The MA program in Chinese is designed to offer students maximum general exposure to the long sweep of Chinese literary and cultural history as well as the opportunity to delve into the study of some particular period, field, topic or genre. With four professors covering literature and culture from early China through the medieval era to the early modern period and contemporary China, the program is comprehensive in scope. The program focuses especially on preparing students for PhD study and careers in sinology. Since 1991, more than eighty graduates of the Chinese MA program have gone on to doctoral study here or at other first-rank institutions in the U.S. See Chinese alumni stories.


All entering students must take CHIN 5010 ("Sinological Methods") at the earliest opportunity. Students employed as Teaching Assistants also must take CHIN 5980 ("Practical Issues in Chinese Language Pedagogy").

Selection of courses beyond these is made in consultation with the Director of Graduate Studies in Chinese. Students planning to continue on to doctoral work in Chinese are encouraged to begin acquisition as soon as possible of Japanese and one other language of use in Sinological research. Reading knowledge of these two other languages must normally be presented at the PhD level, but the sooner one can make use of them in one's own work the better.

Regular degree students must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA each semester or summer term on all work taken, whether or not it is to be applied toward the intended graduate degree.

Graduation Requirements

To graduate, a student must present at least 30 hours of approved coursework or, in exceptional cases, 24 hours of coursework plus a thesis. All courses counted toward the degree must be completed at the 5000 level or above. Up to six credits from other departments may be completed at the 3000 or 4000 level at the discretion of the department.

Graduates of the program will have a firm foundation upon which to erect the more specialized studies of doctoral work or a broad-based fund of knowledge from which to draw in teaching about China. The scholarly discipline of Sinology is an implicit subject of study in all courses in this program. Students learn not only a body of literature but also appropriate techniques of interpreting that literature.

For detailed descriptions of graduate courses offered, see the University Catalog.