Chinese M.A. Program


The student must meet the minimum admissions requirements for the master's program as the Graduate School may set forth.

Admission to the M.A. program with specialization in Chinese language and literature requires that a student have strong undergraduate preparation in a relevant humanistic field. Applicants will, in addition, be expected to have completed four years of modern Chinese with at least a 3.0 GPA.

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.

Degree Requirements

The M.A. degree in Chinese requires coursework, research and the M.A. examination.

I. Coursework & Credits

Students in the M.A. program must satisfy the degree requirements set by the Graduate School at the time of their graduation. The M.A. program requires a minimum of 45 credits at the 400-level or higher. At least 18 credits must be completed in numerically graded courses at the 400 and 500 level, and 18 credits at the 500 level and above. Credits may be earned through a combination of coursework and research. Each student will customize his or her course of study in consultation with his or her faculty adviser.

II. Special Course Requirements

The M.A. course program requires the following specific coursework. Any substitutions or waivers (e.g. for coursework completed elsewhere) require signed consent of the course instructor, the student’s faculty adviser, the Chinese program coordinator, and the Graduate Program Coordinator.

  • CHIN 552 First-Year Classical Chinese (5 credits)
  • CHIN 442 The Chinese Language (5 credits)
  • CHIN 561 History of Chinese Literature (Pre-modern) (5 credits)
  • CHIN 563 History of Chinese Literature (Modern) (5 credits)
  • 500-level departmental coursework in Chinese linguistics or literature (10 credits)

III. M.A. Examination

For a complete description of the Department's M.A. General Examination, please refer to the Policies and Procedures, 2.3.0 - 2.3.2. The M.A. Examination in Chinese consists of two parts, one covering Chinese literature and the second part covering language (linguistics and philology) and texts. The examination should normally be taken no later than Autumn Quarter of the third year. The student will meet with his or her faculty adviser at least one quarter prior to the examination in order to discuss necessary preparation.

IV. Research

In addition to coursework and the M.A. examination, the M.A. degree requires students to submit original research in one of two ways:

  1. as a thesis, in which case the student will take at least 9 thesis credits (ASIAN 700), OR
  2. in the form of two research papers that have been written either independently or as part of their coursework.

To Apply

Application procedures are available online. Any logistical questions about application should be directed to the Academic Counselor in the Department office. Questions of an academic nature should be directed to the graduate faculty member in the applicant’s area of interest, or to the Japanese Program Coordinator. Limited amounts of financial support are available to students on a competitive basis. All applicants to the department are automatically considered for a recruitment fellowship. Prospective students with high proficiency in Japanese language are urged to apply for teaching assistantships simultaneously with their application to the program. All eligible applicants are especially encouraged to apply for FLAS (Foreign Language and Area Studies) awards. Details are available on the FLAS website.

Admission to the PhD program

The MA and PhD programs are separate and independent. Admission to the MA program does not guarantee admission to the PhD program. MA students who wish to proceed to the PhD program must file a Petition to Proceed no later than their final quarter as an MA student, and the petition must be approved prior to the MA degree being awarded. See department policy 2.5 and consult the Academic Counselor for more information.