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Chinese M.A. Program


The student must meet such general admission requirements for the master's program as the Graduate School may set forth.

Requirements for admission from the Department of Asian Languages and Literature:

  1.  An undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 in the junior and senior years is a prerequisite for admission.
  2. Three letters of recommendation.
  3. A statement of purpose.

Admission to the M.A. program with specialization in Chinese language and literature requires that a student have strong undergraduate preparation in one of the following: Chinese language and literature, another foreign language and literature, Asian Regional Studies, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, English, Philosophy, or History.

Applicant will, in addition, be expected to have completed with at least a 3.0 GPA

  • four years of modern Chinese and
  • one year of classical Chinese.

Students lacking such preparation may be admitted to the M.A. program provisionally, and will be required to make up the deficiencies during their first year of residence.

Program Description

The program in Chinese language and literature offers work in the textual, linguistic and literary study of Chinese as well as in the history and criticism of the Chinese literary tradition. The student will work out an individual course of study with a faculty adviser. Although a student normally emphasizes either linguistics or literature, both are important components for all students. Courses offered in other programs within the department, and in other departments, such as Comparative Literature, Anthropology, Linguistics, or one of the other language and literature departments, may constitute valuable additions to the program where they support and enrich a special emphasis.

Course Work and Credits


Two options are available to the student in the M.A. degree program: (1) a thesis program (including both a thesis and completion of 9 credits of ASIAN 700), and (2) a non-thesis program which requires two seminar or research papers in lieu of a thesis, and two 500-level departmental courses in addition to the requirements specified below.


The M.A. course program must include in every case the following courses or their equivalent (38-40 credits):

  • CHIN 551, 552, 553 Second-Year Classical Chinese (15 credits)
  • CHIN 559 Methods and Materials (5 credits)
  • CHIN 461, 462, 463 History of Chinese Literature (any one of the three-quarter sequence; 5 credits each)
  • CHIN 442 The Chinese Language (5 credits)
  • At least one course from each of the following two groups (8-10 credits total):
    • Group I: Literature

      • CHIN 461, 462, 463 History of Chinese Literature
      • CHIN 482 Advanced Readings in Chinese Prose
      • CHIN 554, 555, 556 Readings in Chinese Prose
      • CHIN 561, 562, 563 Studies in Chinese Literature
      • CHIN 573 Seminar in Chinese Poetry
      • CHIN 575 Studies in Chinese Drama
      • CHIN 580 Readings in Vernacular Fiction
      • CHIN 582 Seminar in Chinese Fiction
      • CHIN 583 Seminar in Modern Chinese Literature
      • CHIN 590 Readings in the Thirteen Classics or Seminar in Six Dynasties Literature
      • CHIN 591, 592, 593 Studies in the History of Chinese Thought
    • Group II: Linguistics and Philology

      • CHIN 443 Structure of Chinese
      • CHIN 531, 532, 533 Studies in Chinese Phonology
      • CHIN 540 Seminar on Chinese Linguistics
      • CHIN 541 Seminar on Chinese Grammar
      • CHIN 542 Chinese Historical Phonology
      • CHIN 544 Chinese Dialectology
      • CHIN 557 Introduction to Chinese Philology and Textual Criticism
      • CHIN 558 Seminar on Chinese Lexicology and Grammatonymy

M.A. Examination

For a complete description of the Department's M.A. General Examination, please refer to the Policies and Procedures, 2.5.0 - 2.5.2. The first part of the M.A. Examination in Chinese will cover Chinese literature, and the second part will focus on language (linguistics and philology) and texts. The examination should normally be taken no later than Autumn Quarter of the third year.