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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; there are 7 ways to fulfill this requirement: 1) ASIA 140; 2) ASIA 150; 3) ASIA 251; 4) HIST 253; 5) HIST 254; 6) HIST 255; 7) 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 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 190 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 252, HIST 253, HIST 254, HIST 255, HIST 290 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 351, HIST 353, HIST 490 (when a Chinese topic), HIST 491 (when a Chinese topic), HONR 102 (when a Chinese topic), HONR 300 (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).

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