Two study tracks

Depending on the orientation of an advisor/director approved research and training project, students of the “Asian Studies” Master’s degree must enroll in one of the two proposed study tracks:

  • Track 1: «History and Social Sciences: Fields, Texts and Images» (EHESS-EFEO)

This track, proposed by the EHESS in collaboration with the EFEO, is intended for students wishing to develop their research in connection with modern and contemporary Asia. In a cross-fertilization of fundamental disciplines and cultural areas, approached through a specific method, this track emphasizes multiple societal challenges based on global and comparative approaches, which highlight circulations and transfers, as well as dialogue and interdisciplinary in the social sciences.

  • Track 2: «History, Philology and Religion» (EPHE-EFEO)

This track, developed by the EPHE in collaboration with the EFEO, is intended for students wishing to carry out research on ancient Asia based on a thorough understanding of written or material sources, and based on methods specific to philology, paleography, archaeology and epigraphy. Particular emphasis is placed on the analysis of first-hand sources generally written in different Asian languages. Another specificity of this course is the focus given to the study of religious phenomena through a long-term approach.

The “Asian Studies” Master’s degree is based on a very wide range of training offered by teacher-researchers from the EFEO, EHESS and EPHE. A core curriculum seminar provides students from both backgrounds with an introduction to the methodology and tools of research in the field of Asian studies.

Specialization seminars allow students to perfect their disciplinary training (history, anthropology, sociology, geography, etc.), but also to discover rare disciplines such as epigraphy or the study of manuscripts in Asian languages. Finally, master’s students will be able to participate in research seminars in which lecturers present and discuss their current work with postgraduate, master’s or doctoral students, thus allowing an immersion in the concrete practice of research.

An internship will also allow each student to apply his or her skills in a concrete way in a research institute, library, archive or company. Field visits, in conjunction with research institutions located in Asia, may also be the subject of an approved internship.

Language studies are compulsory in both tracks to ensure the development of student’s capacity for both on site (in Asia) research as well as project development.  This, depending on the field of specialization, could include Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, Urdu, Hindi, Vietnamese, etc. as well as mastery of one or more modern foreign languages such as English, German or Italian.


All courses offered within the two tracks are open to all students of the “Asian Studies” Master’s Program. Students may also follow other courses given at EHESS and EPHE, or in other partner institutions, with the agreement of her advisor/director and the teaching staff.

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