Graduate Program

Graduate Program Advisor

  • Dr. Barbara Kim
  • Office: FO3-334
  • Phone: (562) 985-7530
  • E-mail:
  • Office Hours: Tues 3:30 p.m.-6:30 p.m. & Wed 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. & by appointment.

Applying to the M.A. Program in Asian Studies

Application Deadline: April 15, 2019 for Fall 2019 admission (April 1, 2019 for International Students). 
International students should visit the Center for International Education website for additional information and criteria at

  1. Apply online at Cal State Apply as a graduate student. Submit the Statement of Purpose (maximum of two pages) via Cal State Apply.
  2. Submit two letters of recommendation (on university/business letterheads), one of which must be from a professor with whom the applicant has studied. Letters should be mailed to the department in an envelope with the recommender’s signature across the sealed flap. Recommenders may email letters to the graduate advisor ( as a PDF from their university/business email address. Letters of recommendation should be sent to:

Barbara Kim
Graduate Advisor
1250 Bellflower Blvd.
Long Beach, CA 90840

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The Master of Arts (MA) in Asian Studies (AST) provides a comparative understanding of the cultural, economic, and socio-political significance of Asia in the 21st century. It requires competency in one or more Asian languages. To achieve this, MA students are encouraged to study abroad for part of their course work. For students interested in teaching Asian languages, this degree also offers two selections: The Chinese Studies option with a track in “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language,” or the option “Japanese Language and Pedagogy.”  Graduates from the MA program in Asian Studies can expect to be much more competitive for positions in the Foreign Service, State Department, K-12 and community college education and administration, international finance and industry, non-governmental organizations, academic publishing, professional translation work, and Ph.D. programs in Chinese, Japanese, or Asian Studies. Chinese Studies option (30-42 units, including 12 units of core courses) This option includes a choice between two tracks: 1) Chinese Language and Culture and 2) Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language.

  • Track 1: “Chinese Language and Culture” is tailored for non-native speakers of Chinese who would like to explore more about Chinese language and culture, without the intention to become a Chinese language instructor.
  • Track 2: “Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language” targets native speakers or near-native speakers of Chinese who would like to become a Chinese language instructor either in the United States or in China.
  • For further information see the 2017 CSULB Catalog or contact AAAS for the list of courses associated with this option.

Japanese Language and Pedagogy (JLP) option (33-42 units including 12 units of core courses) The JLP option provides students with a vigorous training in pedagogy to teach Japanese as a foreign and heritage language while they further develop Japanese language ability. The JLP option has two goals. Upon successful completion of the option, students should be able to (1) apply their pedagogical knowledge and skills, which they have acquired in the course work, to their teaching, and (2) develop Advanced-level proficiency of Japanese language based on ACTFL’s Proficiency Guidelines. All courses are taught in Japanese.   For further information see the 2017 CSULB Catalog or contact AAAS for the list of courses associated with this option.   [Back to top]

Admission Requirements

  1. A bachelor’s degree in a major in Asian Studies, an Asian language, or a field with an emphasis on Asia, including Cultural Geography, International Business, International Studies and Linguistics.
  2. A 3.0 (“B”) GPA in Asia and Asian language related courses taken as an undergraduate. (A student whose GPA is less than 3.0 may appeal to the Department’s Graduate Committee for a possible waiver of this requirement.)
  3. English language competency:
    • International students must take either the TOEFL or the IELTS exam.  For admission to graduate study, a minimum score of 80 on the iBT TOEFL is required. TOEFL official score results must be submitted from Educational Testing Service (ETS). The CSULB institution code for TOEFL reporting is 4389. If you choose to take the IELTS, a minimum score of 6.0 in each sub-section is required. Upon admission, your English competency will be assessed by the AAAS Department and an additional two English language courses may be required (English 301A, 301B).
  4. Asian language requirement:
    • For the MA in Asian Studies and the Chinese Studies option, non-native speakers should be competent in an Asian language to the Intermediate-low level according to the 2012 ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines.  *Non-native speakers who have lived abroad may be tested for this competency and should contact the Department for further information.
    • The “Japanese Language and Pedagogy” option requires a higher level of proficiency for admission.  Students must possess at a minimum the Intermediate-High level of Japanese language proficiency according to the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines in all four skills.
  5. Two letters of recommendation (preferably from academic sources).
  6. A short statement of the candidate’s objectives in pursuing the AST MA degree.

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Advancement to Candidacy

Students should see the Graduate Advisor to file Advancement to Candidacy after at least 6 units but no more than 15 units of graduate coursework are completed. We encourage students to complete their MA within two-three years. Students must have taken AST 600 as well as have fulfilled the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR).  For the GWAR requirement see Advancement must take place at least two semesters prior to taking the Comprehensive Exams. The Comprehensive Examination Approval Form must be filed with department at the time of Advancement. Advancement to Candidacy is a formal contract listing courses the student has taken, is taking, and will take. Changes to contract may be made in consultation with Graduate Advisor. The comprehensive examination consists of two questions selected from a set of five questions established by the candidate’s comprehensive examination committee of three faculty members.  The candidate has six hours to complete the comprehensive exam. [Back to top]