PhD in Asian Studies: Degree Program Summary

A Ph.D. in Asian Studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that often includes the exploration of the languages, literature, and cultures of Asia. Students may choose to concentrate on a specific area or region in these degree programs.

Essential Information

A Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree in Asian Studies is usually designed to prepare graduates for careers in academia or research. Students enrolled in such a program might focus on a particular area of Asian studies, such as Asian philosophy, history, geography, language, political science, or region-specific studies. Generally, a Ph.D. program in Asian studies requires that a student has a master's degree in a related field to enroll. In addition, a few programs require that students complete a master's degree program at the same school to be eligible for admission. During a Ph.D. program, students will likely be required to conduct extensive research and write a doctoral dissertation.

Ph.D. in Asian Studies

A Ph.D. in Asian Studies typically includes analysis of areas within Asia, including East, South, Southeast, Central and Inner Asia. Students may have the opportunity to pursue a Ph.D. program that is specific to an individual region. Students may also be able to pursue a dual Ph.D. with another major field of study, such as history, linguistics, or political science. As a result of the program, students are often able to make connections across geographical regions and historical periods and typically become proficient in an Asian language, such as Korean, Thai, or Chinese.

Along with coursework specific to Asian studies, students also complete classes in a variety of subject areas, such as economics, foreign policy, and history. Throughout the program, students usually have units in theory, culture, and research language. Other included course topics are:

  • Asian economic dynamics
  • Current Asian security issues
  • Covert action and foreign policy in Asia
  • Colonial urbanism in Asia
  • History of Asian thought

Popular Career Options

Upon program completion, graduates often seek professional careers in an academic setting. However, students may seek positions in a number of fields that require knowledge of Asia. Careers might include:

  • Academia research staff member
  • College or university professor
  • Public or private sector leader

Completing a Ph.D. program that focuses on Asian studies, can give you the background and fundamental knowledge that's needed to enter a career in research, academia, or another sector that requires an understanding of this geographical region.

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