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Chinese Studies

Students majoring in Chinese Studies will necessarily be engaged in rigorous intellectual exchanges within global contexts, as every topic connects to the East-West paradigm. Specifically, through our courses on Chinese language, culture, or literature, students learn ways of managing impending issues concerning human conditions from fresh aspects: social conscience (altruism), human rights (humaneness), poverty and social justice (taxation, commerce, and land reform), governing styles (legalism, Daoism, and Confucianism), environmentalism (Daoism), religion (morality and self-cultivation), and more. Together, these courses translate to a good understanding of not only China's recent rise from a closed Communist society to a "government-controlled capitalist" country but also of the thousands of years' traditions (i.e., Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism) that are still deeply rooted in the contemporary Chinese psyche.

Our courses provide theoretical and historical insights as well as practical and contemporary skills required for students to demarcate a clearer career path within the plethora of fields related to Asia, such as economics, political science, computer science, arts, education, and communication.

Course Catalog

Requirements for a major

Chinese Studies

Total courses required Ten
Core courses Two courses in Chinese language

One course covering Chinese culture broadly: ASIA 140, ASIA 251, HIST 107, HIST 108, or POLS 253

ASIA 480: In consultation with the instructor, students should include a component of China in the substantial essay completed for the course. In exceptional cases, students may opt to complete an independent senior thesis with consultation and permission from the Asian Studies director.

Other required courses

A minimum of six courses from among the following (at least two of the six courses should be on a Chinese topic only): ARTH 133, ARTH 135, ARTH 234, ARTH 236, ARTH 334, ASIA 140, ASIA 190 (when a Chinese topic), ASIA 197 (when a Chinese topic), ASIA 250, ASIA 251, ASIA 290 (when a Chinese topic), ASIA 390 (when a Chinese topic), ASIA 470 (when a Chinese topic), CHIN 161, CHIN 162, CHIN 261, CHIN 262, CHIN 269 (Topics in Chinese), CHIN 361, CHIN 362, CHIN 461, CHIN EXP (Chinese Conversation), ECON 330, HIST 100, HIST 107, HIST 108, HIST 252, HIST 290 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 351, HIST 353, HIST 490 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 491 (when a Chinese topic), POLS 253, REL 130, REL 258, REL 259, REL 290 (when a Chinese topic), REL 491 (when a Chinese topic), SOC 301 (when a Chinese topic). Honors Scholars can also take HONR 102 (when a Chinese topic) and HONR 300 (when a Chinese topic).

A number of other courses may be applied toward the Chinese Studies program. See the Schedule of Classes each semester for a complete listing.

Number 300 and 400 level courses Three including ASIA 480 (where China is substantial in the content)
Senior requirement and capstone experience All Chinese Studies Majors must complete the Asian Studies Senior Seminar (ASIA 480), which includes a substantial essay, with a grade of "C" or above. All students are expected to give a public presentation of their work.
Additional information

A maximum of 3 courses per term (and 5 in total) may be counted toward the major from semester-long study-abroad programs. A maximum of 6 language courses can count toward the Chinese Studies major.

All students are encouraged, but not required, to participate in at least one study-abroad experience in China, Hong Kong, or Taiwan, whether through a study-abroad program, an Extended Studies course, an approved summer language program, or an approved internship program. Students should consult with their advisor or the Chinese Studies coordinator for other options.

Requirements for a minor

Chinese Studies

Total courses required Five (Three of the five must be taken at DePauw)
Core courses Two Chinese language courses at any level.
Other required courses
  • A minimum of three courses in which China is an essential part of the curriculum.
  • At least one of the three courses should be solely on a Chinese topic.
Number 300 and 400 level courses One

Courses in Chinese Studies

CHIN 161

Elementary Chinese I

The goals for this course are for students to master the pinyin Romanization system and to acquire basic communication skills of speaking, listening, reading, and writing Mandarin Chinese. CHIN 161 is open only to beginners in Chinese or those with two years or less of high school Chinese.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

CHIN 162

Elementary Chinese II

This course is a continuation of Elementary Chinese I. Students will continue to develop the language skills they acquired in Elementary Chinese I. Prerequisite: CHIN 161 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 161 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 197

First-Year Seminar

A seminar focused on a theme related to Chinese Studies. Open only to first-year students.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
1 course

CHIN 261

Intermediate Chinese I

Course work helps students to develop four linguistic skills (speaking, writing, listening and reading) in Chinese at a more advanced level. Course work emphasizes drills, conversation and grammar. The goals are for students to acquire the following skills: to pronounce modern standard Chinese, to write words using both characters and pinyin Romanization system, to converse in more complicated sentences based on grammatical structures introduced in this course and to write essays. Prerequisite: CHIN 162 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 162 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 262

Intermediate Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 261. Prerequisite: CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 261 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 269

Topics in Chinese

Topics in the Chinese language. May be repeated with different topics for credit.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language 1/2-1 course

CHIN 361

Advanced Chinese I

Reading and discussion of advanced Chinese materials. Exercise in speaking the language and in writing compositions. Prerequisite: CHIN 262 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 262 or qualifying score on the placement test

CHIN 362

Advanced Chinese II

A continuation of CHIN 361. Prerequisite: CHIN 361 or qualifying score on the placement test.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language CHIN 361 or qualifying score on the placement test 1 course

CHIN 461

Advanced Readings and Projects in Chinese

Open to advanced students in Chinese. May be repeated for credit.

Distribution Area Prerequisites Credits
Language 1/2-1 course