Graduate Study


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.

The Cornell University Department of Asian Studies has two graduate program options. There is a Ph.D. program in Asian Literature, Religion, and Culture, and an M.A. program in Asian Studies. Both programs have three areas of concentration: East Asia, South Asia, and Southeast Asia. Click on the above links for each option to explore more details and requirements.

Fields of Study

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.

Financial Aid

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 currently 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.

External Competitive Fellowships

See External Competitive Fellowships for a list of both internal to Cornell and external fellowships that are available to graduate students. This is only a small list of fellowships available. If you know of any fellowships that are not included on the list, please contact Kim Scott at with a link to the fellowship's web site.

Competitive External Fellowships Awarded to Ph.D. Students

Titles of Ph.D. Dissertations and M.A. Theses