Chinese Ph.D. Program


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

If you received a Masters from the UW Asian Languages and Literature Department:

After successful completion of 45 credits (a minimum of three quarters) of graduate study in this Department, a student wishing to enter the Ph.D. program with specialization in Chinese language and literature shall, irrespective of any particular qualifications or background, submit a formal petition to the Department stating his or her post-M.A. academic plans and goals. (For a fuller description of the requirements of the petition to proceed into the Ph.D. program, please consult the Department's Policies and Procedures, 3.4.2 - 3.4.3f.)


If you received a Bachelors or Masters from another university or UW Department:

Ideally, the prospective candidate will have completed an M.A. degree in the field of Chinese language and literature prior to entering the Ph.D. program. If the student has an M.A. in another pertinent field, e.g., in Linguistics, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, History, or Asian regional studies, it will not be necessary to take an additional M.A. in Chinese language and literature; the student will however be required to satisfy all course and examination requirements for the M.A. program in this department. Upon admission to the program, the student should be prepared to enter courses in modern Chinese at the 500 level, and should have at least two years of Classical Chinese.

A student who intends to go directly from the B.A. to the Ph.D. program must present an unusually strong background preparation in the disciplines of literary study or linguistics. He or she will be expected in the course of his or her work to satisfy all curriculum requirements for the M.A., and must petition the department for special permission to bypass the M.A.

Degree Requirements

90 credits, as follows:

I. Course Requirements:

Students in the Ph.D. program must complete the course requirements for the M.A. in Chinese. Equivalent courses from other programs may be substituted subject to written approval by the regular instructor of the course in question. In addition, whichever quarters of the sequence CHIN 461, CHIN 462, CHIN 463 were not taken for the M.A. must be taken for the Ph.D. The student's post-M.A. course work should be designed, in consultation with the faculty adviser, to fill in gaps or strengthen weaknesses in the student's background, and to establish and develop three fields of special study that the student pursues in some depth in preparation for the general examination.

II. Field requirements:

The student is expected to familiarize himself or herself with both (1) the original texts and (2) the secondary scholarship of the field, and to show some potential for carrying out original research in the area or field in question. Each student must pursue three such fields of special study, and each is examined separately by an appropriate faculty member prior to the general oral examination.

The field examinations must be written. The three fields that a student elects to study must, in the aggregate, reflect both of the primary components of the department's graduate-level offerings:

  1. language (linguistics and philology)
  2. and literature.

Students are encouraged in connection with at least one field to incorporate to a significant extent some aspect of: 

  • Chinese history and culture, exclusive of strictly literary or linguistic facets thereof.

With permission of his or her faculty adviser a student may offer:

  • One field from outside the Department (for example, in general linguistics, literary criticism, a non-Chinese literature, Chinese philosophy or religion, or a particular period of Chinese history). Such a field must be demonstrably related in a significant way to the student's overall course of study.

III. Examinations:

The student is examined in each of the three fields separately by an appropriate faculty member. Prior to the General Examination the student must demonstrate a reading knowledge of an additional Asian language or pertinent European language. The choice of language and measure of proficiency is determined in consultation with each student's faculty advisor.