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JD/MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures

The JD/MA in East Asian Languages and Cultures combines into four years and one summer of full time study the Juris Doctor program offered by the School of Law and the Master of East Asian Languages and Cultures program offered by the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

Growing interdependence with East Asia, particularly with China, provides a need for lawyers versed in culture and language. A joint degree in law and East Asian Languages and Cultures opens many doors for its recipients. Graduates can find opportunities in international trade and finance, immigration law, and other related fields, as well as a greater ability to work with clients from various backgrounds.

If you are a prospective law student, contact the KU Law Office of Admissions, 785-864-4378, admitlaw@ku.edu; or Professor Keith McMahon, EALC, 785-864-3100, ealc@ku.edu.

If you are a current KU student, contact Assistant Dean Leah Terranova, law school, 785-864-4357, leaht@ku.edu; or Professor Keith McMahon, EALC, 785-864-3100, ealc@ku.edu.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the joint JD/MA EALC Program, an applicant must hold an earned baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, complete the admission processes, meet the admission requirements for both the School of Law and the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, and be admitted to both programs no later than the end of the first year of study in law or the completion of more than 16 credit hours in EALC. Full-time study is required for the joint JD/MA EALC program. The Law School Admission Test (LSAT) is the only standardized test required for an applicant to the joint degree program.

Degree Requirements

To receive the JD/MA EALC, a student must successfully complete a minimum of 106 credit hours, 81 in the School of Law and 25 in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures. The School of Law requires a 2.0 grade point average, while the Graduate School requires a 3.0 GPA for all courses counting toward the MA in EALC portion of the degree.

J.D. Requirements

All candidates for the J.D. must complete the following required courses:
First Year
Course Credit hours
Law 804 Civil Procedure 4
Law 806 Intro. to Constitutional Law 4
Law 809 Contracts 4
Law 814 Criminal Law 4
Law 820 Lawyering Skills I 2
Law 821 Lawyering Skills II 3
Law 826 Property 4
Law 831 Torts I 4
Upper Class
3 courses from among the following:
Law 892 Business Organizations 4
Law 881 Conflict of Laws 3
Law 878 Criminal Procedure 3
Law 909 Family Law 3
Law 845 Jurisdiction 3
Law 837 Contracts II/ UCC Sales 3
Law 873 Commercial Law: Secured Transactions 3
Law 996 Trusts and Estates 4
Law 908 Evidence 3
Law 972 Professional Responsibility 2

Students must complete all required first-year courses (29 credit hours) during their first year of law school enrollment. In addition to the JD/MA program course requirements, students must satisfy the Upper Level Writing-Intensive Course Requirements and Experiential  Course Requirements, a residence requirement, and a time limit for completion of the degree. Please refer to the current School of Law Catalog for details.

In addition to the 43 credit hours of coursework (described above) required of all law students, students in the joint JD/MA in EALC program must complete an additional 12 credit hours of coursework consisting of courses in any two of the following four areas of concentration:

International Trade
Course Credit hours
Law 944 International Trade Law 3
Law 864 Advanced International Trade Law 3
International Commerce
Law 945 International Commerce and Investment 3
Public International Law
Law 974 Public International Law 3
Comparative Law (choose 2)
Law 841 Chinese Law 3
Law 879 Comparative Law 3
Law 918 Islamic Law 3

Students may choose courses to complete the remaining hours necessary to reach the total of 81 hours of law school credit needed for the joint degree from any part of the law school curriculum.

EALC Requirements

Students shall consider the degree in East Asian Cultures to be interdisciplinary in nature:

Approved EALC Courses
ANTH 810 Ethnolinguistics of China
EALC 530 Chinese Culture
EALC 590 History of Tibet
EALC 594 Law & Society in Traditional China
EALC 620 Life in China Opium War-Present
EALC 646 Chinese Law
ECON 586 Economic Issues in China
HIST 583 Imperial China
HIST 584 Modern China
HIST 585 Reform in Contemporary China
HIST 800 China in Global Perspective
HIST 583 Imperial China
HIST 800 Readings in Chinese History
HIST 800 Graduate Seminar on Modern China
HIST 800 Readings in Modern China
HIST 800 China in Global Perspective
HA 545 Early Chinese Art
HA 546 Chinese Sculpture
HA 604 Medieval Chinese Art
HA 650 Classical Chinese Art Text
HA 687 Art of Modern China
HA 785 Masters Sung & Yuan Dynasty
HA 787 Chinese Painting
HA 789 Proseminar in Chinese Art: Sculpture
HA 982 Seminar in Later Chinese Art
IBUS 425/895 Business in China
LING 572 Structure of Chinese
PHIL 506 Chinese Thought
POLS 668 Reform in Contemporary China
POLS 678 Chinese Foreign Policy
REL 508 Religion in China
REL 775 Rel & Soc in Asia: Chinese Buddhist Ritual & Institution
REL 776 Seminar in Religion & Society in Asia: Chinese Popular Religion
ANTH 567 Japanese Ghosts & Demons
BUS 686 Business and Society in Japan
EALC 575 Love, Sexuality & Gender in Japanese Literature
EALC 590/790 Japanese Pedagogy
EALC 590 Nature & The Environment in Japan
EALC 590 Visual/Literary Culture of Modern Japan
EALC 712 Traditional Japanese Literature in Translation
EALC 716 Modern Japanese Literature in Translation
HIST 586 Ancient & Medieval Japan
HIST 587 Early Modern Japan
HIST 588 Japan 1853-1945
HIST 589 Japan Since 1945
HIST 595 Business & Industry in Japan
HIST 596 Defining Japan: Marginalized Groups & National Identity
HIST 597 Japanese Theater History
HIST 660 Biography of a City: Kyoto
HIST 800 Readings in Modern Japanese History
HIST 800 Readings in Pre-Modern Japan
HIST 800 Readings in Early Japanese History
HIST 801 Colloquium in Pre-Modern Japanese History
HIST 801 Colloquium in Modern Japanese History
HA 503 Japanese Prints
HA 587 History of Japanese Sculpture
HA 782 Japanese Painting
HA 783 Edo Period Painting
HA 788 Seminar in Japanese Art
LING 575 Structure of Japanese
REL 509 Religion in Japan
REL 776 Religion & Society in Asia: Religion & Gender in Japan
TH&F 702 Japanese Film Makers
TH&F 702 Survey of Japanese Film
TH&F 827 Japanese Theater & Film
Pan-Asian Courses
COMS 677 East Asian Communication
EALC 590 Entrepreneurship in East Asia
ECON 583 Economic Issues of East Asia
HA 585 Art of Buddhism
HA 766 Calligraphy of China and Japan
INTL 750 The Politics & Cultures of Asia
POLS 656 Government & Politics of East Asia
POLS 666 Political Economy of East Asia
POLS 676 International Relations of Asia
REL 602 Buddhism in East Asia
REL 762 Pure Land Buddhism
REL 762 Seminar in Eastern Religious Thought
TH & F 702 War & Memory in Asian Film
EALC 590 Traditional Korea
EALC 593 Modern Korea
EALC 593 The Korean War: Representation and Public Memory
HA 706 Special Problems in Art History: Korean Painting

Third- and fourth-year Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language courses fulfill the requirements, as well. Other courses as permitted by the student’s MA advisor.

  1. A minimum of 22 graduate credit hours plus one of the two options listed in part 6.
  2. Each student is expected to select one of the East Asian Cultures (Japan, China, or Korea) for concentration and to include in his or her program at least two courses dealing wholly with an East Asian culture outside of his or her concentration. Up to two courses can be pan-East Asian courses including the student’s country of concentration.
  3. Students must complete a third year of language of the country of concentration**
  4. EALC 700, Introduction to East Asian Studies, must be included in the student’s curriculum.
  5. No more than 6 hours of directed reading in a language may count toward the MA degree.
  6. Students must take 1 literature or culture course with an EALC core-faculty member at the 500 level or above in the country of their concentration.
  7. Students are required to fulfill one of the following requirements:
    • Write a thesis (3 credit hours) which must deal with a subject within the concentration chosen by the student, or
    • Practical thesis: Hold an internship or job in the country of concentration for a period of at least 8 weeks, at the advisor’s approval, and write a 40-page analysis of the cultural aspects of the experience (3 credits)

      Students MUST consult with the EALC Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) immediately upon admission to the joint program to determine an enrollment plan and obtain a list of current approved joint courses. Joint students must also consult with the DGS during advising periods each semester.  

      Third- and fourth-year Chinese, Japanese, and Korean language courses fulfill the requirements, as well**

Typical Program Format

Typical Enrollment Pattern

  Law EALC Total
First Year 29 0 29
First Summer 0 1st-year language (NOCR)* (NOCR)*
Second Year 18 2nd-year language (NOCR)*
Elective Courses (3-6)
CHIN (3)
JPN (6)
KOR (6)
Third Year 12 3rd-year language (CR)*
CHIN (10)
JPN (6)
KOR (8)
Elective Courses (6)

elective courses (6)
Fourth Year 22 Elective Courses
CHIN elective (3)
JPN elective (4)
KOR elective (2)
3 Thesis credits
Total Credit Earned 81 25 106
Law Credit Allowed -- 8 8
EALC Credit Allowed 9 -- 9
Total Credit Required 90 33 123

* There is no credit toward the degree for first- and second-year language. First- and second-year language are 10 credits each. Third-year language is 10 credits and counts toward the degree.

**A language course result lower than ‘B’ may result in a departmental recommendation for probation status.  If language coursework performance does not improve after one semester, the student may be recommended for dismissal.

Students will be eligible to apply for FLAS funding for 1) summer language study equivalent to one full year of language study, and 2) academic year study that includes two semesters of language and six credits or more of East Asian culture courses.

Students must conclude their joint degree program enrolled in courses offered in the law school. In all cases, students must receive their joint degrees concurrently.