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Chinese Language (CHIN) Course

Enrollment Information

Placement Interview (for students who have never taken a UCSD CHIN course) 

All students interested in taking their first UCSD Chinese language course MUST participate in a short, informal placement interview to determine which course is most appropriate for their proficiency level. The interview is a short and informal conversation with a faculty member that sometimes may include a reading or writing component. Placement Interviews are required for all students, including those who have AP Chinese and/or SAT II Chinese exam scores and those who have no Chinese language background. Since we offer multiple levels and tracks, this helps avoid confusion later. After the student is placed in a course, they will receive authorization to enroll in that course from the Program Coordinator. Then, 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.

Please note that placement interviews are valid for one year, so if you are authorized for a fall class and you don't take it that year but want to take it the following year, you will need to be reauthorized for the quarter you plan to take the course.

Read more about instructions for scheduling a placement interview.


Students who have already taken a CHIN course

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 who completes the course with a passing grade may enroll in CHIN 10CN without being re-authorized by the Program Coordinator. If you will take multiple upper-division CHIN courses, the Program Coordinator may need to manually authorize you for the next one you plan to take.


Proficiency Exam/testing out of language class requirements:

If you are trying to satisfy a college GE or major language requirement without taking language classes, take the proficiency exam. This exam is administered by the Linguistics Language Program, so contact them through the VAC with any questions. On the other hand, if you are planning to enroll in a Chinese class and trying to determine which one to take, that is when the placement interview is needed, and you can see the details about that on this page or by contacting Chinese Studies at



We offer 3 different tracks depending on language proficiency and exposure:

TRACK N – Is for students with no exposure to Chinese in the home or community environment.

TRACK M – Is for heritage speakers with some background and exposure to Mandarin, usually with some experience speaking and listening but little reading or writing.

TRACK D – Is for students with previous knowledge of a dialect of Chinese other than Mandarin. 

CHIN courses are offered in a year-long sequence. A courses are offered in Fall quarter, B courses in winter, and C courses in spring. You may not skip a course in the sequence unless authorized by the professor. This means that if you are placed into a Fall course but you do not enroll that Fall, you will need to wait a year until the next Fall for the course to be offered again and you will not be able to take a different course in the sequence without the instructor's approval. 

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 or you may wish to study abroad. Upper division Cantonese courses may be counted toward the Chinese Studies major or minor.

For more information about how Chinese language courses are sequenced, please refer to our Language Sequence Sheet (PDF), which provides a sample guide.


Late Adds

  • 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 that students will be approved to join a CHIN course after the Week 2 add deadline, unless they have been attending unofficially already. If it is Week 3 and you want to enroll, you will need to request permission from the instructor and submit a Late Add request through the EASy system.
  • Students are not permitted to take more than one CHIN LANGUAGE course per quarter, with some exceptions for upper division courses.