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 UP Asian Center accepts applications twice a year, once for each semester. For PhD admissions, please click here.
  • Requirements: MA Programs

    Please refer to the Application Forms tab to download the forms
      1. Online application form (see Application Process tab)

      2. Formal letter of application to the dean of the Asian Center

      3. Original AND photocopy of Transcript of Records (TOR) from last/current school attended (Transcript must comply with these guidelines).

        • If you are requesting for your TOR, please ask for a copy marked "Copy for UP Diliman." The Asian Center will accept for its own evaluation purposes a TOR that complies with the transcript guidelines above, but an original hard copy of the TOR marked with "Copy for UP Diliman" will eventually be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar if the applicant is accepted into the program.

      4. Curriculum Vitae and Personal Data Form

      5. Recommendation Forms to be submitted in sealed envelopes signed across the flap by the referee

        • From two (2) former professors (if non-working)
        • From two (2) former professors and one (1) employer (if working) .
        • See submission notes tab for additional details.

      6. Application fee: PhP 100 for Filipino students and US$25 for international applicants

      7. Two (2) passport-sized photos

      8. Original AND photocopy of PSA Birth Certificate

      9. Original AND photocopy of PSA Marriage Certificate (for married female applicants)

      10. Aptitude examination (suspended until further notice)

      11. Receipt for aptitude examination fee

        • PhP 150 to be paid online (OCG Trust Acct. No. 9773900-499-450)
        • This requirement is suspended until further notice

      12. Two essays, one autobiographical and one on substantive issues pertaining to studies of the Philippines/Asia (suspended until further notice)

      13. Zoom Interview (for those who pass the initial screening)

      14. Certificate of Transfer Credentials

        • This requirement is only for graduates of non-UP Diliman universities
        • An original hard copy of the CTC will be submitted—at a date to be designated—to the Office of the University Registrar IF the applicant is accepted. See "Application Process" tab for further details. It is recommended that you already have this on hand (soft copy at least) when you apply to ensure a smoother process in finalizing your admission to the university.

      15. Research Plan (even non-thesis applicants will submit)

      16. For international applicants, see "International Applicants" tab on the left for additional requirements.

      17. Computation of GWA via GWA Form
    To get GWA, multiply each grade in your course by the number of units for that course. Add all the results of each of these, then divide the sum by the total number of units (excluding PE and NSTP). View sample computation.
    View Grade Conversion Guide (if your university's grading system differs from UP's. Highest grade in UP is 1.0 and comes in increments of .25 (1.0, 1.25, 1.5 and so on).
    Please add one sheet for any other degree (like an existing MA program, etc). There should only be one (1) Excel file.
  • Forms: MA Applications

    The PDFs except for the billing statement are directly fillable in a typical PDF reader application/software on a desktop/laptop/tablet.  In Preview (Mac), the blue color of data fields may not appear, but the PDFs can be filled out directly. The fillability also does not work inside Safari in an iPad. Entries to the application forms can be handwritten or typed/printed. If there are problems with the forms, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
        • Online application form (see "Application Process" tab; open only during application periods)
        • Personal Data Form: PDF | Word
        • Recommendation Form (MA): PDF | Word
        • Research Plan (MA): Word
        • GWA Computation Form**
        • Billing Statement for Payment of Application Fee (Filipinos)*: PDF | Excel
        • Billing Statement for Payment of Application Fee (International Applicants)*: PDF | Excel
    ** View "Application Process" tab for conversion formulas, i.e. if your university's grading system differs from UP's. A grade conversion guide is also available in that tab.

    * For this form, please fill out the following fields: Payor and Date
  • Deadlines and Application Period: M.A. Programs

    • For 2nd semester, AY 2021–2022 (semester starts February 2022): 19 November 2021
    • For other semesters, please fill out the form below.

  • Application Process: M.A. Programs

    How to Apply: M.A. Programs

    1. Fill out online application form (available only during application period).

      • Please ensure the information—especially your email address—is correct.
      • There will be separate application forms for later semesters, so kindly answer the form only if you are applying for the next semester.

    2. Send the soft copies of the requirements (except the recommendation forms) to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in one zip file by the deadline.

      • See file naming and formatting guide below.
      • To pay for the application fees, please see "Payments" tab. 
      • The recommendation forms may be emailed by the person recommending you (see below for details)

    3. Online interviews (via Zoom) of shortlisted candidates.

      • The Office of the College Secretary will contact you for the schedule via the email address you provide in the online application form.
      • If scheduled for interview, kindly make sure you have a registered/authenticated (i.e., you used a verified email address to sign up) Zoom account. Signing in to an account is required

    4. In light of quarantine conditions, there will be no aptitude exam for applications. For the aptitude exam (including essay-writing component), please expect an update from the Office of the College Secretary.

      • While it can help to read up on Asia- or Philippine-related issues and theories, the aptitude exam tests less for objective knowledge than for the depth and range of one's thinking, as well as writing aptitude (proper grammar, sentence structure, clear presentation of one's ideas, etc.) and readiness for graduate school.

    5. All applicants will be notified of the results. Accepted applicants await further instructions/updates as indicated in the "University Admission Slip" tab.

    How to Apply: M.A. Programs (Other Semesters; Non-Quarantine Conditions)

    1. Fill out the online application form. Online application forms will be activated weeks before the application period for each intake. In the meantime, you may sign up for the deadline mailing list (See deadline tab on the left).

    2. Submit all requirements to the Office of the College Secretary on or before the deadline (See deadline tab on the left).*

    3. Applicants who pass preliminary screening will take an aptitude exam and write two essays** (in-house at the UP Asian Center). Schedule to be announced each semester.

    4. Successful examinees will be interviewed by the Admissions Committee.

    5. Accepted applicants await further instructions/updates. The next steps can be viewed here: visit OUR FAQ page, in particular step 4 onwards.

    Submitting the Recommendation Forms

    Kindly ask the person recommending you to fill out the form and email it directly to the Office of the College Secretary. File name should be: Recommendation_LastName_GivenName. (Name of student).
    But please secure hard copies of the recommendation forms—still sealed—and send it to the Office of the College Secretary, UP Asian Center on or before the deadline. You may coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary regarding this matter.

    Submission Notes

    All items above—except 06, 09 and 10—must be submitted online by the deadline. But if you already have items 06, 09, and/or 10, please include them in your online submission by the deadline.
    It is strongly recommended, however, that you already have these documents by the time you apply.
    Applicants who are yet to submit these three items may still be shortlisted and interviewed online. However, applicants endorsed for admission to the Office of the University Registrar must submit later on to the Admissions and Registration Section (ARS) of the OUR original hard copies of the following: 
        • PSA Birth Certificate (BC)
        • PSA Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
        • Certificate of Transfer Credentials (for applicants from non-UP Diliman universities)
        • Transcript of Records (marked with "Copy for UP Diliman)
    The deadline for the submission of these original hard-copy documents to the OUR will be given to you by the Office of the College Secretary. These requirements are part of longer list of documents necessary to formalize one's admissions into the university (See University Admissions Slip tab).
    Non-compliance may affect your ability to register for classes. Please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary regarding this matter. Any updates regarding deadlines and other procedures will be emailed to you.
    —Tab last updated 3 September 2021

    Notes on Submission (Pre-Covid-19 Process Only)

    * 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.

    File Naming Guide

    To expedite the processing of applications, applicants must submit a computation of their GWA in an Excel file. See "Application Forms" tab to download GWA Computation Form.
    For faster processing, except for the Passport photo (jpg or png) and GWA (Excel), all files must be sent as PDFs (and in one zip file) and must be named thus:
    • 01_Letter_of_Application_Last Name, Given Name

    • 02_Transcript_of_Records/TCG_Last Name,Given Name
    • 03_CV_Last Name, Given Name

    • 04_Personal_Data Form_Last Name, Given Name

    • 05_Passport_Photo_Last Name, Given Name
    • 06_Birth_Certificate_Last Name, Given Name

    • 07_Research_Plan_Last Name, Given Name

    • 08_GWA_Computation Form_Last Name, Given Name

 (See formula below)
    • 09_Certificate_of_Transfer_Credentials_Last Name, Given Name (For applicants from non-UP Diliman universities)
    • 10_Marriage_Certificate_Last Name_Given Name (For married female applicants only)
    • 11_Proof_Payment_Application_Fee_Last Name_Given Name*
    *This should have been sent earlier to UP Cash Office and the OCS, but please include the proof all the same when you submit all the other requirements)
  • Payments: ECQ Options

    Before paying, please fill out the Application Fee Billing Statement (See "Application Forms" tab). There will be no payment of fees at the UP Cash Office based on OUR Memorandum No. MVPLO 2020-06.

    Please choose your desired payment option and refer to the Billing Statement details as needed (for account code, etc). Keep copy of proof of payment and send it also as instructed in the Billing Statement.


     View Steps or click https://bit.ly/StepsforPaymentthruLinkbiz
        • Account number pertains the account number of the payor.
        • Account code is the account number of the UPD Revolving Fund, which can be seen when you generate the payment slip via CRS (see "registration tab). This is for registration-related transactions via CRS (tuition, dropping, residence, LOA, etc),
    Other non-enrollment/non-CRS transactions (see non-CRS tab) may require a different account code, which will depend on the SOA/Billing Statement that will be issued to you by the office you're contacting. Please coordinate with them as necessary.


    View process: https://bit.ly/OnlineBankTransfer
    For online payments, Landbank  accepts payments only through the PESONET system. Payment made through Instapay bank transfers will not be registered/validated. See list of banks below who have waived transaction fees.


    Starting 25 March 2021, students can pay tuition and other fees via the BPI's Mobile App. According to BPI's Facebook post, "scroll down from the login screen of the app, tap “Pay eGov”, select the University of the Philippines, and pay the fee. Learn more: https://www.bpi.com.ph/online/e-gov" (3/28/2021).


    Banks with Waived PESONet and InstaPay Fees

    The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas has posted a list of banks that waive PESONet and InstaPay fees (as of 8 April 2021). Terms and deadlines. View the Official BSP Facebook Page for any updates to the list.

    —Tab updated 14 June 2021

  • For Accepted Applicants: Processing Admissions

    The College Admission Slip or notice of your acceptance from the Office of the College Secretary does not formally indicate your admission to the university. You have to be issued a University Admission Slip (UAS). Here is the how a UAS is processed.
        1. If you've been accepted, the Office of the College Secretary (OCS) will email you a list of requirements, instructions, and/or other university-issued forms such as the Student Directory, Health Declaration Form, and Mental Health Screening Form, etc.
          • These also include already several documents/forms submitted as part of the application procedures.
        2. Email the soft copies of requirements/documents on the deadline set by the OCS, which will evaluate them.
        3. If your submission is in order, you will be notified by the college of your admission/readmission.
        4. The OCS sends a soft/scanned copies of your college admission slip and your other requirements/documents to the Admissions and Registration Division (ARD) of the Office of the University Registrar (OUR).
        5. OUR-ARD will send the OCS a scanned copy of your UAS and a copy of your temporary CRS account (for new students). The OCS will send these to you.
        6. Your college will notify you about the status of your admission/readmission, and give you additional instructions. Please make sure that you have indicated your active email address correctly in your Student Directory. Also, in the meantime, kindly take time to read "Things To Do for Incoming Students @ UP Asian Center" to help ease your transition during pre-enlistment and registration proper.
    NOTE: ACCEPTANCE TO A PROGRAM IS PROVISIONAL SUBJECT TO VERIFICATION AND SUBMISSION OF ORIGINAL COPIES OF THE REQUIREMENTS (including your Official Transcript of Records with remarks “Copy for UP Diliman” in a sealed envelope). For inquiries, you may email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
    Thus, at a date to be given by the Office of the College Secretary, you are required to submit to the Admissions and Registration Section/Division of the OUR original hard copies of your Transcript of Records (marked with Copy for UP Diliman), PSA Birth Certificate, Marriage Certificate (if applicable) and Certificate of Transfer Credentials (if applicable).
    It is recommended that you already have these documents even when you apply to the UP Asian Center to avoid potential delays in your admissions.


      1. If you're graduating  as of July 2021 from your BA/BS (or from MA or MS for incoming PhD students) and you've been accepted to the program, please read this advisory from the UP Diliman Computer Center. The situation here—regarding potential closure of your UP Mail account—may apply to your case.

    Once Accepted (Pre-COVID-19 Process)

      1. If the student is accepted into the program, he or she will receive the Notice of Acceptance; list of requirements to be submitted to the Office of the University Registration (Admissions and Records Section, ARS); and Form 002 (College Admission Slip addressed to the UP Health Service).
      2. Accepted student goes to UP Infirmary for Physical-Medical Checkup and claims the results, and returns to the UP Asian Center to get the documents for the University Admission Slip (proof of formal acceptance into the university).
      3. Accepted student receives from the UP Asian Center the full list of documents to be submitted to the University Registrar, who will process the University Admission Slip.
      4. Accepted student presents University Admission Slip to the UP Asian Center and awaits further instructions and makes preparations for enrollment.
  • Semestral Fees for MA Programs

     Tuition Fee  PhP 500 per unit*
    (PhP 1,500 per course)
     Library Fee  PhP 1200
     Athletics  PhP 75
     Registration  PhP 40
     Medical  PhP 50
     Cultural  PhP 50
     Student Fund  PhP 50

    *Doesn't apply to language courses at the UP Asian Center.

    Semestral Fees for MA Programs: International Students

     Tuition Fee  PhP 500 per unit*
    (PhP 1,500 per course)
     Miscellaneous Fee  PhP 1,415
    Laboratory Fees  PhP 100–1,500
     (may not apply to UP Asian Center)
     Educational Development Fund  USD 500 (per semester)
     Student Fund  PhP 78.5

    *Please visit the Office of Interntional Linkages website for the average cost of students' living expenses (dormitory, food, transportation, etc).


    There are two types of scholarships available to Asian Center’s Masters students: the AC Angara scholarship and the AC UP-funded scholarship.  Under each type, there are grants for:

      • Completion of course work
      • Financial assistance for thesis writing, and
      • Travel grants for thesis writing. 
    For details regarding requirements, terms, conditions, etc., and to view university-offered grants or scholarships, please view the page for Tuition and Financing @ UP Asian Center
  • Cross-Registration and Non-Degree Students/Applicants

    If you wish to take courses at the UP Asian Center as a non-regular students, you may do so as any of the following
        • Cross-Registrant from Other UP Constituent Universities (UP Baguio, UP Tacloban, etc)
        • Cross-Registrant from Other Schools/Universities
        • Foreign Cross-Registrant from Other Schools and Universities
        • Special Student Without Credit
    View definitions and rules governing these student classifications. All of the above are subject to the availability of slots and approval of the offering college (i.e. UP Asian Center). Special Students Without Credit must also submit standard application requirements for admission.
    Please view the requirements and procedures for each (OUR page). Note: If you are already enrolled in another program/university, you cannot opt to be a Special Student Without Credit.

    Transferees from Within and Outside UP Diliman

    Applicants in another M.A. program in UP Diliman or another university are subject to the same requirements, deadlines, and procedures. Once enrolled, however, they can have their previously taken subjects credited, subject to rules and conditions. See "Transfer of Credits" in Registration tab of the Student Corner.
    Applicants transferring to the UP Asian Center from another M.A. program within UP Diliman will also be required to submit a "Permit-to-Transfer" (ask your current college/home department) after they are accepted in the Asian Center. This permit is part of the requirements for the issuance of the University Admission Slip. See corresponding tab for details.
  • Additional Application Requirements: International Applicants

      1. For non-Filipino applicants from non-English speaking countries, original or certified true copy of standard language tests showing a minimum score. For paper-based TOEFL (at least 500), for computer-based (at least 173), for internet-based (at least 61). IELTS, at least 5.5

      2. Valid passport

      3. Photocopy of passport showing the picture, arrival and visa

    Admissions Process for International Student

    Once the student is accepted, he/she has to personally process his/her formal admission to the university. Here is the general flow of the admissions process. Please note that there may be details and nuances for each step (such as how long, etc), so please clarify as necessary.

        1. Applicant submits requirements to Asian Center; passes exam and interview (see "Admissions Process" and "Requirements" tabs).

        2. Asian Center gives successful applicant a) Notice of Acceptance, b) list of requirements to be submitted to the One Stop Student Desk, Office of the University Registrar (OUR); and c) Referral Slip to the University of the Philippines Health Service for Medical Certificate. Asian Center also submits a copy of the Notice of Acceptance to the OUR.

        3. Office of the University Registrar (OUR) to issue Acceptance Letter (a requirement for student visa application/conversion), one copy for the student (to be picked up by the Asian Center) and another copy for the Office of International Linkages (OIL) Diliman.

        4. Asian Center issues College Admission Slip, and asks applicant to fill out two (2) copies of Student Directory.

        5. Applicant starts processing of visa conversion (c/o OIL Diliman) and applies for Enrollment Permit at OIL Diliman.

        6. Applicant to submit requirements for (including the Enrollment Permit from OIL Diliman*) and obtain, the University Admission Slip.

    Requirements for University Admission Slip

    Student submits the following to the OSSD-OUR for issuance of University Admission Slip:

        1. College Admission Slip (Form 002)

        2. Two copies of accomplished Student Directory with photos

        3. Medical Certificate from the UPHS

        4. Photocopy of Birth Certificate, original to be presented

        5. Photocopy of Marriage Certificate, original to be presented (if married woman)

        6. Transcript used for evaluation duly stamped and signed by the Student Records Evaluator or College Secretary at the back of the TOR.

        7. Official Transcript of Records to be submitted in a sealed envelope/Authenticated/Apostille copy of TOR

        8. Enrollment/Study permit from OIL Diliman

        9. Photocopy of passport, original to be presented

        10. Plan of Study

        11. Student Insurance

    Accommodations and Student Insurance

    Students will also process their own housing/accommodations while taking the exam and/or studying in the university. Accepted applicants must also obtain student insurance.

    *Notes on Visa Conversion/Application

    *For new students, OIL Diliman can issue the Enrollment Permit upon submission of the visa conversion requirements. For continuing students, OIL Diliman issues this prior to enrollment or during the enrollment period. The students will have to submit a copy of their valid passports and visas for study.

    Students with these visas can study in the Philippines. If they do not have any of those, they can opt to have their temporary visa converted to visa type 9F (student visa). OIL Diliman can help applicants process the conversion. View visa conversion requirements. Applications for other visas have to be handled by their companies, embassies, etc).

    Once they have the visa, they would also need to apply for an Alien Certificate Card (ACR) from the Bureau of Immigration. View requirements.

    Foreign applicants to the Asian Center must be in the Philippines to take the exam (usually, this is sometime in early June for the August intake, and early November for the January intake). They may opt to return home and then come back when they are accepted. OIL Diliman recommends staying at least a month before the semester starts so that accepted applicants can process their visas, etc.

    For Inquiries: Visa/Immigration and Admissions

    For visa and immigration-related inquiries, you may visit the page of the Student Mobility Section of the Office of International Linkages Diliman. Please contact them at (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 2561 or via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    For admissions-related questions, please call the the One-Stop Student Desk (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 4557 or email the Admissions and Records Section of the Office of the University Registrar  (63 2) 8 981 8500 local 4555 and 4556 or via email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

  • Details and rules on courses and the program may be found in the Student Corner.


    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 applicants who took their undergraduate degree or are currently taking up their MA outside UP Diliman.

    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 2.0 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/be accepted?

    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.

    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.

    Can I ask the person recommending me to email the Recommendation Form?

    Yes, during pandemic conditions at least. But hard copies—in sealed envelopes and signed across the flap—are still to be submitted.


    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 starts a few months before the start of the semester.

    What is the coverage of the aptitude and essay exams?

    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 exam?

    Application exams are suspended during pandemic conditions. 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.


    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.

    If I am accepted, can I defer my enrollment?

    Yes, you can write to the Dean of the UP Asian Center and/or fill out a form. Please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary.

  • Get In Touch

    Please check the FAQs first before sending an inquiry. For additional information, please contact the Office of the College Secretary  via email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..