Southeast Asian Studies MAIS Handbook

This handbook provides you with information concerning both academic and non-academic matters for students enrolled in a Master of Arts in International Studies, Southeast Asia Studies.

First Things First

The Jackson School houses many academic programs, of which the Southeast Asian Studies program is one. The variety of programs at the Jackson School provides a wealth of resources, including colloquiums 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; the Southeast Asian Center office is located in Thomson 303. In this office, you will find the Managing Director for the Southeast Asia Center and the Program Coordinator.

Your mailbox is in the Graduate Lounge, Thomson 311. Aside from being a good place to study or meet other students, it features 5 computers, a small kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave. Please see the Graduate Program Adviser for the entry code for the lounge.

The Office of Academic Services (OAS) is in Thomson 111. OAS staff can answer questions about registration, independent study and thesis credits, and add codes. Check the bulletin boards just outside the door and across the hall for information on visiting speakers, film series, and events.

Advising and Resources
Program Guidelines
Degree Requirements Coursework Thesis/Final Papers Courses NOT to Take
Finishing Procedures
Applying to Graduate On-Leave Status
Library and Other Resources

Advising and Resources

Christoph Giebel Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC)Christoph Giebel, Thomson 320, giebel@uw.edu

The GPC is the faculty adviser for the first year of the program and will help students determine a suitable faculty mentor for the second year. Students should meet with their faculty adviser at least once a quarter. By the fourth quarter in the program, students should establish a Supervisory Committee to advise completing the final requirements of the program.

Graduate Program Manager (GPA) Rebecca Alhadeff

THO 116, ralhadef@uw.edu

The GPA guides students and provides advice on procedures and requirements for graduating from the Jackson School. For quick questions, students may stop by during drop-in hours on Wednesdays from 10 am to noon or Thursdays from 2-4 pm. Appointments are made here.

 Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies  Southeast Asia Managing Director, Shannon Bush, Thomson 303, sdbush@uw.edu

The Southeast Asia Center arranges for speakers, colloquia, and other on campus events for graduate students. Additionally, it is an excellent resource for information on language programs and fellowship opportunities. Contact Shannon via email to be added to the graduate student email lists.

 Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies FLAS and Fellowship Director, Robyn Davis, Thomson 126, rldavis@uw.edu

Every autumn the FLAS Director organizes FLAS information sessions for students ahead of the winter application deadline, which usually falls in mid-January. She is also available to meet with students in person and will answer questions via email about applying for and receiving FLAS fellowships.

 judith  Southeast Asia Studies Librarian, Judith Henchyjudithh@uw.edu

The University of Washington has one of the best collections of Southeast Asia related materials in the country. Materials are housed in many different buildings across campus. Judith specializes in the Southeast Asia related collections housed at the university, including the vast digital resources. Judith is willing to meet with students to provide introductions to Southeast Asia collections and resources, customize and tailor research inquiries, and provide general guidance on graduate student research.

 Alison Wattles  JSIS Career Services and Alumni Relations, Alison Wattles, Thomson Hall 124, awattles@uw.edu

The Career Services Office organizes events on campus with employers, as well as provides support for students seeking internships and preparing to enter the job market upon completion of their degree. Appointments can be made here.


 Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies JSIS Computer Specialist, Mark Haslam, Thomson Hall 408C, jsishelp@uw.edu

For technical or software problems with the computers in the Jackson School, contact Mark.

During your first year, Professor Giebel will help you determine a suitable faculty mentor, who will become your faculty adviser. You should meet with your faculty adviser at least once a quarter. By your fourth quarter in the program, you should establish a Supervisory Committee to advise you in completing the final requirements of your program.

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

Program Guidelines

Familiarize yourself with both the Southeast Asian 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 it is important to note that to earn your degree you must satisfy both sets of requirements. Please also note the Jackson School’s Satisfactory Performance and Progress Policies for Master’s Students.

Degree Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of 36 credits. The expectation is that students will complete this degree within two years. The components of the degree are as follows:


Students must reach a proficiency equivalent to completion of the third year in a Southeast Asian language. Beginning Filipino, Indonesian, Khmer, Thai, and Vietnamese are taught during the academic year. Burmese may be taken by special arrangement. You may also want to consider studying language in the summer before you arrive or after your first year here at the Southeast Asian Studies Summer Institute or at a program in the country of your studies. Information on these programs is available through the Southeast Asia Center.


Required Courses (15 credits):

JSIS A 506: The Study of Southeast Asia. Introduces problems in the study of the region (5 credits)

HSTAS 530/JSIS A 580: Field Course in Southeast Asian History. Advanced work in the History of Southeast Asia (5 credits)

HSTAS 532/JSIS A 582: Seminar in Southeast Asian History. Continuation of HSTAS 530 with an emphasis on proposal and thesis writing (5 credits)

Other Coursework (21 credits):

Sixteen or more additional credits from available Southeast Asia courses are required. These courses must be chosen from at least two disciplines. Five credits may be chosen that do not have Southeast Asia content. All courses are planned in consultation with the program adviser and the GPA to ensure that both individual and program goals are met.

Thesis Option:

Students have the option of choosing a thesis or non-thesis degree. For the thesis option, the student will submit a thesis to a committee of two including the MA adviser. The student and the committee will agree on the content, methods, and length of the thesis.

Non-thesis Option:

You may choose not to write an MA thesis, in which case two seminar papers, a documentary film or other original artistic creation, or an original theater production will be required. This requirement must be designed in consultation with and agreed upon by the MA adviser and approved by a committee of two including the MA adviser.

Final Papers and Oral Exam:

The student needs to present their work, whether it is the two-seminar paper option or the creative project, to their MA Committee. The student should be in close contact with their Committee members and the topic should first be explored with Professor Giebel and/or the student’s Primary Adviser.

Students should constitute a committee of at least two SE Asian studies faculty members 2.5 quarters prior to their intended graduation date. Normally, this means you will have selected an adviser by the end of your first year and selected your second committee member by the end of the first quarter of your second year.

Students have the option of submitting either two revised seminar papers or an original thesis to a supervisory committee, and must pass a comprehensive oral examination. Students should constitute a committee of at least two Southeast Asia faculty members 2.5 quarters prior to their intended graduation date. Normally, this means you will have selected an adviser by the end of your first year and selected your second committee member by the end of the first quarter of your second year.

Your committee will need to sign your Program Completion Form and the Warrant for Master’s Degree. This will be done at your Oral Exam for the two papers or thesis option, or at your showing or performance if you have chosen to present a film or other artistic creation.

The Language Requirement:

Language study is an essential part of the program. While you are only required to complete through the third-year of a Southeast Asian language, you are urged to take instruction beyond this level if your schedule permits. Should you find that you are having academic trouble with language study, consult with the GPC immediately.

To fulfill the Required Core Courses:

JSIS A 510 is taught in alternate years with the HSTAS/JSIS series and which you take first will depend on the year that you enter the program. These required courses contribute 15 credits of your required graduate work.

To fulfill the Other Coursework:

To complete this portion of the program, you must take 21 credit points of courses from at least two departments. You can select from courses at the 400, 500 and 600 level, but at least 8 of the optional credits must be at the 500 level.

At least 16 of your 21 credits must be from courses that focus on Southeast Asia. This means that you can take up to 5 credits not specifically focused on Southeast Asia, for example in order to fulfill disciplinary or professional objectives. For instance, those planning to pursue a Ph.D. may find that they still need to fulfill prerequisite requirements not related to Southeast Asia for the departments they wish to enter. On the other hand, students pursuing non-university careers may determine that a course from one of the departments or schools relevant to their career objectives (e.g. Communications, Public Affairs, Business Administration, Education, etc.) may be useful. In both cases, students should consult advisers from appropriate schools or departments early. Students in the Thesis option must additionally register for a minimum of 9 thesis credits. Thesis credits can be done over several quarters or all at once, and there is no limit to the number of thesis credits you may take.

Taking Courses Outside of Requirements

You may take courses that do not fulfill program requirements. Comparative study is encouraged, and classes which do not meet Southeast Asian 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.

Courses NOT to Take

While it is preferable for you to take only courses at the 400 level or above, 300-level courses can occasionally be taken with the approval of the GPC. (However, 300-level courses do not qualify for graduate credit with the UW Graduate School, so this option should only be used when necessitated by future academic or professional goals, and when your other coursework meets the Graduate School requirements.) A better option would be to make a contract with the instructor to take the 300-level course as JSIS 600 Independent Study and do the work required for the class along with extra work to meet graduate level standards.

Number of Credits Per Quarter

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 second year, some students take fewer courses as they begin to focus on their final paper(s). If you are receiving a scholarship, fellowship or financial aid, or hold an RA position, you must carry at least 10 credits a quarter. International students must be registered for 10 credits in order to maintain their F-1 status.

You are not required to take a full course load every quarter, but taking a reduced load during your first 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 only taken a course or two.

You are expected to finish your degree in two years. If you do not carry a full load in your first year, it may affect your ability to finish within two years.

MA Adviser:

You are required to identify a faculty adviser for your MA program by the end of your 3rd quarter in the Southeast Asian Studies program. Ideally your adviser will have expertise in your area of concentration and/or the Southeast Asian country of your focus, although this is not possible in all cases. Both members of your Supervisory Committee must be Graduate Faculty. A third member of the committee is optional and would not have to belong to the Graduate Faculty. The purpose of this committee is to advise you in the final stages of your program. Your committee members serve as your consultants and mentors as you write your MA thesis or conduct your project. You should make sure that your committee members will be available in the quarters when you need them for advisory work, independent study, and exams.

You form your committee by filing the Supervisory Committee Form which establishes a record that your selections of area of concentration, faculty committee members, and thesis/non-thesis option are acceptable to the Southeast Asian Studies program as represented by the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) and that your committee members have agreed to undertake supervision of your program. Once you file the form, your Chair undertakes to serve as your primary adviser.

You should ask your committee members to clarify their expectations of when you will provide them with evidence of your progress towards completion of the papers, project or thesis. The timelines below express the SEA Program’s expectations of when you would have to submit materials in order to meet Graduate School deadlines. Your Supervisory Committee may require additional drafts and earlier submission dates.

For a guide to your role as an advisee and your faculty supervisor’s role as Mentor, please see the Graduate School’s ‘Guidelines for Good Practice in Graduate Education‘.

Finishing Procedures

Once your Thesis, papers or final project are complete your committee must sign documents providing evidence of your satisfactory completion of the requirements. By two weeks prior to the end of your final quarter, obtain the Project Completion Form and Warrant from the GPA. Have your committee sign these documents and return to the GPA by the last Friday of the quarter you are graduating.

Deadline Timetables

Deadline Timetable for the Final Quarter (Thesis Option)

Week 2 Submit rough draft of thesis to committee members.
Week 6 Submit final draft of thesis to committee members(complete and formatted as per Graduate School requirements). Fill out and submit a Oral Exam Scheduling form to the GPA.
Week 11 Finish any required revisions  Print Master’s Supervisory Committee Approval Form (MSCAF). Have thesis MSCAF and other finishing documents signed by all committee members Submit copy of thesis MSCAF to the GPA by 4:00 Thursday Upload thesis and submit original signed MSCAF to Graduate School by 5:00 Friday. Provide committee members and SEA Studies office with bound copy of thesis.

Deadline Timetable for the Final Quarter (Papers and Exam Option)

Week 6 Submit final drafts of project to committee members. Fill out and submit a Oral Exam Scheduling form to the GPA.
Week 11 Submit final project or schedule showing before 4:00 Thursday. Submit signed finishing documents to the Graduate Program Advisor by 4:00 Friday.

Registration and Planning Your Class Schedule

Registration for classes begins in the middle of the preceding quarter (middle of Spring Quarter for Autumn). Course offering booklets on Southeast Asia, which contain course descriptions for the upcoming quarter, are available in the Southeast Asia Center. As a continuing student you will be eligible to register in the first Registration Period. Registering early will usually ensure that you can enroll in the classes you want. Keep in mind that few, if any, classes on Southeast Asia are offered Summer Quarter. You should meet with your faculty adviser (the Graduate Program Coordinator in your first year, and your committee chair in your second) before registering each quarter.

Applying to Graduate

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 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 Adviser 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 two credits 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.

On-Leave Status

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 apply for readmission to the UW Graduate School and the SE Asian studies program.

Fellowship Applications and Financial Aid

You can be considered for most fellowships offered through the Jackson School by applying for a Foreign Language and Area Studies (FLAS) fellowship. FLAS application procedures will be announced in October or November; the application deadline is usually January 31. Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. EVERY MAIS SEA student should apply for a FLAS unless she/he already has other fellowship support or is not a US citizen or permanent resident. The SEA program GPC will hold a FLAS fellowship advising meeting in November of Fall quarter.

Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. Specific questions concerning FLAS should be addressed to the FLAS Director, 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.

Library and Other Resources

The University has a large library system housed in many different buildings across campus. There is a reference section on the ground level of Suzzallo/Allen. Dr. Judith Henchy is the Southeast Asian Librarian and provides useful reference services. Please email or call her to make an appointment, judithh@uw.edu or 206-543-3986.

The Jackson School Graduate Student Council (JSGC) has been successful on several occasions in applying for funds for computers and equipment. Thanks to these efforts, there are five workstations and a printer in the third floor Graduate Reading Room, Thomson 311. You may use the printers after paying a quarterly fee to JSGC for paper and supplies. If you have any technical or software problems with the computers in the Jackson School computer lab, contact the Jackson School’s Computer Specialist, Mark Haslam, at jsishelp@uw.edu. The Jackson School Computer Specialist’s office is in Thomson 407.

The University’s Computing Resource Center is in Mary Gates Hall. You will be sent information about this and other computer labs via email. The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) in Savery 110 offers consultation on computer services for all social science students, which includes all JSIS students.

Additionally, the Jackson School has resources to help you transition into a job after you graduate! Feel free to read the JSIS Jobs Blog and consult the JSIS Jobs Boards to help you find companies and organizations hiring JSIS graduates.