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General Information

Office: Knight Building, 521 Memorial Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Mail Code: 2000
Fax: (650) 725-8931

Courses offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses website under the subject codes:

Language courses offered by the Stanford Language Center are listed on the Stanford Bulletin's ExploreCourses website under the subject codes:

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers programs for students who wish to engage with the cultures of China, Japan, and Korea as articulated in language, linguistics, literature, film, cultural studies, and visual arts. Students emerge with a sophisticated understanding of culture as a dynamic process embodied in language and other representational media, especially the verbal and visual forms that are central to humanistic study. Department faculty represent a broad range of research interests and specialties, and visiting scholars and postdoctoral fellows from the Stanford Humanities Center, the Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship of Scholars in the Humanities, the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, and the Center for East Asian Studies add to the intellectual vitality of the department.

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures offers a full range of courses at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Undergraduate courses concentrate on language, literature, and other cultural forms from the earliest times to the present, covering traditional and contemporary topics from Confucian conceptions of self and society to inflections of gender in the twentieth century. Classes emphasize developing powers of critical thinking and expression that will serve students well no matter what their ultimate career goals. Graduate programs offer courses of study involving advanced language training, engagement with primary texts and other materials, literary history, and training in research methodologies and critical approaches.

East Asian language skills provide a foundation for advanced academic training and professional careers in fields such as business, diplomacy, education, and law. The department also offers opportunities for students who choose to double-major or minor in other academic disciplines, including anthropology, art history, economics, education, history, linguistics, philosophy, political science, religious studies, and sociology.

The department accepts candidates for the degrees of Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, and Doctor of Philosophy. It also offers undergraduate minors.

For information concerning other opportunities for the study about Asian history, societies, and cultures, see the following departments and programs: Anthropology, Art and Art History, Business, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, Economics, History, Law, Linguistics, Philosophy, Political Science, Religious Studies, and Sociology.

Undergraduate Programs in East Asian Languages and Cultures

The mission of the programs in East Asian Studies, Chinese studies, Japanese studies, and Korean studies is to enable students to obtain a comprehensive understanding of East Asia broadly conceived, which is the area stretching from Japan through Korea and China to the contiguous areas of the Central Asian landmass, by providing them with training in writing and communication, literature, and civilization. Students are expected to have a good mastery of an East Asian language and focus on a particular sub-region or a substantive issue involving the region as a whole. The classes emphasize the developing powers of critical thinking and expression, which serve students well no matter what their ultimate career goals in business, government service, academia, or the professions.

Learning Outcomes (Undergraduate)

The department expects undergraduate majors in the program to be able to demonstrate the following learning outcomes. These learning outcomes are used in evaluating students and the department's undergraduate program. Students are expected to demonstrate:

  1. effective and nuanced skills interpreting primary and secondary source materials.

  2. a good grasp on their own work of the course material and methodologies in East Asian studies, Chinese studies, Japanese studies, or Korean studies.

  3. analytical writing skills and close reading skills.

  4. effective oral communication skills.

Study Abroad

There are several exciting study abroad opportunities for Stanford students interested in East Asia. The Bing Overseas Studies Program (BOSP) offers programs in Hong Kong and Kyoto. The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS) offers programs for undergraduates wishing to do advanced work in Japanese language and Japanese studies. The Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University and the Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC) in Yokohama are designed for students who seek the most advanced level of training in Chinese and Japanese respectively. Students interested in opportunities in South Korea should contact Professor Dafna Zur ( to discuss different Korean language immersion programs offered by other universities.

Summer Internships

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in collaboration with Stanford Global Studies (SGS) offers summer internship opportunities in the U.S. or abroad focusing on any aspect of East Asian studies—arts, business, people and society, history, culture, technology, or politics. Internships may be related to public service or academic/policy research. Preference is given to undergraduate students majoring in East Asian Studies. Applications are due in February each year to Stanford On- & Off-Campus Learning Opportunities (SOLO).

Graduate Programs in East Asian Languages and Cultures

Learning Outcomes (Graduate)

The purpose of the master's program is to further develop knowledge and skills in East Asian Languages and Cultures and to prepare students for a professional career or doctoral studies. This is achieved through the completion of courses, in the primary field as well as related areas, and experience with independent work and specialization.

The Ph.D. is conferred upon candidates who have demonstrated substantial scholarship and the ability to conduct independent research and analysis in East Asian Languages and Cultures. Through completion of advanced course work and rigorous skills training, the doctoral program prepares students to make original contributions to the knowledge of East Asian Languages and Cultures and to interpret and present the results of such research.


All students contemplating application for admission to graduate study must have a creditable undergraduate record. The applicant need not have majored in East Asian Languages and Cultures as an undergraduate, but must have had the equivalent of at least three years of training in the language in which he or she intends to specialize and must demonstrate a command of English adequate for the pursuit of graduate study. Applicants should not wish merely to acquire or improve language skills, but to pursue study in one of the following fields: Chinese archaeology, Chinese linguistics, Chinese literature and culture, Japanese literature and culture, Japanese linguistics, Korean literature and culture, or trans-Asian studies.

All interested students are required to submit their application via Stanford's Graduate Admissions Website. EALC requires students to submit official transcripts, writing samples, personal statements, letters of recommendation, and TOEFL scores (dependent on English language proficiency). For a full list of requirements, please check the Graduate Admissions website.


Emeriti: (Professors) Albert E. Dien, Makoto Ueda, Melinda Takeuchi, Steven D. Carter; (Associate Professor) Susan Matisoff; (Senior Lecturer) Yin Chuang

Chair: Haiyan Lee

Director of Graduate Studies: Indra Levy

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Dafna Zur

Professors: Ronald Egan, Haiyan Lee, Li Liu, Yoshiko Matsumoto, Chao Fen Sun, Ban Wang

Associate Professors: Indra Levy, James Reichert, Yiqun Zhou, Dafna Zur

Assistant Professor: Ariel Stilerman

Consulting Professor: Richard Dasher

Lecturer: Thomas Bartlett

Courtesy and Affiliated Faculty

Professors: Gordon Chang (History), Mark Lewis (History), Paul Harrison (Religious Studies), John Kieschnick (Religious Studies), Thomas Mullaney (History), Jean Oi (Political Science), David Palumbo-Liu (Comparative Literature), Jennifer Pan (Communication), Gi-Wook Shin (Sociology), Matthew Sommer (History), Richard Vinograd (Art and Art History), Andrew Walder (Sociology), Kären Wigen (History), Lee Yearley (Religious Studies), Xueguang Zhou (Sociology)

Associate Professors:  Miyako Inoue (Anthropology), Jarosław Kapuściński (Music), Matthew Kohrman (Anthropology), Yumi Moon (History), Jun Uchida (History), Jean Ma (Art and Art History)

Assistant Professors: Marci Kwon (Art and Art History), Michaela Mross (Religious Studies), Yixing Xu (Political Science)