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Asian Languages & Literatures, Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures

Programs

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Master's Programs
 
CHINESE
JAPANESE

Graduate Program Inquiries

Contact: asianlan@asianlan.umass.edu
Herter 440
(413) 545 - 0886

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Graduate Programs in Chinese and Japanese

M.A. in Chinese

The Program
Asian Languages and Literatures at UMass Amherst offers a comprehensive course of studies leading to the Master of Arts degree in Chinese. The principal focus of the program is practical training, with an emphasis on the development of advanced linguistic skills that will enhance future work in translation, interpretation, teaching, journalism, business or government. For those who intend to go on to future graduate study, the curriculum is flexible enough to allow emphasis on more traditional literary or cultural studies.

Admission
Students whose NATIVE languages is NOT Chinese, entering the program are expected to have advanced level competency in Chinese language, and to have completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with an undergraduate major in Chinese (or its equivalent) before matriculation with an undergraduate cumulative grade point average of 3.0 overall (on a 4.0 scale). Students whose preparation is deficient in certain areas may be required to do remedial work after admission to the program. Such work will not be counted toward the degree. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants, including foreign applicants. The Graduate School requires all applicants whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). (Please refer to the Graduate School guideline here. ) However, the standard English test scores  are only one part of the application. We review all the applications and make decisions.  We also look at the student's background in college coursework and potential in graduate studies. Writing sample separately from the application, is not required. All applicants will automatically be considered for a paid Teaching Assistantship, which includes a full tuition waiver and health benefits.

Degree Requirements
Students are required to complete at least 30 semester credits of course work and 6 credits of Master's Thesis. Up to 6 credits of appropriate course work at the graduate level from other institutions may be accepted with the approval of the graduate committee. It is expected that most suitably prepared students will be able to finish all requirements for the degree within two academic years. For students emphasizing linguistics, Chinese 576 and 577 are required. For those emphasizing classical literature, Chinese 552, 555 and 556 are required. For those emphasizing modern literature, Chinese 526 and 527 are required. Chinese 580 is required for all teaching assistants.
Before starting the thesis the student must pass a general examination, not necessarily limited to the thesis topic. The examination will be administered by a committee appointed by the graduate advisor.

REQUIRED COURSES (18 credits)

Chinese 528 Chinese Language in Contexts
Chinese 570 Research in Chinese Source Materials
Chinese 575 Syntactic Structures of Chinese
Chinese 626 Expository Writing
Chinese 660 Problems and Methods of Translation
Chinese 691 Graduate Seminar in Chinese

ELECTIVE COURSES (12 credits)

Chinese 526 Readings in Modern Chinese Literature I
Chinese 527 Readings in Modern Chinese Literature II
Chinese 536 Premodern Vernacular Literature
Chinese 537 Readings in Vernacular Literature
Chinese 552 Readings in Chinese Historical Texts
Chinese 555 Masterpieces of Classical Chinese Poetry
Chinese 556 Masterpieces of Classical Chinese Prose
Chinese 576 History of the Chinese Language
Chinese 577 Chinese Dialectology
Chinese 580 Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language I
Chinese 581 Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language II
Chinese 597 Special Topics
Chinese 697 Special Topics


THESIS AND EXAMINATION (6 credits)

Chinese 699 Master's Thesis

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M.A. in Japanese

The Program
Asian Languages and Literatures—a unit within the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at UMass Amherst—offers a course of study leading to the Master of Arts degree in Japanese. There are two principal focuses of our program: one is the study of Japanese literature and/or culture, and the second is the acquisition of practical language skills to enhance future work in such fields as translation, interpretation, teaching, journalism, business or government.

Admission
Students entering the Master's Degree program in Japanese Language and Literature must have finished the equivalent of four years of college level Japanese language courses. This can be accomplished by taking courses as an undergraduate; studying, living, and working in Japan; or completing the N2 level of the Japanese Language Placement Exam. Each student accepted into the program will take our language placement exam during the first week to determine the level of their language competence. If a student does not place in either Jpns 532 (Media Japanese) or Jpns 536 (Advanced Modern Japanese I), the student may have to spend an extra year in the program in order to gain the competence necessary to write a Master’s Thesis using original materials. (Students whose preparation is deficient in certain areas may be required to do remedial work after admission to the program. Such work will not be counted toward the degree. ) Students in the program are also expected to familiarize themselves with the general features of Japanese history and Japanese literary history before they arrive on campus. The student can contact the Graduate Program Director for information about how to do this.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required for all applicants, including foreign applicants. The Graduate School requires all applicants whose native language is not English to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). (Please refer to the Graduate School guideline here. ) However, the standard English test scores  are only one part of the application and we review all the application materials and make decisions.  We also look at the applicants' background in college coursework and potential in graduate studies. Writing sample separately from the application, is not required. All applicants will automatically be considered for a paid Teaching Assistantship, which includes a full tuition waiver and health benefits.

Degree Requirements
Students are required to complete at least thirty semester credits of course work plus a master’s thesis (six credits). Up to six credits of appropriate course work at the graduate level from other institutions may be accepted with the approval of the graduate committee. It is expected that most suitably prepared students will be able to finish all requirements for the degree within two academic years.

REQUIRED COURSES (21 credits)

Japanese 537               Advanced Modern Japanese II

Japanese 556H            Classical Japanese I

Japanese 570H            Research in Japanese Source Materials

Japanese 592A            Pro-seminar in Japanese 1

Japanese 592B            Pro-seminar in Japanese 2

Japanese 660               Problems and Methods in Translation

Japanese 691               Graduate Seminar in Japanese

ELECTIVE COURSES (9 credits)

Japanese 532               Media Japanese I

Japanese 536               Advanced Modern Japanese I

Japanese 557H            Introduction to Classical Japanese II

Japanese 580               Teaching of Japanese as a Foreign Language

Japanese 591B            Seminar in Modern Japanese Philosophy

Japanese 591S             Japanese Women’s Literature

Japanese 591T             S-Tokyo through Literature & Film

Japanese 593               Heian Literary Culture

Japanese 593B            Introduction to Japanese Linguistics

Japanese 597A            Manuscript Japanese (1 credit, repeatable)

Japanese 597K            Japanese Video Games

Japanese 698Y            Practicum

Up to two courses (six credits) from other units or departments may also be accepted with the approval of the graduate committee.

THESIS AND EXAMINATION (6 credits)

Japan 699                    Thesis and Examination

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