Chinese Studies Major

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China represents one fifth of the world's population and has the world's oldest uninterrupted culture. A major unifying factor in this culture is the language, kept alive through one of the richest literary traditions of the world. Throughout much of its history, China was the most culturally, intellectually, economically, and technologically dominant civilization in Asia and the world. With the recent developments in China, the country is exerting an ever-broadening influence on the world community. The Chinese studies major not only allows one to have a better understanding of the Chinese culture but also new perspectives on our own culture and enriched self-understanding.

Program Description

Housed in the Brooks College of Interdisciplinary Studies, the Chinese studies major provides students who are interested in China a cross-disciplinary basis for understanding its rich cultural resources, its importance in the contemporary world, and the complexities of U.S.-China relations. At the core of the program is a strong emphasis on the language, culture, history, philosophy, and politics. Elective courses from different departments and disciplines can be combined to build a strong and personalized understanding of China. A study abroad requirement assures students a firsthand experience with the language and culture. This enables students to have a broad vision and open mind as educated persons and responsible citizens of the world.

Career Opportunities

The Chinese studies major provides an essential foundation for anyone interested in pursuing a career that may involve knowledge about China, such as business, law, international relations, social work, or the humanities. Combined with a professional degree, the program prepares the student for the challenges in an increasingly multicultural and international world.

Degree Requirements

The requirements for the B. A. in Chinese studies are: 33 semester hours (24 required, nine electives), with 6 of the 33 earned in studying abroad in mainland China or Taiwan (see Study Abroad Requirement for details):

Required Courses
CHI 301 Advanced Intermediate Chinese I, 3 Credits CHI 302 Advanced Intermediate Chinese II, 3 Credits CHS 495 Capstone, 3 Credits CHI 321 Ancient Chinese Culture, 3 Credits CHI 322 Classical Chinese Culture, 3 Credits HST 333 Modern China, 3 Credits PHI 210 Eastern Philosophy, 3 Credits PLS 283 Chinese Politics and US-China Relations, 3 Credits

Elective Courses
Three courses (nine credits) from the following list are required (the list can be extended as new courses appropriate for the list are added to the curriculum):

CHI 323 Modern Chinese Literature, 3 Credits
CHI 341 Introduction to Classical Chinese, 3 Credits CHI 351 Practical Chinese, 3 Credits CHS 380 Special Topics, 3 Credits EAS 201 East Asia in the Contemporary World, 3 Credits EAS 301 Masterpieces of East Asian Literature, 3 Credits GPY 354 Geography of Asia, 3 Credits HST 240 East Asia to 1800, 3 Credits HST 241 East Asia since 1800, 3 Credits HST 342 - History of East Asian Religions, 3 Credits PHI 306 - Eastern Great Philosophers, 3 Credits

Study Abroad Requirement
Currently we have numerous study abroad options that could contribute to this requirement:

- ECNU Summer Program in Shanghai
- Chinese Language and Culture Summer Program in Taiwan - Social Work Program in Shanghai - Traditional Chinese Medicine Program in Beijing - ECNU Long Term Exchange Program in Shanghai: Chinese Language and Culture - Non-GVSU Study Abroad Programs - Internships in Shanghai and Wuxi - In addition, GVSU students have the opportunity to choose programs in China sponsored by other universities and organizations.

Students meet with their advisors to plan their study abroad programs. Credits transferred from a study abroad program in mainland China/Taiwan will be evaluated by the program director and applied to the Chinese studies major as are all credits transferred from Study Abroad programs. Students will be required to seek program approval before studying abroad.

All majors will earn at least six credits of the 33 in a Study Abroad program in mainland China or Taiwan in order to gain firsthand experience with the language and culture. These six credits can be taken as part of the required or elective credits. Students who need financial support to achieve this requirement will be able to apply their financial aid to Study Abroad, apply for a grant through the Freeman Foundation, and/or receive a grant from the Padnos International Center. Minimum requirement for study abroad will be six weeks. Special arrangements will be made when necessary.

For More Information contact:

Patrick Shan, Program Coordinator
Grand Valley State University
D-1-130 Mackinac Hall
Allendale, Michigan 49401-9403
Phone: (616) 331-8504
Admissions Office
1 Campus Drive
Phone: (616) 331-2025 or (800) 748-0246
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