MAEC Program Requirements


The Master of Arts in Eastern Classics is a 34-credit hour program designed to be completed in three consecutive semesters, starting with the fall term.

The program includes:

  • Six (6) credits of language tutorials, studying in either Classical Chinese or Sanskrit. Language is completed in the fall and spring semesters only. 

  • Thirteen (13) credits of seminar, where students read and discuss the most influential texts of Eastern cultures. Seminar is an integral part of the programs, with students completing five (5) credits in the fall and spring semesters and three (3) credits in the summer semester. 

  • Fifteen (15) credits of preceptorials. Preceptorials are taught in 8-week sections. Students enroll in two preceptorials in both the fall and spring semesters, and one preceptorial in the summer semester for a total of five preceptorials.

A breakdown of the class credits and enrollment timeline can be found below.

Fall Semester (14 credits)

  • Seminar (5 credits), 16 weeks 
  • Language Tutorial (3 Credits), 16 weeks 
  • Preceptorial 1: Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian (3 credits), first 8 weeks 
  • Preceptorial 2: The Mahabharata (3 credits), second 8 weeks

Spring Semester (14 credits)

  • Seminar (5 credits), 16 weeks 
  • Language Tutorial (3 Credits), 16 weeks 
  • Preceptorial 3: Elective (3 credits), first 8 weeks 
  • Preceptorial 4: Elective (3 credits), second 8 weeks 

Summer Semester (6 credits)

  • Seminar (3 credits), 8 weeks 
  • Preceptorial 5: Murasaki Shikibu’s The Tale of Genji (3 credits), 8 weeks 

Class Types

All classes are 20 or fewer students in order to nurture a collaborative learning environment, creating space for every voice around the table to listen and be heard.

Optional Master’s Essay

Students who would like to engage in a substantial piece of writing in addition to program requirements may petition the Associate Dean for Graduate Programs for permission to write an optional Master’s essay. The essay can only be written in addition to the full program. The content and goal of the Master’s essay should be the thoughtful examination of a text or several texts. The essay is not intended to be a piece of specialized research, but rather a sustained performance in the program. Essays are evaluated by a specially selected committee of three college tutors, including a committee chairperson appointed by the Associate Dean. A public oral examination is scheduled at the time the committee approves the essay. Essays are graded satisfactory or unsatisfactory; oral examinations are graded pass with honors, pass, or fail.