Wherever I am, the world comes after me.
It offers me its busyness. It does not believe that I do not want it.
Now I understand 
why the old poets of China went so far
and high 
into the mountains, then crept into the pale mist.
"The Old Poets of China" by Mary Oliver


  • The Philippines in Asia: An Area Studies, Interdisciplinary Approach to Studying the Philippines

    The Philippine Studies program of the Asian Center leading to an MA degree is designed to produce specialists with a broad and integrated comprehension of Philippine society. Students can specialize in any of three areas:
        1.  Socio-Cultural Studies
        2. Foreign Relations
        3. Development Studies
    The Philippine Studies Program (PSP) takes a Philippines-in-Asia approach, examining the country not only from various disciplinary lenses but also from the perspective of the Philippines' location in Asia.
  •  Two Tracks: Thesis or NonThesis

    The Asian Center offers two tracks for its MA programs in Philippine Studies

    • Master of Arts in Philippine Studies (thesis track)

    • Master in Philippine Studies (nonthesis). 

    The non-thesis track entails more coursework. Please note that some PhD programs abroad, if not in the Philippines, require an M.A. thesis as part of the application process.

  •  Areas of Specialization

    Regardless of track, students must specialize on one of three areas.

      • Sociocultural Studies
      • Foreign Relations
      • Development Studies

    Please view the list of courses for each area of specialization in the "Coursework" tab on the left.


    Program of Study

    The program of study details the courses (required and electives) according to track and area of specialization.

     Master of Arts in Philippine Studies (Thesis)  Master in Philippine Studies (Nonthesis)
     Foreign Relations   Foreign Relations
     Development Studies   Development Studies
     Society and Culture  Society and Culture

    Course Descriptions

    PS students take courses on their chosen field of specialization. View list and descriptions of Philippine Studies courses.

  • Class Schedules

    Most classes meet on weekdays once a week for three hours from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Some courses are offered on Saturdays 

    • 8:30 a.m

    • 11:30 a.m.

    • 3:30 p.m.

    What these courses on Saturdays are depend on the teacher and the semester. There will be cases when working students will have to leave work earlier to attend weekday classes.

  •  Language Requirement

    As part of the program requirements, students are required to demonstrate competence in a Philippine language or any language required in or relevant to their area of specialization. It is not a requirement to apply to the program.

    Visit the Language Proficiency to view three ways to comply with the language requirement (Click on "Language" in the tabs).

    Important Reminder

    Before taking any course, especially outside UP Diliman, please confirm first with the Office of the College Secretary to help ensure your planned course will indeed be credited.

  •  Comprehensive Examinations

    Upon completion of their coursework and language proficiency requirement, students can take a comprehensive examination. The exam covers:

    • Theories, perspectives, and research methods

    • Area of specialization

    For students in the nonthesis track, passing this exam is the last major step to qualifying for graduation.

    For those on the thesis track, passing the comprehensive exam is required before they can enroll in Philippine Studies (AS) 300 (thesis). There are no numerical grades for the comprehensive examination. One either fails, or gets a pass or high pass for each facet of the exam.

    General Rules and Policies

    Pages 23 to 24 of the General Rules on Graduate Programs in UP Diliman discuss the comprehensive exam committee, administration of the exam, and grading system. Visit the "Examinations" tab in the Student Corner to learn requirements, protocols, etc.

  • Thesis

    For those on the thesis track, passing the comprehensive exam is required before they can enroll in Asian Studies (AS) 300 (thesis). View sample theses.

    According to the General Rules on Graduate Programs in UP Diliman,

    The master’s thesis must (1) embody an original, and significant research or creative work; (2) show the student’s capacity to make a critical evaluation of previous work done in his/her chosen research topic; and (3) demonstrate his/her ability to present research findings in a clear, systematic, and scholarly manner.

    Pages 16 onward of "General Rules" cover MA programs. Thesis-related matters—adviser, thesis committee, defense, proposal are covered from pages 20 to 23.

    To learn about requirements, protocols, relevant forms, etc., please view the Thesis tab of the Student Corner.


    What is the coverage of the aptitude and essay exams for application?

    The aptitude exam measures abstract reasoning, among others, while the essay section tests less for objective knowledge than for one's readiness for graduate studies, as well as writing aptitude (grammar, sentence structure, clear presentation of one's ideas, etc.). It would not hurt of course to do some reading.

    When is the application exam?

    Schedule of the exam will be announced during the application period/after you apply. Generally, the exam is scheduled around a week after the deadline of submission.


    How do I get the Certificate of Transfer Credentials?

    This can be obtained at the Registrar's Office of your university. This is only for non-UP Diliman applicants.

    Do I need to submit a research plan even if I am on a non-thesis track?

    Yes, the Research Plan is required even for applicants to the nonthesis track.

    In the research plan, the number of words is indicated in some of the headings. Does this refer to the minimum or maximum word count?

    The number refers to the maximum word count. 

    Is there a GWA requirement for applying?

    At least 3.0 GWA (or its equivalent) is required. Once in the program, students are asked to maintain a GWA of 1.75 or better.

    Is there a degree requirement for application

    Any BA or BS degree holder is welcome to apply.

    Do I need to know an Asian language to apply?

    Applicants do not need to have competency in any Asian languge when they apply. The language requirement only applies when one is already in the program.

    Do I have to type or hand-write the application forms?

    The application forms can be handwritten or typed/printed.

    Can I ask someone to submit the application documents?

    The requirements have to be submitted in person, either by you or by a representative, only on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), 8 am to 12 noon, 1 pm to 5 pm.

    In the Personal Data Sheet/Form, do I have to list all of my unpublished work (term papers?)

    Not all of your term papers. Include your best work and, as applicable, ensure that the list also represents your scholarly interests.


    How often do you accept applications?

    The Asian Center accepts applications every semester. The first semester starts in August, the second in January. Application period generally ends a few months before the start of the semester.

    Can I submit the application documents on weekends?

    Submissions of applications are accepted only on weekdays (excluding holidays or cancellation of work), 8 am to 5 pm

    Where is the Office of the University Registrar?

    View map


    Is there a minimum number of units that I need to take per semester?

    All students, except those in residency, must take at least 6 units per semester.

    Can I shift from a thesis track to a non-thesis track, and vice versa?

    Any student in the Thesis Track (MAAS or MAPS) may be allowed to transfer to Non-Thesis Track (MAS or MPS) under the following conditions:

    ⦁ He/she writes a formal letter addressed to the Dean requesting permission to transfer, with the endorsement of the Program Adviser
    ⦁ He/she has completed less than eighteen (18) units of course work at the time he/she seeks transfer.

    A student under the Non-Thesis Track may transfer any time to the Thesis Track provided his/her request is favorably endorsed by the Program Adviser on the basis of intellectual capacity and aptitude for advanced research.

    Are there Saturday classes?

    Not all classes will be offered on Saturdays, so there may be cases where working students have to leave early to attend classes on weekdays.

  • Contact Us

    For more information, you may contact the Office of the College Secretary at 8.981.8500 local 3578 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Kindly look for Mr. Robert Silleza or Avel Golondrina.