The Asian Studies MA program of the Asian Center 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.
Program Overview (Units)
Thesis or Nonthesis?
The Asian Center offers two tracks for its MA programs in Asian Studies:
• Master of Arts in Asian Studies (Thesis track)
• Master in Asian Studies (Non-thesis).
The non-thesis track entails more coursework. Please note that some PhD programs abroad, if not in the Philippines, require an M.A. thesis as part of the application process.
Areas of Specialization
Regardless of track, students must specialize on one of four regions.
• Northeast Asia
• Southeast Asia
• South Asia
• West Asia
Northeast Asia majors will specialize on China, Japan OR Korea. The other regions do not entail a country of specialization. Please view the list of courses for each area of specialization in the "Coursework" tab on the left.
Program of Study: List of Required Courses
The program of study lists down the required courses according to track and area of specialization.
Master of Arts in Asian Studies (Thesis) Master in Asian Studies (Nonthesis) Northeast Asia Northeast Asia Southeast Asia Southeast Asia South Asia South Asia West Asia West Asia
Students take courses on the political, social, economic, historical, and cultural aspects of their chosen region (country for Northeast Asia majors). View list of Asian Studies courses.
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. There will be semesters when working students will have to leave work earlier to attend weekday classes.
Competency in an Asian language IS NOT required for application to the program. Once enrolled, Asian Center students are required to demonstrate such competency in one (1) language.
For instance, Southeast Asia majors can take up Bahasa, Thai, or Khmer, Lao, OR Burmese; South Asia majors can learn, say, Hindi; Northeast Asia majors can take up Mandarin, Japanese OR Korean; while West Asia majors can study, say, Arabic OR Persian.
To meet this language requirement, all Asian Center students must:
• Pass a language proficiency examination given by an accredited institution
• Complete 192 hours of language classes offered by an accredited institution; OR
• Complete 192 hours or 12 units of language classes offered within the University of the Philippines (e.g. Department of Linguistics, Institute of Islamic Studies)
This requirement must be satisfied before taking the comprehensive examination. Click here to learn more about course offerings, and rules and regulations.
Course Offerings @ UP Asian Center
- Intensive Chinese A - Elementary Chinese
- Intensive Chinese B - Intermediate Chinese
- Basic Bahasa
- Intermediate Bahasa
Language courses are also offered at the Department of Linguistics, College of Social Sciences and Philosophy. Arabic is taught at the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman
Before taking any course, especially outside UP Diliman, please confirm first with the Office of the College Secretary to help ensure your planned course will indeed be credited.
Upon completion of their coursework and language proficiency requirement, students can take a comprehensive examination. The exam covers:
• General Asian history
• Theories, perspectives, and research methods
• Area/country of specialization.
For students in the nonthesis track, passing this exam is the last major step to qualifying for graduation.
For those on the thesis track, 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.
For those on the thesis track, passing the comprehensive exam is required before they can enroll in Asian Studies (AS) 300 (thesis). View sample theses.
Can I shift from a thesis track to a non-thesis track, and vice versa?
Any student in the Thesis Track (MAAS or MAPS) may be allowed to transfer to Non-Thesis Track (MAS or MPS) under the following conditions:
⦁ He/she writes a formal letter addressed to the Dean requesting permission to transfer, with the endorsement of the Program Adviser
⦁ He/she has completed less than eighteen (18) units of course work at the time he/she seeks transfer.
A student under the Non-Thesis Track may transfer any time to the Thesis Track provided his/her request is favorably endorsed by the Program Adviser on the basis of intellectual capacity and aptitude for advanced research.
Is there a maintaining grade?
There is no GWA requirement in applying for the program. But starting 1st semester, Academic Year 2019–2020, students are required to maintain a GWA of 1.75 or better.