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

This page explains the requirements and procedures in applying for the Asian Center's graduate programs. We accept applications twice a year, once for each semester.
On mobile? Tap the three horizontal lines to view tabs
  • Requirements: MA Programs

    1. Fill out this online application form (For August 2020 only; see "Application Process" tab)

    2. Formal letter of application to the dean of the Asian Center. Please write full name thereof.

    3. Original AND photocopy of Transcript of Records of undergraduate degree (Transcript must comply with the following guidelines)

    4. Curriculum vitae and duly accomplished Personal Data Form  (See "Application Forms" tab)

    5. Duly accomplished Recommendation Form (see "Application Forms" tab) 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

    6. Application fee of PhP 100 for Filipino students and US$25 for foreign applicants, to be paid to the UP Cash Office (online options to be posted in due course)

    7. Two (2) passport-sized photos

    8. Original AND photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate

    9. Original AND photocopy of NSO Marriage Certificate (for married female applicants)

    10. Passing the aptitude examination (to be announced)

    11. Receipt for aptitude examination fee of PhP 150 to be paid at the UP Cashier (OCG Trust Acct. No. 9773900-499-450)

    12. Two essays (to be written in-house at the UP Asian Center), one autobiographical and one on substantive issues pertaining to studies of the Philippines/Asia.

    13. Interview by the Asian Center Admissions Committee (for those who pass the aptitude and essay examinations)

    14. Certificate of Transfer Credentials (for Non-UP Diliman applicants)

    15. Research Plan (even non-thesis applicants will submit; see "Application Forms" tab)

    16. For foreign applicants, see "Foreign Applicants" tab on the left for additional requirements

    17. Computation of GWA (For August 2020 applicants only)* See Application Process tab to view details.

    Got a question? Check the FAQ tabs first.

    Requirements: PhD Program

    To view the requirements, please visit the dedicated page for the PhD Philippine Studies program.

  • The PDFs are directly fillable in a typical PDF reader application/software on a desktop/laptop/tablet.  In Preview (Mac), the blue color of data fields may not appear, but the PDFs can be filled out directly. The fillability also does not work inside Safari in an iPad. 

    Forms for MA Applications

    • Online application form (For August 2020 intake only; see "Application Process" tab)
    • Personal Data Form: PDF | Word
    • Recommendation Form (MA): PDF | Word
    • Research Plan (MA): Word
    • GWA Computation Form (For August 2020 applicants only)

    Forms for PhD Applications

    The PDFs are directly fillable in a typical PDF reader application/software on a desktop/laptop/tablet.  In Preview (Mac), the blue color of data fields may not appear, but the PDFs can be filled out directly. The fillability also does not work inside Safari in an iPad. Entries to the application forms can be handwritten or typed/printed. If there are problems with the forms, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
  • 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.

    Deadlines and Application Period: M.A. Programs

    • For 1st semester, AY 2020–2021 (August 2020 Intake): 31 May 2020 (online submission only; see application process tab)

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

    Deadlines and Application Period: PhD Program

    • For 1st semester, AY 2020–2021 (August 2020 Intake): 5 June 2020 (online submission only; see application process in Tri-College page)

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

  • How to Apply: M.A. Programs (Only for August 2020 Intake)

    In light of ECQ and its impact on work process, here is the modified application process for the August 2020 intake. For other semesters, please scroll below.

    1. Fill out this online application form (only for August 2020 intake). There will be separate forms for later semesters.

    2. Send soft copy of requirements* to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in one zip file by 31 May 2020. File name of the zip file must be formatted thus: Navarro, Mara V.zip. See file naming guide below.

    3. Online interviews (via Zoom) of shortlisted candidates will be conducted between 15 and 30 June 2020. Kindly make sure you have a registered/authenticated (i.e., you used a verified email address to sign up) Zoom account by then. Also, please make sure you have filled out the online application form above so that you can be notified of the/your schedule (s).

    4. Whole-day aptitude exam (including writing of two essays at the Asian Center) and application fee payment can be done when on-site university service resumes. Please make sure you have filled out the online application form above so that you can be notified of the schedule. While it can help to read up on Asia- or Philippine-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.).

    5. All applicants will be notified of the results. Accepted applicants await further instructions/updates.

    *Additional Requirement and File Naming Guide (Only for August 2020 Applicants)

    To expedite the processing of applications, applicants for August 2020 intake must submit a computation of their GWA in an Excel file. Download GWA Computation Form (To be uploaded and sent to applicants who've subscribed to the online form)

    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:

    • 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 non-UP Diliman Applicants only)
    • 10_Marriage Certificate - Last Name, Given Name (For married female applicants only)

    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.

    Please add one sheet for any other degree (like an existing MA program, etc). There should only be one (1) Excel file.

    All items above—except 06, 09 and 10—must be submitted online by 31 May 2020. But if you already have 06, 09, and/or 10, please include them in your online submission by May's end.

    Other Notes/Reminders

    If you already have them, do not open and scan the recommendation forms. They will be submitted–still sealed—later on in person. 

    Applicants with incomplete/pending requirements (as listed in the Requirements tab**, including the sealed recommendations) can still be shortlisted and interviewed online, but applicants endorsed for admission must submit all requirements (listed in Requirements tab)** in person no later than 30 June 2020. Any updates regarding deadlines and other procedures will be emailed to you, so please be sure you’ve filled out the online application form above.

    **These include originals, photocopies and number of copies, as applicable. For instance, you would still need to submit two hardcopies of the passport-sized photos.

    Applications of successful applicants will be processed and sent to the Office of the Registrar only after all requirements are submitted in person.


    How to Apply: M.A. Programs (Other Semesters)

    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 each semester.

    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.

    Once Accepted (Pre-COVID-19 Process)

    This may be modified depending on the Covid-19 situation.
    1. If the student is accepted into the program, he or she will receive the Notice of Acceptance; list of requirements to be submitted to the Office of the University Registration (Admissions and Records Section, ARS); and Form 002 (College Admission Slip addressed to the UP Health Service).
    2. Accepted student goes to UP Infirmary for Physical-Medical Checkup and claims the results, and returns to the UP Asian Center to get the documents for the University Admission Slip (proof of formal acceptance into the university).
    3. Accepted student receives from the UP Asian Center the full list of documents to be submitted to the University Registrar, who will process the University Admission Slip.
    4. Accepted student presents University Admission Slip to the UP Asian Center and awaits further instructions and makes preparations for enrollment.

    Notes

    * 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.
    ** While it can help to read up on Asia- or Philippine-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.).

    How to Apply: PhD in Philippine Studies Program

    To view the process, please visit the dedicated page for the PhD Philippine Studies program.

  • Additional Application Requirements: International Applicants

    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.

  • Semestral Fees for MA Programs:

    • Tuition fees: PhP 500.00 per unit*
    • Library Fee: PhP 1,200
    • Athletics: 75
    • Registration fee: 40
    • Medical: 50
    • Cultural: 50
    • Student Fund: 50

      *Doesn't apply to language courses at the UP Asian Center.

    Amendment Guidelines on the Grant of Free Tuition in State Universities and Colleges for Fiscal Year 2017

    Scholarships

    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. 

    For details regarding requirements, terms, conditions, etc., please view the page for Tuition and Financing @ UP Asian Center

  • ON THE EXAMS

    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?

    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.


    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 non-UP Diliman applicants.

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

    Yes, the Research Plan is required even for applicants to the nonthesis track.

    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 3.0 GWA (or its equivalent) is required. Once in the program, students are asked to maintain a GWA of 1.75 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?

    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.

    Can I ask someone to submit the application documents?

    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.

    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.


    SCHEDULE and SUBMISSIONS

    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 ends a few months before the start of the semester.

    Can I submit the application documents on weekends?

    Submissions of applications are accepted only on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), 8 am to 5 pm

    Where is the Office of the University Registrar?

    View map


    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 per semester.

    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.

    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.

    If I am accepted, can I defer my enrollment?

    Yes, you can write to the Dean of the UP Asian Center and/or fill out a form. Please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary.

  • Get In Touch

    Please check the FAQs first before sending an inquiry. For additional information, please contact the Office of the College Secretary at 8.981.8500 local 3578 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    Kindly look for Mr. Robert Silleza or Avel Golondrina.

    Locations: UP Asian Center

    Please note that vehicles entering the GT-Toyota Asian Cultural Center grounds can only do so via the gate on Magsaysay Avenue that is near a UP guardhouse and a few meters away from Katipunan Avenue. A small gate for pedestrians on Guerrero St., which lies across the College of Law parking lot and a few meters away from a waiting shed, where the Ikot jeepney, and jeepneys from Philcoa and SM North pass by.  View an entire map of the UP Diliman campus.

    Office of the University Registrar