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CHIN Course Enrollment Information

Students who have never taken a CHIN course 

All students who have never taken a CHIN (Chinese Language) course at UC San Diego, MUST participate in a short informal placement interview in order to receive authorization to enroll in a CHIN course.  Placement Interviews are applicable to students who have AP Chinese and/or SAT II Chinese exam scores as well as those who have no Chinese background.  

Chinese placement interviews are used to determine two things, which level a student should begin taking a Mandarin Chinese (CHIN) course and which track is best suited for the student. Instructors will assess a student's background and document specific courses and levels for each individual student. After the interview, the Program Coordinator in HSS 1009 will then be able to authorize a student based on the instructor's evaluation of the student's ability.

The placement interview is usually a short and informal conversation and REQUIRED prior to enrolling and taking a CHIN course. It's mainly a verbal assessment but sometimes may include a written or reading review. The results on your SIS form need to be provided to the Program Coordinator before a student will be authorized to enroll in a CHIN course. 

Once a placement test has been completed and authorization, the STUDENT IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ENROLLING in the appropriate CHIN course on Tritonlink WebReg.  An authorization is not an enrollment nor does a placement interview guarantee approval or enrollment in a CHIN course.   

Read more about scheduling an online summer placement interview or look at the calendar to see when placement interviews are next available on-campus. Instructors will return to campus just prior to the fall quarter to provide placement interviews. During each quarter placement interviews are offered during Week 1 through Week 10 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during regular office hours of the Chinese language instructors. Testing is temporarily suspended finals week and between quarters. 

For more information, please refer to our Language Sequence Sheet (PDF), which outlines important notes about the Chinese language sequence and provides a sample guide.

Students already enrolled in a CHIN course

Students who were already authorized and asked to take a course later in the year may need to be re-authorized.  For example, a student who completed a placement interview during the fall quarter but did not enroll in the fall CHIN course can return to HSS 1009 to be authorized in the spring for the upcoming fall quarter course. This is why the Chinese Studies Program Office keeps Student Information Sheets (SIS) as a record of what course is best suited for each individual student. After an interview with a Chinese language instructor a student needs to turn in the SIS form for authorization for the current of next quarter or so that the record of the approval is available for the following year. 

If you are already in a CHIN course that course will authorize you for the next CHIN course in that sequence. For example, a student previously authorized for CHIN 10BN and has completed the course with a passing grade may enroll using TritonLink in CHIN 10CN without being re-authorized. If you are taking upper-division CHIN courses but need to take them out of order, then you will need to visit HSS 1009 to get authorized again.  


Students are categorized into 3 different tracks:

TRACK N – Is for students with absolutely no previous knowledge of Chinese. Non-native speakers will be approved for CHIN courses that are followed by the letter N.

TRACK M – Is for students with previous knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. These heritage speakers will be approved for CHIN courses that are followed by the letter M.

TRACK D – Is for students with previous knowledge of a dialect of Chinese other than Mandarin. These heritage speakers will be approved for CHIN courses that are followed by the letter D.

CHIN courses at UC San Diego are offered to students that want to learn Mandarin Chinese. For those interested in learning Cantonese you may wish to visit the Linguistics Department (APM 3rd floor) for independent study (LIGN 19) or you may wish to study abroad. Only Mandarin Chinese may be used towards earning a major or minor with the Chinese Studies Program.

Chinese Studies Program Policies

  • Keep in mind that DEADLINE to add a course via WebReg each quarter (Fall, Winter, Spring) is Friday of Week 2. 
  • It is very unlikely for students to join a CHIN course after the Week 2 add deadline, unless you have been attending. If it is Week 3 and you want to enroll, you will need an ADD CARD. The instructor will need to sign the ADD CARD and then you will need a STAMP from HSS 1009.
  • Students are not permitted to take more than one CHIN LANGUAGE course per quarter.  

Please note, that if you have accumulated enough absences your CHIN grade will be adversely affected. Under extreme special circumstances, a student may join the course past the add deadline only at the discretion of the language faculty teaching that particular course.  The faculty's decision is final and the Chinese Studies Program cannot override the faculty's decisions. An add card with approval signatures will be required and the student will need to acquire additional approval signatures and stamps to enroll during Week 3 and Week 4. Enrollment via an ADD CARD after Week 2 is not guaranteed and instructor approval is required.