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Housed in Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Master of Arts in Asian Studies Program (MASIA) gives students a unique combination of functional training and regional expertise. This degree will provide students with the skills necessary to meet the demands of global private and public sector interests in Asia. MASIA at Georgetown is a terminal 36 credit (12 course) degree program, in which students have the opportunity to study core disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to Asia. Students will also be given the opportunity to specialize in at least one and potentially two areas of concentration. A thesis option is available.

This innovative balance of traditional area studies and functional training offers students a package of scholarly expertise and substantive skills that should enhance the intellectual value and the marketability of their degree, whether they pursue employment or a Ph.D after the M.A.

Degrees Offered

  • M.A.

Application Deadlines

Fall 2021

January 15, 2021 (priority; scholarship)

April 1, 2021 (final)

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Degree Requirements

The M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) is a 36 credit (12 course) degree program. In addition to the three foundation courses, students must pursue three courses towards a single concentration. The remaining coursework can be taken as electives, additional concentrations, or utilized for an SFS certificate program.  Students may elect to write a thesis as part of their degree program.


The MASIA program offers three functional concentrations and two subregional concentrations. Students simply take three courses focused upon one of these five options.  It is possible for students to achieve two concentrations within their degree program. Since MASIA offers a large emphasis on the study of East Asia, students who wish to specialize in South Asia or Southeast Asia can pursue one of the two sub-regional concentrations.

Functional Concentrations:

  • Politics and Security of Asia
  • History, Society and Culture of Asia
  • International Political Economy/Business of Asia

Subregional Concentrations:

  • South Asia
  • Southeast Asia

Thesis Option

Students have the option of completing an M.A. thesis in conjunction with a faculty supervisor, upon approval of the Director of Asian Studies. If the candidate chooses to write a M.A. thesis, the candidate must enroll in a thesis seminar (or independent tutorial), which is traditionally taught in the second semester of the program.


M.A. Candidates must demonstrate proficiency in an Asian language at the completion of the program by:

  • successful completion with a grade of B+ or better of advanced language study equivalent to the third year at Georgetown or a comparable language program during the time in the M.A. in Asian Studies Program; or
  • specified grade of proficiency in US Government or equivalent language testing while a graduate student at Georgetown; or
  • pass a proficiency test at Georgetown University; or
  • successful completion of other testing approved by the Director of Asian Studies and the Chair of the Department of East Asian Languages and Culture.

Upon arrival at Georgetown, all students planning to further their language studies will be required to participate in a language placement exam. Advanced language learners who wish to test out of continued language study while at Georgetown must pass a proficiency exam to satisfy the language requirement.  Native speakers of an Asian language, as determined by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures and the Director of Asian Studies, are considered exempt from the language proficiency requirement.


In addition to regular degree requirements, students may use elective courses to complete a certificate in one of the following areas:

  • African Studies
  • Arab Studies
  • Diplomatic Studies
  • Eurasian, Russian & East European Studies
  • International Business Diplomacy
  • Refugees and Humanitarian Emergencies
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Application Requirements

Please be sure to review the Graduate School Admissions How to Apply page.


Please be sure to review the Asian Studies program’s website for additional information on program application requirements.

Admissions Materials Required:

  • Georgetown University Graduate School Online Application
  • Academic Writing Sample (10-15 pages)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation required; up to three (3) accepted
  • Transcripts – Applicants are required to upload to the application system copies of official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Visit our How to Apply page for additional details and FAQs.
  • GRE or GMAT Scores strongly recommended, but not required
  • TOEFL/IELTS Score (International Applications Only; minimum score of 100 for TOEFL iBT and 7.5 for IELTS)
  • Supplemental Data
  • Application Fee
  • One year of university level language training in an Asian language, with a grade of B or above
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