Admission procedures

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Admission to the Asian Civilizations M.A. program is limited. Before completing an application, we invite you to contact the department for more information.


Admission requirements

Applicants must meet the Admission Requirements of the Graduate College and of the department offering the degree program (review the General Catalog for departmental requirements).

Application deadlines

  • Fall semester—February 1 (April 15 for US citizens who are not applying for financial assistance)
  • Spring semester—not offered
  • Summer session—not offered

Application procedures

For this degree program, you will need to send some application materials to your academic department and some to the Office of Admissions, which handles Graduate College applications.

Materials to send to UI GRADUATE ADMISSIONS:

  • One set of official academic records/transcripts. Send a second set directly to your department.

We require official GRE scores from the general test (verbal, quantitative, analytical) for all applicants before an admission decision can be made. Applicants will not be admitted without GRE scores. You should take the exam two to three months before our application deadline to ensure that your scores arrive on time. If you are unable to do this, you should notify the Department in writing and send the scores to us as soon as possible, as your file will not be reviewed until it is complete. Verbal scores are the most important. There is no Departmental minimum, but usually a score of 153 or higher is desirable (for non-native English speakers). Have the official GRE scores sent directly to the Office of Admissions and a photocopy sent to Asian Languages and Literature.

  • Foreign applicants for whom English is not the primary language must submit their official scores from the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). Submit them directly from the Educational Testing Service; the University's institutional code is 6681.

The Department's minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 590 on the paper-based exam or 98 on the Internet-based exam. If your score is under 590/98, you may not be admitted, or you are not likely to be eligible for an assistantship and may want to reconsider your plans before applying. An applicant with a score under 600 on the paper exam or 100 on the iBT will be required by the University to take the English Proficiency Evaluation. Persons wishing to be considered for teaching assistantships should score at least 600/100, and should also consider taking the separate TOEFL oral proficiency exam. Send the official TOEFL scores directly to the Office of Admissions, and a photocopy to Asian Languages and Literatures.

Materials required by the UI DEPARTMENT/PROGRAM:

You must have three letters of recommendation sent directly to Asian Languages and Literature. Preferably these should be from current or recent college professors or instructors who are familiar with your academic abilities and who can evaluate your past performance as well as future potential. Letters from employers are not acceptable, unless the employment position is directly related to your proposed area of study (for example, experience teaching Chinese to non-native speakers). In this case, one letter may come from an employer but the remaining two must come from professors. If you have teaching or tutoring experience, you may include evaluations or letters from former students, but these will not count as any of the three required letters of recommendation.

  • A research paper

This must be a paper in which you have done scholarly research and should be either written in English or translated by you into English. It is strongly recommended that the subject be in the area in which you wish to study (or a closely related area). There are no page requirements or limits, but the paper must show you are capable of sustained scholarly research and effective writing.

  • A statement of purpose

A two- or three-page explanation, written in English, of why you are seeking admission to this program, which area you wish to study (see the descriptions of each program track, such as Teaching Japanese as a Foreign Language or Sanskrit Language and Literature), what your current and past experiences are relevant to your proposed studies, and the nature of your future academic and career plans. Include in your statement your address, telephone number, fax, and e-mail address if you have one.

Students who wish to be considered for a language teaching assistantship in Chinese, Japanese, or South Asian studies should complete the application form included with the application packet and return it to Asian Languages and Literature. Those who wish to eventually work in language teaching/pedagogy but are not qualified enough to get a teaching assistantship at any point during their MA program could experience problems in the job market because of lack of actual teaching experience. This is something you should consider before applying.



If you Apply Online, the $60 application fee ($85 for international students) is payable by MasterCard or Visa. If you cannot pay by credit card, you may download and print out an Application and pay the fee by check or money order in U.S. currency made payable to "The University of Iowa."

Contact Information

Department of Asian and Slavic Languages & Literatures
The University of Iowa
111 Phillips Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242

Office of Admissions
The University of Iowa
107 Calvin Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1396

To request information and an application to the graduate program, please e-mail