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College of Arts and Letters | Michigan State University

Chinese Language

The undergraduate major in Chinese leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree and requires a minimum of 33 semester credits in Chinese language, culture and literature. The program emphasizes the obtainment of language competence and a rich knowledge of Chinese culture and society through a combined approach of proficiency-oriented, communicative, situational and study-abroad activities. All required courses for the major are taught, with the assistance of graduate students, by faculty members who have received doctoral training in Chinese linguistics, Chinese language teaching, and Chinese cultural and literary studies.

The four-year program develops students' language proficiency and offers good training in cultural knowledge. Its study abroad programs provide students with a good opportunity to familiarize themselves with Chinese society and culture and immerse themselves in a Chinese-speaking environment. The diversity of courses offered by the Chinese Program prepares students, both majors and non-majors, for their future career advancement. The curriculum of the program is enriched by the student organization, MSU China Connect, which regularly sponsors a wide range of activities including cultural events, film showings, lectures, festivals, calligraphy, etc. Its "Conversation Partner" activity pairs up students of Chinese with native Chinese speakers on campus to practice speaking Chinese outside of the classroom.

After graduation...

Besides providing the benefits of a liberal education with emphasis on critical thinking, effectiveness in speaking and writing, interpretation, and the pleasures of reading, a major in Chinese can lead you to exciting career opportunities. In the coming years, China will become an even greater presence in the world, and proficiency in Chinese and knowledge of East Asian cultures will open many doors in international careers in business, government, education, social services, and health, to name a few. Some of our recent graduates have been employed as English teachers or marketing representatives for U.S. firms in China.

If you choose to pursue a graduate degree, Chinese represents a highly desirable second language to help fulfill requirements and open opportunities in many graduate programs, including business, economics, history, international relations, law, and political science.

Members of the East Asian faculty are ready to advise you in researching, identifying, and selecting programs that meet your interests and goals.

Degree Requirements


To declare a Chinese major or minor, please contact Cindy Walter, Academic Advisor.


Core requirements are courses in Chinese culture and literature and second, third, and fourth-year Chinese language courses. In addition, you must fulfill two 12 credit cognate requirements of the College of Arts and Letters.

CHINESE MAJOR (33 credits)


Required Courses:

CHS 201, Second-year Chinese I (5 credits)

CHS 202, Second-year Chinese II (5 credits)

CHS 301, Third-year Chinese I (4 credits)

CHS 302, Third-year Chinese II (4 credits)

CHS 401, Fourth-year Chinese I (3 credits)

CHS 402, Fourth-year Chinese II (3 credits)

CHS 366, Chinese Culture (3 credits)

CHS 466, Chinese Literature (3 credits)


Elective Courses (one of the following required):

CHS 350, Studies in Chinese Language (3 credits)

CHS 411, Advanced Spoken Chinese (3 credits)

CHS 491, Special Topics in Chinese Studies (3 credits)


Capstone Experience

This requirement may be satisfied by completion of special assignments in Chinese 302 (in China), 366, 402 or 466. The capstone experience must be approved by the student’s advisor.


Two Cognates

Cognates are 12 credits each in a single discipline or thematic area.  One cognate with an East Asian Theme is recommended.


Additional Major in Chinese (30 CREDITS)


Required Courses:

CHS 201, Second-year Chinese I (5 credits)

CHS 202, Second-year Chinese II (5 credits)

CHS 301, Third-year Chinese I (4 credits)

CHS 302, Third-year Chinese II (4 credits)

CHS 401, Fourth-year Chinese I (3 credits)

CHS 402, Fourth-year Chinese II (3 credits)

CHS 366, Chinese Culture (3 credits)

CHS 466, Chinese Literature (3 credits)

*College cognate requirement waived with primary major.


MINOR IN CHINESE (16-18 CREDITS)


Required Courses:

CHS 201, Second-year Chinese I (5 credits)

CHS 202, Second-year Chinese II (5 credits)


Elective Courses (two of the following):

CHS 301, Third-year Chinese I (4 credits)

CHS 302, Third-year Chinese II (4 credits)

CHS 350, Studies in the Chinese Language (3 credits)

CHS 366, Chinese Culture (3 credits)


For electives, you may choose from such courses as:

  • Studies in Chinese Language
  • Special Topics
  • Independent Study
  • Senior Thesis


Teaching Major in Chinese (36 cREDITS)


Required Courses:
 

CHS 201, Second-year Chinese I (5 credits)

CHS 202, Second-year Chinese II (5 credits)

CHS 301, Third-year Chinese I (4 credits)

CHS 302, Third-year Chinese II (4 credits)

CHS 350, Studies in the Chinese Language (3 credits)

CHS 366, Chinese Culture (3 credits)

CHS 401, Fourth-year Chinese I (3 credits)

CHS 402, Fourth-year Chinese II (3 credits)

CHS 466, Chinese Literature (3 credits)

LLT 307,  Methods of Second and Foreign Language Teaching (3 credits)


Capstone Experience:

This requirement may be satisfied by completion of special assignments in CHS 302 (in China), 366, 402 or 466. The capstone experience must be approved by the student’s advisor.


*College cognate requirement waived with teacher education courses.


Teaching Minor in Chinese (24 credits)


Required Courses:

CHS 201, Second-year Chinese I (5 credits)

CHS 202, Second-year Chinese II (5 credits)

CHS 301, Third-year Chinese I (4 credits)

CHS 302, Third-year Chinese II (4 credits)

LLT 307,  Methods for Teaching Languages (3 credits)


Elective Courses (one of the following):

CHS 401, Fourth-year Chinese I (3 credits)

CHS 402, Fourth-year Chinese II (3 credits)

CHS 350, Studies in the Chinese Language (3 credits)

CHS 366, Chinese Culture (3 credits)

CHS 466, Chinese Literature (3 credits)