Penn State Penn State: College of the Liberal Arts

Graduate

Prospective Students

At the heart of the program’s collective work is a commitment to incisive scholarship, rigorous thought, and cutting-edge research on the historical and contemporary cultures and societies of Asia. We are interested in making connections across historical periods and geographic regions, and we pay heed to conceptions of Asia that do not orient it solely towards a history dominated or determined by its modern encounter with Europe.

The Department of Asian Studies currently offers dual-title Ph.D. degrees in five fields:

Students who will be applying to any of these disciplines and who also plan to incorporate some aspect of Asia into their research may apply for this special degree.

Asian Studies faculty teach and conduct research in a broad range of fields, including History, Comparative Literature, English, Religious Studies, Applied Linguistics, Art History, Economics, Political Science, and Labor Studies.

Our graduate program offers highly competitive training in a variety of Asian fields. The following thematic areas constitute current areas of core strength, defined by our having at least three faculty members who can contribute to graduate training in these areas. While we do not limit graduate training to these areas, we strongly encourage students to apply if they are interested in one or more of the following areas:

  • Asian American, Chinese diasporic, and Sinophone literatures
  • Early modern social, intellectual, and religious history of China and Japan
  • Borderlands, margins, ethnic identity, and frontier history of East Asia
  • East/West comparative literature, visual art film, theater, and philosophy
  • Intellectual history and religious studies of pre-modern China and Japan
  • Modern and contemporary Chinese film, visual culture, performance, and print culture
  • Book history and textual cultures across Asia
  • Migration studies

Prospective students may wish to study our list of faculty to gain a sense of their expertise and the significance of their past and current research projects.