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Pacific and Asian Studies

In Pacific and Asian Studies, you’ll increase your global cultural knowledge whether your focus is on language, history, religion, art, politics or economy. We excel in providing focused training and flexibility in how you earn your degree.

Our department has connections around the globe. You’ll have several opportunities to study abroad. You’re also encouraged to participate in our co-op program.

Degree programs offered

In this stream, you’ll learn about the mechanisms and values that transform cultures. You can study globalization and modernization in relation to local practices. Explore global and local relations. Experts in the field will guide you as you study the culture, politics and history of a region or area in Asia or the Pacific.

In this stream, you’ll explore how stories shape the world. Investigate how narratives are critical in preserving, challenging and changing society and tradition. You’ll create an original thesis making an argument about these narratives. You can draw your topics from literature, theatre, cinema, language, religion, history or philosophy.

Our PhD by Special Arrangement is a tailor-made program in which the course and other requirements are established by the supervisory committee in consultation with you. If you wish to pursue PhD research in one of the areas of specialization in the Department of Pacific and Asian Studies you are strongly encouraged to contact our Graduate Advisor at least 12 months before the application deadline.

Program Expected length Project and/or thesis Course-based
MA 2 years Yes No

Quick facts

Program options:
Program delivery:
On-campus, Other: Field work (including overseas)
Dynamic learning:
Co-op optional

Areas of focus

  • Gender
  • National and ethnic identities
  • Contemporary Asian fiction, cinema, and popular culture
  • Chinese and Japanese linguistics
  • Contemporary theatre of Indonesia and Japan
  • Local societies, trade and globalization
  • Asian-Canadian studies

Find a supervisor

All graduate students in this program must have a faculty member who serves as their academic supervisor. When you apply:

  • you must list a potential supervisor on your application
  • this faculty member must agree to be your supervisor and recommend your admission

To find a supervisor, review the faculty contacts. When you've found a faculty member whose research complements your own, contact them by email.

Andrew Marton

Professor; Graduate Program Advisor Urbanization & regional development in China & Asia; Contemporary Chinese society; Culture and creativity in China; Chinese Education

Angie Chau

Assistant Professor Contemporary Chinese literature in the context of world literature, popular culture, and translation

ann-elise lewallen

Associate Professor Transcultural Japan/Asia; Critical Indigenous Studies; Environmental Justice; Gender Studies

Ben Pin-Yun Wang

Assistant Teaching Professor; Chinese Language Coordinator Chinese Language

Jun Tian

Associate Teaching Professor Second language acquisition; Classroom-based research; Second language writing; Teaching English as a second language; Teaching Chinese as a second language; Chinese linguistics

Mamoru Hatakeyama

Assistant Teaching Professor; Japanese Language Coordinator Japanese Language

Martin Adam

Associate Professor, Undergraduate Advisor History of Buddhism; Indian Philosophy and Religions; Philosophy of Religion; Socially Engaged Buddhism; Ethics

Michael Bodden

Professor Indonesian-Malay Language; Southeast Asian Culture & Literature; Indonesian Theatre & Literature; Southeast Asian Cinema; Graphic Narratives from and About Asia and Asians

Mika Kimura

Associate Teaching Professor Teaching Japanese as a second language; second language acquisition; Computer-assisted language learning

Richard Fox

Professor & Chair Asian cultural, media and film studies; Religion and public culture in Indonesia; Classical and contemporary theories of culture and society; Critical issues in language, text and translation; Hindu and Buddhist traditions of South and Southeast Asia; Islam and popular culture in Southeast Asia; Religion, gender and power.

Sujin Lee

Assistant Professor Colonialism, Capitalism, and Population Issues in the Japanese Empire; Politics of Reproduction in Modern East Asia; History of Feminism, Gender and Sexuality; History of Science, Technology and Medicine

Tim Iles

Associate Professor Cinema: Asian and Japanese, live-action and animated; Japanese literature, modern and pre-modern; Humanism and Identity Issues in Japan; Japanese religions and philosophy; Technology and its implications; science fiction cinema; Horror as a response to social and urban change; Popular culture: traditional, modern, postmodern

Tsung-Cheng Lin

Associate Professor Classical Chinese poetry; poetry of Late Imperial China; Narrative theories; Narrative form and the tradition of the knight-errant

Funding & aid

Graduate students registered in full-time programs are automatically considered for a fellowship. This is based on a qualifying GPA.

Individual award amounts may vary depending on the program.

UVic Fellowship Awards

  • Up to $17,500 per year (master's)
  • Up to $20,000 per year (PhD)

UVic Graduate Awards

  • Up to $10,000 per year (master's and PhD)


  • The minimum requirement for funding consideration is a A- average on the last two years of course work
  • Full-time registration (3.0 units) for UVic Fellowship holders and at least part-time registration (1.5 units) for UVic Graduate Award holders
  • Full-time registration for students registered with the Centre for Accessible Learning (CAL) is 1.5 units

You can also join the co-op program or work as a research or teaching assistant.

Funding opportunities

Tuition & fees

Visit our tuition calculator to determine the tuition and fees for your program.

When you apply you will be charged an application fee. Your application will not be processed until this payment has been received.

  • Application fee for documents from within Canada: $131.50
  • Application fee if any documents originate outside Canada: $169

Application deadlines

  • Canadian and international students: January 15 for September entry

Admission & program requirements

You must meet the minimum graduate school admission requirements.

Review the graduate admission requirements and this program's admission requirements in the Graduate calendar.

If your first language is not English you must provide proof of language proficiency. Learn more about language requirements, including what exemptions and tests are allowed.

Ready to apply?

You can start your online application to UVic by creating a new profile or using an existing one.

Apply now    How to apply

Need help?

Contact the graduate secretary or 250-721-7477.

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