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


Admissions guidelines and other information for prospective Japanese MA students

Requirements for Admission

1. Completion of the application form, including the residency statement, online. The application for graduate school can be found here: Look under “Quick Links” or “Prospective Students.”
2. Payment of the required application fee.
3. Minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 in the major and 3.0 overall.
4. A Bachelor of Arts degree with an undergraduate major in Japanese or its equivalent. Students whose preparation is deficient according to our standards may be required to do remedial work after admission to the program. Such work cannot be counted toward the degree.
5. One official transcript of all previous college work (undergraduate and graduate).
6. Two letters of recommendation for persons in the field of the applicant’s academic major or others as appropriate.
7. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE).
8. (for international students) The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) with a minimum score of 550.

All information about international student applications can be found at the Graduate School website:

Application Deadline

February 1 is the application deadline for the fall semester. We do not accept students for the spring semester.

Financial Assistance

Financing your education requires careful and thorough planning. Regardless of your income or eligibility for need-based financial aid, there are programs available to assist you in financing your education. Information about the availability of and the process of applying for financial aid can be obtained through the Graduate School website:

Teaching Assistantships

Teaching Assistantships are available to qualified applicants, including international students with fluency in English. Although we try to cover as many of our graduate students as possible (depending upon their qualifications), we cannot always guarantee to do so. Our Teaching Assistantships can be for language teaching (depending upon a student’s qualifications) or assisting with content courses in literature and culture. In order to determine a student’s qualifications for a language-teaching assistantship, one of our full-time language teachers will call the applicant after he/she has been accepted. In the current academic year (2011-2012), a half-time Teaching Assistantship will pay a stipend of approximately $4033.00/semester. A full-time Assistantship will pay a stipend of approximately $8067.40/semester. In addition, all Assistantships will cover tuition, fees and limited health care which for Massachusetts residents (and for those eligible for the New England Regional Program**) is approximately $10,926 (as of the 2009-2010 academic year). Tuition and fees for nonresidents is approximately $21,428 (as of the 2009-2010 academic year). There are other fees assessed to the students with Assistantships that are not covered by the Assistantship. These generally total less than $1000.00.

**The New England Regional Student Program enables a resident of a New England state to attend UMass and pay Massachusetts resident tuition, plus a 75% surcharge for those graduate programs—Japanese is one—which are not available at any of the student’s home-state public institutions. Please see the following website for more information about this program:


There is a limited amount of University-owned graduate student (as well as married student) housing on campus. Applications should be made as early as possible for this housing. Graduate students may also live off-campus. More information about housing can be found on the following web site of the Graduate School: