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Graduate Program

Guidelines for Graduate Study in Chinese

  • The M.A. Program
  • I. Requirements: the candidate must

    A. Demonstrate proficiency in both modern and classical Chinese by completing 1) third-year Chinese through CHINLANG 103 with a letter grade of ‘B’ or higher and 2) one of three advanced classical Chinese courses (CHINLIT 221-223). (Note: qualified students may, upon consultation with the graduate adviser, be permitted to certify that they have attained the equivalent level of proficiency by passing examinations or presenting documentary evidence of attendance at a bachelor’s institution wherein Chinese is the language of instruction.)

    B. Complete the following for a letter grade of ‘B’ or higher:

    1) Four courses in 200-level Chinese literature or linguistics

    2) CHINLIT 201. Proseminar: Research Methods

    3) Two upper-division or graduate-level courses in fields such as Chinese anthropology, archaeology, art history, history, philosophy, political science and religious studies, as approved by the graduate adviser in consultation with the student’s individual adviser.

    4) A master’s thesis; CHINLIT 299. Master’s Thesis or Translation.

  • The Ph.D. Program
  • I. Requirements: the candidate must

    A. Complete the department's requirements for the M.A. in Chinese. Students may submit two substantial research papers in lieu of the master’s thesis; students who enter the program with a master’s degree in a relevant field may be exempted from the thesis and other requirements with the approval of the graduate adviser.

    B. Complete advanced classical Chinese from CHINLIT 221 through 223. Exemptions may be granted to archaeology students who do prehistoric archaeology or have already had extended training previously in classical Chinese. Instead, these students should take required coursework relating to archaeology which is offered in the Stanford Archaeology Center. For details students should consult with the supervisor or the graduate adviser.

    C. Demonstrate proficiency in at least one supporting language, to be chosen in consultation with the primary adviser according to the candidate's specific research goals. Reading proficiency must be certified through a written examination or an appropriate amount of coursework, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. When deemed necessary by the student's adviser(s), working knowledge of a third language may also be required.

    D. Complete two relevant seminars at the 300 level. These seminars must be in different subjects, and at least one must be a CHINLIT course, except for archaeology students.

    E. Pass a set of three comprehensive written examinations, one of which tests the candidate's methodological competence in the relevant discipline. The remaining two fields are chosen, with the approval of the graduate adviser in consultation with the student's individual adviser, from the following: archaeolology, art, cinema studies, Chinese literature, history, Japanese literature, linguistics, philosophy, and religion. With the adviser's approval, a Ph.D. minor in a supporting field may be deemed equivalent to the completion of one of these three examinations.

    F. Demonstrate pedagogical proficiency by serving as a teaching assistant for a minimum of one quarter, and taking DLCL 201, The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages.

    G. Pass the University Oral Examination. General regulations governing the oral examination are found in the "Graduate Degrees" section of the Graduate School Bulletin. The candidate is examined on questions related to the dissertation after acceptable parts of it have been completed in draft form.

    H. Submit a dissertation demonstrating ability to undertake original research based on primary materials in Chinese or, for archaeology students, based on data related to China.

    II. Student Progress

    A. The China faculty conducts annual review of student progress in the spring quarter. A student who has received 1) two Incompletes 2) three or more ‘B+’ or lower grades or 3) one ‘C’ grade in the past academic year will receive a warning letter from the graduate adviser. If similarly unsatisfactory performance continues in the following year, the student will be put on probation or face dismissal at the end of the spring quarter in which the review is conducted. The student may petition for a terminal master’s degree if all requirements have been met.

    B. All Ph.D. students should have completed their comprehensive exams by the end of the 9th quarter in the program. All Ph.D. candidates must submit a dissertation prospectus and satisfactorily defend it by the end of the 10th quarter before a committee of at least three faculty members. Students who fail to meet these deadlines (without any mitigating circumstances) will be placed on probation for one quarter. Under special circumstances and with approval from the graduate adviser, a student may have until the end of the 10th quarter to complete the comprehensive exams and the end of the 11th quarter to defend the prospectus.

    C. All Ph.D. candidates must have a primary advisor and a dissertation committee by the time of their prospectus defense. Any Academic Council member can be chosen as primary advisor or committee members; but no more than two members should be from outside the department or non-China field(s). (Note: some faculty members will not agree to serve as advisor or committee member unless a student has taken one or more courses with him or her; moreover, it may be necessary to inquire about future course offerings as faculty members go on leave/sabbatical at regular intervals.)

    D. Students are encouraged to apply for campus and national grants for dissertation research and/or writing beginning in their 4th year; students who do not have additional funding beyond the standard multi-year financial aid package are expected to go on the job market (including applying for postdoctoral fellowships) in their 5th year.

    E. A guideline for students enrolled for the Archaeology Subplan will describe some minor differences for required progress in a separate document.

      Coursework and research Teaching
    Year 1 Coursework, expecting 18 units per quarter.  
    Year 2 Coursework, no more than 10 units per quarter. T.A. 3 language courses (for 3 quarters)
    Year 3 • Coursework, no more than 10 units per quarter;
    • Complete comprehensive exams by the 9th quarter, advance to doctoral candidacy;
    • Complete 135 units of coursework.
    T.A. 1 content course (for 1 quarter)
    Year 4 • Submit a dissertation prospectus and defend it by the end of the 10th quarter;
    • Have a primary advisor and a dissertation committee by the time of the defense;
    • Beginning dissertation research.
    Year 5 Dissertation writing.  

    Graduate Program

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        – Requirements
        – Candidacy
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    “Why am I glad to be a part of the EALC? That’s easy enough. The freedom (and resources) to pursue my own academic interests, professors equally attentive to the pursuit of knowledge and the practical exigencies of professional development, a supportive community of graduate students who continue to teach me new things on a daily basis, and opportunities to engage with contemporary authors and scholars hailing from all over the globe. If you have never thought that, say, Japanese linked verse from the 15th century or the popular literature of the early Showa Period could be exciting, I would ask you first to visit our doors.”

      Kevin Singleton, graduate student
    East Asian Languages and Cultures