Michigan State University
Michigan State University
Department of Linguistics & Germanic, Slavic, Asian and African Languages
Home > Degree Programs > Chinese


The undergraduate major in Chinese leads to the Bachelor of Arts degree and requires a minimum of 33 semester credits in Chinese language, culture and literature. The program emphasizes the obtainment of language competence and a rich knowledge of Chinese culture and society through a combined approach of proficiency-oriented, communicative, situational and study-abroad activities. All required courses for the major are taught, with the assistance of graduate students, by faculty members who have received doctoral training in Chinese linguistics, Chinese language teaching, and Chinese cultural and literary studies.

The four-year program develops students' language proficiency and offers good training in cultural knowledge. Its study abroad programs provide students with a good opportunity to familiarize themselves with Chinese society and culture and immerse themselves in a Chinese-speaking environment. The diversity of courses offered by the Chinese Program prepares students, both majors and non-majors, for their future career advancement. The curriculum of the program is enriched by the student organization, MSU China Connect, which regularly sponsors a wide range of activities including cultural events, film showings, lectures, festivals, calligraphy, etc. Its "Conversation Partner" activity pairs up students of Chinese with native Chinese speakers on campus to practice speaking Chinese outside of the classroom.

After graduation...

Besides providing the benefits of a liberal education with emphasis on critical thinking, effectiveness in speaking and writing, interpretation, and the pleasures of reading, a major in Chinese can lead you to exciting career opportunities. In the coming years, China will become an even greater presence in the world, and proficiency in Chinese and knowledge of East Asian cultures will open many doors in international careers in business, government, education, social services, and health, to name a few. Some of our recent graduates have been employed as English teachers or marketing representatives for U.S. firms in China.

If you choose to pursue a graduate degree, Chinese represents a highly desirable second language to help fulfill requirements and open opportunities in many graduate programs, including business, economics, history, international relations, law, and political science.

Members of the East Asian faculty are ready to advise you in researching, identifying, and selecting programs that meet your interests and goals.