MA in Japanese Requirements

The Master of Arts in Japanese requires 36 units of graduate study in Japanese which may include courses from related fields, such as East Asian Studies and Comparative Literature. The course of study includes the following:

  1. Language proficiency through fourth level (Japan 458, 459) and two semesters of classical Japanese (Japan 460, 461). [No more than 12 units in Japanese language training may be applied toward the required 36 units. Students who enter with advanced proficiency in Japanese may be allowed to waive the language requirement but must enroll in additional program-related courses to meet the required total.] 
  2. At least two semesters of literary history courses to ensure a critical awareness of the broad scope of Japanese literature.
  3. At least one course in critical theory, methodology, or research methods, to be determined in consultation with advisor, and preferably taken early in the student's studies.
  4. One of the following three:
    • Students who plan to continue their academic training on the PhD level will have two options: complete a Master’s Essay or a Master’s Thesis. 
      1. The essay will be based on a research paper written for one of the student’s MA courses.  Students will be expected to revise the paper in consultation with the student’s advisor—lengthening to provide appropriate contexts and explanations—but also tightening, where necessary, to offer an incisive, analytical exploration of the topic.  Essays will range from 8,000 to 10,000 words or 34 to 40 pages.  Students who elect this option may choose to register for 3-units of Guided Readings (L05 599) and will graduate "Masters without thesis." Students will form a committee of three faculty members who will read the essay; the student will meet with the committee for a short oral defense of the essay.
      2. The second option allows students to complete a longer Master’s Thesis, under the direction of a Thesis Advisor.  Based on original research in an area of interest, the thesis generally runs at least 50 pages in length.  Upon completion of the thesis, students sit for a defense with three to four faculty members, chosen in consultation with the Thesis Advisor.  Students who elect this option may choose to register for 3-units of Master’s Thesis (L04 591 or L05 592) and will graduate "Masters with thesis."  Students writing a thesis must complete and return to the EALC office the Notice of Title, Scope, and Procedure form 6 months in advance of the intended graduation date.  For more information, see Master's Thesis Guidelines.
    • Students who do not plan to continue their academic training on the PhD level may opt to complete a comprehensive written examination focusing on two major areas to be determined by an advisory committee comprised of at least three faculty members. The examination is administered near the end of the candidate's term of study, and is followed by a short oral examination in which the student discusses with advisors his or her comprehensive examination.