How is the EAST programme organized during the Corona/Covid-19 pandemic?
CEAS follows the instructions of the University of Turku (UTU) and the Finnish health authorities regarding the organization of its courses. Students enrolled in the EAST programme will receive detailed information and regular updates through the emailing list. Our priority is the safety of our students and the staff members.

I am planning to apply for the Master’s Degree Programme in East Asian Studies (EAST). I did my 3-year BA studies in a field other than social sciences. Can I still apply for the EAST programme?
Our Master's Degree Programme in East Asian Studies is offered in the discipline of social sciences. Our Programme is especially designed for students with a study background in social sciences (political science, sociology, contemporary history, and also IR) but we also welcome applications from students of other disciplines. Our experience is that students who have a background in social sciences might find it easier to define their research project/thesis, especially at the beginning of the studies. The EAST programme equips all students with solid training in methodology and social science methods.

I am interested in the EAST programme but as a non-EU/EEA citizen I would need to pay tuition fee. Can I receive a scholarship?
The University of Turku offers scholarships for degree students who are subject to the tuition fee. The scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic merit and they are awarded to both Bachelor's and Master's level students. Applying for a scholarship is simple: just indicate “yes” to the appropriate question on your online application form for the EAST programme. Based on the EAST programme-specific admission criteria (previous academic performance / a GPA of 3 or higher, previous degree/study background, East Asian language skills, self-introduction videa and motivation letter) applicants are ranked. The highest ranked applicants are then proposed to the scholarship committee as candidates for the scholarships. All applicants who have applied for the scholarship will receive information of the decisions in their admission offer.

I am preparing my application for the EAST programme: About the Europass CV, does it mean a CV about working experience or my previous studies?
For practical reasons we recommend using the Europass CV. The focus is usually on previous education – first and foremost university studies and exchange studies. Of course, if you have working experience/internships this information should also be included.

I am interested in the Master’s Degree Programme in East Asian Studies (EAST). Can I study this programme online?
No, the EAST programme is a full-time two-year programme that includes both contact teaching, self-study courses and supervised online courses. The compulsory subject courses and the language courses require the presence and active participation of students in class. Through these various forms of teaching and learning, students will further develop and strengthen their academic skills and work life competences.

I am going to apply for the Master’s Degree Programme in East Asian Studies (EAST). I speak one East Asian language (Chinese/Korean/Japanese). What kind of language proficiency proof should I attach to my application?
An official certificate such as HSK, TOPIK, JLPT would be ideal but other kinds of proof from an official source/institution (e.g. study transcripts that include Chinese/Korean/Japanese language courses) are also accepted. Without any official proof, the applicant's language skills will not be taken into account in the selection process. Native speakers (Chinese, Korean and Japanese) are not required to submit a language certificate with their application but, if admitted, they are expected to study another East Asian language during the EAST programme.

What is the starting level of the East Asian language courses in the EAST Programme? What kind of knowledge in terms of language proficiency am I expected to have?
CEAS offers different levels of Korean and Japanese language courses. In general, EAST students are expected to be able to use East Asian language sources in their Master's degree thesis. When selecting the applicants, the EAST selection committee takes the applicant's knowledge of an East Asian language(s) - verified appropriately (transcripts, certificates etc.) - into account. Language proficiency is one of the five selection criteria (the others are: Academic performance in previous studies / GPA of 3 and higher, East Asia contents and relevance of previous degree studies, including exchange studies or work experience in East Asia, self-introduction video and the letter of motivation).

If I understand the EAST Curriculum correctly, the programme encourages students to study East Asian languages. Am I required to study all three East Asian languages (Chinese, Korean, Japanese) for the degree?
EAST students are expected to advance their language proficiency in one East Asian language (Chinese, Korean or Japanese) so that they can use original sources for their thesis. EAST students are required to study (at least) 10 ECTS of East Asian Language Studies during the EAST programme, and they are welcome to study more East Asian languages at CEAS / UTU and/or during their exchange studies (max. 20 ECTS can be included into the degree).

I have studied Japanese/Korean/Chinese for a bit more than one year (basic level). Is it sufficient to enrol in the EAST programme?
Students admitted to the EAST programme have some (officially proven) knowledge of at least one East Asian language and during their studies they are expected to deepen their proficiency in one (or more) East Asian language(s).

I want to apply to the EAST programme. When does the application period start?
The application period for the next academic year is in January. The exact dates vary each year. Please check our website (www.utu.fi/ceas) and studyinfo.fi for further information and updates.

I have a Bachelor’s degree from a university outside of Finland. Is my BA-degree  equal to the Finnish Bachelor’s degree and can I apply for the Master’s Degree Programme?
You are eligible if (1) you have a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution of higher education e.g. from an EU country, (2) your degree corresponds to at least 180 ECTS (European credits) or to three years of full-time study, and (3) your degree is in a relevant field for the Master’s degree programme that you’re applying for. Apart from the BA degree, a proof of English language proficiency is required.

Are previous studies of East Asia at a university level a precondition, or just desirable?
When selecting the applicants, the EAST selection committee takes the following four selection criteria into account: (1) Academic performance in previous studies / a GPA of 3 or higher, (2) East Asia contents and relevance of previous degree studies, including exchange studies or work experience in East Asia, (3) knowledge of East Asian languages, verified appropriately (transcripts, certificates etc.), (4) self-introduction video and (5) letter of motivation.

I have a BA in Korean/Japanese/Chinese studies. Can my BA-level courses be included into the EAST degree?
BA-level courses cannot be recognized. Some prior studies can be recognized for the EAST degree provided that the courses are Master’s level studies.

How does the EAST selection process work? Are interviews with the applicants arranged?
The selection of applicants is done on the basis of the documents submitted with the application; interviews are not part of the selection process. Apart from the general eligibility criteria, the application is assessed according to the programme specific criteria (1) previous academic performance, (2) study background/previous studies (3) East Asian language skills, (4) self-introduction video and (5) the motivation letter.

When do I need to take the maturity test?
The maturity test is an essay exam in which, in accordance with the Government Decree on University Degrees, the student demonstrates knowledge on the topic of the graduation thesis and proficiency in their language of education (Finnish or Swedish). This requirement concerns only students who have gone to school in Finnish or in Swedish in Finland. ​The maturity test must be taken only once during university studies, so if the test has been taken before the Masters' level studies, there is no need to take it again. If a Finland-schooled student has not taken the maturity test, s/he must take it in full either in Finnish or in Swedish before graduation.
Foreign students whose school language was other than Finnish or Swedish are not required to take the maturity test.

I am a Finnish national enrolled in the EAST programme. How do I prove my skills in the second national language (Swedish / Finnish)?
Students with Finnish educational background must demonstrate, either as studies included in their Bachelor's or Master's degree or in another way, proficiency also in the second national language of Finland as required by personnel in bilingual government agencies. Students with Finnish educational background who have completed their Bachelor’s degree outside Finland and are doing only a Master’s degree at UTU can apply for exemption from this requirement. However, it is highly recommended that students demonstrate their skills also in the second national language as it may be relevant for their future professional career. Applications for exemptions are processed by UTU's Centre for Language and Communication studies.

The Curriculum of the EAST programme has changed what does this mean for me?
The Curriculum of the EAST programme is reviewed and updated every three years (from 2024 onwards). Possible changes regarding compulsory courses do not affect the study plan of advanced students, i.e. those students who started their studies before the new EAST Curriculum was adopted. The personal study plan (PSP / HOPS) that was approved earlier remains valid after the Curriculum changed, and the compulsory courses must still be completed. However, with the new Curriculum there might be changes regarding the availability of certain elective courses.

As an EAST Master’s degree student, how many optional subject courses do I need to take?
According to the new Curriculum (2022-24), students are required to take a minimum of 14 credits from optional subject studies (2018-2020 Curriculum: 16cr). These courses need to cover an aspect of politics, society, economy, international relations etc. in East Asia. When selecting Asianet or other courses, please make sure that they are Master’s-level courses as only those can be included into the EAST degree. The optional subject studies must be approved in the personal study plan (HOPS).

As an EAST Master’s degree student, can I take courses during the summer?
It is possible to take courses during the summer. CEAS offers a number of online courses and self-study courses with an electronic exam during the summer. For details please check the information in the Peppi Curriculum system and, if necessary, the opening times of the e-exam rooms on the UTU campus.

I am a first-year EAST student and have a scholarship, is there anything that I need to keep in mind to continue the scholarship in the second year?
Scholarship holders are required to successfully complete 55 ECTS by the end of June in the first year of their EAST studies. NB: Only courses/credits that count towards the EAST degree will be considered by the scholarship committee when deciding on the extension of scholarship to cover the second year. Scholarship holders must make sure that based on the PSP/HOPS agreement all courses (min. 55 ECTS) they complete can be included into the EAST degree.

I am a tuition fee paying, second-year EAST student and I want to graduate in the spring semester / by the end of the academic year (31 July). Until when do I need to submit my thesis and start the UTU Gradu process?
Students who submit the final version of their thesis to UTUGradu by the end of July can still graduate in the spring semester (Jan-July) of that academic year. What is important is that (1) students have completed ALL course work by then, (2) the UTUGradu process is started before the end of July and (3) that the student agrees in advance with the thesis supervisor on the graduation schedule (including deadline for submission of thesis draft on which students still receive comments). The thesis will then be evaluated in August and there is no need to pay tuition fee provided that students apply for the scholarship again (students must pay the student union's fee though). Please note that theses are evaluated on a first-come-first-served basis.

NOTE: Students who agree on the late submission with their supervisor must apply for an extra scholarship to avoid paying the tuition fee for the extra semester when the evaluation of the Thesis is done.

There is a different date for thesis submission for those students who want to participate in the graduation ceremony that usually takes place in mid-June (for details/date please check the information provided by the Faculty of Social Sciences).


(last update: 22 August 2023)