Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver



The Asian Studies MA program of the Asian Center is an interdisciplinary program that yields a deeper understanding and a wider perspective on Asia that cannot be obtained by concentrating on a single discipline. Grounding them on research methodologies and theories on area studies, and on various social sciences, the program requires students to take courses on the history, politics and governance, economic development, and culture of Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, OR West Asia. Scroll down or click on the following to jump to your desired section:

Program Overview (Units)

Two Tracks: Thesis or Nonthesis

The Asian Center offers two tracks for its MA programs: The Master of Arts in Asian Studies (thesis track), and the Master in Asian Studies (non thesis).  The latter entails more coursework. Except for Southeast Asia, the required number of units are the same regardless of area of specialization. Three units is equivalent to one subject. 

Areas of Specialization

Regardless of track, students must specialize on one of four regions.  Northeast Asia majors will specialize on China, Japan OR Korea. The other regions do not entail a country of specialization. Click on the area of specialization to view the courses for each. 

Program of Study: List of Required Courses for Each Track and Area of Specialization

The program of study details the courses (required and electives) that each student should take to complete their degree. Click on the region below to view the courses for each track and area of specialization.

Coursework: Interdisciplinary

Depending on their track, students can take a certain number of electives. But whichever area of specialization they choose, they must pass four core courses (Pre-modern Asian History; Modern Asian History; Research Methods; and Theories and Perspectives on Area Studies).

They must also take courses on the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural aspects of their chosen region (country for Northeast Asia majors). 

Refer to the Program of Study to determine the number and kind of courses needed depending on track and area of specialization. View list of Asian Studies courses and profiles of Asian Center faculty

Grade Requirements

There is no GWA requirement in applying for the program. But students are required to maintain a GWA of at least 2.0.

Coursework: Schedules

Generally, classes meet on weekdays once a week for three hours from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some classes are offered on Saturdays at 8:30 a.m, 11:30 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. What these courses are depend on the teacher and the semester.

Language Requirement

Students are required to demonstrate competence in one (1) Asian language such as Bahasa-Indonesia/Malaysia, Chinese, Japanese OR any language required in or relevant to their area of specialization by:

  • Passing a language proficiency examination given by an accredited institution; by completing 196 hours of language classes offered by an accredited institution; OR
  • Completing 196 hours or 12 units of language classes offered within the University of the Philippines. Students can take and language courses in Bahasa and Japanese offered in the Asian Center or at the Department of Linguistics, UP Diliman. 

This requirement must be satisfied prior to taking the comprehensive examination. Language classes may be taken outside the UP Asian Center or outside the University of the Philippines Diliman, but before enrolling in these external courses, please ask the Office of the College Secretary if such institutions are accredited and courses taken therein will be credited accordingly. Click here to learn more about course offerings, and rules and regulations

Comprehensive Examinations

Upon completion of their coursework and language proficiency requirement, students are eligible take a comprehensive examination that covers general Asian history; theories, perspectives, and research methods; and area/country of specialization. For students in the nonthesis track, passing this exam is the last major step to qualifying for graduation.

For those who are doing their thesis, passing the comprehensive exam is required before they can enroll in Asian Studies (AS) 300 (thesis). There are no numerical grades for the comprehensive examination. One either fails, or gets a pass or high pass for each facet of the exam.

Contact Us

For more information, you may contact the Office of the College Secretary at 981.8500 local 3578 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Requirements • Deadlines • Procedures

  • The Asian Center accepts applications twice a year: one intake for the first semester, which begins in August, and another for the second semester, which starts January.

    MA PROGRAMS DEADLINES/APPLICATION PERIOD

    • For 1st semester, AY 2019–2020 (August 2019 Intake): 01 April 2019—30 April 2019

    • For other semesters, please fill out the form below so we can email you the deadlines when they are finalized.

    PH.D. PROGRAM DEADLINE

    • For 1st Semester, AY 2019–2020 (August 2019 Intake): 15 April 2019

    • For other semesters, please fill out the form below.

    The requirements have to be submitted in person. You may ask a representative to submit your documents. During the application period, submission of requirements are only accepted on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), from 8 am to 5 pm.

    DEADLINES FOR OTHER SEMESTERS?

    Please sign up below and choose the application deadlines for the semester (s) you wish to apply (covers January 2020 to January 2022 intakes)

    INQUIRIES

    For M.A.-related inquiries, you may call the Office of the College Secretary at 981.8500 local 3578 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. For questions on the Ph.D. program, please contact the Tricollege Secretariat at 981.8500 local 3578  or email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    The Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D.  program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these graduate programs. The Asian Center also publishes an open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia.

  • Fill out these forms alongside other documents when applying to our graduate programs. 

    For questions relating to MA programs, please contact the Office of the College Secretary at email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Ph.D-related inquiries may be forwarded to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Both offices can be reached at 981.8500 local 3578.

  • Asian Center students in February 2017

    1. Fill out this online application form.

    2. Submit all requirements (for MA programs)/(for PhD programs) to the Office of the College Secretary on or before the deadline. The requirements have to be submitted in person. You may ask a representative to submit your documents. Submission of requirements are only accepted on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), from 8 am to 5 pm.

    3. Applicants who pass preliminary screening will take an aptitude examination (to be scheduled by the Office of the College Secretary). These include the two essays to be written in-house. While it can help to read up on Asia-related issues and theories, both exams test less for objective knowledge than for the depth and range of one's thinking, as well as writing aptitude (proper grammar, sentence structure, clear presentation of one's ideas, etc.) 

    4. Successful examinees will be interviewed by the Asian Center Admissions Committee. Schedules of interviews to be determined by the Office of the College Secretary.

    5. Accepted applicants await further instructions from the Office of the College Secretary in processing their application. The next steps can be viewed here: visit this OUR FAQ page, in particular step 4 onwards.

    The UP Asian Center offers M.A. degrees in Asian Studies with four fields of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and West Asia. The Center also has an M.A. program in Philippine Studies that allows students to major in Philippine society and culture, Philippine foreign relations, or Philippine development studies. The Center offers a Ph.D. program in Philippine Studies in conjunction with the College of Arts and Letters and the College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Get an overview of these programs. The Asian Center also houses a peer-reviewed, open-access journal, Asian Studies: Journal of Critical Perspectives on Asia. It has published several books and monographs, and hosts or organizes various lectures and conferences.

  • Please submit all requirements before the deadline. The next steps will be added later on. For immediate assistance, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Photo: Asian Center students in May 2016.

    In addition to the general requirements, foreign applicants are advised to inquire at the Philippine Embassy or mission in their country of residence and with the University of the Philippines' Office of International Linkages Diliman for information on visa, study permit and other requirements.

    The following are other standard requirements:

    1. For foreign applicants from non-English speaking countries, original or certified true copy of standard language tests showing a minimum score (for TOEFL - 500 or equivalent if using new computer-based test; for IELTS-7.5).
    2. Alternatively, the university may require the candidate to take associated tests of written (TWE) and spoken (TSE) English. The appropriate scores in these two tests are: TWE-4.5; TSE-55.
    3. U.P. Admission Letter
    4. Valid passport
    5. Photocopy of passport showing the picture, arrival and visa
    6. I-card and Alien Certificate of Registration

    ON STUDY PERMITS and STUDENT VISA

    The Office of International Linkages Diliman handles the issuance of study permits and other matters relating to the application of foreign students

    INQUIRIES

    For further inquiries, you may contact them (+63-2) 981-8500 loc. 2561 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Below is the list of requirements for admission to the Asian Center's MA programs: 

    • Fill out this online application form
    • Formal letter of application addressed to Dr. Joefe. B. Santarita, Dean of Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. 
    • Original AND photocopy of transcript of records of undergraduate degree.* View guidelines regarding transcripts
    • Curriculum vitae and duly accomplished Personal Data Form**
    • Duly accomplished Recommendation Form** from 2 former professors (if non-working); and from 2 former professors and 1 employer (if working), to be submitted in sealed envelopes signed across the flap by the referee.
    • Application fee of PhP 100 for Filipino students and US$25 for foreign applicants, to be paid at the UP Cashier
    • Two (2) passport-sized photos
    • Original AND photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate*
    • NSO Marriage Certificate (for married female applicants)*
    • Aptitude examination
    • Aptitude examination fee of PhP 150 to be paid at the UP Cashier (OCG Trust Acct. No. 9773900-499-450)
    • Two essays (to be written in-house), one autobiographical and one on substantive issues pertaining to studies of the Philippines/Asia.
    • Interview by the Asian Center Admissions Committee
    • Certificate of Transfer Credentials (for Non-UP Diliman applicants)a
    • Research plan (Download)b

    *Both original and photocopy will be submitted to the Asian Center.

    a This can be obtained at the Registrar's Office of your university.

    b Even applicants to the nonthesis track are required to submit a Research Plan.

    **Application Forms (MS Word files)

    GWA Requirement?

    There is no GWA requirement for applications.

    Additional Requirements for Foreign Applicants

    • View the list of additional procedures for foreign applicants, especially pertaining to the acquisition of student visa and compliance with immigration requirements. 

    Inquiries

    For additional information, please contact the Office of the College Secretary or 981.8500 local 3578 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


    Page last updated: 12 March 2019

  • The requirements for admission into the Ph.D Philippines Studies program are as follows: 

    • MA or MS degree from a recognized institution of learning
    • Grade weighted average of 1.75 or better
    • Letter of application for admission addressed to the Chair, Philippine Studies Council, UP Diliman. At present, the Chair is Ma. Amihan Bonifacio Ramolete, Ph.D.
    • Original AND Photocopy of transcript of records (TOR) of undergraduate and graduate studies*
    • Three (3) letters of recommendation from former professors or experts from the applicant's discipline(s) /areas(s) of study**
    • Duly accomplished Personal Data Form**
    • A two-page description of the proposed dissertation with a multi-disciplinal orientation to be presented orally before the Admissions Committee
    • Application fee of PhP 100 for Filipino Students and US$ 25 for foreign applicants, to be paid at the UP Cashier
    • Two (2) passport-sized photos
    • Original and photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate
    • Original and photocopy of NSO Marriage Certificate (for married female applicants)*
    • For foreign students, please consult other requirements here.

    * Both original and photocopy will be submitted to the Office of the Head, Secretariat, Tri-College Ph.D. Philippine Studies Program, Room 203, Hall of Wisdom, Asian Center, University of the Philippines Diliman. 

    ** APPLICATION FORMS

    DEADLINE OF APPLICATION

    MORE INFORMATION

    INQUIRIES

    For inquiries, please contact the Program Secretariat at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 981.8500 local 3578.

  • Asian Center students during a poster presentation in one of their subjects.

    There are two types of scholarships available to Asian Center’s Masters students: the AC Angara scholarship and the AC UP-funded scholarship.  Under each type, there are grants for completion of course work, financial assistance for thesis writing, and travel grants for thesis writing. View details.

  • MSU students visit the UP Asian Center.

    Semestral fees at the Asian Center include:

    • Tuition fees: PhP 500.00 per unit
    • Miscellaneous fees: PhP1015
    • Student fund: PhP 51.50
    • Entrance fee, PhP 30.00
    • New students, PhP 100
    • For language courses, the tuition fee is PhP 1,500/unit.

    Amendment Guidelines on the Grant of Free Tuition in State Universities and Colleges for Fiscal Year 2017.
     
    Foreign students are required to pay an additional Education Development Fund (EDF) of US$ 500 per semester (This amount may vary according to their status of residence in the country). Several scholarships are available to Asian Center students. View Scholarships

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Last Updated: 21 March 2019