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Hi everyone!

It's beginning to look a lot like application season again and I've been wondering if there's anyone else out there applying to East Asian Studies programs? There must be, right?! I'm starting to get nervous (and excited) and would love to hear from others going through the same ordeal. I'm sure we'll all need to commiserate at some point, perhaps early and often;)

My research interested are focused on pre-modern/medieval Japanese history and religion. The programs I'm most interested in are at Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago, and possibly UBC. I'm also trying to narrow down my list for other programs and will apply to a mix of MA and PhD programs.

Been out of school a few years, too, so it's time to get my butt back in gear...I feel like I have so much work to do!!

But enough about me, I hope to hear from you guys too:D What are you interests and where do you hope to go?

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Yesss!

Modern Japan here.  Interests are the process of modern nation-building, the formation of war memory and collective identities, and gender in the context of international relations. 

Will indeed apply to Harvard, Columbia and UChicago.  (too similar to your target schools? :P) Still searching for other programs at the moment and definitely will apply for PhD and master programs in history as well.

I think UPenn's History Department is also quite strong in East Asia history, but not sure about the period you are interested in. UPenn also has East Asia studies PhD programs if I remember it correctly. This is my second round. For the first I only applied for Harvard and UPenn and only the history PhD programs. But I once contacted Helen Hardacre via email bc my master thesis has a lot to do with State Shinto. She's very kind and nice. :) 

 

btw, nice profile name! xD

 

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Howdy and welcome to the party! Nice to meet you and to have another Japanese historian in the mix:) Have you spent any time in Japan?

Similar schools indeed, but I guess we're more limited when it comes to area studies programs. Do share when you figure out what other programs you might apply to! I have a friend the history program at UC Santa Barbara and while I don't know much about the program, it could be one for you to check out (if you haven't already).

I'll look into UPenn again. I know I put them on my (very long) master list of possible programs so I'll take a closer too and see what they're all about! And that's nice to hear about Helen Hardacre! I remember using a text of hers as an undergrad and have always been awed by the possibility to work with someone whose book we used in class!:o

I think some of the online applications have opened by now (eek). Thinking of scoping them out soon to familiarize myself...gulp!

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Thanks for the advice! I will definitely check out UC Santa Barbara! (oops I haven't, I intended to save the UC schools for later bc I think some of them ask for transcripts to be sent to them also by mail so I need to figure out how many hard copy transcripts I need to order. :P) I've spent one year in Tokyo. Great experience. Undoubtedly fell in love with the National Diet Library. *dreamy face*

Speaking of master's, I think the MAPSS of U Chicago is a very good option for me, and MAPH for you maybe? It offers scholarship and we can work with academics who could be future PhD advisers. :) I think I'm gonna apply to both MAPSS (history track) and U Chicago's East Asia study PhD program. :P

I was also suggested to look at prestigious programs "everywhere" to find a good intellectual match. So you may wanna consider schools in Europe as well? Oxford, Cambridge, Leiden etc and schools in Canada. (I already did a search of programs in UK and didn't find one I feel like to apply for, I'll try Canadian schools later) :) 

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Gonna pop my head in to wish luck to you two! I'm at USC, focusing on premodern Japan. If you have any questions about the process, please let me know~

@kotatsumuri: What period specifically are you working on? If you're looking at MAs, do take a look at UAlberta's East Asian Studies program. They have a premodern literature and religion specialist and usually have funding for their students. I'd also check at UMichigan if Hitomi Tonomura is still taking students. I have a few friends who went to UBC's MA program and loved it. Also may want to look at Princeton?

@AnUglyBoringNerd: Seconding UC Santa Barbara for you! I have a lot of friends in that program and they love it. :) Might also want to look at UCLA. 

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Hello all! I'm looking at EALC programs with with a focus on film and media (Japanese film/media, specifically) :) I'm applying to a mix of EALC/film&media/combo programs. 

Good luck to us all! Looking forward to hear how it plays out for everyone. 

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On 2017/9/11 at 8:07 PM, kyjin said:

 

@AnUglyBoringNerd: Seconding UC Santa Barbara for you! I have a lot of friends in that program and they love it. :) Might also want to look at UCLA. 

Thanks for the suggestion! I've checked out their program and it's indeed intriguing! (i Like it that they list gender&sexuality as one of the specializations). Unfortunately, I have also found this piece of info on the website:

...generally between 30-50% of the incoming group receive some kind of funding. Only a few top-ranked candidates can be nominated for central fellowships (which include merit-based fellowships and merit-with-diversity fellowships) from the Graduate Division. Others might receive departmental funding if it is available. 

International Applicants: Unfortunately it is very seldom that international students are awarded funding through our department, as the costs of supporting their non-resident fees and tuition each term are quite high. (URL:http://www.eastasian.ucsb.edu/academics/graduate-program/application-statistics/)

I am an international applicant and all things considered, I really need to get in a program with definite full funding so I guess UCSB is not working for me. :'(

 

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Thanks for the ideas guys! Feels like I haven't been on in ages. Anyone else have issues access the site lately? I kept getting a 504 gateway error when I tried to come on...! Started filling out the Columbia app last week (eep) and still waiting for those "mid-September" ones to come online.

Welcome @spicyramen! How's the process going for you? Any of your apps open up yet?

@kyjin Thanks! I'll look into UMichigan. I've read a lot of the past EALC posts and saw you reccomending UAlberta so it's definitely on my list. I studied the Heian period and the interactions between Shinto/Buddhism for my senior year honors thesis, but am interested in looking at the Kamakura period too. My undergrad university didn't have a really strong Asian studies program so I kind of forged my own path with my thesis. Makes it trickier when I think about my SOPs, though, since I worry about not being able to be specific enough.

Speaking of theses...what do you guys plan on doing for writing samples? I'm going to work with my former advisor to pick out some pages from my thesis but that's around 80 pages long so I have no idea where to start to get down to 10-20 pages.:blink:

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A few just opened, @kotatsumuri! Although, frankly I'm still looking around for programs to apply to. Film/media can be a rare beast if one is interested in area studies. Have you been in to look at apps yet? I know it's early yet :)

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@AnUglyBoringNerd Huh, that doesn't seem right to me. I might consider applying just in case anyway. Honestly I wouldn't take any PhD program that didn't offer full funding, and they know applicants won't consider them if they aren't funded. Might be a UC policy about international applicants...

@kotatsumuri Yes, another Heian/Kamakura person! Always excited when I see someone else working in my time period. :) In that case, I would also suggest looking at USC. You'll want more language work for the PhD level, but you could apply for the East Asian Studies MA which would allow you to work with professors across campus. (Particularly I'm thinking Joan Piggott in History and Lori Meeks in Religion.) They also offer some funding in the form of TAships.  Glad to hear my posts about UAlberta helped. I came across the program by chance and it really was an incredible program to prep for a PhD. 

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On 9/4/2017 at 10:09 PM, kotatsumuri said:

Hi everyone!

It's beginning to look a lot like application season again and I've been wondering if there's anyone else out there applying to East Asian Studies programs? There must be, right?! I'm starting to get nervous (and excited) and would love to hear from others going through the same ordeal. I'm sure we'll all need to commiserate at some point, perhaps early and often;)

My research interested are focused on pre-modern/medieval Japanese history and religion. The programs I'm most interested in are at Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago, and possibly UBC. I'm also trying to narrow down my list for other programs and will apply to a mix of MA and PhD programs.

Been out of school a few years, too, so it's time to get my butt back in gear...I feel like I have so much work to do!!

But enough about me, I hope to hear from you guys too:D What are you interests and where do you hope to go?

Hey! I'm in the RSEA program at Harvard and based on my own experiences applying to grad programs back in 2015, would highly recommend you apply to schools with funding--unless money is no issue. Based on what you're interested in, I'd consider the following:

*Harvard: I would suggest you apply to the PhD only if you already have an M.A. or if you have a significant enough background in EALC (ex: 5+ years of work experience in Asia, a translated book, etc.)

*Columbia: It's not a well-funded program right now but definitely reach out to professors (as you should already be doing) and students to get their own perspective on it.

*UChicago: For the PhD program, it pretty much only takes students with M.A.'s already (as they've directly told me) and they'll most likely give you the option of doing their MAPH.

*UCSB: Great program but not enough funding. DO NOT accept a PhD offer if they do not give you a good financial package. A PhD is a job and your financial package is your salary.

Wherever you get in though, (I'm looking at the UChicago MAPH especially) it is not worth it to pay your way through an M.A. in EA studies. I applied to about 10 schools (including 3/4 you mentioned being interested in) and got into all of their programs and you notice immediately which schools will offer you the financial support and resources to succeed. So I would suggest also considering the following schools: UCLA, WUSTL, Duke, Stanford, Harvard (RSEA). All of these offered me financial support in some way with UCLA being the most generous offer.

Hope this is helpful! Let me know if you need any other help or advice.

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On 9/4/2017 at 10:09 PM, kotatsumuri said:

Hi everyone!

It's beginning to look a lot like application season again and I've been wondering if there's anyone else out there applying to East Asian Studies programs? There must be, right?! I'm starting to get nervous (and excited) and would love to hear from others going through the same ordeal. I'm sure we'll all need to commiserate at some point, perhaps early and often;)

My research interested are focused on pre-modern/medieval Japanese history and religion. The programs I'm most interested in are at Harvard, Columbia, University of Chicago, and possibly UBC. I'm also trying to narrow down my list for other programs and will apply to a mix of MA and PhD programs.

Been out of school a few years, too, so it's time to get my butt back in gear...I feel like I have so much work to do!!

But enough about me, I hope to hear from you guys too:D What are you interests and where do you hope to go?

In addition to the schools you mentioned, I would also consider the M.A. programs at Berkeley, Yale, and Stanford. They all offer fellowships to some (but not all) entering students. The support ranges from partial support up to a full ride including stipend. Good luck with your applications!

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@machacreampuff Thanks for the useful information. Did you get funded for Harvard's RSEA program? I was going to apply to their PhD program, but I don't have the experience you stated as necessary to gain acceptance. Also, do you contact the universities to find out if there is funding for the programs? I was planning on applying to PhD programs at Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, Yale (maybe because of Michael Hunter) and Columbia (haven't found a great POI yet) because the programs seem to be fully funded. I have about five other non-ivy MA programs that I'm applying to as well. 

If I apply to those PhD programs and get rejected, might they offer a spot in their MA programs based on the PhD program application?

My stats: 

Undergrad: UMASS Amherst 

Major: Chinese Language and Lit. 

GPA: 3.81

Etc: Studied in China for two semesters under the auspices of the Gilman Scholarship; Was part of UMASS's honor's college; Wrote an honor's thesis (40 pg.) on the northern song dynasty poet Su Shi; Won 1st prize at the five-college Chinese speech competition (advanced level); founded and acted as president of UMASS's Chinese Conversation Club. 

GREs: have been studying to take them this November. 

Professional experience (since graduation): Working with a startup company which consults Chinese high school students who wish to study in the US; working as a private tutor focused on ESL for Chinese students. 

Other: Newly published poet in a respected literary journal; will hopefully have one more publication by the time of my applications. 

Research interests: Classical Chinese Literature, specifically Tang and Song dynasty poetry, and its relation to contemporary ideological, philosophical and artistic thought.

Any feedback would be great! 

 

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I'm a pre-modern Japanese history person too! I'm planning to apply to PhD programs next year, but good luck to everyone who is applying this year! @kotatsumuri I agree with looking into UPenn and Princeton. Spafford the Medieval historian at Penn is great, and so is Conlan at Princeton. Who are you interested in studying with at UBC? 

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Yale EAS MA grad and current Princeton EAS grad student here -- feel free to PM me if you have any questions about those programs! 

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Welcome to everyone who has joined in lately :D Nice to see another pre-modern historian in the midst, @nihonshi!!

What's everyone been up to lately? I'm still trying to narrow down programs but somehow my list has only grown:blink: I'm also feeling like the straight-to-PhD option is less and less likely based on comments above and from talking to some current grad students. Now I feel silly for not realizing this...but I guess better to find out now than later on. Also signed up for the GRE again....ugh!!!

@costevens From what I've learned you might want to be wary of being bumped down from PhD to MA for apps. I don't know about all schools, but if they pass you on for MA consideration it could be after they've already accepted a bunch of students for MAs and spots could be used up by then. You might want to contact students or the program to find out what their process is, and if you don't think you're qualified enough to get into the PhD program just apply for the MA. This is basically what was suggested to me so I'm kind of shifting my approach...

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@costevens Glad to help :) I've been learning a lot during this process myself. And I highly recommend reaching out to grad students! Everyone I've been in touch with so far (both through gradcafe and otherwise) has been very friendly and helpful.

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On 9/26/2017 at 1:53 PM, costevens said:

@machacreampuff Thanks for the useful information. Did you get funded for Harvard's RSEA program? I was going to apply to their PhD program, but I don't have the experience you stated as necessary to gain acceptance. Also, do you contact the universities to find out if there is funding for the programs? I was planning on applying to PhD programs at Harvard, UPenn, Stanford, Yale (maybe because of Michael Hunter) and Columbia (haven't found a great POI yet) because the programs seem to be fully funded. I have about five other non-ivy MA programs that I'm applying to as well. 

If I apply to those PhD programs and get rejected, might they offer a spot in their MA programs based on the PhD program application?

My stats: 

Undergrad: UMASS Amherst 

Major: Chinese Language and Lit. 

GPA: 3.81

Etc: Studied in China for two semesters under the auspices of the Gilman Scholarship; Was part of UMASS's honor's college; Wrote an honor's thesis (40 pg.) on the northern song dynasty poet Su Shi; Won 1st prize at the five-college Chinese speech competition (advanced level); founded and acted as president of UMASS's Chinese Conversation Club. 

GREs: have been studying to take them this November. 

Professional experience (since graduation): Working with a startup company which consults Chinese high school students who wish to study in the US; working as a private tutor focused on ESL for Chinese students. 

Other: Newly published poet in a respected literary journal; will hopefully have one more publication by the time of my applications. 

Research interests: Classical Chinese Literature, specifically Tang and Song dynasty poetry, and its relation to contemporary ideological, philosophical and artistic thought.

Any feedback would be great! 

 

@costevens Sorry for taking so long to get back to you! Yes, I was funded by Harvard. I would say that it's hard to ask about funding this early as most MA programs will tell you in their FAQ that funding is limited. Schools tend to be very good at letting you know how well you'll be funded when you get your acceptances--this will happen on a rolling basis usually too. Hope that helps!

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@machacreampuff No worries! Thanks for your reply! 

 

How are everyone else's applications going? I am feeling the heat, as I'm taking my GREs soon and preparing all of my statements... But it's getting there. My research interests lie in pre-modern Chinese (literary Chinese) poetry. Shooting for a mix of ivies and state schools.

加油!

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Howdy @costevens! Did you take the exam yet? Good luck, if not!

Taking the GRE again in a few weeks...waiting on the arrival of a new prep book (that should have before now). Ugh!! I've got all of my LOR writers sorted out, which is a huge relief, and I'm taking a good hard looks at my personal statements today.

Just remembered I need to request some transcripts from my uni's registrar's office soon! I have a couple of schools that want official hard copies as part of the application process.

Has everyone chosen where they're applying to by now? Looks like I'm going with 8...unless I change my mind last minute about somewhere. Poor bank account:(

Has anyone been in touch with POIs?

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@kotatsumuri good for you for choosing your 8! I've got a list of 5 or 6, unless someplace magical materializes at the last minute. 

I have been in touch with a number of POIs -- they have mostly been very open to conversation and have been quite helpful! Have other people been in touch with POIs? Would love to hear how it goes/went :) 

@costevens Good luck on your exam! How are SOPs going for you? I'm just starting on mine, and need solidarity XD

Edited by spicyramen

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@kotatsumuri Taking the exam in two weeks. I'm really nervous. I'm hoping to have my verbal above 160, but it has been a while since I have done math (oh, humanities majors...) I'm hoping to have my quant at at least 153-158; I know it's not high, but I've almost done all I can with the time I have left.

@spicyramen I already have well drafted statements from previous scholarship applications. With that being said, they still need to be changed quite a bit for my apps, but I'm not too worried about it. Going to start working on them very soon!

Speaking of GREs, how important are they for EALC programs? Will the score ranges I mentioned above be acceptable? I am applying to 10 programs (including 5 ivies) and worried that my scores might not cut it. All other parts of my application should be pretty good. I'm just so nervous about the stupid GRE!!! 

Keep going everyone! Once these next two months are over, we can relax a little bit! I'm so looking forward to it!!!

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14 hours ago, costevens said:

Speaking of GREs, how important are they for EALC programs? Will the score ranges I mentioned above be acceptable? I am applying to 10 programs (including 5 ivies) and worried that my scores might not cut it. All other parts of my application should be pretty good. I'm just so nervous about the stupid GRE!!! 

Can't speak to the score ranges since I took it before the scoring changes occurred, but the GRE really is the least important part of your application. Some scholarships may take the score into account (verbal, not quant), but aside from that it's not too big of a deal. Try not to stress and good luck! 

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