Japanese Ph.D. Program


[Note: Students interested in pursuing the PhD with a specialization in Japanese linguistics can apply for our MA in Japanese linguistics (if they do not yet have a related MA degree), and, for the PhD, our PhD program in Asian Languages and Cultures, where they can specialize in Japanese linguistics.]


I. Admission

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature does not accept students directly into the Ph.D. program. All students who wish to enter the Ph.D. program must petition to proceed to the program after being admitted. Students who already have an M.A. in Japanese literature and culture from another institution must complete at least 45 credits of course work and submit a successful petition to proceed before admission to the Ph.D. program, which will allow them to bypass other M.A. requirements. Students without an M.A. in Japanese literature and culture must enter the M.A. program and complete all requirements before submitting a petition. Please see the Japanese M.A. program page for more information.

II. Course Requirements

In addition to the minimum of 45 credits or its equivalent required for the master's program, the Ph.D. student must take at least 50 credits of course work at the graduate level, 20 of which must be at the 500 level.

The following courses and dissertation credits are required:

  • Modern Japanese: JAPAN 431, 432, 433 (May be bypassed with previous training, if approved.)
  • Classical Japanese and kambun: JAPAN 471, 472, 505 (May be bypassed with previous training, if approved.)
  • 10 credits in classical Japanese literature & culture (JAPAN 571, 572, or 573)
  • 10 credits in modern Japanese literature & culture (JAPAN 531, 532, or 533)
  • ASIAN 800 Doctoral Dissertation (27 credits)

Additional course work may be required. Each student develops his or her individualized program of study in consultation with his or her faculty adviser.

III. Language Requirement

In addition to English and Japanese, the student must demonstrate proficiency in a third language related to his or her course of study.  Proficiency must be demonstrated in this third language to the satisfaction of the adviser before the student may proceed to the General Examination.

IV. Fields

Students pursue advanced studies in three distinct fields, each of which is supervised by a member of the graduate faculty. At least one of those fields must be classical Japanese literature and at least one must be modern Japanese literature. Each of these fields requires a substantial research paper. The third field, which may be pursued outside the department, will be selected in consultation with the adviser and its requirements will be determined by the supervising faculty member.

V. General Examination

After the above field requirements have been fulfilled and the third language requirement has been satisfied, the student must take and pass an oral General Examination for admission to candidacy for the doctoral degree. The examination is administered by the Doctoral Supervisory Committee.

VI. Dissertation and Final Examination

After achieving Doctoral Candidate (Ph.C.) status, the student engages in research and the writing of the dissertation under the direction of his or her Doctoral Supervisory Committee. When the Doctoral Supervisory Committee deems the student ready, a final examination will be conducted in which the dissertation is evaluated. When the final examination has been passed and the result has been approved by the Dean of the Graduate School, then the requirements are complete and the degree is granted.