• The IDMA in East Asian Studies requires a minimum of 30 credits of course work in two or more departments, including the East Asian Studies "Critical Approaches to East Asia" (EAS 2005). This excludes language credits. The student works with a faculty advisor to plan a coherent academic program.
  • Students must have completed two years of Chinese or Japanese language study at the college level to be considered for admission to the IDMA, and they must continue their language study as part of their graduate work. Three years of college-level language study or its equivalent is necessary to fulfill the language requirement for the degree.
  • Students who specialize in China must take a least one 3-credit course on Japan; and those who specialize in Japan must take at least one 3-credit course on China.
  • Students must complete a culminating Master’s thesis-level project in consultation with their academic advisor and two additional graduate faculty members. These three faculty members serve as the student’s thesis committee. There are three options for the project:
    1. A conventional Master’s thesis. The thesis must be approved by the committee and demonstrate the student’s ability to carry out research using East Asian language materials.
    2. A portfolio consisting of three papers in lieu of a thesis. The papers could be rewritten and improved upon from seminars taken over the course of the Master’s program. The papers are expected of high quality, 50 to 60 pages total for the portfolio.
    3. A translation project with critical commentary. The translation must be approved by the advisor in advance and appropriate for the Master’s level. Additionally, the translation should include a commentary which would include a critical introduction, information to position the author’s work, information about genre and style conventions important in the story, reflections on why the work is important or intellectually interesting, and personal reflections on challenges involved in the translation. While many will choose a work that has never been translated into English, retranslation would be possible but would require an explicit comparison with earlier translations.
  • In preparation of the thesis project, each IDMA student must give a talk on their topic in the EALL Colloquium series.
  • When course work and the thesis project have been completed, the student must pass an oral examination centered on the chosen topic.

Learning Outcomes

IDMA students are regularly assessed in the following skills areas to ensure the graduates will be able to perform competently:

  1. Students will acquire expert knowledge and key research skills in the chosen discipline and convey such knowledge in professional, academic writing.
  2. Students should demonstrate an ability to conduct research in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean and use the skill to gather information and to conduct a critical and nuanced analysis of the topic acceptable in the discipline of the student’s choice.
  3. The student should be able to speak and understand the target language appropriately and accurately in social and professional situations.
  4. The student should be able to read the target language appropriately and accurately in social and professional situations.


IDMA Handbook