University of Washington

Office of Academic Services

Thomson Hall Room 111











Welcome to the University of Washington and the Korea Studies Program. This handbook provides you with information concerning both academic and non-academic matters. We hope it will be of use to you.

   Language Requirement
   Required Core Courses
   Other Course Work Requirements 
   Final Degree Requirements
       Final Papers
       Oral Exam

First Things First
The Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) houses many academic programs; the Korea Studies program is one of them. The variety of programs provides a wealth of resources, including colloquia and symposia which bring in outside speakers. We hope you will take advantage of them while you are here.
Thomson Hall is the home of the Jackson School. Your mailbox is in the Graduate Reading Room, in Thomson 311. Be sure to check it regularly for materials not sent via e-mail. Aside from being a good place to study or meet other students, the Graduate Reading Room features 5 computers and a small kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave. Your UW student card is your “key” to the graduate reading room. Be sure to take your card to Mark Haslam (Thomson 407), the Jackson School computer specialist, so that he can activate your card.

The Academic Services office is in Thomson 111. Check the bulletin boards across the hall for information on visiting speakers, film series, etc. One of the Academic Services staff members can assign you a locker, which you may retain as long as you are here, if you renew it each spring.
Other resources available in the Academic Services office include announcements for internships and job openings. If you have specific questions regarding these announcements, contact the career and internship advisor, John Charlton.

For advice on procedures and requirements, contact Paula Milligan, the Graduate Program Advisor (GPA), in JSIS Academic Services. For quick questions, you may come during drop-in hours (Mondays 9-11 am or Thursdays 2-4 pm). Paula’s appointment calendar is on-line at There are approximately 150 JSIS MA graduate students, so you may need to remind Paula of your name and your program of study. You should meet with the GPA at least once a year. It is particularly important to meet with her before registering for your last quarter, to make sure that you have met all requirements and to review graduation procedures.

Professor Clark Sorensen is both the Chair and Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for Korea Studies. As the GPC, Professor Sorensen serves as your academic advisor. You should meet with the GPC at least once a quarter. As you review the program requirements and guidelines, you will find that some actions on your part need written approval from the GPC. This approval should be in writing and placed in your file in the JSIS Academic Services Office.
In your second year in the program, you should establish a Supervisory Committee of at least two graduate faculty members to advise you in completing the final requirements of your program.

If you find yourself struggling academically, we strongly advise you to meet with the GPC and/or the GPA as soon as possible to discuss your options.

Familiarize yourself with both the Korea Studies Program Requirements for a Master of Arts in International Studies and the General Graduate School Requirements for a Master’s Degree. The program requirements are designed to meet Graduate School requirements, but you must be certain to satisfy both sets of requirements to graduate.

Language Requirement
Students must reach a proficiency equivalent to the completion of 3rd-year level in Korean language. Korean language courses are offered by the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. Language study is an essential part of the program. We would like you to achieve the highest level of proficiency in Korean as is possible while you are here. Those starting with first-year Korean are strongly advised to consider a summer intensive program, either before beginning the Korea Studies program or between the first and second years, in such cases.

Before you register for Korean, you will have to complete a placement or proficiency examination. See the Asian Languages and Literature website ( for more information about how to register for this exam. If your class is already full, have your name placed on a waiting list in Asian Languages and Literature and identify yourself as a Jackson School Korea Studies graduate student.
If you are beyond third-year Korean, in addition to taking advanced reading courses in Korean, you might want to consider taking another Asian language through Asian Languages and Literature. Chinese and Japanese classes fill up very early.

Required Core Courses
The four required courses that you must take are:
HSTAS 482, JSIS_A 566, JSIS A 584 and JSIS A 585
There is some flexibility, however, in the order in which you take them. While the Korea Studies Program normally does not accept course work at other universities as equivalent to any required course, with written permission of the GPC, the program may accept course work at other universities as equivalent to a required course.

If you wish to take some of the more advanced Korean History courses, it would be good to take HSTAS 481 and 482 first. For this reason, these two courses are usually taken in the first year, but they can be taken in the second year.

JSIS_A 584 is the prerequisite to JSIS_A 585. Through JSIS_A 585, you will produce a major research paper which you will use as one of the papers you present for your oral exam. It is, therefore, best to take this course in your second year, after you have completed most of your other course work. Because JSIS_A 585 usually is offered Winter Quarter and JSIS_A 584 is usually offered Autumn Quarter, JSIS_A 584 should be taken in your first year.
Korea Studies graduate students are expected to maintain a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0. Grades for course work must be at least 3.0.

Recommended Courses
Korean 435
Korean 531

Other Course Work Requirements
As this program emphasizes the study of Korea in the context of East Asian civilization and the modern world economy, not simply as a single country in isolation from its neighbors, course work in this area does not have to focus solely on Korea. Courses on China and Japan are relevant to understanding Korea as are courses offered by the general International Studies program, so you are encouraged to take them to fulfill this requirement.

Course work used to fulfill this requirement may be offered by other departments such as History, Political Science, and Economics. You do not have to take Jackson School courses only. This is an interdisciplinary program and you are encouraged to take courses from a variety of disciplines. Language training classes cannot be utilized to fulfill this requirement, but courses in literature are allowed.

To complete this requirement, which is only 15 credits, you could potentially take as few as three 5-credit courses. We encourage you, though, to take more. There is a wealth of courses offered on East Asia as well as in the general area of International Studies and you should take this opportunity to take as many of them as is possible while you are here.

Of the 15 credits needed for this requirement, 7 must be at the 500-level or above. You can take 300-level courses not prefixed JSIS_A, but only with the written approval from the GPC. A preferable option would be to take the 300-level course as Graduate Independent Study* at the 600 level, making a contract with the instructor to do the work required for the class plus some extra work to meet graduate standards. The Graduate School will not allow 300-level courses to count toward the 36 credit minimum, so if you are taking a 300-level course, you may want to meet with the GPA to make sure you will have enough credits to graduate.

Final Degree Requirements
Students must take an oral exam after completing either two research papers or an Essay of Distinction. Your committee must consist of at least two faculty members, at least one of whom is a member of the Korea Program faculty.

Final Papers
Most students write two research papers. If you think you would like to write an Essay of Distinction, consult the GPC first. An Essay of Distinction should utilize resources written in Korean and be equivalent to a thesis.

The final papers should originate from courses you have taken. The research paper produced in JSIS_A 585 is normally used as one of these papers and could be expanded into an Essay of Distinction. Whichever option you choose, you are required to rewrite your paper(s) based on comments from your instructor(s). In order that your Supervisory Committee has time to review your paper(s) before your oral exam, you should give each committee member a copy of both of your research papers or your essay one week before your oral. It is possible that you may be required to do further rewrites. If you are late in submitting your paper(s), you may find that instead of graduating in the quarter you planned, you have to register for another.

Oral Exam
Once the Supervisory Committee has approved your paper(s), you must take and pass your oral exam. This exam will be based on both your course work and your paper(s). Consult with both members of your Supervisory Committee about what to expect and how to prepare.

To graduate, you must apply through the Graduate School’s degree application website: The application period commences the first day of the quarter of graduation.

The Graduate School will send you an email confirmation of your application for Master’s Degree and inform you of Graduate School requirements that must be met by the end of the quarter in which you graduate. The Graduate Program Advisor (Paula Milligan) will be notified of your application for Master’s Degree and will enter information detailing departmental requirements that must be met. This will generate an email from the Graduate School to you informing you of departmental requirements.

If you do not finish in the quarter you applied to graduate, you will have to apply again. You must be registered for at least one credit in the quarter you graduate.
It is important for you to maintain your status as a student until you graduate. To do this, you must be registered for every quarter except Summer Quarter, or be formally on leave.

As you are approaching the completion of your paper(s), you will schedule your oral exam with your Supervisory Committee. Once the date and time are set, complete an Oral Exam Scheduling Form (available from the Graduate Program Advisor) and obtain the GPC’s signature. Then give it to the GPA. Oral exams for Korea Studies are usually scheduled the last week in the quarter. These exams often take place in the office of one of your committee members, but if it is necessary to schedule a room, you can indicate this on your form and a room will be arranged for you.

Paula Milligan will prepare your file for your oral exam. Be sure to make an appointment with her in the quarter before you plan to graduate, to make sure that you will meet Graduate School and program requirements and to review the procedures for finishing.

Prior to your oral exam, your file will be given to one of your committee members. In addition to providing a record of the work you have done in the program, your file will also contain your Oral Exam Completion Form and your Warrant for the Master’s Degree (a document generated as a result of your application for degree discussed above). Both of these documents must be signed by your committee members following successful completion of your oral exam, and will remain in your file. Signatures of your committee members will act as authorization for Paula to notify the Graduate School, once any contingencies are satisfied, that the department approves of your graduation and your graduation will be processed by the Graduate School.

From the Graduate School’s “General Graduate Policies” page:

“Graduate students are required to maintain graduate status during their program of study. Failure to maintain this status requires reinstatement to the University of Washington. Students who desire to take a quarter or quarters off without going through the reinstatement process must apply for on-leave status for each quarter they do not register. For complete details regarding the on-leave policy, refer to Graduate School Memorandum 9.”

If you fail to register for any quarter (except Summer Quarter) without having gone on leave, you will lose your status as a student and will have to reapply to the UW Graduate School and the Korea Studies program.

Registration for classes begins in the middle of the preceding quarter (middle of Spring Quarter for Autumn). Course booklets on East Asia and International Studies, which contain course descriptions for the upcoming quarter, are available in the Academic Services office prior to each registration period. Course information also is available on the East Asia Studies website.

As a continuing student you will be eligible to register in the first Registration Period. Registering early will help you enroll in the classes you want. Keep in mind that few classes relevant to the Korea Studies program are offered Summer Quarter.

You may take courses that do not fulfill program requirements. Comparative study is encouraged, and classes which do not meet Korea Studies requirements may be useful. However, taking too many courses that do not apply to your degree could prevent you from completing the program within two years.

Do not register for any course numbered 499/Undergraduate Independent Study, unless you are using it for language credit. This will not count for graduate credit. Graduate Independent Study is usually numbered 600.

An average load per quarter for Jackson School graduate students is 12-15 credits or 3-4 courses, depending on credits per course. In the final quarter, students may take fewer courses as they focus on completing their Essays. If you are receiving financial aid, or hold a scholarship, fellowship, or TA or RA position, you must carry at least 10 credits per quarter. International students must be registered for 10 credits in order to maintain F-1 status.

You are not required to take a full course load every quarter, but taking a reduced load during Autumn Quarter may put you at a competitive disadvantage for fellowship consideration. It is difficult for the fellowship committee to assess your scholastic performance if you have taken only a course or two. Nearly all students finish this degree in two years (6-7 academic quarters). If you do not carry a full load in your first year, it may affect your ability to finish within two years. You should start your language studies as soon as possible.

You can be considered for most fellowships offered through the Jackson School by applying for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. The FLAS application is on-line and procedures will be announced in October or November; the application deadline is usually January 15. Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. Specific questions concerning FLAS should be addressed to the FLAS Coordinator, Robyn Davis, in JSIS Academic Services. Faculty evaluations and grades earned at the UW are of particular importance to JSIS fellowship committees, so it is helpful to carry a full load of relevant courses and do well in them. It is important to make good progress toward your degree before applying, and you must continue this progress if you receive a JSIS fellowship.

The University has a large library system housed in many different buildings across all three campuses (Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma). English materials about Korea are mainly housed in Suzzallo and Allen Libraries while Korean language materials are located in the East Asia Library. The East Asia Library is in Gowen Hall and the Law Library in William H. Gates Hall; other branch libraries also contain East Asia related resources.

The Jackson School Graduate Student Council was formed to promote better communication among programs and to provide the graduate students of the Jackson School with a cohesiveness that did not previously exist. Over the years, in addition to its success in gaining funding for equipment, JSGC has greatly improved the facilities in the Graduate Reading Room and organizes social gatherings for the whole school, including student/faculty get togethers, all-grads potlucks, bowling night, end of the year dinners, and other such activities. The council is entitled to limited funds from the Jackson School for such events; you are encouraged to become a part of the JSGC to help keep such events alive in the Jackson School.

JSGC seeks representatives from each of the graduate programs to serve on this Council. The group meets periodically throughout the year.

In addition to the computers in the Graduate Reading Room (THO 311. Information about the University’s technology spaces can be found at on the Web at The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) in Savery 110 offers consultation on computer services and programs for social science students, which includes all JSIS students.

The Jackson School’s 15 degree programs, including Korea Studies, offer a wide range of colloquiums and symposia featuring JSIS faculty members and guest speakers. Graduate students are encouraged to attend these events. Announcements are usually posted in Thomson Hall and in the Jackson School Calendar of Events on the Web at You can subscribe by email to this calendar at no cost by posting a message to: The calendar is updated and information about it is emailed weekly.

HEEKOUNG CHO, Assistant Professor, Asian Languages and Literature
YONG-CHOOL HA, Korea Foundation Endowed Professor, Jackson School of International Studies
SOOHEE KIM, Senior Lecturer, Asian Languages and Literature
HWASOOK NAM, Interim Chair, Korea Studies, James B. Palais Endowed Assistant Professor, Jackson School of International Studies and Department of History.
CLARK SORENSEN, Associate Professor, Jackson School of International Studies; anthropology
EUNYOUNG WON, Lecturer, Asian Languages and Literature
HYOKYOUNG YI, Korea Bibliographer, East Asia Library


Graduate Program Advisor
Paula Milligan
THO 116

Academic Services
THO 111

Director of Academic Services
Wolf Latsch
THO 111

Career/Internship Office
John Charlton
THO 208

FLAS Coordinator
Robyn Davis
THO 126

East Asian Ctr Office
THO 301

CSSCR (Soc. Sci. Computing)
SAV 145

Computing Resource Center
MGH 131

(Extension for all email addresses:


Language Requirement:

Completion of third-year Korean Language or documentation of proficiency equivalent to the completion of third-year Korean at this university

Required Courses (21 credits):

HSTAS 482, JSIS_A 566, JSIS_A 584 (5 credits each);
JSIS A 585 (6 credits) usually completed in the second year.

Other Course Work (15 credits):

Courses can be on Korea, China, Japan or through the general International Studies program. Seven credits must be at the 500 level or above.

Final Papers and Oral Exam:

Students complete either two papers or an Essay of Distinction and take an oral exam.



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African Studies Program
University of Washington
326 Thomson Hall
Box 353650
Seattle, WA 98195

Joel Ngugi / Chair
Associate Professor, School of Law

Mary Kay Gugerty/Adjunct Director
Associate Professor, Evans School of Public Affairs

Erin Murphy/Program Assistant
Autumn Quarter Office Hours: Tues/Thurs 9-12, or by appt.
206.616.0998 office
206.685.0668 fax

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