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

  • Forms ◊ Requirements

      1.  Online application form
      2. Letter of application to the Dean of the Asian Center
      3. Curriculum Vitae
      4. Essays on one issue in Asia or the Philippines (for those applying to the non-thesis track)
      5. Research Plan (for those applying to the thesis track)
      6. Recommendation Forms (WordPDF) Must be sealed and signed across the flap by the referee
      7. Original AND photocopy of Transcript of Records (TOR) from last/current school attended (Transcript must comply with these guidelines).
        • If you are requesting your TOR, please ask for a copy marked "Copy for UP Diliman." The Asian Center will accept for its own evaluation purposes a TOR that complies with the transcript guidelines above, but an original hard copy of the TOR marked with "Copy for UP Diliman" will eventually be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar if the applicant is accepted into the program.
      8. Interview (for those who pass the initial screening)
      9. Aptitude examination (Suspended until further notice)
        • Receipt for aptitude examination fee (Suspended Until Further Notice)
        • PhP 250 to be paid online (OCG Trust Acct. No. 9773900-499-450)
      10. Two (2) passport-sized photos
      11. PSA Birth Certificate: Original AND Photocopy
      12. PSA Marriage Certificate: Original AND photocopy (for married female applicants)
      13. Application fee
        ♦ PhP 100 for Filipino Students (Get Billing Statement: ExcelPDF)
        ♦ USD 25 for international applicants (Get Billint Statement: ExcelPDF)
        ♦ Fill out payor and date in the billing statements. See "Application Fee" tab for procedures

    Additonal Requirements:

    1. Certificate of Transfer Credentials
      • Only for graduates of non-UP Diliman universities
      • An original hard copy of the CTC will be submitted—at a date to be designated—to the Office of the University Registrar IF the applicant is accepted. See "Application Process" tab for further details. It is recommended that you already have this on hand (soft copy at least) when you apply to ensure a smoother process in finalizing your admission to the university.
    2. For international applicants, see "International Applicants" tab on the left for additional requirements.
    3. Computation of GWA via GWA Form
    ♦ To get GWA, multiply each grade in your course by the number of units for that course. Add all the results of each of these, then divide the sum by the total number of units (excluding PE and NSTP). View sample computation.
     View Grade Conversion Guide (if your university's grading system differs from UP's. Highest grade in UP is 1.0 and comes in increments of .25 (1.0, 1.25, 1.5 and so on).
    ♦ Please add one sheet for any other degree (like an existing MA program, etc). There should only be one (1) Excel file.
  • Application Deadlines ◊ Process

    Frequency of Intake

    Applications are accepted twice a year, once for each semester, which starts August/September and January/February.

    Deadline Mailing List

    • For First Semester, AY 2024–2025 (August/September 2024 intake): 12 July 2024.
    • For other/later semesters, please fill out the form below to be notified.

    Application Process: M.A. Programs

    How to Apply: M.A. Programs

    1. Fill out online application form (see "Forms and Requirements" tab)
      • There will be separate application forms for later semesters, so kindly answer the form only if you are applying for the next semester.
    2. Send the soft copies of the requirements (except the recommendation forms) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in one zip file by the deadline.
      • Follow file naming and formatting guide below
      • Review "Submission Reminders" tab
      • To pay for the application fees, please see "Application Fee" tab
      • The recommendation forms may be emailed by the person recommending you. See "Submitting the Recommendation Forms" for details
    3. The original documents should be submitted personally, by a representative, or via courier of your choice. Original and authentic documents are important to submit for verification and evaluation purposes. Address the documents to Mr. Robert Silleza from the Office of the College Secretary. 
      • Hall of Wisdom, GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center, Magsaysay Avenue cor. Katipunan Avenue,  University of the Philippines, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines 1101
    4. Online Interviews (via Zoom) of Shortlisted Candidates
      • The Office of the College Secretary will contact you for the schedule via the email address you provide in the online application form.
      • If scheduled for interview, kindly make sure you have a registered/authenticated (i.e., you used a verified email address to sign up) Zoom account. Signing in to your Zoom account is required to join the session.
    5. Aptitude examination is suspended until further notice.
    6. All applicants will be notified of the results. Accepted applicants will process their University Admission Slip. See "I got accepted. What's next?" tab.

    How to Apply: M.A. Programs (Other Semesters; Non-Quarantine Conditions)
    1. Fill out the online application form. Online application forms will be activated weeks before the application period for each intake. In the meantime, you may sign up for the deadline mailing list (See deadline tab on the left).
    2. Submit all requirements to the Office of the College Secretary on or before the deadline (See deadline tab on the left).*
    3. Applicants who pass preliminary screening will take an aptitude exam and write two essays** (in-house at the UP Asian Center). Schedule to be announced by the Office of the College Secretary
      Generally, while it can help to read up on Asia- or Philippine-related issues and theories, the aptitude exam tests 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.) and readiness for graduate school.
    4. Successful examinees will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee.
    5. Accepted applicants await further instructions/updates. The next steps can be viewed here: visit OUR FAQ page, in particular step 4 onwards.

    File Naming Guide

    For faster processing, except for the Passport photo (jpg or png) and GWA (Excel), all files must be sent as PDFs (and in one zip file) and must be named thus (include the numbers in the file name):
    • 01 Letter of Application - Last Name, Given Name

    • 02 Transcript of Records/TCG - Last Name, Given Name
    • 03 CV - Last Name, Given Name

    • 04 Personal Data Form - Last Name, Given Name

    • 05 Passport Photo - Last Name, Given Name
    • 06 Birth Certificate - Last Name, Given Name

    • 07 Research Plan - Last Name, Given Name

    • 08 GWA Computation Form - Last Name, Given Name

    • 09 Certificate of Transfer Credentials - Last Name, Given Name (For applicants from non-UP Diliman universities)
    • 10 Marriage Certificate - Last Name, Given Name (For married female applicants only)
    • 11 Proof Payment Application Fee - Last Name Given Name

    —Last updated: 19 February 2022

    Submission Reminders

    See file naming and numbering guide tab.
    All items—except 06, 09 and 10—must be submitted online by the deadline. But if you already have items 06, 09, and/or 10, please include them in your online submission by the deadline. It is strongly recommended, however, that you already have these documents by the time you apply.
    Applicants who are yet to submit these three items may still be shortlisted and interviewed online.
    However, applicants endorsed for admission to the Office of the University Registrar must submit later to the Admissions and Registration Section (ARS) of the OUR original hard copies of the following: 
        • PSA Birth Certificate (BC)
        • PSA Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
        • Certificate of Transfer Credentials (for applicants from non-UP Diliman universities)
        • Transcript of Records (marked with "Copy for UP Diliman)
    The deadline for the submission of these original hard-copy documents to the OUR will be given to you by the Office of the College Secretary. Please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary regarding this matter. Any updates regarding deadlines and other procedures will be emailed to you.
    —Tab last updated 18 February 2022

    Notes on Submission (Pre-Covid-19 Process Only)

    * The requirements have to be submitted in person, either by you or by a representative, only on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), 8 am to 12 noon, 1 pm to 5 pm.

    Submitting the Recommendation Forms

    Kindly ask the person recommending you to fill out the form and email it directly to the Office of the College Secretary. File name should be: Recommendation_LastName_GivenName.
    But please secure hard copies of the recommendation forms—still sealed—and send them to the Office of the College Secretary, UP Asian Center on or before the deadline. You may coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary regarding this matter.

    I got accepted. What's next?

    After the Office of the College Secretary notifies you of your acceptance, you will now process your University Admission Slip (UAS), which will formalize and make official your admission to the university (as a graduate student).
    Please view requirements here (see "New Graduate Students...", and follow any instructions given by the Office of the College Secretary. Make sure to take note of the provisional acceptance notice.
  • Application Fee

    Billing Statement

    Before paying, please fill out the Application Fee Billing Statement (See "Forms" tab) and send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. There will be no payment of fees at the UP Cash Office based on OUR Memorandum No. MVPLO 2020-06.

    How to Pay: Three Options

    Choose your desired payment option below and refer to the Billing Statement details as needed (for account code, etc). Keep copy of proof of payment and send it also as instructed in the Billing Statement.


    Before paying through GCash, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further instructions.
    View process: https://bit.ly/gcashupd


     View Steps or click https://bit.ly/StepsforPaymentthruLinkbiz
        • Account number pertains the account number of the payor.
        • Account code is the account number of the UPD Revolving Fund, which can be seen when you generate the payment slip via CRS (see "registration tab). This is for registration-related transactions via CRS (tuition, dropping, residence, LOA, etc),
    Other non-enrollment/non-CRS transactions (see non-CRS tab) may require a different account code, which will depend on the SOA/Billing Statement that will be issued to you by the office you're contacting. Please coordinate with them as necessary.

    UPD Cash Office

    The UP Diliman Cash Office is now accommodating face-to-face transactions for tuition and registration payments (Form 5/ChangeMat/AddMat/Dropping/LOA).
    The location is at the PNB Building.
    For other questions and concerns, you may contact the UPD Cash Office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and at 8981-8500 local # 2760.

    —Tab updated 14 June 2021

  • Tuition ◊ Financing

    Semestral Fees: MA Programs 

     Tuition Fees: PhP 500 per unit*

     Medical: PhP 50

     Library Fee: PhP 1,200

     Cultural: PhD 50

     Athletics: PhP 75

     Student Fund: PhP 50

    Registration Fee: PhP 40


    Semestral Fees : MA Programs (International Students)

     Tuition Fees: PhP 500 per unit*

    Educational Development Fund: USD 500

     Miscellaneous : PhP 1,415

      Student Fund: PhP 78.5

     Laboratory: PhP 100 -1,500


    * Asian Center courses only. Rates may be different for courses taken in different colleges. 
    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.
  • Cross-Registrants • Non-Credit • Transferees


    Cross-registration (of students from other universities/UP campuses) is allowed for the following:
        • Cross-Registrant from Other UP Constituent Universities (UP Baguio, UP Tacloban, etc.)
        • Cross-Registrant from Other Schools/Universities
        • Foreign Cross-Registrant from Other Schools and Universities
        • Special Student Without Credit
    View definitions and rules governing these student classifications. All of the above are subject to the availability of slots and approval of the offering college (i.e. UP Asian Center). Please view the requirements and procedures for each (OUR page).

    Special Students Without Credit (Non-Degree)

    Special Students Without Credit must also submit standard application requirements for admission.
    Please view the requirements and procedures for each (OUR page). Note: If you are already enrolled in another program/university, you cannot opt to be a Special Student Without Credit.

    Transferees from Within and Outside UP Diliman

    Applicants in another M.A. program in UP Diliman or another university are subject to the same requirements, deadlines, and procedures. Once enrolled, however, they can have their previously taken subjects credited, subject to rules and conditions.  Please visit the Student Corner for details.
    Applicants transferring to the UP Asian Center from another M.A. program within UP Diliman must also submit a "Permit-to-Transfer" (ask your current college/home department) after they are accepted in the Asian Center. This permit is part of the requirements for the issuance of the University Admission Slip.
  • International Applicants

    Additional  Requirements

      1. For non-Filipino applicants from non-English speaking countries, original or certified true copy of standard language tests showing a minimum score. For paper-based TOEFL (at least 500), for computer-based (at least 173), for internet-based (at least 61). IELTS, at least 5.5
      2. Valid passport
      3. Photocopy of passport showing the picture, arrival and visa

    Admissions Process for International Student

    Once the student is accepted, he/she has to personally process his/her formal admission to the university. Here is the general flow of the admissions process. Please note that there may be details and nuances for each step (such as how long, etc), so please clarify as necessary.
        1. Applicant submits requirements to Asian Center; passes exam and interview (see "Admissions Process" and "Requirements" tabs).
        2. Asian Center gives successful applicant a) Notice of Acceptance, b) list of requirements to be submitted to the One Stop Student Desk, Office of the University Registrar (OUR); and c) Referral Slip to the University of the Philippines Health Service for Medical Certificate. Asian Center also submits a copy of the Notice of Acceptance to the OUR.
        3. Office of the University Registrar (OUR) to issue Acceptance Letter (a requirement for student visa application/conversion), one copy for the student (to be picked up by the Asian Center) and another copy for the Office of International Linkages (OIL) Diliman.
        4. Asian Center issues College Admission Slip, and asks applicant to fill out two (2) copies of Student Directory.
        5. Applicant starts processing of visa conversion (c/o OIL Diliman) and applies for Enrollment Permit at OIL Diliman.
        6. Applicant to submit requirements for (including the Enrollment Permit from OIL Diliman*) and obtain, the University Admission Slip.

    Requirements for University Admission Slip

    Student submits the following to the OSSD-OUR for issuance of University Admission Slip:
        1. College Admission Slip (Form 002)
        2. Two copies of accomplished Student Directory with photos
        3. Medical Certificate from the UPHS
        4. Photocopy of Birth Certificate, original to be presented
        5. Photocopy of Marriage Certificate, original to be presented (if married woman)
        6. Transcript used for evaluation duly stamped and signed by the Student Records Evaluator or College Secretary at the back of the TOR.
        7. Official Transcript of Records to be submitted in a sealed envelope/Authenticated/Apostille copy of TOR
        8. Enrollment/Study permit from OIL Diliman
        9. Photocopy of passport, original to be presented
        10. Plan of Study
        11. Student Insurance

    Accommodations and Student Insurance

    Students will also process their own housing/accommodations while taking the exam and/or studying in the university. Accepted applicants must also obtain student insurance.

    *Notes on Visa Conversion/Application

    *For new students, OIL Diliman can issue the Enrollment Permit upon submission of the visa conversion requirements. For continuing students, OIL Diliman issues this prior to enrollment or during the enrollment period. The students will have to submit a copy of their valid passports and visas for study.
    Students with these visas can study in the Philippines. If they do not have any of those, they can opt to have their temporary visa converted to visa type 9F (student visa). OIL Diliman can help applicants process the conversion. View visa conversion requirements. Applications for other visas have to be handled by their companies, embassies, etc).
    Once they have the visa, they would also need to apply for an Alien Certificate Card (ACR) from the Bureau of Immigration. View requirements.
    Foreign applicants to the Asian Center must be in the Philippines to take the exam (usually, this is sometime in early June for the August intake, and early November for the January intake). They may opt to return home and then come back when they are accepted. OIL Diliman recommends staying at least a month before the semester starts so that accepted applicants can process their visas, etc.

    For Inquiries: Visa/Immigration and Admissions

    For visa and immigration-related inquiries, you may visit the page of the Student Mobility Section of the Office of International Linkages Diliman. Please contact them at (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 2561 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
    For admissions-related questions, please call the the One-Stop Student Desk (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 4557 or email the Admissions and Records Section of the Office of the University Registrar  (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 4555 and 4556 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • FAQs

    Details and rules on courses and the program may be found in the Student Corner.

    Application Requirements

    How do I get the Certificate of Transfer Credentials?

    This can be obtained at the Registrar's Office of your university. This is only for applicants who took their undergraduate degree or are currently taking up their MA outside UP Diliman.

    Do I need to submit a research plan even if I am on a non-thesis track?

    No, nonthesis track applicants are no longer required to submit a  Research Plan.

    In the research plan, the number of words is indicated in some of the headings. Does this refer to the minimum or maximum word count?

    The number refers to the maximum word count. 

    Is there a GWA requirement for applying?

    At least 2.0 GWA (or its equivalent) is required. Once in the program, students are asked to maintain a GWA of 2.0 or better.

    Is there a degree requirement for application?

    Any BA or BS degree holder is welcome to apply.

    Do I need to know an Asian language to apply/be accepted?

    Applicants do not need to have competency in any Asian languge when they apply. The language requirement only applies when one is already in the program.

    Do I have to type or hand-write the application forms?

    The application forms can be handwritten or typed/printed.

    In the Personal Data Sheet/Form, do I have to list all of my unpublished work (term papers?)

    Not all of your term papers. Include your best work and, as applicable, ensure that the list also represents your scholarly interests.

    Can I ask the person recommending me to email the Recommendation Form?

    Yes, during pandemic conditions at least. But hard copies—in sealed envelopes and signed across the flap—are still to be submitted.


    How often do you accept applications?

    The Asian Center accepts applications every semester. The first semester starts in August, the second in January. Application period generally starts a few months before the start of the semester.

    What is the coverage of the aptitude and essay exams?

    The aptitude exam measures abstract reasoning, among others, while the essay section tests less for objective knowledge than for one's readiness for graduate studies, as well as writing aptitude (grammar, sentence structure, clear presentation of one's ideas, etc.). It would not hurt of course to do some reading.

    When is the exam?

    Application exams are suspended during pandemic conditions. Schedule of the exam will be announced during the application period/after you apply. Generally, the exam is scheduled around a week after the deadline of submission.


    If you have questions about course- or program-specific matters, please visit the Student Corner.


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