lecturer of Chinese

Hyunju Choe, M.A. University of Utah, Lecturer of Korean

Chungmoo Choi, Ph.D. Indiana University, Associate Professor of Korean Culture; Religious Studies (modern Korea, postcolonial and colonial discourse, popular culture, anthropology)

Ryuko Flores, M.A. University of California, Los Angeles, Lecturer of Japanese

Michael A. Fuller, Ph.D. Yale University, Professor of East Asian Studies; Chinese; Religious Studies (Chinese poetry and poetics, the cultural and intellectual contexts for poetry, aesthetic theory, linguistic issues in classical Chinese)

Ruohmei Hsieh, M.A. State University of New York at Stony Brook, Academic Coordinator and Lecturer of Chinese

Hu Ying, Ph.D. Princeton University, Department Chair and Professor of Chinese; Comparative Literature (narrative literature, translation theory, feminist theory)

Martin W. Huang, Ph.D. Washington University, Professor of Chinese (narrative theories and traditional Chinese fiction)

Hyun Young Chung Hyun, M.A. Yonsei University, Academic Coordinator and Lecturer of Korean

Kyung Hyun Kim, Ph.D. University of Southern California, Professor of Korean Culture; Asian American Studies; Film and Media Studies; Visual Studies (East Asian cinema, modern Korea, critical theory)

Susan B. Klein, Ph.D. Cornell University, Professor of Japanese; Religious Studies (premodern and modern theater and dance, Japanese religions, feminist critical theory)

Margherita Long, Ph.D. Princeton University, Associate Professor of Japanese; Comparative Literature (Japanese literature and film; ecocriticism; peace activism; feminist theory; eco-documentary)

Ayako Nagai, Ph.D. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Lecturer of Japanese

Ying Y. Petersen, Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, Lecturer of Chinese

Hidemi Riggs, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Academic Coordinator and Lecturer of Japanese

Bert Scruggs, Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania, Associate Professor of Chinese (Taiwan studies, environmental studies, postcolonial studies)

Eiko Sithi-Amnuai, M.A. University of Sydney, Lecturer of Japanese

Serk Bae Suh, Ph.D. University of California, Los Angeles, Associate Professor of Korean (modern Korean literature)

Elizabeth Tinsley, Ph.D. Otani University, Assistant Professor of Buddhist Studies (Buddhism in East Asia, Japanese Buddhism, East Asian Religions, Buddhist Visual and Textual Cultures, Visual Theory)

Academic Data

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Career Outcomes

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