Applying to Asian Studies

What are the application requirements to apply for Georgetown’s M.A. in Asian Studies Program?

  • Georgetown University Graduate School Online Application
  • Online Application Supplemental Form
  • Academic Writing Sample (10-15 pages)
  • Statement of Purpose (500-700 words)
  • Two to Three Letters of Recommendation
  • Upload Unofficial Transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended to your online application.  
  • Official Scores from the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) (GRE Code: 5244; GMAT Code: JT7-GJ-96) 
    Please note: Applicants taking the GRE in December 2019 or early January 2020 may submit an unofficial screenshot of their digital GRE scores from the ETS website along with their full and complete application by January 15th. This is to accommodate official scores that may arrive to Georgetown after the application closes.
  • Official TOEFL/IELTS Scores (International Applications Only; Georgetown University’s TOEFL score reporting code is: 5244; The mailing address for IELTS score reports can be found here under Official Test Results.)
  • Resume or CV
  • Application Fee
  • Applicants must have one year of university level language training in an Asian language, with a grade of B or above

Where do I send transcripts?

Applicants are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.  Do not send electronic or paper copies of your transcripts before receiving an offer of admission.  Review the unofficial transcript requirements for additional details and FAQs.  

Must students have post-college, full-time work experience before attending the program?

No, this is not a requirement. Students are eligible to apply to the program during their senior year of college for the following year. Conversely, students who have been out of school for multiple months or many years are also encouraged to apply. Whether through coursework, internships, study abroad, language experience, living overseas, and/or full-time work experience, the Asian Studies Program highly values applicants who can inform the Admissions Committee of their commitment to the study of Asia.

The average age of recent entering classes is 24-25 years old.

How long does it to take to fulfill the degree requirements of Georgetown University’s M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) Program?  

Georgetown University’s M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) degree consists of 36 credits. Students take 4 non-language courses plus, if applicable, one language course per semester during their first year of study. Students in their second year can complete their remaining 12 credits either all in the third semester or divided between the fall and spring semesters.  Thus, the MASIA degree can be completed in three or four academic-year semesters. For detailed information on course structure, please email

Can you tell me more about Georgetown University’s M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) degree?

The M.A. in Asian Studies at Georgetown University provides students with an opportunity to study the dynamics of Asia. Students will discover a unique postgraduate experience whether they seek regional expertise, functional training, or disciplinary study in preparation for a doctoral degree. MASIA students will have the opportunity to study core disciplines in the humanities and the social sciences as they relate to Asia. Students will also be given the opportunity to specialize in at least one and potentially two areas of concentration. A thesis option is available. This innovative balance of traditional area studies and functional training offers students a package of scholarly expertise and substantive skills that will enhance the intellectual value and the marketability of their degree, whether they pursue employment or a Ph.D. after the M.A.

What is the difference between Georgetown University M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) Program and other graduate programs?

Georgetown University’s M.A. in Asian Studies Program is a small program based within the Walsh School of Foreign Service.  Each entering class consists of 20-35 students, so the program is small enough to allow students more individualized attention from faculty and staff in terms of academic advising and career development. Asian Studies events, lectures, research assistantships, student activities, and career programming provide Georgetown University’s MASIA students with sustained opportunities to pursue educational enrichment outside of their regularly scheduled courses while at Georgetown.

When is the application due?

The application deadline for Fall 2020 is January 15, 2020.  All application materials must be received on or before this date.

Does your program offer application fee waivers? 

The Asian Studies Program only considers fee waiver requests for certain pre-approved fellowship recipients such as McNair, Pickering, Rangel, etc.  If you believe that you may be eligible for a fee waiver, please email Robert Lyons, Associate Director of Academic Programs, at

Will I be notified of any missing application materials?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to make certain that all admission materials are received by the application deadline. Neither the Graduate School nor the Asian Studies Program can assume the responsibility of informing the applicant about erroneous or missing materials. Through the online application, applicants have convenient access to an electronic checklist detailing what application items have or have not been received. The checklist is posted the day after the application is submitted, and application items received are logged daily. Online recommendations are automatically updated to a status of “received” when submitted by the reference. During the high volume December-March application season, please allow up to two weeks for processing of application materials.

Is there an on-campus interview requirement?

No. However, prospective students have multiple options to familiarize themselves with the Asian Studies Program at Georgetown University. Campus information sessions are held on select Fridays in the Office of Graduate Admissions. Students are welcome to visit the Asian Studies Program to meet with staff by appointment and to make arrangements to sit in on a class. Online chats with the Asian Studies staff are also available on occasion. Asian Studies Program representatives attend a number of graduate school fairs during the fall semester.

Do you have any other advice for the application?

Plan ahead. Give yourself plenty of time to complete all of the requirements. Kindly ask your references for help with as much notice as possible. Secure copies of your transcripts, especially ones from overseas, early in the process. Have your official test scores sent to Georgetown in advance. Edit your personal statement, writing sample and application documents. Prepare everything in your application in a professional manner.

When will I know of my admissions decision?

We expect to have decisions available by the early part of March 2020.

If accepted, when do I need to make a decision to enroll in the program?

April 15, 2020

Standardized Tests

How critical are GPA and standardized test scores (GRE or GMAT) in admissions decisions?

GPA and standardized test scores are indeed two important factors in any admissions decision-making process, but there are no strict GPA or test score cutoffs. The Admissions Committee will evaluate the entire application of each applicant. Strengths in parts of the application can offset weaknesses.

What were the average GPA and GRE test scores for recent incoming classes?

The average (mean) undergraduate GPA is approximately 3.61 on a 4.0 scale. The average (mean) GRE scores is 160 Verbal, 157 Quantitative and 4.5 Analytical Writing.

I have taken the GRE or GMAT, but are my test scores still eligible?

Georgetown accepts GRE or GMAT official scores from tests taken within five years.

To order official GRE score reports to be sent to Georgetown, visit the following website: (The Georgetown University Graduate School ETS Code is 5244. There is no Asian Studies department code.)

To order official GMAT score reports to be sent to Georgetown, go to the following web address:

I want to apply for admission, but I have not taken the GRE or GMAT yet.

Applicants should plan to take the GRE or GMAT well in advance of the application deadline. Students need to order their GRE or GMAT official score reports at least one month prior to the mid-January application deadline to ensure on-time arrival in the Graduate Admissions Office.

Statement of Purpose

Any suggestions for my statement of purpose?

The statement of purpose is your opportunity to market yourself as a candidate for admission to the M.A. in Asian Studies (MASIA) Program. Please spend as much time as you need to prepare to write a well-written, polished, concise essay to accomplish this objective. Utilize this application feature to your advantage by introducing the Admissions Committee to who you are, why you want to pursue graduate study in Asian Studies at Georgetown, and what your goals are after your potential graduate studies here at Georgetown. Graduate study is a significant undertaking in time and resources. Enrolled students themselves are not the only group of individuals who want to witness success; the faculty, administration and staff all want to see MASIA students thrive in their studies as well. Accepted students will have effectively demonstrated their previous investment and ongoing commitment to the study of Asia.

How long should my statement of purpose be?

We recommend 500-700 words. The admissions committee appreciates clear, concise writing.

Writing Sample

What do you advise about the academic writing sample?

The Admissions Committee is interested in seeing a writing sample of approximately 10-15 pages (written in English) for all applicants to the program. Writing samples of longer length are acceptable, but please remember that quality always takes precedence over quantity. Students typically become better writers as they progress in their education, so it would be advantageous for applicants to submit written work from their junior or senior year of college, or even more recent work, if applicable.

Letters of Recommendation

What is your advice about letters of recommendation?

You should ask two to three individuals (faculty or work references) who know you well to write your letters of recommendation. We strongly suggest that at least one of your recommendations is from a faculty member who taught you in class. Please keep in mind that a letter of recommendation from someone who knows you well is much more useful and beneficial to your application than a generic letter from a famous person. Also, it is helpful for you to ask your references for their assistance with letters weeks, if not months, in advance.


What is your policy about transcripts?

Applicants are required to upload to the application system unofficial transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended. Do not send electronic or paper copies of your transcripts before receiving an offer of admission. Review the unofficial transcript requirements for additional details and FAQs. 

If an offer of admission is granted and accepted, admitted students will be required to submit final official transcripts from all institutions where a degree has been earned and other institutions as designated in their admissions letter. Additional details for which can be reviewed on our admitted students page. Georgetown University reserves the right to request any missing unofficial transcripts or an official copy of a transcript at any point during the application and/or admission process. Georgetown University also reserves the right to withdraw any offer of admission already made if there is any discrepancy between a transcript uploaded in the application and the final official transcript that is received.

What if I need to order a transcript from a university overseas for my study abroad program?

You can upload these documents into the application itself.

What about undergraduate transcripts from overseas that are not in English? 

  • International Transcripts: Applicants who have attended institutions outside of the United States are strongly encouraged to upload their transcripts in the form of World Education Services (WES) ICAP evaluations or may utilize other credential evaluation services that are members of the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES). Applicants should upload this evaluation directly to the application. If the evaluation does not include a copy of the transcripts that were evaluated, applicants must upload both the transcripts from the institution and the credential evaluation as one document to the application. Note: Some programs require a credential evaluation (WES or similar) for international transcripts. Please review the program admission requirements to determine if a credential evaluation is required.
  • For transcripts not in English: These documents must be accompanied by an English language version provided by the academic institution. If your institution does not provide English language copies, applicants are responsible for providing a certified or notarized translation along with a copy of the original transcripts. Applicants may upload an evaluation from a credential evaluation service. This must include course and grade information. If not included in the evaluation, the transcript from the institution must be included as well. Both the evaluation and original transcript should be submitted in the application as one document.

International Students

How many international students attend the MASIA program?

International students comprise approximately 20 percent to 50 percent of each class and, thus far, are citizens of Australia; Brunei; Canada; China; France; India; Italy; Japan, Macau, SAR; Russia; Singapore; South Korea; Taiwan; Thailand; the United Kingdom; and Vietnam.

Do I need to take the TOEFL/IELTS exams?

According to Georgetown University Office of Graduate Admissions policy, foreign applicants must provide proof of English Language Proficiency to be eligible for admission.

All applicants are required to demonstrate a level of proficiency in the English language sufficient to meet the admission requirement of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences. Proficiency can be demonstrated by:

  • The receipt of a bachelor’s or advanced degree from an accredited institution of higher education in the United States or from a university where English is the primary language of instruction (please note that applicants receiving degrees at universities in U.S. territories, such as Puerto Rico, are required to submit the TOEFL or IELTS unless the primary language of instruction at the institution is English)
  • Submission of an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score report with a minimum score of 550 (paper-based test) or 80 (internet test). Many departments and programs require submission of a TOEFL score of 600 (paper-based test) or 100 (internet test) or higher; see the Online Graduate Catalog for minimum score requirements
  • Submission of an official International English Language Testing System (IELTS) – Academic Module score report with a minimum score of 7.0. Some departments and programs require submission of an IELTS score of 7.5. See the Online Graduate Catalog for minimum score requirements


If I enroll in an intensive university-level language program equivalent to one year of coursework, will this meet the admissions prerequisite of one year of university level language training in an Asian language?

Yes, this would meet the language prerequisite for admission.

If I am a native speaker of an Asian language, how would I fulfill the admissions prerequisite and the proficiency requirements?

If you are a native speaker of an Asian language, you would be exempt from the admissions prerequisite.

If I studied an Asian Language without taking any formal Asian language courses in school, would this fulfill the language prerequisite requirement and proficiency requirements?

For further questions, please email Robert Lyons, Associate Director of Academic Programs, at