Master in Asian Studies

This Master’s program seeks to develop and strengthen the necessary skills and abilities that Chilean and Latin American professionals require to articulate and carry out business activities, investments and inter-institutional cooperation with different Asian stakeholders.


Over the last decades, different international dynamics have led the Asian region to play an important role in global affairs. These trends have enabled the strengthening of new Asian stakeholders in international politics, which makes the objective of studying, analyzing and explaining their development in the sphere of international relations more urgent.

The growing presence of Asia is revealed in terms of economic exchanges and, more recently, integrally as well, both in our country and Latin America. According to data from the Undersecretary of International Economic Relations (SUBREI, 2022), Chile exports over 58% of its products to the Asia-Pacific region. Furthermore, countries like China and Japan are among the main investors in Chile. This scenario is similar in several Latin American countries, such as Peru, Brazil, Costa Rica, Panama, and so on. Accordingly, Chile and other countries of the region have increased their participation in cooperation and coordination initiatives with the Asia-Pacific region. For example, Chile and Mexico were the first Latin American countries to become members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum (APEC). Likewise, Chile and Peru promoted the negotiation for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and recently, our country, together with several nations of the Asia-Pacific region, have driven the Digital Economy Partnership Agreement (DEPA). In the same way, the Asia-Pacific region is playing an increasing role in the development of the fourth industrial revolution. Nations like Korea, Japan, India and China are relevant stakeholders in technology and innovation matters, which has implications and demands regarding the training of professionals that can interact and establish collaboration frameworks with both institutions of the academic world and Asian companies. However, this greater connection with Asia has not transformed the creation of academic programs accordingly, in order to rely on a critical mass that can dimension and manage the relationships with Asian stakeholders and institutions.

The Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile, true to its avant-garde spirit and long tradition in the analysis of foreign affairs, launches in Chile the first Master’s degree specialized exclusively in Asia.

Lines of Development

History and Schools of Thought

The objective is to generate studies, theses and projects focalized on Asian history and schools of thought. In particular, it will consider the generation of basic knowledge for the initial modules of the Master’s degree. This results in  the creation of the proper conditions for understanding the history of international relations in Asia and how this region and its regional powers have historically been deployed under the state-civilization framework.

Additionally, special emphasis will be put on the question of how the political philosophy of this region influences the interaction patterns when shaping relationships at the regional and international level. In particular, this line seeks to strengthen the knowledge generation to establish analyses and complex relationships with both Asian regional powers and other stakeholders of the Asia-Pacific region.

Political Systems

This line reinforces the work concerning the understanding of different political and legal systems in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. This includes reviewing the political systems, public administration forms and aspects of the political culture. The Political Systems line of research directly contributes to the first specific objective, because it seeks to teach key aspects of politics in the main Asian nations. In particular, this line aims at teaching tools for analyzing the behavior of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, based on the discipline of International Relations (IR), as well as on their complementary sub-disciplines such as business management, economic policy, political system and history.

International Economy

The focus will be put on articulating research processes by developing contents for the modules of the Master’s degree. The special feature is given by the fact that these modules will be laid out in the intermediate phase of the Master’s degree. Close attention will be given to the role and the economic interactions of the Asia-Pacific region at the international level. In this regard, the search aims at studying in depth the greater financial and commercial presence of Asian powers, which will definitely allow graduates to deal with the main topics to interpret Asian strategies at the international level and, particularly, in Latin America. Additionally, these lines are directly focused on strengthening a professionalizing role of the graduation profile.

In effect, specific tools will be offered, which will demonstrate how Asian powers cooperate and interact at the business level and how they adapt to the multilateral system. All of this will result in relying on a much more trained alumni group that can identify the opportunities and risks of establishing interaction relationships in issues related to trade policies with regard to Asia as a case study.

International Relations

The development will allow contextualizing the Asian powers, not as isolated stakeholders, but as stakeholders within the dynamics and balances of international politics. This will offer a theoretical background and, at the same time, the understanding of how they dialog with the paradigms and interactions in terms of their role in foreign policy, and their important role in the frame of international politics, international cooperation, and competence areas as well.

Additionally, this line will allow developing analytical tools and methods related to the more professionalizing aspect of the program. With this line, the program seeks to provide spaces to develop competencies that allow graduates to generate prospective studies and drafts involving content analysis. In this sense, the main contribution is to achieve a dialog between the theories of international relations and the practical analysis of foreign policy.

Business Management

One of the final lines of the Master’s degree is learning about management tools for negotiating with the Asian region. Given the specific aspects involved in negotiating and establishing long-term interaction frameworks with this region, it is important to create courses dealing with project formulation, project management and negotiations with Asia, with special emphasis on the distinctive features of the regional powers. This line seeks to strengthen skills for a top management career by learning business management elements and developing projects related to Asia. Particularly, this line aims at strengthening the generation of tools to analyze the behavior of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Likewise, it seeks to strengthen the skills to address complex negotiations with different Asian stakeholders, companies and organizations.

In this configuration, the development of the lines of research and work is directly related to the graduation profile, thereby allowing students to be able to place the Asian region within its different contexts and dynamics, and to be prepared to interpret the movements of the regional powers at a systemic but also regional level.

2024 – 2025 Academic Calendar

First Trimester March 11 – May 10
Break May 13 to May 17
Second Trimester May 20 -  July 19
Winter Holidays July 22 to August 2
September Holidays September 16 to  September 20
Third Trimester August 5 -  October 4
Break October 7 to  October 11
Fourth Trimester October 14 -  December 13
First & Fifth Trimester (2025) March 10 -  May 9 
Break May 12 to May 16
Second & Sixth Trimester (2025) May 19 -  July 11
Case Study / Thesis Presentation - 2nd Semester 2024  


Graduation Profile

Graduate students of the Master’s degree in Asian Studies will propose improvements in the processes and relationships with Asia, based on a strong multidisciplinary knowledge, both at the theoretical and practical level, following the principles of integrity and professional ethics.

Likewise, graduate students will prepare projects and initiatives that integrate recent advances concerning the development areas of the Master’s degree and promote innovations for the different sectors interacting with the Asian region.
Finally, graduate students will create cooperation spaces with Asia to solve common problems.


Academic Senate
Collaborating Professors
  • Jael Cortés
  • Carlos Olguín
  • Jorge Heine
  • Rodrigo del Río
  • Elvira Ríos
  • Javier Núñez
  • Jaime Gallegos
  • José Vidal
  • Constanza Jorquera
  • Victoria Lueckel
  • Violetta Udovik
  • Juram Jun

Application Process

Applicants should be in possession of a Bachelor's or professional degree, granted by national or international universities, or higher education institutes, whose level, content and duration of studies are equivalent to that of a Bachelor's degree at the University of Chile, determined by the Academic Committee of the Program. Applicants should fill out the application form provided by the Institute of International Studies and attach the following documents:

  1. Official certificate, issued by a competent authority, of the university professional degree or Bachelor's degree. Regarding foreign students, the certificate must be legalized with the apostille or visa at the Consulate of Chile of the corresponding country. The original certificate will be required to obtain the degree.
  2. Academic transcripts with equivalent grading scale.
  3. A recommendation letter (Academic Report that can be downloaded on this site).
  4. Updated Curriculum Vitae.
  5. Letter of intent explaining the applicant's intention to engage in this Master’s degree program (maximum length, 500 words).
  6. In the case of foreign students being accepted, they must take out health insurance covering the duration of their studies in Chile.
  • The application form must be completed on the Institute’s website by all candidates (national or international) who request admission to the Graduate and Postgraduate courses offered by the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile.
  • Additionally, applicants will be required to participate in a personal interview with Institute professors. The interview will be conducted via Skype or in person.
  • The program will consider the level of reading and understanding of the English language as a selection criterion.
  • Foreign students must submit a visa and health insurance covering the duration of their studies in Chile.

Background Submission

The application form must be completed by all candidates (national or international) who request admission to the Graduate and Postgraduate courses offered by the Institute of International Studies of the University of Chile.

The clarity and precision of the answers will allow to correctly evaluate the background and experience of the candidate.



Patricia Cavieres P.

Master in Asian Studies Program

Institute of International Studies (IEI)

University of Chile