There are numerous opportunities for graduate work in Asian Studies at Cornell University,
so it is important that applicants understand the options and choose the course of study
that will help you meet your individual goals. Please read the Department of Asian Studies
material as well as the information you receive from the Graduate School carefully before
Please note that the term "Field" has a special meaning at Cornell, since graduate study
here is organized into Fields that are only loosely related to Departments and Programs.
Students who wish to work toward a doctorate and have had undergraduate training in
Asian Studies and in another discipline should apply to the M.A. or Ph.D. program in the
appropriate field (i.e., anthropology or history). In addition to the Fields of Asian Literature,
Religions and Culture, and Asian Studies, a complete list of the fields of study offered at
Cornell is provided by the Graduate School. Some fields have concentrations dealing
directly with Asia (i.e., Chinese history), while others allow students to create an
individualized Asian Studies minor.
These vary somewhat by field and concentration. All students are required to submit GRE
scores, and most students who are admitted score above 319 in the combined Verbal and
Quantitative sections, the Verbal score should be 153 or above. GRE scores are valid
for only three years. Any exams taken before 2010 will not be accepted. The Field of
Asian Studies does not require any advanced subject tests. Foreign nationals, whose native
language is not English, must take the TOEFL exam and score at least as follows: Writing 20;
Listening 15; Reading 20; Speaking 22. TOEFL scores are valid for only two years. Any application where the
TOEFL scores do not meet the minimums listed here will not be eligible for review.
Since all fields of graduate study at Cornell are competitive, you are advised to write a
thoughtful statement of purpose, select your referees carefully and inform them of your
goals, request your undergraduate records early, and complete your application as soon as
The deadline for receiving completed applications, test scores, and all other application
materials for the Field of Asian Literature, Religion and Culture is January 10.
The Field of Asian Studies does not have a formal deadline date, but applicants are
encouraged to send in their application materials as soon as possible. The selection committee also
reserves the right to defer applications received later in the decision process to the next academic year.
Any applications received after July 1 will be deferred to the following year admission cycle by the Graduate
School. You may check with the Graduate School for the final application dates for any other Cornell
University fields of study.
Most of Cornell's financial support goes to students in Ph.D. degree programs. Normally,
admission to a Ph.D. field includes a commitment from the Graduate School of five years
of financial support, with the expectation that the student would work as a teaching assistant
for three of those years. However, there is no university funding available for M.A.
students. The area programs (East Asia,
South Asia, and Southeast Asia)
may have information available about outside funding sources.
For further information about the Field of Asian Studies or the Field of Asian Literature, Religion, and
Culture, contact us by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org