Skip to Content


Each student will be expected to complete a minimum of 36 graduate credit hours as part of their program requirements.  Of these, 24 credit hours must be completed by the end of the fourth term (second year).  Lower-level language courses normally do not count toward this requirement. Students must make satisfactory progress towards degree completion and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better.

  • Required Coursework- Every student entering the Asian Languages and Cultures PhD program will be required to take ASIAN 550 and 551 in their first two years. The seminars, led by an ALC faculty member, introduce key themes, research methods, and practices in the area of Asian studies and its disciplines therein.  ASIAN 550, when offered, will be in the Fall term; ASIAN 551, when offered, will be in the Winter term.

  • Independent Study/Directed Reading Courses-The Department has various independent study/directed reading course numbers that qualify for graduate credit. See the Student Services Assistant for more details. 

  • Policy on Incompletes- Incompletes can be issued when a student meets three criteria: (1) The student has a grade of  C- or better in the course, (2) The student has only a small amount (less than one-third) of the coursework to complete, and (3) The instructor deems that the reason why the student is unable to complete the work that term is acceptable. It is an ALC policy that all Incompletes must be completed (converted to a letter grade) at the time the student is recommended for candidacy and Incompletes received after this time must be completed at least one term prior to defense.  

  • Visiting and Auditing a Course- Students can, with the permission of their faculty mentor and the course instructor, audit a course. It is a UM policy that students enroll in the course as a “Visitor.” You will not receive credit for the course, but it will appear on your transcript with the designation “VI” next to it.  The course cannot be used to meet degree credit requirements.

Coursework After Candidacy

After a student advances to candidacy, they will typically enroll in ASIAN 995 for 8 hours. There is the opportunity to take additional coursework. Students are allowed a benefit of one extra course per full term without paying additional tuition. If they do not elect a course beyond 995 during that term, the additional course is banked and a student may then select two courses during a subsequent term of ASIAN 995 enrollment. A "banked" course must be used concurrently with an ASIAN 995 enrollment, and only one course may be banked at any given time (i.e. no more than two additional courses can be taken during any given term). Courses may not be elected in anticipation of future banking (i.e. you cannot elect two additional courses in one term, planning to take none the following term). If a student has registered for two or more courses beyond ASIAN 995 (and a banked course is not applicable), be aware that only ONE of the courses (the one with higher credit hours) is tuition-free. You may wish to withdraw from the extra course, as tuition will be charged. ALC is not responsible for additional tuition fees.