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. On mobile? Tap the three horizontal lines to view the tabs. For PhD admissions, please click here.
Please note revised requirements and application process in light of quarantine conditions.
  • Requirements: MA Programs

    1. Fill out 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 of undergraduate degree (Transcript must comply with the following guidelines)

    4. Curriculum vitae and duly accomplished Personal Data Form  (See "Application Forms" tab)

    5. Duly accomplished Recommendation Form (see "Application Forms" tab) from 2 former professors (if non-working); and from 2 former professors and 1 employer (if working), to be submitted in sealed envelopes signed across the flap by the referee

    6. Application fee of PhP 100 for Filipino students and US$25 for international applicants (see "Application Forms" tab).

    7. Two (2) passport-sized photos

    8. Original AND photocopy of NSO Birth Certificate

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

    10. Passing the aptitude examination (to be announced) UPDATEThis requirement is suspended until further notice.

    11. Receipt for aptitude examination fee of PhP 150 to be paid online (OCG Trust Acct. No. 9773900-499-450). UPDATEThis requirement is suspended until further notice.

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

    13. Zoom Interview by the Asian Center Admissions Committee (for those who pass the initial screening)

    14. Certificate of Transfer Credentials (only for non-UP Diliman graduates)

    15. Research Plan (even non-thesis applicants will submit; see "Application Forms" tab)

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

    17. Computation of GWA (See Application Process" tab to view details. Go to "Application Forms" tab to download the form. )

    Got a question? Please check the FAQ tabs.

  • 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..

    Forms for MA Applications

    • Online application form (Now Available; see "Application Process" tab)
    • 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 1st semester, AY 2021–2022 (semester starts August/September 2021): 31 May 2021 (application period now open)
    • For other semesters, please fill out the form below.

  • How to Apply: M.A. Programs (For August/September 2021 Intake)

    In light of GCQ and its impact on work process, here is the modified application process for the August/September 2021 intake. For other semesters, please scroll below.

    1. Fill out this online application form (only for August 2021 intake). Please ensure the information—especially your email address—is correct. There will be separate forms for later semesters.

    2. Send soft copy of requirements* to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in one zip file by 31 May 2021. File name of the zip file must be formatted thus: Navarro, Mara V.zip. See file naming guide below. To pay for the application fees, please see "Payments" tab.

    3. Online interviews (via Zoom) of shortlisted candidates will be conducted sometime in June 2021. The Office of the College Secretary will contact you for the schedule via the email address you provide in the online application form. If shortlisted, kindly make sure you have a registered/authenticated (i.e., you used a verified email address to sign up) Zoom account.

    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.

    *Additional Requirement and File Naming Guide (For August 2021 Intake)

    To expedite the processing of applications, applicants for August 2021 intake 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


    • 09_Certificate_of_Transfer_Credentials_Last Name, Given Name (For non-UP Diliman Applicants only)
    • 10_Marriage_Certificate_Last Name_Given Name (For married female applicants only)

    GWA Formula
    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.
    Submission Notes
    All items above—except 06, 09 and 10—must be submitted online by 31 May 2021. But if you already have items 06, 09, and/or 10, please include them in your online submission by the deadline.
    Other Reminders: Recommendation Forms, etc.
    If you already have them, do not open and scan the recommendation forms. They will be submitted—still sealed—later on.
    Applicants with incomplete/pending requirements (as listed in the Requirements tab**, including the sealed recommendation letters) may still be shortlisted and interviewed online, but applicants endorsed for admission to the University Registrar must submit all hard copy of the requirements at a date to be designated by the Office of the College Secretary. Please be ready to send these hard copies. 
    Said requirements are needed for the formal processing of one's admission into the university. Please coordinate with the Office of the College Secretary regarding this matter.
    **These include originals, photocopies and number of copies, as applicable.
    Any updates regarding deadlines and other procedures will be emailed to you, so please be sure you’ve filled out the online application form above.

    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.

    Once Accepted (Pre-COVID-19 Process)

    This may be modified depending on the COVID-19 situation.
    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.

    Notes

    * 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.
    ** While it can help to read up on Asia- or Philippine-related issues and theories, both exams test 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.).
  • Payment

    Please fill out the Application Fee Billing Statement (See "Application Forms" tab) and follow the instructions for any of the following payment methods.

    1. Payment using Landbank Linkbiz: 
 https://bit.ly/StepsforPaymentthruLinkbiz

    "Some of the Transaction Type is not yet available. e.g. Student Housing"

    2. Online Payment Transaction: https://bit.ly/OnlineBankTransfer

    3. Direct Bank Payment: https://bit.ly/DirectBankPayment

    NOTE 1: There will be no payment of fees at the UP Cash Office based on OUR Memorandum No. MVPLO 2020-06.

    NOTE 2: For online payments, Landbank only accepts payments through the PESONET system. Payment made through Instapay bank transfers will not be registered/validated.

  • Processing Your Admissions (Quarantine Set-Up Only)

    Congratulations! You've been accepted into the Asian Center's graduate program!

    However, 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. For this, you have to be issued a University Admission Slip (UAS)  by the Office of the University Registrar to formalize your admission to the program, and more importantly, to the University of the Philippines (as a graduate student).

    1. The Office of the College Secretary (OCS) will notify you of your acceptance to the Asian Center's MA  program and will email you a list of requirements  and/or other university-issued forms (e.g. Student Directory, Health Declaration Form, and Mental Health Screening Form), as well as relevant links and other instructions. These include already several documents/forms submitted as part of the application. 

    2. Email the documents on the deadline set by the OCS.

    3. Wait for an update regarding the issuance of your UAS.

    4. Newly admitted students, especially those from other non-UP Diliman universities, shall at some point receive a temporary account (username and password) in UP Diliman's Computerized Registration System (CRS), so they can log in, start updating their student profile, and pre-enlist in the core courses of their program. You should already have this temporary by pre-registration period, where you first choose, and try to obtain slots, for your classes. During the actual registration period, you go through all the procedures—payment, etc.—for the courses you enrolled in. 

    5. For details regarding pre-enlistment and registration, and other student matters, from course descriptions to thesis requirements, please visit the Student Corner. Accepted students (even without UAS)—especially those who did not take/finish their BA/BS in UP Diliman—are  advised to browse the UP Diliman Freshie Primer. This document explains the administrative structure of UP Diliman—heads, offices, list of colleges, vice chancellors, contact information—and other basic facts about the campus.
  • Semestral Fees for MA Programs:

    • Tuition fees: PhP 500.00 per unit*
    • Library Fee: PhP 1,200
    • Athletics: 75
    • Registration fee: 40
    • Medical: 50
    • Cultural: 50
    • Student Fund: 50

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

    Semestral Fees for MA Programs (For International Students)

    • Tuition fees: PhP 500.00 per unit
    • Miscellaneous Fees: PhP 1,415
    • Student Fund: PhP 78.5
    • Laboratory Fees: PhP 100-1,500
    • Educational Development Fund: USD 500

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

    Amendment Guidelines on the Grant of Free Tuition in State Universities and Colleges for Fiscal Year 2017

    Scholarships

    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
  • 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.

  • ON THE EXAMS

    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?

    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.


    APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

    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 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?

    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.


    SCHEDULE and SUBMISSIONS

    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.

    Where is the Office of the University Registrar?

    View map


    COURSES AND PROGRAMS

    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.