Chinese Studies

The Chinese Studies major is interdisciplinary in nature. Students are offered a structured approach to the study of Chinese history, art, language, literature, customs, culture, economy, and politics while allowing the flexibility to pursue individual areas of interest. Chinese Studies majors are strongly encouraged to study abroad in China.

Students pursuing the major in Chinese Studies must complete ten courses.  One of the ten courses will constitute the capstone experience, which is to take the form of an independent study completed during the senior year.

  • One core course: Hist 223 Modern China, Hist 222 East Asia 1800 to the Present, or an equivalent offering a broad survey of the historical context.
  • Language study: CHN 301 and CHN 302 or their equivalent as determined by placement tests.
  • Disciplinary breadth: four courses with a substantial focus on China. These courses must come from at least three different disciplines, with at least one from the "Humanities" category and one from the "History and Society" category. In addition, at least one of the four must be explicitly comparative.(Comparative courses are listed with an asterisk. (*)
    Note: CHN 401 can be counted as a third discipline.
  • Disciplinary focus: two courses that, together with a China-focused course, serve to ground the student in an explicit discipline-or functional equivalent-with an eye to preparing the student for a fruitful capstone experience. This three-course track is to be determined through consultation between student and advisor, but one of these courses will ordinarily include the "methods" course in a particular discipline.
  • Capstone experience: one course taken in the form of an independent study to be completed in the senior year in which the student must write a substantial paper. The topic of the paper must be mutually agreed upon by the student and his or her advisor, but it is expected that the paper will build upon the courses constituting the student's "disciplinary track." In addition, the student must present his or her results orally in a public forum composed of other Chinese Studies majors and interested faculty.

Courses Currently Available for the Major

The major requires that students demonstrate "disciplinary breadth," so the courses listed below are organized both by discipline and under two broader categories: "Humanities" and "History and Society."

The major requires a course with substantial China-focus that is explicitly comparative.  These courses are marked with an asterisk. (*)

Several courses suitable for the major are infrequently taught.  These are listed separately, as are the courses most usually available through the CET-Beijing Study Abroad program.

Chinese Language

CHN 101 Beginning Chinese I
CHN 102 Beginning Chinese II
CHN 201 Intermediate Chinese I
CHN 202 Intermediate Chinese II
CHN 301 Advanced Chinese I
CHN 302 Advanced Chinese II


Art History

VAH 131 Introduction to Asian Art*
VAH 234 Arts of China
VAH 235 Chinese Painting and Aesthetics
VAH 236 Early Chinese Art and Architecture

Film Studies

Film 262 Hong Kong Cinema
Film 350 Topics in Film Theory-Asian Cinema*


AS 225 Contemporary Chinese Writers
AS222 China: 30 Years in Literature and Film


REL 210 Buddhist Spiritual Autobiographies*
REL 244 Introduction to Buddhism*
REL 248 Religions of China
REL 251 Looking for the Tao
REL 254 Confucianism
REL 351 Buddhist Scriptures*
REL 352 The Tao of Chinese Medicine

History and Society

Cultural Studies

AS 224 Chinese Folklore
AS/Anth 229 Tourism and Culture in China


ECON 213 East Asian Economic History and Development*


AS 266 Chinese Culture in Early in Japan*
Hist 221 East Asia to 1800*
Hist 222 East Asia 1800 to the Present*
Hist 223 Modern China

Political Science

POL 270 Government and Politics in China


Psych 210 Cultural Psychology*    


SOC 243 Chinese Demographics

Courses (in Addition to Language Study) Available through the CET Chinese Studies Program in Beijing

(Some of these fulfill requirements for the major.)

CS 250 21st Century Beijing
CS 255 Chinese History from 1800 to the Present
CS 270 Politics in China
CS 276 China's Environment: History, Politics, and Possibilities
CS 151 Service-Learning Internship