East Asian Languages and Civilizations, PhD

The cross-disciplinary Ph.D. program in East Asian Languages and Civilizations is designed to train graduate students who can teach and conduct independent research in a variety of humanistic disciplines using Chinese, Japanese, Korean, or Mongolian, or occasionally other languages of East Asia. Our region is defined roughly as China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia, and Inner Asia. Before completion of the degree, each student is required to:

  1. master the requisite linguistic tools and research methods;
  2. demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of the history and culture of his or her area of expertise;
  3. gain an in-depth expertise in one or more period and/or subject areas; and
  4. attain the necessary level of training in his or her humanistic discipline.

View the University’s Academic Rules for PhD Programs.


The total course units required for graduation is 20. A minimum of 12 course units must be completed at the University of Pennsylvania.

Core Requirements
Select 20 course units at 5000 level or above
First-Year Review
Methodology Requirement (7000 level seminar)
Language Requirement
Select 1 course unit in classical language (EALC 7641, EALC 8621, EALC 8622, or equivalent)
Select 1 course unit in minor Asian language (EALC 7621, EALC 8659, or equivalent)
European or other Asian research language (by class or examination)
Candidacy Examinations
Three written field exams
Research exam
Oral exam

The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.