The Chinese program offers students a range of courses and activities which impart an understanding of the culture and civilization of China. With the completion of three basic years of the language, students will be prepared to handle various types of colloquial Chinese. Most majors pursue advanced studies in Chinese linguistics or literature, while others combine an interest in China with a degree in business, education, engineering or journalism.
For more information about the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures visit the department overview.
Study Abroad in China
Students may receive residence credit for study abroad through a variety of different programs sponsored by the department. Please contact International Academic Programs for details.
Students may also receive credit, or gain experience, through various internship opportunities abroad. Please contact International Internship Programs for details.
Starting Coursework towards the Major
Before declaring the major, students are urged to begin coursework early, ideally in the freshman or sophomore year. If, however, this is not possible, summer courses at UW–Madison or elsewhere are available which speed the student's progress. Those who have Chinese credits from high school or summer sessions may enter advanced courses on the basis of placement tests.
The following courses may be taken with no previous knowledge of Chinese or Japanese:
|E ASIAN 101||6|
|E ASIAN 103||6|
|E ASIAN 121||3|
|E ASIAN 123||3|
|E ASIAN 341|
& E ASIAN 342
|E ASIAN/RELIG ST 350||Introduction to Taoism||3-4|
|E ASIAN/RELIG ST 363||Introduction to Confucianism||3|
|E ASIAN 367||Japanese Poetic Tradition||3-4|
|E ASIAN 371||Topics in Chinese Literature||2-3|
|E ASIAN 434||Introduction to Japanese Linguistics||3|
& LITTRANS 262
| Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation|
and Survey of Chinese Literature in Translation
& LITTRANS 264
| Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation|
and Survey of Japanese Literature in Translation
|LITTRANS 368||Modern Japanese Fiction||3|
|LITTRANS 372||Classical Japanese Prose in Translation||3|
|LITTRANS 373||Topics in Japanese Literature||3|
The department requires that students who are new to the program take a placement test before enrolling in a language course beyond the first-semester level. For information about the placement test and test dates, please visit the department website. To register for a placement test, please contact Rachel Weiss at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to declare the major, please meet with the undergraduate advisor, email@example.com, to review the requirements, discuss courses, and to submit the declaration request.
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
College of Letters & Science Breadth and Degree Requirements: Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
Students pursuing a bachelor of science degree in the College of Letters & Science must complete all of the requirements below. The College of Letters & Science allows this major to be paired with either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science curriculum. View a comparison of the degree requirements here.
Bachelor of Science DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
|Mathematics||Two (2) 3+ credits of intermediate/advanced level MATH, COMP SCI, STAT |
Limit one each: COMP SCI, STAT
|Foreign Language||Complete the third unit of a foreign language |
Note: A unit is one year of high school work or one semester/term of college work.
|L&S Breadth|| |
|Liberal Arts and Science Coursework||108 credits|
|Depth of Intermediate/Advanced work||60 intermediate or advanced credits|
|Major||Declare and complete at least one (1) major|
|Total Credits||120 credits|
|UW-Madison Experience||30 credits in residence, overall |
30 credits in residence after the 90th credit
|Minimum GPAs||2.000 in all coursework at UW–Madison |
2.000 in intermediate/advanced coursework at UW–Madison
Non–L&S Students PURSUING AN L&S MAJOR
Non–L&S students who have permission from their school/college to pursue an additional major within L&S only need to fulfill the major requirements and do not need to complete the L&S breadth and degree requirements above. Please note that the following special degree programs are not considered majors so are not available to non-L&S-degree-seeking candidates:
- Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics (Bachelor of Science–Applied Mathematics, Engineering and Physics)
- Journalism (Bachelor of Arts–Journalism; Bachelor of Science–Journalism)
- Music (Bachelor of Music)
- Social Work (Bachelor of Social Work)
Requirements for the Major
|First & Second Year Language 1|
|First Year Chinese:|
E ASIAN 101
& E ASIAN 102
E ASIAN 121
& E ASIAN 122, E ASIAN 102
|Second Year Chinese|
E ASIAN 201
& E ASIAN 202
|Advanced Studies, 27 credits:|
|1. Third Year Chinese (2 courses):|
E ASIAN 301
E ASIAN 302
|2. Classical Chinese Courses (2 courses)|
E ASIAN 321
E ASIAN 322
|3. Chinese Literature or Linguistics (2 courses)|
| Survey of Chinese Literature|
and Survey of Chinese Literature
E ASIAN 431
& E ASIAN 432
and Chinese Linguistics II
|4. Additional credits in Chinese Studies, at least 5 credits:|
|Introduction to Buddhism|
E ASIAN 333
|Introduction to Taoism|
|Survey of Chinese Literature|
E ASIAN 356
|Introduction to Confucianism|
|Topics in Chinese Literature|
E ASIAN 372
E ASIAN 379
E ASIAN 401
E ASIAN 402
|Chinese Linguistics II|
|Popular Culture and Film in Twentieth-Century China|
|History of the Chinese Language|
E ASIAN 632
|History of Chinese Literature|
E ASIAN 652
|History of Chinese Thought, Part 1|
E ASIAN 662
|Literary Studies in Chinese Drama|
|Literary Studies in Chinese Fiction|
|Senior Honors Thesis|
|Senior Honors Thesis|
E ASIAN 699
|Early Chinese Art: From Antiquity to the Tenth Century|
|Later Chinese Art: From the Tenth Century to the Present|
|Introduction to East Asian History: China|
|Chinese Migrations since 1500|
|Chinese Economic and Business History: From Silk to iPhones|
|Social and Intellectual History of China, 589 AD-1919|
|History of Modern China, 1800-1949|
|History of the Peoples Republic of China, 1949 to the Present|
|China and World War II in Asia|
Heritage speakers may satisfy the first-year language requirement with E ASIAN 213 and the second-year language requirement with E ASIAN 214 Second Semester Heritage Chinese.
Distinction in the Major
Students majoring in Chinese who are not enrolled in the honors program may earn distinction in the major by completing:
- the L&S general degree requirements, and
- the junior–senior honors curriculum.
Residence and quality of work
15 credits that count toward the major, taken on campus
2.000 GPA on 15 upper-level major credits, in residence1
2.000 GPA in all credits in the major
1 Upper level courses in the major
|E ASIAN 301|
|E ASIAN 302|
|E ASIAN/HISTORY/LCA/RELIG ST 308||Introduction to Buddhism||3-4|
|E ASIAN 321|
|E ASIAN 322|
|E ASIAN 333|
|E ASIAN/RELIG ST 350||Introduction to Taoism||3-4|
|E ASIAN 351||Survey of Chinese Literature||3|
|E ASIAN 352||Survey of Chinese Literature||3|
|E ASIAN 356|
|E ASIAN 353||Survey of Japanese Literature||3|
|E ASIAN/RELIG ST 363||Introduction to Confucianism||3|
|E ASIAN 371||Topics in Chinese Literature||2-3|
|E ASIAN 379|
|E ASIAN 401|
|E ASIAN 402|
|E ASIAN 431|
|E ASIAN 432||Chinese Linguistics II||3|
|E ASIAN/LCA/RELIG ST 466||Buddhist Thought||3|
|E ASIAN 501||Fifth-year Chinese||3|
|E ASIAN 520||Popular Culture and Film in Twentieth-Century China||3|
|E ASIAN 651||History of Chinese Literature||3|
|E ASIAN 652|
|E ASIAN 661||History of Chinese Thought, Part 1||3|
|E ASIAN 662|
|E ASIAN 671||Literary Studies in Chinese Drama||3|
|E ASIAN 672||Literary Studies in Chinese Fiction||3|
|E ASIAN 681||Senior Honors Thesis||3|
|E ASIAN 682||Senior Honors Thesis||3|
|E ASIAN 691||Senior Thesis||3|
|E ASIAN 692||Senior Thesis||3|
|E ASIAN 699|
|ART HIST 307||Early Chinese Art: From Antiquity to the Tenth Century||3|
|ART HIST 308||Later Chinese Art: From the Tenth Century to the Present||3|
|HISTORY/E A STDS 341||History of Modern China, 1800-1949||3-4|
Honors in the Major
Students may declare Honors in the Chinese Major in consultation with the Chinese undergraduate advisor.
Honors in the Chinese Major Requirements
To earn Honors in the Major in Chinese, students must satisfy both the requirements for the major (above) and the following additional requirements:
- Earn a 3.300 overall university GPA
- Earn a 3.300 for all courses accepted in the major
- Complete the following coursework, with a grade of B or better:
- E ASIAN 699 or other appropriate course of 3–4 credits with the major professor, under whose guidance a student intends to write a thesis. This course must be taken before E ASIAN 681 Senior Honors Thesis
- A two-semester Senior Honors Thesis in E ASIAN 681 Senior Honors Thesis and E ASIAN 682 Senior Honors Thesis, for a total of 6 credits.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
1. Understand the content and cultural context of written texts and audiovisual materials with a large degree of independence, adapting style and speed of comprehension to different texts and purposes, and using appropriate reference sources selectively.
2. Spontaneously exchange ideas about various topics with relative ease.
3. State and support one’s own opinion while acknowledging others’ viewpoints.
4. Demonstrate an awareness of the importance of pragmatic, sociolinguistic, and rhetorical features of the target language.
5. Conduct library and/or internet-based research on topics relating to their particular interests and special fields of expertise, collecting and selecting relevant information using English and target language source materials.
6. Synthesize and critically evaluate source materials in both English and the target language.
7. Present (orally or in written language) their experiences and their introspection on these experiences in a coherent and effective manner.
8. Demonstrate cultural awareness across historical epochs.
9. Produce effective academic writing in English.
Rachel is the advisor for the undergraduate majors and certificates in the Department of Asian Languages and Cultures. She is happy to meet with students as they explore the degree options or advance through their four-year plans.
L&S career resources
SuccessWorks at the College of Letters & Science helps students leverage the academic skills learned in their major, certificates, and liberal arts degree; explore and try out different career paths; participate in internships; prepare for the job search and/or graduate school applications; and network with professionals in the field (alumni and employers).
SuccessWorks can also assist students in career advising, résumé and cover letter writing, networking opportunities, and interview skills, as well as course offerings for undergraduates to begin their career exploration early in their undergraduate career.
- Set up a career advising appointment
- INTER-LS 210 L&S Career Development: Taking Initiative (1 credit, targeted to first- and second-year students)—for more information, see Inter-LS 210: Career Development, Taking Initiative
- Learn how we’re transforming career preparation: L&S Career Initiative
International Directions Advising
The Language Institute provides academic and career advising to undergraduate students interested in languages and international area studies. The International Directions advisor provides academic and career advising to undergraduate students who are interested in languages and international area studies. Learn more.
Asian Languages and Cultures is home to nearly twenty faculty whose research and teaching specialities range from medical humanities in India, the Hinduist roots of yoga, or inflecting contemporary mindfulness practice with insights from Tibetan buddhism, to human rights in Thailand - from Chinese ghost stories, traditional Sinology, and mathematically inflected Chinese philology, to sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, and pragmatics in Mandarin, Japanese, Korean, and Indonesian - and from critical reading of late-Heian tale fiction, early modern Japanese comedic narratives, and haiku, to manga, anime, and Japanese counterculture.
Charo D'Etcheverry (Associate Professor). Area: Classical Japanese Literature
Naomi Geyer (Associate Professor). Area: Japanese Language
Rania Huntington (Professor). Area: Ming and Qing Narrative and Drama, Chinese Literature of the weird and supernatural
Adam L. Kern (Professor). Area: Popular Literature, Culture, Poetry, Theater, and Visual Culture of early modern-modern Japan.
Byung-jin Lim (Associate Professor) .Area: Korean Language and Linguistics, Second / Foreign Language Acquisition, Korean Language Textbook Development
Junko Mori (Professor). Area: Japanese Linguistics, Applied Linguistics, Sociolinguistics
Takako Nakakubo (Faculty Associate). Area: Second Language Acquisition of Japanese, Japanese Pedagogy
William Nienhauser (Professor). Area: Early Traditional Chinese Fiction and History; early poetry (Du Fu and Tao Qian)
Steve Ridgely (Associate Professor). Area: Modern Japanese Literature, Pop culture, TransAsian studies
Hongming Zhang (Professor). Area: Chinese Linguistics; History of Chinese Language; Teaching Chinese as a Second Language
Weihua Zhu (Assistant Professor). Area: Chinese Language, Pedagogy and Second Language Acquisition
Gudrun Bühnemann (Professor). Area: Sanskrit Language and Literature; Buddhism in India and Nepal; Hinduism; Tantrism; Yoga Studies
Anthony Cerulli (Associate Professor). Area: Theory and Method in the Study of Religion in South Asia; History of Medicine in India; Sanskrit Language and Literature; Kerala History and Culture; Malayalam Language.
John D. Dunne (Professor). Area: Buddhist Philosophy and Contemplative Practice; Religious Studies; Cognitive Science of Religion
Erlin Barnard (Faculty Associate) Area: Indonesian Language, Language Pedagogy; Materials Development; Second Language Acquisition
Tyrell Haberkorn (Associate Professor) Area: Violence, Human Rights, Sovereignty, Arbitrary Detention, Land Rights, Agrarian Struggle, Historiographies of Repression, Gender Studies, Socialism, Dissident Literature, Southeast Asia (Thailand).
Language instructors are an integral part of our department, teaching more than 14 languages during the academic year from East (Chinese, Japanese, Korean), South (Hindi, Persian, Sanskrit, Tibetan, Urdu), Southeast (Burmese, Filipino, Hmong, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese) Asian Languages.
email Rachel Weiss
1244 Van Hise Hall
email Haiyan Wei
1238 Van Hise Hall
Cameron G. Keith Memorial Scholarship
This award is given annually to two undergraduate students studying Japanese. This award is annouced during the fall semester, and eligible students may apply. The criteria are: Japanese major, junior or senior standing, cumulative GPA of 3.5 or above, currently taking Japanese, and plan to go into a Japanese related profession. Cameron G. Keith was an East Asian Studies and Economics studies major at UW-Madison who studied abroad in Japan, and later in Nepal. In his memory, the Keith family established these funds in memory of his interest in the region.
Ellen and William E. Fisher Scholarship
Chou Kuo-p'ing Book Award
Lawrence Louey Merit Scholarship
Other campus resources
This is the primary campus wide portal for applicants, current students, and everyone looking for scholarship opporunities on campus.
Undergraduate Academic Awards Office
We help UW-Madison undergraduates and recent graduates pursue nationally competitive scholarships and campus-wide awards for research, service and leadership—activities at the heart of the Wisconsin Experience. We can help you:
- Find scholarship opportunities that match your goals and interests
- Navigate the scholarship application process
- Review scholarship essays
- Prepare for national scholarship interviews
Contact us to schedule an appointment to discuss which opportunities are right for you.
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. Please direct any questions to the FLAS Coordinator of your chosen language.
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.
These scholarships provide up to $20,000 to U.S. undergraduate students to study abroad in areas of the world that are critical to U.S. interests and underrepresented in study abroad, including Africa, Asia, Central & Eastern Europe, Eurasia, Latin America, and the Middle East. The countries of Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are excluded. (Full list of preferred countries) Additionally, all programs must include formal study of an appropriate foreign language. (Full list of preferred languages). Undergraduates with questions about the Boren Scholarship should contact Matt Geisler, Associate Director of International Academic Programs.
The CLS program is part of the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs. It is a fully-funded overseas intensive language and cultural immersion program for American undergraduate and graduate students. With the goal of broadening the base of Americans studying and mastering critical languages and to build relationships between the people of the United States and other countries, CLS provides opportunities to a diverse range of students from across the United States at every level of language learning.
The fourteen CLS languages are: Arabic, Azerbaijani, Bangla, Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Persian, Punjabi, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu.
The CLS Program seeks participants with diverse interests, from a wide variety of fields of study, backgrounds and career paths, with the purpose of representing the full diversity of the United States. Thus, students from all academic disciplines, including business, engineering, law, medicine, science, social sciences, arts and humanities are encouraged to apply.
The Gilman Scholarship Program is an undergraduate grant program for U.S. citizens of limited financial means to enable them to study abroad, thereby internationalizing their outlook and better preparing them to assume significant roles in the increasingly global economy.