Office: Knight Building, 521 Memorial Way, Stanford, CA 94305
Mail Code: 2000
Phone: (650) 725-1730


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 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.

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, Japan studies, or Korean studies.

  3. analytical writing skills and close reading skills.

  4. effective oral communication skills.

Study Abroad

There are several exciting opportunities for Stanford students interested in Japan and China. The Kyoto Consortium for Japanese Studies (KCJS), is designed for undergraduates wishing to do advanced work in Japanese language and Japanese studies. The language requirement is two years of Japanese. Students may attend either one or two semesters.

The BOSP Kyoto program combines academic study with an optional internship in Japan. Founded in collaboration with the School of Engineering, it provides students with the opportunity to fit language immersion and practical classroom experience into their busy schedules. It also welcomes students in the sciences, social sciences, and humanities. Autumn Quarter participants must have completed course First-Year Japanese Language, Culture, and Communication, First Quarter. Spring Quarter participants must have completed course First-Year Japanese Language, Culture, and Communication, Second Quarter. Preference is given to students with additional language study, as well as those who have taken courses in Japanese literature and culture, or in Japanese linguistics. It is hosted on the Doshisha University campus in the heart of Kyoto. For information about either program in Kyoto, students should contact the Bing Overseas Studies Program.

Undergraduates interested in studying Chinese language, history, culture, and society are encouraged to apply to the BOSP Hong Kong Program offered in partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). There are no prerequisites for the Hong Kong Program. In addition to Mandarin, Stanford students may choose to enroll in "survival" Cantonese and Putonghua elective courses.

The Inter-University Center for Japanese Language Studies (IUC), located in Yokohama, is designed for students who seek the most advanced level of training in Japanese. This program accepts students with high intermediate Japanese language skills who seek Japan-related careers. Students should take note of the Inter-University Program for Chinese Language Studies (IUP) at Tsinghua University and the Inter-University Center (IUC) for Japanese Language Studies in Yokohama. Stanford is a member of these consortia. Graduate students interested in the graduate exchange program with the Department of Chinese at Peking University in Beijing should consult with the department chair early in the academic year.

Currently, Stanford University does not offer a study abroad program for students to study Korean in South Korea. Students interested in opportunities in South Korea should contact Professor Dafna Zur ( to discuss different Korean language immersion programs offered by other universities.

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 Chinese or Japanese 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 also 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, Chinese philosophy, Japanese cultural history, Japanese literature, Japanese linguistics, and Japanese visual culture.

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, and letters of recommendation. GRE scores are optional and international students must also submit TOEFL scores. For a full list of requirements, please check the Graduate Admissions website.

Graduate Advising Expectations

The Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is committed to providing academic advising in support of graduate student scholarly and professional development. When most effective, this advising relationship entails collaborative and sustained engagement by both the advisor and the advisee. As a best practice, advising expectations should be periodically discussed and reviewed to ensure mutual understanding. Both the advisor and the advisee are expected to maintain professionalism and integrity.

Faculty advisors and department staff guide students in key areas such as selecting courses, designing and conducting research, developing of teaching pedagogy, navigating policies and degree requirements, and exploring academic opportunities and professional pathways.

Graduate students are active contributors to the advising relationship, proactively seeking academic and professional guidance and taking responsibility for informing themselves of policies and degree requirements for their graduate program.

For a statement of University policy on graduate advising, see the "Graduate Advising" section of the Stanford Bulletin.

Graduate Student Advising

Effective academic advising is a critical component of a successful graduate degree program. At Stanford, all matriculated graduate students are to be advised by a member of the faculty. The nature of academic advising may differ for different programs, students, and at different stages in a degree program. During your time as a graduate student, you will have access to the department staff (in particular the Student Services Officer), the Directors of Graduate Studies (EALC generally has two DGS, one for Chinese and Japanese studies), and the Department Chair, to whom you can refer to for degree progress and policy clarification. 

In order to meet the department’s advising expectations, each student and their advisor meet must meet at least once per quarter for a holistic, structured discussion of the student’s recent progress, short-term plans, and longer-term academic and professional goals and to discuss the steps that the student should take to meet these objectives. 

Students are expected to meet regularly with their advisors and to keep them informed about their academic progress. Each student and their advisor should mutually agree on the frequency of these meetings when the advising relation begins and reassess their frequency at the start of every quarter.

Doctoral Students

No later than by the end of the second academic year, the student is assigned a faculty advisor. Until the University Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense) has been submitted and the student has graduated, the student and advisor must meet at the beginning of each quarter to discuss intended courses as well as other academic matters. The advisor's suggestions regarding professional issues are especially valuable, as they offer insight into the academic environment beyond one's particular intellectual interests. During the quarters before the University Oral Examination (Dissertation Defense), the student should decide on a faculty member with whom they want to work most closely and approach that person about becoming their advisor; they will serve as the primary advisor until the exam. Once the University Oral Exam (Dissertation Defense) has been passed, the primary advisor will be the person chosen to supervise and direct the dissertation.

Master's Students

No later than by the end of the first academic year, the student is assigned a faculty advisor. Until the Master's Thesis has been submitted and the student has graduated, the student and advisor must meet at the beginning of each quarter to discuss intended courses as well as other academic matters. The advisor's suggestions regarding professional issues are especially valuable, as they offer insight into the academic environment beyond one's particular intellectual interests.


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

Chair: Haiyan Lee

Directors of Graduate Studies: Ronald Egan (Chinese), Indra Levy (Japanese)

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

Lecturers: Thomas Bartlett, Seungyeon Gabrielle Jung

Chinese-Japanese Area Studies Faculty:

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

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

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