Application and Information



EALC offers both a Master's Program and a PhD Program. You may apply directly to either program. It is not necessary to apply for the Master's Program before going on to the PhD. Students in the PhD program are encouraged to apply for the MA as soon as they are eligible.

Decisions for admission are the same for domestic and international applications, and are made without regard to the applicant's need for financial support. Admitted PhD students are fully funded for 4 to 5 years, depending on educational background. There is no funding for Master's students.

There are no minimum requirements to apply. It is expected, however, that the applicant will have at least majored as an undergraduate in the field for which they are applying and so would have had a minimum of six semesters of their primary East Asian language as well as some literature, history or religion courses. Some background in a second East Asian language is preferred.

The fee to apply to the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences is $90.00, payable by major credit card. Application deadlines are noted below. A complete application consists of:

  • Application
  • Personal Statement/Statement of Purpose. Your statement should include your career/research goals, how EALC's program can help you achieve those goals and which faculty members, if any, with whom you'd like to work.
  • Three (3) Letter of Recommendation. Unfortunately, letters submitted through Interfolio cannot be uploaded into the application at this time. If you wish to use Interfolio for your recommendation letters, Interfolio MUST email the letters to
  • Copies of all college-level transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are acceptable for the purposes of your application. If you are admitted, however, two copies of your official transcripts must be sent before you can matriculate.
  • GRE scores. There is no minimum score to apply. The average scores of admitted students are 165/160/5.0. Scores should not be older than 5 years and tests should be taken by December 15, 2021. Report scores to Institution Code 2926; Department Code 2601.
    • Due to COVID-19 disruptions, the GRE requirement is WAIVED for applications for Fall 2022 admission.
  • TOEFL score or IELTS score for non-native speakers of English. There is no minimum score to apply. However, most admitted students achieve an average score of 100 or above on the TOEFL exam and 6.0 on the IELTS. Applicants who have received a BA or MA degree in the United States may request a waiver of the TOEFL requirement by emailing Scores should not be older than 2 years and tests should be taken by December 15, 2021. Report scores to Institution Code 2926; Department Code 29.
  • Writing Sample. A writing sample is required. It may be of any length on any topic and should be indicative of your ability to research and write on a graduate level. Please submit only papers written in English.


The online application opens on October 1, 2021 at


Students wishing to matriculate in Spring 2022 to the MA program only must submit their application no later than November 15, 2021. Files must be complete by November 30, 2021. Decisions will be made and applicants notified before December 15, 2021.

Notice: There is no funding available for Master's students. If admitted, all tuition and fees for their program will be the student's responsibility. Penn does not offer fellowships for the MA program.


The Fall 2022 PhD application deadline is December 15, 2021. Students admitted to the PhD program receive full funding including tuition, fees, health insurance and a living stipend. Master's applications will be accepted as late as March 15, 2022 but are not eligible for any fellowships or other funding.