Best Universities for East Asian Studies in 2022-2023

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Top global colleges and universities for East Asian Studies programs

What are East Asian Studies?

East Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary field of education exploring the East Asian region. This field looks into the past and the present of East Asian regions of China, Japan, and South Korea. The studies expose students to the countries’ culture, traditions, history, and languages. 

East Asian Studies falls within the broader subject of Asian Studies. It blends Social Sciences with Humanities to understand the socio-political and cultural scenarios. Students interested in East Asian cultures will enjoy the best East Asian programs at the top universities. They can receive scholarly education to understand and appreciate some of the world’s most dynamic regions.

Popular East Asian Studies programs

East Asian studies programs are available at top universities like Harvard, Yale, Columbia, UCLA, Oxford, etc. These programs are usually within the Faculty of Arts and Humanities. East Asian studies majors may focus on one area such as business, religion, language, literature, music, or politics.

East Asian Studies bachelor’s/undergraduate programs 

  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • Bachelor’s in East Asian Business Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literature

East Asian Studies master’s/graduate programs

  • MSc in East Asian Relations
  • MA in East Asian Studies
  • JD/MA in East Asian Studies
  • MA in international politics and East Asia
  • MSc East Asian Development and the Global Economy

East Asian Studies Ph.D./research programs

  • MPhil in Traditional East Asia
  • MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Japanese/Chinese Studies)
  • Ph.D. in East Asian Languages and Literature
  • Ph.D. East Asian Studies
  • Ph.D. in East Asian History

Duration of East Asian Studies programs

Country Bachelor’s level Master’s level Doctoral level
United States 4 years 2 years 3 years
United Kingdom 3 years 1-2 years 3-6 years
Canada 4 years 2-3 years 3-6 years
Australia 3 years 2 years 3 years

Best global universities for East Asian Studies

The universities presented in this list offer bachelor’s and master’s programs (or either of those) with a major in East Asian Studies. Some universities may offer specific courses for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean studies. 

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Country Bachelor’s program Master’s program
1 7 5 University of Oxford United Kingdom Click here Click here
2 3 8 University of Cambridge United Kingdom Click here Click here
3 1 1 Harvard University United States Click here Click here
4 5 4 University of California, Berkeley United States Click here Click here
5 2 3 Stanford University United States Click here Click here
6 11 12 Yale University United States Click here Click here
7 8 6 Columbia University United States Click here Click here
8 27 30 New York University United States Click here Click here
9 38 32 The University of Edinburgh United Kingdom Click here Click here
10 14 14 University of California, Los Angeles United States Click here Click here
11 17 16 University College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
12 75 29 National University of Singapore Singapore Click here Click here
13 4 2 Massachusetts Institute of Technology United States Click here Click here
14 10 15 University of Chicago United States Click here Click here
15 6 16 Princeton University United States Click here Click here
16 33 25 The University of Melbourne Australia Click here Click here
17 22 16 University of Toronto Canada Click here Click here
18 151-200 230 London School of Economics and Political Science United Kingdom Click here Click here
19 NA 78 Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Germany Click here Click here
20 101-150 76 The University of Hong Kong Hong Kong Click here Click here
21 NA 38 University of Amsterdam Netherlands Click here Click here
22 101-150 28 The University of Sydney Australia Click here Click here
23 35 46 Sorbonne University France Click here Click here
24 24 77 University of Tokyo Japan Click here Click here
25 78 56 The Australian National University Australia Click here Click here
26 NA NA Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne France Click here Click here
27 47 33 King’s College London United Kingdom Click here Click here
28 NA 95 Freie Universitaet Berlin Germany Click here Click here
29 26 19 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor United States Click here Click here
30 42 35 University of British Columbia Canada Click here Click here

East Asian Studies programs in the US

Several best-ranking universities in the US offer a range of courses in East Asian studies. According to UC Davis, students prefer to major in East Asian studies along with other subjects. These subjects could be economics, international relations, sociology, and many others. Most bachelor’s programs at the top universities in the US for East Asian studies tend to be general. More specialization options are available for master’s programs.

Some popular programs available in the US are

Undergraduate level

  • BA in East Asian Languages and Civilizations
  • BA in East Asian Languages and Literature
  • BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies – Chinese
  • BA in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies – Korean

Graduate level

  • Master of Arts in East Asian Studies – Critical Asian Humanities
  • Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Cultures
  • Master of Arts in History Specialisation in East Asian History
  • Master of Arts in East Asian Languages and Literatures

Graduates of Bachelors in East Asian studies typically receive an average annual salary of USD 71,000.

Top universities for East Asian Studies programs in the US

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
3 1 1 Harvard University Click here Click here
4 5 4 University of California, Berkeley Click here Click here
5 2 3 Stanford University Click here Click here
6 11 12 Yale University Click here Click here
7 8 6 Columbia University Click here Click here

East Asian Studies programs in the UK

East Asian studies at the graduate level are usually available as research programs in the UK. Universities like Cambridge offer MPhil courses that can be pursued before a doctoral degree. Bachelor’s programs in the UK are more specialized than those in the US. Most of these undergraduate programs have a duration of 3 years. 

Most students combine their East Asian studies with another subject to develop their specialized niche. Popular degrees in the UK are

Undergraduate level

  • BA in East Asian Studies
  • BA in Film Studies and East Asian Studies
  • Bachelors in Chinese and East Asian Religions and Cultures
  • Bachelors in Music and East Asian Studies

Graduate level

  • MPhil in Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (Japanese/Chinese Studies)
  • MPhil East Asian Studies
  • International Politics and East Asia (MA)
  • International Relations (East Asia)
  • MA History of Art and Archaeology of East Asia

The average annual salary of East Asian studies undergraduates in the UK is GBP 31,000.

Top universities for East Asian Studies programs in the UK

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
1 7 5 University of Oxford Click here Click here
2 3 8 University of Cambridge Click here Click here
9 38 32 The University of Edinburgh Click here Click here
11 17 16 University College London Click here Click here
18 151-200 230 London School of Economics and Political Science Click here Click here

East Asian Studies programs in Canada

Education in East Asian studies in Canada is theoretically advanced. Canadian programs explore China, Japan, and Korea as places of dynamic transformation. Both Bachelor’s degrees and graduate-level courses tend to be general with limited options for specializations. The duration is four years for a bachelor’s, and Master’s programs can span two to three years. 

Undergraduate level

  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Language Studies
  • Bachelor of Arts in East Asian Studies
  • East Asian Business Studies

Graduate level

  • Master of Arts in East Asian Studies

Graduates in East Asian studies usually have an average annual salary of CAD 46,000

Top universities for East Asian Studies programs in Canada

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
17 22 16 University of Toronto Click here Click here
30 42 35 University of British Columbia Click here Click here
37 67 51 McGill University Click here Click here
120 101-150 151 University of Montreal Click here Click here
159 301-400 456 York University Click here Click here

East Asian Studies programs in Australia

East Asian studies is structured differently in Australia compared to the US and the UK. There are very few programs focusing solely on East Asian studies. However, bachelor’s programs in Asian studies are available with a choice to focus on an individual country. These programs have a length of three years. Graduate programs are available as a master of arts degree in Asian studies, which have two years duration.

Undergraduate level

  • Bachelor of Philosophy – Asia and the Pacific (Korean/Japanese/Chinese Language)
  • Bachelor of Asian Studies (Korean/Japanese/Chinese Studies)
  • Bachelor of Languages (Korean/Japanese/Chinese Language)
  • Bachelor of Arts (Korean/Japanese/Chinese Language)
  • Bachelor of International Studies (with a Specialisation in Chinese International Studies)

Graduate level

  • Master of Asian and Pacific Studies
  • Master of Arts in Asian Studies

East Asian studies/Asian studies undergraduates earn an average annual salary of AUD 73000.

Top universities for East Asian Studies programs in Australia

QS Ranking Shanghai Rankings US News Ranking University Bachelor’s program Master’s program
16 33 25 The University of Melbourne Click here Click here
22 101-150 28 The University of Sydney Click here Click here
25 78 56 The Australian National University Click here Click here
42 80 40 Monash University Click here Click here
46 65 41 The University of New South Wales Click here Click here

Admission requirements for East Asian Studies programs

This section states the general requirements for an undergraduate/graduate program in East Asian studies. Some universities may have additional requirements besides the ones listed here. Students should visit the course pages of their preferred university to check additional details.

Undergraduate level

  • Secondary school certificate
  • English proficiency with an overall score of 6.5 in IELTS or equivalent
  • Standardized test scores of ACT/SAT (if required by universities)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose

Graduate level

  • Relevant Bachelor’s degree with a CGPA of at least 3.0 on a 4.0 scale
  • Official copy of Graduate Record Examination
  • English proficiency with a minimum score of 86 in TOEFL-iBT or 6.5 in IELTS (or equivalent scores of other exams)
  • Research Proposal (for research-based programs)
  • Writing Sample
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Letters of recommendation

Careers with East Asian Studies degrees

Careers after a degree in East Asian studies is not limited to a particular industry or sector. Graduates may work in foreign services or languages. They may be working for multinational corporations, government agencies, or international organizations. East Asian studies graduates may also take additional teacher education courses to become licensed teachers/professors.

Some career options after an East Asian studies degree are

  • Translator/Interpreter
  • Public Relations Specialist/Manager
  • Area and Cultural Studies Professor
  • Historian
  • Museum Curator
  • Copywriter
  • Ambassador
  • NGO professional
  • Government advisor/executive
  • Journalists/Travel writer
  • International Marketing Specialist
  • Foreign Affairs Analyst/Consultant

Students of East Asian studies have access to a wide range of professions. Education in this field can open up opportunities for an international career. Most students combine a degree in East Asian studies with another study area.

Average salary for East Asian studies undergraduates

Average salary ranges of East Asian studies undergraduates are below. The US and the UK tend to pay higher salaries than Canada and Australia. Higher salaries are conditional upon various factors such as experience, employer, and country.

Country Average Annual Salary in USD*
United States $50,000-71,000
United Kingdom $38,700-75,000
Canada $35,900-41,300
Australia $30,600-52,000

* Salary figures mentioned in the table are converted from local currencies to USD at the current exchange rates. Please note that exchange rates may vary from time to time.

Frequently Asked Questions

Most universities do not specify a minimum GRE score. A prospective student’s application is assessed based on other parameters besides the GRE score. The statement of purpose, academic record, writing abilities, and recommendation letters should be impressive.

The curriculum depends on each university. Common subjects may include East Asian history, contemporary East-Asian society, languages, cinema and culture, gender studies, classic and modern literature, and religion. 

Bachelors programs in East Asian studies are usually offered as a Bachelor of Arts degree in the UK. Annual tuition fees for international students ranges from approximately GBP 20,000 to 30,000 (USD 25,000-37,500*). Tuition fees may vary depending on the university and chosen courses.