RSEA Program and Activities

The wide variety of students’ interests, nationalities, and experiences provides a considerable source of enrichment for the program. At RSEA we do our best to build a sense of community for our students, through the RSEA office, the RSEA 200 Proseminar, and by organizing academic and social events that bring students together.

An Orientation meeting and informal lunch before classes begin introduces incoming students to the program and to each other, as well as to RSEA Committee members and other RSEA students.  The RSEA office also organizes an introduction to East Asian library resources, thesis-writing workshops, job-search and career advice workshops, and student social activities. 

RSEA has more than 1,400 alumni in all walks of life. Many of our alumni have made distinguished achievements in their areas of expertise, whether academic or professional. Throughout the academic year the program organizes several alumni activities such as the annual Alumni Panel in the fall, informal alumni lunches, and lectures and talks presented by alumni. We encourage our students to attend as many alumni activities as possible, as these are valuable opportunities to connect with alumni and learn from their experiences within and beyond RSEA.

Important Academic Resources

The newly opened Academic Resources Center (ARC), located at 1414 Massachusetts Ave, 3rd floor replaces the much loved Bureau of Study Counsel (BSC). The ARC will continue to offer workshops, counseling, and other resources to support graduate students’ academic and personal growth. However, until the new office is fully active please visit the BSC website ( for immediate information and resources.

The Office of Accessible Education ( provides resources and support to students in need of academic accommodation.

The Center for Writing and Communicating Ideas ( provides graduate students with support for their writing.

The GSAS Fellowships Office website ( is extensive, including a special section on fellowships for first- and second-year graduate students.  An RSEA student interested in applying for a grant administered through the Graduate School should make an appointment to meet with the GSAS Director of Fellowships, Dr. Cynthia Verba, for guidance.

RSEA Commencement

Successful completion of the requirements allows the RSEA Committee to recommend a student for the degree of Master of Arts.  All students who receive degrees in November, March, or May of any academic year may participate in the May Commencement exercises (ceremonies).  In late March, the GSAS Dean's Office posts information on the GSAS website about the Commencement schedule, tickets, and academic regalia to all recipients of November or March degrees and to all applicants for May degrees. 

As part of Commencement the RSEA Exhibit provides a venue for graduating RSEA students to share a photo, piece of art, an article, or some other piece of work that represents their experience in RSEA.  We encourage all graduating students to participate!

It is a longstanding RSEA tradition that graduating students, their families, and guests are invited to gather the day before Commencement for an RSEA Reception, at which A.M. recipients are congratulated, and the Joseph Fletcher Memorial Award winners are announced.  Current students, faculty members, and alumni are most cordially invited.

On the day of Commencement, RSEA students, faculty members, and guests also gather at the GSAS Commencement Luncheon for a celebration.

Alumni Community


After graduation, we hope you will stay in touch with RSEA, your fellow students from the same cohort, and other RSEA alumni. Watch for the RSEA Alumni e-newsletter and share your news. We hope to hear from you and stay connected long after you graduate from the program!