Calendar of Progress - Third Year


Besides the two courses, either seminars or tutorials, that must be taken in the third year of study, much of the student’s time (especially in the second term) will be occupied with preparation for the qualifying exam, which takes place in the sixth term.

Language Requirements

Students specializing in pre-modern Japanese literature must pass a reading test in literary Chinese. The exam must be completed prior to registration for the fourth year of study, so arrangements for taking the exam should be made before the end of the spring term of the third year.

The Qualifying Exam and Admission to Candidacy

A qualifying oral examination demonstrating both the breadth and specialization of the student’s knowledge in three fields, will take place by the end of the sixth term. The three fields should include different periods of literature (traditional or modern), and may also focus on a second East Asian literature, on a genre (poetry, drama, narrative fiction), or on a field that supports the student’s developing specialization (theory and criticism, film, art history, history, etc.). At least two of the fields should be from the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures. For example, a student in Chinese literature could choose to have the fields in traditional Chinese poetry, modern Chinese fiction, and film. In preparing for the oral examination, students are required to compile reading lists in the three fields, in consultation with the advisers in those fields. The lists must be approved and signed by the student’s examiners and the Director of Graduate Studies before the oral examination can be scheduled. The examination lasts two hours with about thirty minutes devoted to each field. For additional detailed information see The Qualifying Examination for the Ph.D. Degree.

Dissertation Prospectus

After having successfully passed the qualifying oral examination, students are required to submit a dissertation prospectus to the department for approval. In order to be admitted to candidacy for Ph.D., students must complete all pre-dissertation requirements, including the prospectus. Students must be admitted to Ph.D. candidacy by the end of the seventh term.

The M.Phil. Degree

For this degree, completion of fourteen courses, the language requirements, the qualifying exam and dissertation prospectus are necessary. Most students petition for this degree en route to the Ph.D., upon completion of the requirements.


As stated in each student’s letter of admission, the Graduate School considers teaching to be an important part of every student’s program at Yale. There are usually opportunities for eligible students to teach either in Chinese or Japanese language courses or in literature in translation courses.  In most cases, teaching in the EALL doctoral program will consist of four terms of teaching in the third and fourth years of the student’s progress toward the Ph.D.  Additional teaching opportunities can be pursued if the student opts to take advantage of the sixth year of support as offered in their Yale University Fellowship.  The department aims to provide all students with ample and appropriate opportunities to teach in both language and literature courses. Teaching opportunities may also be available in other departments and programs. Each student should refer to the statement in his or her admissions letter regarding the Graduate School’s expectations about teaching and the relationship of such appointments to the student’s on-going fellowship support. Also consult the section on “Supplementation of Yale Fellowships” in Programs and Policies.

Summer Funding

The Graduate School provides doctoral students with five summers of support. Grants from other sources such as the Council on East Asian Studies are available.