B.A. in Chinese

Students who earn a B.A. in Chinese develop proficiency in the language, literature, and culture of a country with a powerful global reach and a literary tradition dating back more than 3,000 years. They learn to read, write, and converse in Chinese while exploring the major works of Chinese literature—from classical texts to recent works of modern fiction—and analyzing the features of the Chinese language in order to understand its history and use. Students benefit from one of the strongest Chinese language curriculum programs in the country and extensive university resources, including distinctive courses, language-intensive study abroad opportunities, and on-campus resources such as the East Asia Library. Alumni, as multilingual professionals with in-demand skills, find an advantage entering business and nonprofit work, STEM fields, graduate programs, and more across the globe.

Introductory Chinese language courses are available in the fall or summer quarters. Students should sign up for introductory courses as early as possible in order to fulfill the major’s language requirement. If you have previous experience with Chinese, see the department's information on proficiency exams and placement interviews.

Admissions, Advising & Student Resources

Please see our Undergraduate Programs section for information about applying to the program, career paths, scholarships, and other student resources.

Degree Requirements

NOTE: The below requirements apply to students who declare the Chinese major in Winter Quarter 2019 or later. The previous requirements will still apply to those who declared the Chinese major before Winter Quarter 2019 unless special provision is made. Please contact a departmental advisor if you are interested in this option.

The Chinese Language & Literature major requires a minimum of 50 credits. The actual number of credits required depends on the level of Chinese language attained upon entering the University of Washington.

I. Modern Language Courses:

15-20 credits of Chinese language classes. Students must take at least CHIN 213 or CHIN 303, unless waived because of advanced skills. Remaining credits may be drawn from the following:

  • ASIAN 498 (by approval when offered as a Chinese language course)
  • CHIN 211, CHIN 212, CHIN 213
  • CHIN 301, CHIN 302, CHIN 303
  • CHIN 331 Chinese Extensive Reading
  • CHIN 411, 412, 413 Fourth -Year Chinese
  • CHIN 431 Chinese Extensive Reading
  • CHIN 432 Social and Cultural Issues in Contemporary China
  • CHIN 445 Foreign Study: Fourth-Year Chinese
  • I BUS 490 (when the topic is Business Chinese)
  • CHIN 470 Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese
  • CHIN 482 Advanced Readings in Modern Chinese
  • CHIN 496 Special Studies in Chinese (when the topic is advanced language instruction)

Students with advanced skills may alternatively take additional courses in linguistics, literature, culture, and/or classical language beyond the minimum 30 credits required, with approval of program coordinator. Note that no more than 20 credits of modern Chinese language courses may apply toward the major, although students may need to take more to reach the required third-year level of language competence.

II. Linguistics, Literature, Culture and/or Classical Language Courses:

30-35 credits of classes in Chinese linguistics, literature, culture, and/or classical language. Must include:

  • CHIN 451 Introduction to Classical Chinese (5 credits)
  • CHIN 452 Introduction to Classical Chinese Poetry (5 credits)
  • CHIN 342 or CHIN 442 The Chinese Language (5 credits)
  • CHIN 461 and CHIN 463 History of Chinese Literature (10 credits)*

plus an additional 5-10 credits from among the following courses:

  • ASIAN 201 Literature and Culture of Ancient and Classical China
  • ASIAN 204 Literature and Culture of China from Tradition to Modernity
  • ASIAN 207 Special Topics in Literature and Culture of Asia (when China is the topic)
  • ASIAN 211 Languages and Cultures of China
  • ASIAN 263 Great Works of Asian Literature (when China is the topic)
  • CHIN 373 Chinese Poetry
  • CHIN 374 Chinese Prose
  • CHIN 380 Premodern Chinese Narrative in Translation
  • CHIN 381 Literature in Modern China
  • CHIN 385 Popular Culture in Twentieth-Century China
  • CHIN 443 Structure of Chinese
  • CHIN 453 Classical Chinese
  • CHIN 462 History of Chinese Literature 

Or from courses explicitly related to China from such departments as Anthropology, Art History, International Studies, History, Linguistics, Sociology, etc. You can view a list of approved courses here. If you have questions about whether or not an outside of the department course counts towards the major, please consult with an advisor.

No more than 10 credits may come from outside of the AL&L department.

* Please note that this requirement was changed as of Spring 2020. Previously, CHIN 461 and CHIN 462 were required. If you have already taken CHIN 461 & 462, these classes will continue to fulfill the major requirement.

Last revised in Spring 2020.