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UW–Madison offers an M.A. and Ph.D. degree in Chinese, specializing either in linguistics or in literature and culture. The program provides broad foundations and focused training in these two specialties, assuring that our graduates are amply prepared to teach and conduct research.

The linguistics specialty excels in areas of historical linguistics, phonology, prosody, grammaticalization, interface study between syntax and phonology, dialectology, language education, and pragmatics.  

The literature and culture specialty covers periods from the pre-Qin through the modern and contemporary, including study of fictional and historiographical narrative, poetry, and drama.

The graduate program in Chinese is housed in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, along with the Japanese and the Asian Languages and Cultures Program. As such students will have opportunities to interact with all faculty, staff, and graduate students affiliated with the department to examine their area of specialty in broader regional and disciplinary contexts.

Thank you for your interest in our programs. The Department of Asian Languages and Cultures (ALC) offers a graduate program in Asian Languages and CulturesChinese and Japanese.

Prior to submitting application and materials, applicants should carefully review the information regarding the program of interest and the faculty’s expertise to determine the fit between their interest and the program. To this extent, prospective applicants may contact a specific faculty to discuss their research interest prior to submitting applications.

Applicants should also review the Graduate School's admission processGraduate School's minimum requirements, and program requirements and information prior to submitting the online application and fee. The application fee cannot be waived or refunded.

Deadlines

We accept applications for the fall term only.

In order to be considered for fellowships, project assistantships, and teaching assistantships, all application materials must be in by January 10.

If you do not need any funding support, you may submit applications by April 15.

Application Process

New applicants to UW-Madison apply to programs through the Graduate School application process. Complete the online Graduate application and select the Asian Languages and Cultures (major code 596) or Chinese (major code 171) or Japanese (major code 583) program. 

If you are a currently enrolled UW-Madison graduate student and would like to add or change your current graduate program to Asian Languages and Cultures, Chinese, or Japanese, you do not need to fill out the online application. You will need to submit the following to the ALC Graduate Program Coordinator (1244 Van Hise):

The applications from current UW–Madison graduate students will be reviewed every spring, together with new applications submitted.

Graduate School Admissions

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic degree programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet requirements of both the program(s) and the Graduate School. Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.  

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

Students applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Culture and students currently enrolled in the department may apply for fellowship support. Most fellowships are handled through the department. However, some are available through sources outside of the department and have different application procedures.

Graduate Studies Costs

For tuition and living costs, please view the Cost of Graduate School pageInternational applicants recommended for admission to the Graduate School are required to show sufficient funds to attend the University during the course of studies (tuition, food and housing, incidentals and health insurance) to be officially accepted by the Graduate School.

Financial Assistance

Our department offers financial assistance in the forms of fellowships, teaching assistantships (TAships), and project assistantships (PAships).  These positions are highly competitive as applicants are competing against other applicants across the department, and across campus in some cases.  Please make note of the deadline of January 10 for financial assistance consideration.  All necessary materials including test scores must be submitted by the deadline.

If you are an international applicant and receive a fellowship, PAship or TAship, please make note that you will likely be required to show additional financial documentation to meet the minimum required for your official acceptance to the Graduate School.

Fellowships. Students applying to the Department of Asian Languages and Culture and students currently enrolled in the department may apply for fellowship support. Most fellowships are handled through the department. However, some are available through sources outside of the department and have different application procedures. Some examples are as follows:

  • Foreign Language & Area Studies (FLAS) Fellowships: FLAS fellowships are funded by the U.S. Department of Education and administered by the UW's National Resource Centers to assist students in acquiring foreign language and either area or international studies competencies. FLAS awards are only available for specific languages, and are contingent on federal funding.
    Applicants must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents of the United States. Applications by students in professional fields are encouraged. Preference will be given to applicants with a high level of academic ability and with previous language training. Academic Year and Summer FLAS awards are two separate competitions requiring two separate and complete applications. 
    Complete details about FLAS at UW-Madison are available on the FLAS FAQs (your first stop) and the FLAS Languages & Coordinators pages (should you have additional questions).
  • Advanced Opportunity Fellowship (AOF): This fellowship is awarded to highly qualified underrepresented students. To be considered for AOF funding, prospective students must be new to the Graduate School and be admissible to a graduate program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  For further information: https://grad.wisc.edu/diversity/oeid/

Project Assistantships. Availabilities of PAship vary from one year to another, depends on the types of projects the departmental faculty are engaged in. PAs assist faculty members’ research projects and/or respond to some programmatic needs of the department and other campus units.      

Teaching Assistantships. Availabilities and types of TAship vary from one year to another, depending on the department’s curricular needs and the student enrollment. TAs will support a number of our language and culture courses, typically team-teaching with faculty members. If you are interested in being a teaching assistant in our language programs, you must submit the TA application and necessary materials through the Graduate School application system by January 10

Other Forms of Financial Aid: Loans and some on-campus job openings are handled through
the Student Financial Services Office. Please contact them to obtain more information

Please also refer to the Graduate School’s Funding Information for New and Current Graduate Students page for additional information.

Students may also obtain information from the Grants Information Center in the Memorial Library, Room 262, 728 State Street, Madison, WI 53706. Phone 608-262-3242.

If you encounter questions or difficulties with the application process, please contact the Graduate Coordinator at rweiss@wisc.edu.  

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement All 30 credits must be completed in graduate-level coursework; courses with the Graduate Level Coursework attribute are identified and searchable in the university's Course Guide (https://registrar.wisc.edu/course-guide/).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
Other Grade Requirements Students must earn a B or above in all coursework (300 or above, not including research credits) taken as a graduate student.
Assessments and Examinations A final written examination is required.

Candidates are required to submit two substantial research papers written in seminars, or, with the consent of the major advisor, in a course at or above the 700 level.
Language Requirements Advanced proficiency in modern Chinese is required. Reading proficiency in Classical Chinese is required for students with interests in pre-twentieth century culture or historical linguistics.

Courses Required

All students must take

E ASIAN 701 Proseminar in Chinese Literature3
Select one of the following:6
History of Chinese Literature
and History of Chinese Literature
History of the Chinese Language
and History of the Chinese Language
Literary Studies in Chinese Drama
and Literary Studies in Chinese Fiction
Select one semester of one other history sequence3
Select one of the following in the chosen track: 1, 23
Seminar in Chinese Linguistics
Seminar in Chinese Literature
Seminar in Chinese Thought

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Graduate Program Handbook

The Graduate Program Handbook is the repository for all of the program's policies and requirements.

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework from other institutions. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With program approval, no more than 7 credits of graduate coursework (as defined above) completed while a UW–Madison undergraduate may be counted to satisfy degree requirements. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count no more than 9 credits of graduate coursework (as defined above) taken as a UW–Madison Special student. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a Master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

If a student’s average falls below 3.0 in a given semester, the department will decide whether the student may continue on probation. A specific plan will be arranged with dates and deadlines in place in regard to removal of probationary status.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Starting Fall 2018, all students are required to have two co-advisors, identified at the time of admissions. During the course of study, students meet regularly with their advisors to ensure satisfactory progress.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time Constraints

The maximum time for completing all M.A. requirements and passing the M.A. examination is three years.

Master’s degree students who are absent for five or more years will not be given credit for prior work.

Other

The program offers limited financial assistance in the form of fellowships and teaching assistantships to candidates who are highly qualified. Applicants should consult the program website for selection criteria and application materials for assistantships.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and processes related to funding.

Program Resources

The Graduate School Office of Professional Development (OPD) coordinates, develops, and promotes learning opportunities to foster the academic, professional, and life skills of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and scholars.

Professional development topics include Individual Development Plans, communication, mentoring, grant writing, dissertation writing, career exploration, job search strategies, and more. OPD collaborates with the Writing Center, Libraries, DoIT Software Training for Students, Delta, career centers, and others to provide a wealth of resources and events tailored to the needs of UW–Madison graduate students.

The office developed and maintains DiscoverPD, an innovative tool for UW-Madison graduate students to advance their academic and professional goals.  DiscoverPD introduces nine areas (or "facets") of professional development, includes a self-assessment, and provides a customized report of areas of strength and weakness. The report comes with recommendations to help graduate students strengthen their ability within each area.

More information on campus resources for student professional development is available at Graduate Student Professional Development.  Students may keep up-to-date by reading GradConnections, the weekly newsletter for graduate students, and bookmarking the Events Calendar to keep tabs on upcoming workshops of interest.

1. Demonstrate understanding of the primary field(s) of study in a historical, comparative, and global context.

2. Demonstrate understanding of the major theories, research methods, and approaches to inquiry in one of the following areas of study: Chinese literature and culture, Chinese linguistics, and Transasian studies.

3. Demonstrate ability to integrate theories into practice.

4. Demonstrate ability to articulate and communicate knowledge in specialized field(s).

5. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

Faculty

Asian Languages and Cultures is home to nearly twenty faculty whose research and teaching specialities range from traditional medicine in India, the Hinduist roots of yoga, or diversifying contemporary mindfulness practice with insights from Tibetan Buddhism, to human rights in Thailand - from Chinese ghost stories, traditional poetics and philology, to sociolinguistics and discourse analysis of the Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, Indonesian languages - and from analysis of classical Japanese tale fiction, early modern comedic narratives, manga, anime, and Japanese counterculture. Visit our faculty pages for more information on areas of expertise, current research, teaching and publications.

Erlin Barnard
esbarnard@wisc.edu
Faculty Associate
Fields of Study: Language Pedagogy; Materials Development; Second Language Acquisition

Gudrun Bühnemann
gbuhnema@wisc.edu
Professor
Fields of Study: Sanskrit language and literature; Buddhism in India and Nepal; Hinduism; Tantrism and Yoga Studies

Anthony Cerulli
acerulli@wisc.edu
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Hinduism; Religion in South Asia; Medical Humanities; History of Medicine in India; Sanskrit Language and Literature; Kerala History and Culture

Charo D'Etcheverry
cdetcheverry@wisc.edu
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Classical Japanese literature (especially court fiction & its reception and early kabuki)

John D. Dunne
jddunne@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: Buddhist philosophy and contemplative practice; Religious Studies; Cognitive Science of Religion; Contemplative Science

Naomi Geyer   
nfgeyer@wisc.edu
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Japanese Language, Language Pedagogy, Pragmatics

Tyrell Haberkorn             
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Violence, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Arbitrary Detention, Land Rights, Agrarian Struggle, Historiographies of Repression, Gender Studies, Socialism, Dissident Literature, Southeast Asia (Thailand). 

Rania Huntington
huntington@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: Ming and Qing narrative and drama, literature of the weird and supernatural, memory in literature, depiction of women in literature

Adam L. Kern
alkern@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: The popular literature, culture, poetry, theater, and visual culture of early modern unto modern Japan (1600-1900). Transcultural comics in Japan (manga, kibyôshi, etc) and beyond.

Byung-jin Lim     
byungjin.lim@wisc.edu
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Korean Language and Linguistics, Second/Foreign Language Acquisition, Computer-Mediated Communication, Korean Language Textbook Development

Junko Mori         
jmori@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: Japanese Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Conversation Analysis, Sociolinguistics

Takako Nakakubo           
tnakakubo@wisc.edu
Faculty Associate           
Fields of Study: Second Language Acquisition of Japanese, Japanese Pedagogy, Learning Strategies

William Nienhauser       
whnienha@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: Early traditional fiction and history; early poetry (especially Du Fu and Tao Qian)

Steve Ridgely    
steve.ridgely@wisc.edu
Associate Professor       
Fields of Study: Modern Japanese literature, Cultural Theory, Transasian Studies

Hongming Zhang             
hzhang6@wisc.edu
Professor           
Fields of Study: Chinese linguistics; syntax-phonology interface; prosodic phonology; poetic prosody; history of Chinese language; teaching Chinese as a second language

Weihua Zhu       
wzhu34@wisc.edu
Assistant Professor       
Fields of Study: Discourse Analysis, Pragmatics, Pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition