The IDMA is typically a two-year program. It is designed for students who have already had at least two years of Chinese or Japanese language study. A strong academic record is required, with evidence of course work in one or more of the disciplines of greatest interest. Finally, the applicant’s academic interests must be compatible with the expertise of the East Asian faculty at the University of Pittsburgh.

University of Pittsburgh Application

All applications are made with "Applyyourself." You may fill out an online application at this site.

Application Deadline

The deadline each year for submitting applications is January 15. Notification can be expected by the middle of March. The program admits students only for the Fall Term.

Application Fee

There is a $50 application fee, payable by credit card as part of the online application process.

Statement of Purpose

The IDMA application requires a statement of purpose of approximately 500-600 words in length.  For the essay, applicants are asked to choose one book that has influenced them in applying to the IDMA program. The essay should summarize its content, and critically analyze its impact on the applicant as a scholar. Through this exercise, you should aim to demonstrate evidence of intellectual curiosity, outline how you have engaged with a research problem in the past, or identify a question you would like to guide your research going forward. The applicant should bear in mind that autobiographical information has little relevance to the statement.

Transcripts of All Credits

An official transcript is required from each undergraduate (and graduate, if applicable) school attended (one copy of each transcript). The undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Three Letters of Recommendation

These letters should be written by professors with whom you have studied or worked. The letters must be written in English. The recommendation letters may be submitted via Applyyourself.

Writing Sample

In addition to the Statement of Purpose, applicants should submit a sample of scholarly writing, in English, of at least 10 double-spaced pages. This writing sample can be a class paper, a research report, or any other example of writing that displays the applicant's ability to write and do research. The bibliography or notes of this writing sample should show that the applicant is capable of finding resources appropriate for the chosen topic.

The writing sample should be included in the online application.

GRE Scores

For information concerning the GRE, contact the Educational Testing Services, Box 955, Princeton, NJ 08540, or the testing center of the school you are attending. Please have scores sent to the University of Pittsburgh (code #2927), Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures (code #2601).

TOEFL Scores

The TOEFL score of 90 (with at least a score of 22 in all of the four sections of speaking, listening, reading and writing) will be required for applicants. The required minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (with at least 6.5 in each of its four sections) will be required for applicants.

If you graduated from a U.S. institution of higher education with a bachelor's or master's degree, the TOEFL requirement is waived.

The code for the University of Pittsburgh is 2927. The department code is 29. Results must be sent directly to the University of Pittsburgh by the Educational Testing Service.

Additional Forms for International Applicants

Upon learning of your decision to our offer, we will forward your information to the Office of International Services (OIS). At that point, you will be contacted by OIS directly on how to submit your financial documentation. More information to become familiar with OIS's financial requirements can be found HERE. Becoming familiar with this document will expedite the process for visa documents, once admitted.

Note to International Applicants: As you are no doubt aware, U.S. immigration laws are continually being modified and are subject to change. A great deal of lead time is required to process applications and you should take this into consideration when making your application.

If you have any questions about the admissions process, please contact Keanna Cash, Graduate Administrator.