Graduate Program

Applicants are strongly encouraged to email prospective advisers before submitting an application to determine whether they are currently accepting new students.

Fields of Study

Fields include the general areas of Chinese literature and Japanese literature. (See also the Combined Ph.D Program in Film and Media Studies.) Although the primary emphasis is on these East Asian subjects, the department welcomes applicants who are seeking to integrate their interests in Chinese or Japanese literature with interdisciplinary studies in such fields as history, history of art, linguistics, religious studies, comparative literature, film studies, literary theory and criticism, and the social sciences. For a profile of this and other programs at the Graduate School, including admissions data, total enrollment, time to degree, and career data, please click here.

Graduate Faculty

Professors: Aaron Gerow,  Tina Lu, Jing Tsu

Associate Professors: Lucas Bender, Michael (Mick) Hunter

Assistant Professors: Kyunghee Eo, Rosa van Hensbergen

Senior Lecturer:  Pauline Lin

Lecturers: James Scanlon-Canegata, Tian Li

In residence 20-30; average in entering class 3-4.

Special Admissions Requirements

The department requires entering students in Chinese or Japanese (and the Combined Ph.D Program in Film and Media Studies) to have completed at least three years, or the equivalent, of either Chinese or Japanese. Students applying in Chinese are expected to have completed at least one year of literary Chinese; however, we will consider applications from students who haven’t studied literary Chinese, especially those coming from institutions that do not offer it. Students applying in premodern Japanese are expected to have completed at least one year of literary Japanese. This is a doctoral program; no students are admitted for Masters’ degrees.  Students interested in a Masters’ degree should contact the East Asian Studies Program.

A high degree of proficiency in English is expected for all students, but there is no minimum TOEFL score required for admission.  All students, international as well as US citizens receive similar financial aid packages.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is optional for admissions to the program. You may submit GRE General Test results, if you would like. If you choose to submit scores, please follow up with official test results.

In addition to the materials and test scores required by the Graduate School, the department asks all applicants to EALL and the Combined Program to submit a writing sample as part of their application. There is no strict limit on page or word length, but the sample should succinctly represent the scholarship of the applicant, reflecting his or her interests and skills.

To access the application, as well as learn about general Graduate School admissions requirements regarding deadlines, test scores, etc., please go to the GSAS Admissions page.

Prospective applicants should also check the News section of the EALL website for any announcements about admissions.

Special Requirements for the Ph.D. Degree

During the first three years of study, students are required to take at least fourteen term courses. Usually students complete twelve term courses in years one and two, and then take two tutorials or two seminars in year three. Students concentrating in Chinese or Japanese literature are encouraged to take at least one term course in Western literature or literary theory. Subject to the approval of the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), students may count up to two credits of relevant MA coursework and two credits of language study (beyond their primary research language) toward the 14-credit total. Students can also petition the DGS to replace a required course credit with an alternative professionalization opportunity. 

By the end of the second year all students must prove their proficiency in a language other than their primary language of study that is relevant to their course of study and is approved by the DGS. By the end of the third year, students specializing in premodern Japanese literature must pass a reading test in literary Chinese. At the end of the second full academic year, students must take a written examination in the language of their specialization, including both its modern and premodern forms.

At the end of each academic year, until students are admitted to candidacy, the faculty will review all students’ progress. For the second year review, students must submit a revised seminar research paper, on a topic selected in consultation with the adviser, no later than April 1 of the fourth term. No later than the end of the sixth term students will take the qualifying oral examination. The exam will cover three fields distinguished by period and/or genre in one or more East Asian national literatures or in other fields closely related to the student’s developing specialization. These fields and accompanying reading lists will be selected by October 1st of the third year in consultation with the examiners and the DGS in order to allow the student to demonstrate knowledge and command of a range of topics. After having successfully passed the qualifying oral examination, students will be required to submit a dissertation prospectus to the department for approval by September 1st of the seventh term in order to complete the process of admission to candidacy for the Ph.D.

Opportunities to obtain experience in teaching language and literature form an important part of this program. Students in East Asian Languages and Literatures normally teach in their third and fourth years.

For additional detailed information see the Calendar of Progress.

Combined Ph.D. Program

The Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures also offers, in conjunction with the Program in Film and Media Studies, a combined Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literatures and Film Studies. Applicants to the combined program must indicate on their application that they are applying both to Film and Media Studies as well as East Asian Languages and Literatures. All documentation within the application should include this information. For detailed information see Combined Ph.D. Degree Program Between Film and Media Studies and East Asian Languages and Literatures.

Graduate School Policies

Students are reminded that the policies of the Graduate School must be followed.  Any questions regarding these policies should be addressed to your assistant or associate dean.

The link to the Policies webpage is here:

Director of Graduate Studies

Mick Hunter
Humanities Quadrangle rm 114

Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 208201
New Haven CT