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Chinese Studies Bachelor of Arts

All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade with the exception of courses taken taken P/NP during Spring 2020, Fall 2020, Winter 2021, and Spring 2021, which can be counted toward a Chinese Studies major. 

The Chinese Studies major at UC San Diego is a multidisciplinary program that blends language courses with study in Chinese culture and history.

You'll engage with faculty across departments to explore the cultural foundation of China, developing a deep understanding of the world's most populous nation while you build fluency in the language with the help of native speakers. Since Mandarin is the most commonly spoken language worldwide, a degree in Chinese Studies means you'll be equipped with the tools to launch a career in a variety of fields, from international relations and diplomacy to business, translation, and marketing.

With a diverse array of course options and opportunities to study abroad at one of our 17 program sites in China, you'll be positioned to begin a career in the international world from the moment you graduate.

Chinese Studies Learning Objectives (PDF)

UC San Diego Academic Planning Worksheet (PDF)

Chinese Studies Major Checklist (Fillable PDF)

Chinese Studies Major Requirements

You can also download the requirements as a major checklist (Fillable PDF).

  1. 2 years of Mandarin Chinese (CHIN 10 A-B-C and CHIN 20 A-B-C or equivalent) or equivalent Chinese knowledge.
  2. 12 upper-division courses on Chinese studies from at least 3 different departments or programs. 
    1. 3 of the 12 upper-division courses must be Chinese history (i.e. HIEA 140, HIEA 132, HIEA 128, etc.)
    2. At least 1 of the 3 required History courses must be a 4 unit colloquium in which students are expected to write a substantial term paper. Typically the Department of History offers at least 1 colloquium per academic year and courses are usually numbered HIEA 161-171. The student will need to request and receive permission from the professor and the Department of History before enrollment in such a course. Colloquium must be completed at UC San Diego.
    3. No more than 6 of those upper-division courses may be language acquisition.
    4. No more than 6 upper-division courses taken abroad may qualify towards the major. No more than 3 of those courses may be upper-division Chinese language acquisition courses.
    5. All courses MUST be taken for a letter grade for both the major or minor. Exceptions are granted for CHIN 198 and 199.

In principle, the courses that the Chinese Studies Program accepts are lower and upper-division course that study China or Mandarin Chinese. Courses that are compatible with the major or minor must be 4 or more quarter units. All courses not taken at UC San Diego must be reviewed and approved as compatible with UC standards for a Chinese studies course via a Student Petition upon returning from EAP, OAP or from another educational institution. AP credits do not count towards the major.


Honors Program

A Chinese Studies major must meet the minimum requirements for admission into the honors program:

  1. Junior standing.
  2. A GPA of 3.5 or better in the major.
  3. Overall GPA of 3.2 or better.
  4. Recommendation from a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student's work and a signed agreement to support the student in a mentor capacity. 
  5. Completion of at least four approved upper-division courses by the Chinese Studies Program.
  6. Completion of at least one year of Chinese language or equivalent knowledge.

Students who qualify for honors must consult and written approval from a faculty mentor, submit a proposal, complete the appropriate form(s), enroll and complete a two-quarter sequence of directed study (CHIN 196) during which they define a research project, carry out the research and complete a senior thesis and presentation if required by the faculty mentor.
The completed thesis will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the student's thesis advisor and one other faculty member.

Double Major 

Earning a double major can be an excellent way to supplement and strengthen your transcript and resume. Learning and knowing another language is an invaluable skill, in life and in the workforce. 

Student in major programs across the University can double major in Chinese Studies. Students will learn about Chinese culture, politics, history, and art as well as partaking in intensive Chinese language courses. 

To be considered for a double major, a student needs to make sure you meet the following requirements before declaring a double major:

  • Have completed at least 90 units and no more than 135 units. Contact your college to discuss if AP credits and transfer courses apply to that unit count.
  • Have at least 2.5 overall GPA
  • Have completed a majority of the prerequisite for both majors
  • Be able to satisfy the requirements for BOTH majors with no more than 240 total units
  • Meet with both departments or programs and your college to discuss your academic plan and written receive approval in the format of a Double Major Petition Form.
  • Overlapping of 2 upper-division courses may be permitted if the two majors are similar. Restrictions may apply please consult with academic advisors from both majors.

Learn more about the double major process.