Application and Admissions Information

Thank you for your interest in our programs. The Department of East Asian Languages and Literature (EALL) offers graduate degrees (MA and PhD) in Chinese linguistics, literature, and thought, and in Japanese linguistics and literature.

Applicants should review the Graduate School's admission process, Graduate School's minimum requirements, and department requirements and information (see below) prior to submitting the online application and fee.  The application fee cannot be waived and cannot be refunded.


New students can enter in either program for the fall term only.  New applicants cannot apply for spring or summer term.  Applicants should make note of the following deadlines: 

  Chinese Japanese
Fellowship December 1 December 1
Teaching Assistantship December 1 January 15
Fall term admission, no funding May 1 April 15

The Fellowship deadline is the date that your application must be received (complete) in order for you to be considered for a University fellowship for the upcoming fall semester. The Teaching Assistantship deadline is the date that your application for admission and your teaching assistantship application must be received for fall consideration. The Application deadline is for only admission for the upcoming fall term and no funding is available.

Application Materials

Applicants apply to departments through the Graduate School application process.  Complete the online Graduate application and select the Chinese (major code 171) or Japanese (major code 583) program.  The application materials are made available here in PDF format.  To learn more about PDF or if you have trouble obtaining these documents, please go to our PDF Information Page .

Application Checklist:

All correspondences to the department must be in English.

Application materials to be submitted through online Graduate application:

1.  Graduate School Application.  Our department only accepts completed applications submitted online through the Graduate School.  Please note that if you applied for a previous academic year that you will need to resubmit the Graduate School application and pay the application fee again.

2.  Application Fee.  Instructions for paying the application fee are available through the Graduate School’s online application form.  Your application is considered incomplete until the fee is paid.  The application fee is non-refundable and in very few circumstances applicants may apply for a fee waiver.

3.  Reasons for Graduate Study or Statement of Purpose.  Your essay should be a concise description of your reasons for choosing to continue your studies in Chinese or Japanese at the University of Wisconsin.  Please include your research interests and career goals as well as a description of your preparation for graduate study including relevant coursework, related employment, research experience, publications, presentations, awards, and honors.  The essay may be submitted electronically through the Graduate School's online application.  Please upload (PDF document preferred) your statement of purpose to your online application.  Please click here for additional guidelines and suggestions on your statement of purpose.

4.  Letters of Recommendation.   These letters should be written in English by people qualified to judge your academic ability. There are no special forms for this. It will be the applicant’s responsibility to contact recommenders and ask them to submit the letters online at the Graduate School application website.

5.  GRE Scores.  GRE scores are required for admission to the Japanese and Chinese programs. The Admissions Committee will accept GRE scores taken within the last five years.  Send test scores to institution code 1846.  There is no department code.

6.  English Proficiency Test Scores.  Applicants, whose native language is not English, must follow the Graduate School’s guidelines for proof of English proficiency.  Please note that non-native English speakers applying to the Japanese Linguistics program are still required to submit English proficiency test scores even if the applicant meets the Graduate School guidelines for meeting the English proficiency requirement.  Although a waiver may be granted for applicants who meet the Graduate School's English proficientcy requirement, please note that many fellowships and scholarships require English proficiency test scores.


Application materials to be submitted to the East Asian Languages and Literature Department:

7.  Transcripts.  The Graduate School requires a B.A. or equivalent education to admit students to graduate level studies. Please supply us with 1 official transcript or academic records from each institution attended.  International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation.  Documents must be issued by the School with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.  Please check the Graduate School web site for requirements for specific information on academic records required from a specific country.

8.  Academic Writing Sample or MA Thesis.   MA thesis should be sent if applying to a PH.D program.  A significant academic paper can be submitted in lieu of an MA thesis if an MA thesis cannot be provided.     

9.  TA Application.  If interested in applying for a Teaching Assistantship within our department, please also fill out the necessary application and provide the necessary materials for the Chinese TA Application and the Japanese TA Application.  TAships are competitive and an applicant must have been admitted to the program and have all materials submitted and received by the department before the deadlines noted above.                   


The materials you need vary according to the program you are interested in, as well as if you are a domestic or international student. Please consult the chart below for information about the materials you need.


Domestic Student
International Student

Chinese Program

Japanese Program



Our department offers financial assistance in the forms of Teaching Assistantships (TAship)and fellowships.  These forms are highly competitive as applicants are competing against other applicants across the department and the campus (fellowships).  Please make note of the deadlines for fellowships and TAships.  Please allow adequate time for our department to recieve all of the necessary materials (especially test scores).

Teaching Assistantships

If you are interested in a Teaching Assistantship (TAship), please review our selection criteria through our TA Policies and Procedures page.  Applicants must submit the Chinese TA application or the Japanese TA application and necessary materials by the deadlines noted above. 

Occassionally, our department will hire TAs outside of our department.  If you are a current graduate student at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, please complete the Chinese or Japanese TA application and submit the required materials to the Student Services Coordinator in 1212 Van Hise.


Online Fellowship Information


Graduate Studies Costs

International applicants recommended for admission to the Graduate School are required to show sufficient funds to attend the University during the course of studies (tuition, food and housing, incidentals, and health insurance).  If you are an international applicant and receive a fellowship or TAship, please make note that you will most likely be required to show additional financial documentation to meet the minimum required for your official acceptance to the Graduate School.  For living costs, please view the Cost of Graduate School page.



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