Jun 16, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2017-19 [Archived Catalog]

Asian Studies - MA

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by Academic Unit

Degree Title: Master of Arts

Program Name and Number: Asian Studies - MA4216

Department/Unit: Center for International Studies

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Terms of Entry: [Fall]

Program Learning Objectives:

  • Students will have broad familiarity with Asia’s geographic, historical and cultural variety;
  • Students will acquire language competency in of the various Asian language courses offered by the program;
  • Students will acquire methodological and theoretical skills necessary to conduct research on Asia;
  • Students will be prepared to investigate and analyze critically the social and political issues of Asia;
  • Students will be able to conduct independent research projects focusing on Asian content;
  • Students will be prepared to communicate Asian issues orally and in writing in a professional manner.

Program Overview:  The Asian Studies Program at Ohio University offers students the opportunity to pursue a Master’s degree or a Master’s certificate in Asian Studies. As an inter-disciplinary program, the Asian Studies Program provides students with a strong grounding in the traditional Asian Studies core disciplines (including political science, anthropology, history, geography, language) while giving them the opportunity to tailor their course of study that supports their passion for Asia and prepares them to fulfill their professional and academic goals. As students pursue coursework and research projects that will ensure they succeed academically and professionally they will benefit from the experience and academic distinction of our dedicated faculty and from the diverse academic and professional resources the Center of International Studies and Ohio University have to offer.

Concentrations: Within the Asian Studies program, students have the opportunity to pursue one of three tracks: East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Transnational Asia.

Opportunities for Graduates: Graduates of the Asian Studies program have gone on to pursue career opportunities throughout the world in politics, foreign service, government and non-governmental organizations, and international development agencies, as well as teaching and research.

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/global/cis/asian/index.cfm

Graduation Requirements: Students are required to complete a minimum of 48 total credit hours. The curriculum for the M.A. in Asian Studies consists of  Core Requirements (a minimum of 28 credit hours) and Specialization Requirements (a minimum of 20 credit hours). Core requirements include 1) Introduction to Asian Studies, 2) language competency, 3) research methodology, 4) capstone project.  Specialization requirements are comprised of a minimum of 12 hours of core courses in one the three main tracks (East Asia, Southeast Asia, Transnational Asia), and a minimum of 8 credit hours in elective courses.  Students also have the option to seek out an internship or field study for 4 hours of credit. This should be done in consultation with the program director.

Core Requirements

  1. Introduction to Asian Studies* - 4 credits
  2. Asian language requirement** - 8 credits
  3. Research method course*** - 4 credits
  4. Thesis/Professional Project Option: INST 6940 or 6950
    Non-Thesis Option: Asian electives and a comprehensive examination - 10 credits

* Students can take either Introduction to Southeast Asian Studies (INST 5200), or East Asia in World Politics (POLS 5440).

** Students are required to complete two years of an Asian language of their choice, but only 8 credit hours are counted toward graduation. Students who are eligible for the Asian language requirement waiver are encouraged to study another regional language, although they may opt to take Asian electives instead. The decision should be made in consultation with both the program director and their advisor.

*** Students can choose from a number of qualitative or quantitative courses. All methodology courses must be pre-approved by the director.

Specialization Requirements:

Choose one specialization from the following: 


Southeast Asia

East Asia

Transnational Asia



Southeast Asia core courses

East Asia core courses

Thematic courses*



Asia electives

Asia electives

Asia electives


* Transnational Asia Specialization: choose a thematic field of study from the following and take a minimum of 12 hours in the field of choice:

  • Arts, Popular Culture and the Media
  • Gender, Ethnicity and Religion
  • Globalization, Conflict and Social Change

Students can also develop their own themes, in consultation with their advisor.


Culminating Experience: A capstone project will be due in the final semester of the program. The capstone can take the format of a comprehensive exam, professional project, or a thesis.

  1. Comprehensive Exam: The examination permits a final synthesis, asking students to relate course work, research skills and literature. It is a final review of the student’s progress and an opportunity for students to draw together their disciplines. One of the major purposes of the comprehensive is, in fact, to cause the student to reflect upon the interdisciplinary dimensions of their program. Three possible overall results may emerge from the exam; Pass, Partial Pass where the student will have to follow-up with an oral exam; and Fail.
  2. Professional Project:The Professional Project is an exercise that demonstrates a student’s professional skills relevant to Asia. In this option, each student develops an individual project under the guidance of a faculty member. This faculty person acts as the chair of the student’s committee, which is composed of two additional faculty members. The student will conduct independent research and collect information from primary sources as necessary to carry out the project. The end product of a professional project should be a concise work of a quality suited to current professional standards – for example, a paper to be submitted for publication in a scholarly or professional journal or a grant proposal – as judged by the student’s committee. Students choosing to do a Professional Project are required to take a research methods course or its equivalent in their first year of study.
  3. Thesis: Students who wish to pursue this option should see the program director early in their first semester to discuss the possibilities and also consult the Electronic Thesis Guidelines provided by the Graduate College http://www.ohiou.edu/graduate/etd.htm

Admission Requirements: In addition to university admission requirements of a minimum of a 4-year bachelor’s degree and a TOEFL of 80+ for non-native English speakers, students need to also submit;

  1. A Resume or CV
  2. A personal statement or statement of purpose: Should speak to your career goals and how the program fits into that
  3. An autobiographical sketch: Should highlight your experiences and how they influenced your decision to apply to the program
  4. 3 letters of recommendation: Should be academic references.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs of Study by Academic Unit