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Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies

Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies: Introduction

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Lead Faculty

Arts and Science

Participating Degree Programs

East Asian Studies—MA
Global Affairs—MGA
Political Science—MA
Public Policy—MPP
Social Work—MSW
Women and Gender Studies—​MA


The Collaborative Master's Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies (CESEAS) is designed to provide graduates with advanced training in a particular discipline and in the historical and social science studies of modern East and Southeast Asia. The major topics of emphasis are political economy, modern and contemporary social history, international relations, gender, political and social change, economic development, and cultural studies. The collaborative specialization contributes to the development of an integrated and interdisciplinary research community in Asia-Pacific Studies at the University.

The graduate programs listed above participate in the Collaborative Specialization in CESEAS at the University of Toronto. The collaborating units contribute courses and provide facilities and supervision for master's-level research. This specialization is administered by a committee chaired by a director.

Applicants are expected to meet the admission and degree requirements of both their home unit and the collaborative specialization in Asia-Pacific Studies. The specialization requirements can be met concurrently with, or in addition to, home unit requirements. Upon successful completion of the master's degree requirements of the participating home department and the collaborative specialization, students receive the notation “Completed Collaborative Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies” on their transcript and parchment.

Contact and Address

Telephone: (416) 946-8832
Fax: (416) 946-8838

Collaborative Master's Specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies
Asian Institute Munk School of Global Affairs
University of Toronto
1 Devonshire Place, Room 228N
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3K7

Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies: Master's Level

Admission Requirements

  • Applicants who wish to enrol in the collaborative specialization must apply to and be admitted to both the collaborative specialization and a graduate degree program in one of the collaborating departments.

  • To be considered for admission to the collaborative specialization in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies, applicants are expected to have completed coursework on Asia or have had relevant working or living experience in East or Southeast Asia.

Specialization Requirements

  • Students must satisfy the degree requirements of both the home department and the collaborative specialization. This can be done concurrently with, or in addition to, home department requirements.

  • Attend the year-long, interdisciplinary core seminar ASI 1000Y Issues in Asia-Pacific Studies (1.0 full-course equivalent [FCE]). Topics vary from year to year.

  • Complete 0.5 elective FCE on East or Southeast Asia, or in Asia-related courses within the home department or any other departments (subject to approval from the collaborative specialization director).

  • Complete a Major Research Paper, usually written in the context of a 0.5 FCE independent study course (e.g., ASI 1001H Independent Research in Asia-Pacific Studies). This requirement can be met in the home department for a major research paper, as long as the topic is related to Asia and is approved by the collaborative specialization director. In rare cases when a student undertakes a master's thesis in a home department, the additional Major Research Paper will be waived. The topic must be on contemporary East and Southeast Asian studies.

  • By the time of graduation from the master's degree program, every student is strong​ly encouraged to have a working knowledge of an East or Southeast Asian language as needed for his or her course of study.

Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies: Courses

Course List 

ASI 1001H Independent Research in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies
ASI 1000Y
Issues in Contemporary East and Southeast Asian Studies

Please consult the website for courses offered by participating graduate units