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

  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7


  • Asia Across the Disciplines: Interdisciplinary Training


    The Asian Studies  program covers the following requirements: VIEW IMAGE CHART.

          • Coursework (includes core courses, electives)
          • Language competency requirement
          • Comprehensive Exams
          • Thesis (if applicable)

    Inter- and Multi-disciplinary Approach to Asia

    Asian Studies majors take courses on politics and governance, social and economic development, and culture and society of their chosen area of specialization: Northeast Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, or West Asia. 

    Grounded also in theories of area studies and research methods, they also learn from professors who specialize in various disciplines—from history and political economy to international relations, anthropology, literary criticism, just to name a few— and thus acquire a broader and more holistic perspective on their area of specialization.

    In addition, students get to interact with their peers/classmates who themselves work/come from different industries.

    Interdisciplinarity is highly encouraged in the program; though students specialize in a region, they are invited to take electives on other Asian regions, or other subjects, even those outside the UP Asian Center, depending on their research interests.

  • 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 additional 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. 

  • Interdisciplinary Coursework, Integrative Approach

    Asian Studies majors are exposed to the different facets of their area of specialization. By taking a broad range of courses—from politics and economics to culture and history—students are encouraged to think holistically and approach issues and problems from different angles.

    View list of Asian Studies courses.

    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

    Class Schedules

    Weekdays (Once a Week Per Course)
        • 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
        • 8:30 am–11:30 am (9 am–12 noon in some cases)
        • 12:30 pm–3:30 pm (1 pm–4 pm in some cases)
        • 3:30 pm–6:30 pm  (4 pm–7 pm in some cases)

    Schedules depend on the teacher and the semester.

  • Language Proficiency

    Competency in an Asian language IS NOT required for application to the program.

    Once enrolled, Asian Studies majors  are required to demonstrate such competency in one (1) language pertaining to their area of specialization.

     Northeast Asia  Mandarin, Nihonggo, or Korean
     Southeast Asia  Bahasa, Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Burmese, Khmer; for others, consult adviser
     South Asia  Hindi; for others,  consult adviser
     West Asia Arabic or Persian; for others, consult adviser

    Options to Comply with Language Requirement

    00 Which languages can I take, and where can I take classes?

    Language Proficiency: MA

    The language must be relevant to the student's thesis and/or area of specialization. Please discuss with your Program Adviser. The institution must be reputable/recognized. Please Tabs 01, 02, 03 for options.
     Philippine Studies  Any Filipino language other than Tagalog OR
     any foreign language relevant to thesis/specialization
     Northeast Asia  Mandarin, Nihonggo, or Korean
     Southeast Asia  Bahasa, Thai, Khmer, Vietnamese, Burmese
     South Asia  Hindi; for others, consult adviser
     West Asia  Arabic, Persian, Hebrew, Turkish; for others, consult adviser

    01 The Twelve-Unit Route (in UP Diliman)

    Students can pass twelve (12) units of language courses offered by and through the UP Asian Center or by other UP Diliman units, such as the Department of Linguistics or the Institute of Islamic Studies
    Arabic 10, 11, 12, 13 (amounting to 12 units) are taught at the Institute of Islamic Studies, University of the Philippines Diliman. Please do not enroll in any of these courses without the approval of your program adviser and the Office of the College Secretary.
    Mandarin Department of Linguistics "Intsik"
    Mandarin Confucius Institute N/A
    Japanese Department of Linguistics "Hapon"
     Korean Department of Linguistics "Koreyano"
     Thai Department of Linguistics "Thai"
     Bahasa Department of Linguistics " B Ind/Mal"
     Persyan Department of Linguistics "Persyan"
     Arabic Institute of Islamic Studies "Isl Stud"
     Spanish Department of European Languages "Span"

    02 The 192- or 96-Hour Requirement

    Students can complete the required number of hours of language classes (192 hours for Asian Studies majors and 96 hours for Philippine Studies majors) offered by an accredited institution outside UP Diliman.
    The extramural classes of the Department of Linguistics are included in this category. 
    China majors can take up classes and accummulate the required hours at the Confucius Institute in UP Diliman. For other Confucius Institutes, please consult with your Program Adviser. 
    Please do not enroll in any of these courses without the approval of your program adviser and the Office of the College Secretary.

    03 Certificate of Proficiency

    If they have it, students can present a certificate of language proficiency from accredited organizations, but approval/acceptance thereof is subject to certain conditions, such as expiry date and when the certificate/classes were taken or secured, among others.
    For Japan majors, N5 or better (JLPT). For Korea majors, TOPIK 1 (Beginner), Level 2. For other languages, please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary to consult your situation.
    NOTE: Please do not take any proficiency exam without approval from your program adviser and from the Office of the College Secretary.

    04 Other Options

    Other scenarios are taken on a case-to-case basis. For instance, if you have taken language courses before entering the program, please consult your Program Adviser,  explain the details (when they were taken, how long, how many hours, what level), and ask if and to what extent such courses can be credited, if at all, or if there are other steps/options to be taken.
  •  Comprehensive Examinations

    Upon completion of their coursework and language proficiency requirement, Asian Studies majors shall take a comprehensive examination, which 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). Visit the "Examinations" tab in the Student Corner to learn requirements, protocols, etc.

  • Thesis

    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.

    According to the General Rules on Graduate Programs in UP Diliman,

    The master’s thesis must (1) embody an original, and significant research or creative work; (2) show the student’s capacity to make a critical evaluation of previous work done in his/her chosen research topic; and (3) demonstrate his/her ability to present research findings in a clear, systematic, and scholarly manner.

    To learn about requirements, protocols, relevant forms, etc., please view the Thesis tab of the Student Corner.

  • Semestral Fees for MA Programs

     Tuition Fee  PhP 500 per unit*
    (PhP 1,500 per course
     excluding any language course)
     Library Fee  PhP 1200
     Athletics  PhP 75
     Registration  PhP 40
     Medical  PhP 50
     Cultural  PhP 50
     Student Fund  PhP 50

    Semestral Fees for MA Programs: International Students

     Tuition Fee  PhP 500 per unit
    (PhP 1,500 per course)
     Miscellaneous Fee  PhP 1,415
    Laboratory Fees  PhP 100–1,500
     (may not apply to UP Asian Center)
     Educational Development Fund  USD 500 (per semester)
     Student Fund  PhP 78.5

    Please visit the Office of International Linkages website for the average cost of students' living expenses (dormitory, food, transportation, etc).


    For details, please view the page for Tuition and Financing @ UP Asian Center.

  • FAQs: Admissions

    Please visit the Admissons page for a separate FAQ section.

    FAQs: Courses and Programs

    Is there a minimum number of units that I need to take per semester?

    All students, except those in residency, must take at least 6 units (two nonthesis courses) per semester.

    Are there Saturday classes?

    Not all classes will be offered on Saturdays, so there may be cases where working students have to leave early to attend classes on weekdays.

    Student Corner
    Please also visit the Student Corner to view detailed academic requirements of student life.