East Asian Studies (PhD)

Department Website

Program Description

The Department of East Asian Studies at New York University offers courses on China, Japan and Korea. The focus of the undergraduate program is primarily on language, history and literature and the way in which these three civilizations have interacted with the Western world to reconstitute received cultures into modern societies. By intensive study of Asian culture, the student is encouraged to reflect on the global interrelatedness of human society. At present, three language sequences are offered: a six-semester Chinese language sequence, a six-semester Japanese language sequence, and a six-semester Korean language sequence. Fourth-year study is also offered in all three languages. In addition, various courses in Asian culture are offered in the Program in East Asian Studies, while courses in history, politics, and art are available in other departments.

We also offer a doctoral and master’s program in East Asian Culture. The graduate program is concerned with culture, media, and questions of representation as they relate to the formation of East Asian societies such as China, Japan and Korea in modern times. Rather than pursue the practice of area studies in the traditional sense, the program is committed to a critical and, whenever possible interdisciplinary examination of East Asia’s modernity in a global configuration. While the program will emphasize how received pasts interact in the modern present of these societies, the principal emphasis will be on the question of modernity in search of its own historicity as both an historical and theoretical problematic.


All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) are required to submit the general application requirements, which include:

See East Asian Studies for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.