Housed within Georgetown University’s Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Master of Arts in Asian Studies (MASIA) program provides students a unique combination of functional training and regional expertise.

This degree equips students with the necessary skills to engage with private and public sector interests in Asia while solving global issues related to the region. MASIA at Georgetown is a terminal, 36-credit (12-course) program, where students have the opportunity to study core disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to Asia. Students also pursue one or more thematic/geographic concentrations. A thesis option is available.

Learning Goals

Georgetown aims to produce students in our Asia program who are conversant at the expert level in the languages, politics, economics, history, and societal aspects of Greater Asia. These students will have superior skills and knowledge that will be sought after by higher-education graduate programs, the private sector, the public sector, and other communities with an interest in Asia and U.S. relations with Asia.

Students who graduate from the curriculum on Asia offered at Georgetown will be assessed in terms of their learning objectives in the following areas:

  • Demonstrated proficiency at the advanced level or higher in one or more of the difficult languages of the region (Chinese, Japanese, Korean). A capacity to communicate beyond merely social situations, to include scholarly research, vocational work, and advanced level or higher reading, speaking, and writing.
  • Demonstrated regional expertise of the highest order in the politics, society, history, economics, business, and culture of East Asia and U.S.-East Asia relations. Some students may possess knowledge that is specific to one of the major countries in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea) or the region more generally.
  • Demonstrated expertise through coursework concentrated in one or two functional concentrations: politics and security, international political economy and business, history, society and culture, and energy, environment, and transnational issues. These functional concentrations will have applicability to the region and countries of China, Japan, and Korea.
  • Demonstrated additional expertise through coursework concentrated in a second sub-region of Greater Asia (in addition to East Asia) to include either South Asia or Southeast Asia. This additional empirical expertise will be in the politics, society, history, economics and/or security of the region or specific countries in the region.
  • Demonstrated writing and presentational expertise on the above topics in the form of written papers and oral presentations. One form of fulfilling this requirement can be through the writing of a thesis. A special emphasis will be placed on maintaining a tradition in the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown of encouraging students to submit finished pieces of written work to professional conferences and to professional journals for publication.
  • Understanding and engagement in the professional and academic networks related to Asia and U.S.-Asia relations in Washington, D.C. Active participation in research assistantships, internships, employment in universities, schools, think-tanks, NGOs, IOs, government, and private sector organizations related to Asia and U.S.-Asia relations.

Students will be assessed in their accomplishment of these learning goals by the faculty and staff at Georgetown in the following ways:

  • Grade-based assessment through satisfactory completion of the course curriculum
  • Grade-based assessment through satisfactory completion of at least three original research papers in the course curriculum
  • Satisfactory grade-based completion of the thesis and related seminar or tutorial (for those who choose the thesis option)
  • Recognition of superior achievement through publication of work in professional publication outlets including academic and public policy journals, newspapers, and expert websites
  • Oral interview and numerical assessment with the Asian Studies director, assistant director, or director of studies on a semester-by-semester basis
  • Final oral pass/fail evaluation with the Asian Studies director, assistant director, or director of studies in the final semester of the program

If you have any questions, please contact Robert Lyons, Assistant Director of Academic Programs, by email at or by calling (202) 687-7176.