Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
HomeGraduate ProgramsApplication and Admissions Information

Application and Admissions Information

The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) offers a graduate program in Asian Languages and Cultures, Chinese and Japanese.

Applicants should review the Graduate School's admission processGraduate School's minimum requirements, and program requirements and information (see below) prior to submitting the online application and fee. The application fee cannot be waived or refunded.

Program Admission Requirements

Prior to submitting their application and materials, applicants should read through each program's requirements.  Click here for admission requirements and specifics on materials.  If you are an international student interested in our programs, the admission requirements are the same; however, international applicants must show English proficiency scores.

Financial Assistance and Costs

Our department offers financial assistance in the forms of Teaching Assistantships (TAship)and fellowships.  These positions are highly competitive as applicants are competing against other applicants across the department, as well as across campus for the fellowships.  Please make note of the deadlines for fellowships and TAships.  Please allow adequate time for our department to recieve all of the necessary materials (especially test scores).

  • Teaching Assistantships. If you are interested in being a teaching assistant, please review our selection criteria through our TA Policies and Procedures page. Applicants must submit the Chinese TA application or the Japanese TA application and necessary materials by the deadlines noted below. Please write the link to your Youtube or other web-based, online-accessible recorded autobiographies on the top of your application. TAships are competitive and an applicant must have been admitted to the program and have all materials submitted and received by the department before the deadlines noted above. If you encounter questions or difficulties with the application process, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at Occasionally, our department will hire TAs outside of our department.  If you are a current graduate student at UW-Madison, please complete the Chinese or Japanese TA application and submit the required materials to the Gradute Program Coordinator in 1244 Van Hise Hall.



  • Graduate Studies Costs. For tuition and living costs, please view the Cost of Graduate School pageInternational applicants recommended for admission to the Graduate School are required to show sufficient funds to attend the University during the course of studies (tuition, food and housing, incidentals and health insurance).  If you are an international applicant and receive a fellowship or TAship, please make note that you will likely be required to show additional financial documentation to meet the minimum required for your official acceptance to the Graduate School. 


Important Deadlines

We accept applications for the fall term only. In order to be considered for Fellowships and Teaching Assistantships, all application materials must be in by the dates below.  Applicants are encouraged to apply early and should take into consideration the amount of time for the department to receive materials if they are mailing them. 


  Chinese Japanese
Fellowship December 1 December 1
Teaching Assistantship December 1 January 15
Fall term admission, no funding May 1 April 15


Application Materials

New applicants to UW-Madison apply to departments through the Graduate School application process.  Complete the online Graduate application and select the Asian Languages and Cultures (major code x) or Chinese (major code 171) or Japanese (major code 583) program.  

Application Checklist:

Please upload documents in PDF format. All correspondence must be in English. Please note that if possible, it is best to upload all your documents at once. Once you submit your application, you will not be able to upload additional materials, only edit the materials that you have already uploaded.

1.  Graduate School Application and Application Fee.  Our department only reviews completed applications submitted through the Graduate School online application process. The application fee is required and is non-refundable. In rare circumstances, applicants may apply for a fee waiver.  If you previously applied in a prior academic year, you will need to resubmit your Graduate School application and pay the application fee again.

Included in the online application is the departmental supplemental application. Please indicate your degree option when filling out the supplemental application.

2.  Reasons for Graduate Study or Statement of Purpose.  Please upload (PDF document preferred) your statement of purpose to your online application.  

3.  Letters of Recommendation.   Letters should be written in English by people qualified to judge the applicant's academic ability. There are no special forms for this. It will be the applicant’s responsibility to contact recommenders and ask them to submit the letters online at the Graduate School application website.

4.  GRE Scores.  GRE scores are required for admission to the Japanese and Chinese programs. The Admissions Committee will accept GRE scores taken within the last five years.  Send test scores to institution code 1846.  There is no department code.

5.  English Proficiency Test Scores.  Applicants with a native language other than English must follow the Graduate School’s guidelines for proof of English proficiency

Please note that non-native English speakers applying to the Japanese Linguistics program are still required to submit English proficiency test scores even if the applicant meets the Graduate School guidelines for meeting the English proficiency requirement.  Although a waiver may be granted for applicants who meet the Graduate School's English proficiency requirement, please note that many fellowships and scholarships require English proficiency test scores.

6.  Academic Writing Sample - (Ph.D. applicants only).  An academic writing sample, or MA thesis, should be uploaded to the Graduate School on-line application if applying to a Ph.D. program. 

7.  Official Transcripts.  U.S. transcripts should be requested and sent through the Graduate School online application system. International transcripts can be scanned and uploaded with your supplemental application. International academic records must be in the original language accompanied by an official English translation. 

Upon acceptance for admission, applicants will need to provide two official transcripts or academic records from each institution attended. Documents must be issued by the School with the official seal/stamp and an official signature.  Please check the Graduate School web site for requirements for specific information on academic records required from a specific country.

8.  Copy of GRE scores

9. CV or resume



 Currently Enrolled UW-Madison Graduate Students

If you are a currently enrolled UW-Madison graduate student and would like to add or change your current graduate program to Chinese or Japanese, you do not need to fill out the online application.  You will need to submit the following to the ALC Graduate Program Coordinator (1244 Van Hise): ALC Departmental Application form; Grad School "Add/Change Program" form (click on link and look for form in the "Academic Forms" box); and letters of recommendation and statement of purpose.