East Asian Languages & Cultures

Graduate Degrees: Ph.D.

Apply for Admission: December 5, 2016 (Chinese language and Japanese language)

Required Tests: GRE (general test)


The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers a PhD program in Chinese Language. The department only admits students into the PhD program.

As a rule, students wishing to enter the graduate program should have completed an undergraduate program comparable to the undergraduate major in this department. Students who do not have BA or MA degrees in East Asian Languages and Cultures (or Chinese) or in similar fields can be considered for admission. If admitted, these students are often required to make up deficiencies in their course work. This can result in a lengthening of the normative time to degree (seven years).

The department only admits students into the PhD program. You must indicate that a PhD is your degree goal on the application materials. Students who have not completed an MA degree before beginning study at Berkeley will have to complete the requirements for the MA before proceeding to the PhD program. After completion of the MA requirements (coursework and thesis), students are evaluated for permission to proceed to the PhD portion of the program. Students who have completed an MA degree before beginning study at Berkeley may apply for admission directly to the PhD program. After one year in the PhD program, such students will be evaluated before being permitted to continue in the program.

UC Berkeley graduate students from other disciplines who are considering transferring into the degree program in Chinese language undergo the same faculty review as first-time applicants, however, they do not complete the graduate application. Students in this category should contact Graduate Degrees, 302 Sproul Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720-5900 for a Petition for Change of Major or Degree Goal and the department graduate assistant for a checklist of materials that will need to be submitted.

The length of time needed to complete an advanced degree in the department depends on financial considerations, the extent of the student's earlier preparation, and other factors. Under optimum conditions, the MA can be earned in two years and the PhD in an additional four to five years.

Step by Step

To learn how best to prepare for study at the graduate level in the humanities and the social sciences, current undergraduates may find useful Step by Step, a resource for UC Berkeley students to enrich their undergraduate academic experience and to prepare for graduate school.

Source: Berkeley Academic Guide

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