Chinese, Bachelor of Arts College of Letters & Science

The Major Program

The department offers a core language program in Chinese, and courses in literature and culture. The core language program has two tracks: one for students who have no Chinese-language background whatsoever and one for students with prior background.

The Program

Practical language skills are taught using contemporary methods and materials, so that upon entering the upper division a student will have attained substantial fluency in the spoken language (listening and speaking) and the written language (reading and writing). Upper division courses balance the need to further develop language skills with the need to understand and appreciate the richness and diversity of Chinese culture. All students are encouraged to combine their study of language and literature with courses in related fields, and to study abroad through the Global Learning Hub or through internships in China or Taiwan.

Career Opportunities

UC Davis graduates have learned that a major in Chinese is a meaningful, earned distinction that facilitates entrance to graduate programs and professional schools. In addition, job opportunities abound in virtually all career paths, especially for graduates who have completed study abroad.

Honors Program

To be eligible to receive high or highest honors in the Chinese major, students must complete a senior thesis project. A student interested in pursuing a senior thesis project must enroll in CHN 194H and complete a scholarly paper or similar research project under the direction of a senate faculty member. The thesis project will have a minimum duration of two quarters and carry a minimum of 6 units of credit. Up to 4 CHN 194H units earned can be counted toward the major requirements. To qualify to undertake the senior thesis project, a student must have completed at least 135 units with a minimum GPA of 3.500 in courses counted toward the major. Interested students should consult with faculty in their field of interest by the quarter before they hope to commence work on the project (in most cases this will be the Spring Quarter of their junior year). Students who complete the senior thesis project and have an overall GPA that qualifies them for honors may be recommended by the faculty for honors, high honors, or highest honors at graduation.

Education Abroad Program

The university maintains study abroad programs in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. They offer excellent opportunities for students to polish their language skills and experience Asian cultures firsthand. Students are encouraged to participate. Appropriate courses taken abroad can be applied toward the major or the minor. For details, see the department's undergraduate advisor or the Global Learning Hub.

Related Courses

See East Asian Studies (EAS) course list.

Prerequisite Credit

No student may repeat a course if that course is a prerequisite for a course that has already been completed with a grade of C– or better.

Placement

Chinese CHN 001 is intended for beginning students with no prior knowledge of the Chinese language. Students who do have some knowledge but wish to improve their skills should meet with an advisor to discuss appropriate placement. Students must follow departmental guidelines for placement in all language courses and instructor approval is required for enrollment.

Backtracking

Satisfactory completion of a language course is evidence that a student’s language skills are beyond the level of those expected in its prerequisite courses. Accordingly, students who have completed a language course cannot go back and take its prerequisites. If the prerequisite courses are required for the major, students may substitute other courses. Students who are not sure how this requirement applies to them should speak to the undergraduate advisor.

Waived Language Courses

Students with exceptional language ability may waive required language courses. If lower division courses have been waived, students will not have to take courses in their place. If upper division courses have been waived, students can use other appropriate courses to earn the units they need to complete the major. Consult the undergraduate advisor regarding the selection of appropriate courses.

Preparatory Subject Matter
Choose a series:0-30
Elementary Chinese
and Elementary Chinese
and Elementary Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
and Intermediate Chinese
or
Accelerated Written Chinese I
and Accelerated Written Chinese II
and Accelerated Written Chinese III
or
Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers I
and Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers II
and Mandarin for Cantonese Speakers III
or
Equivalent as determined by a required language placement exam.
Recommended, but not required:
Introduction to Chinese Language & Culture
Modern Chinese Literature (In English)
Great Books of China (in English)
Introduction to the Literature of China & Japan
Introduction to Poetry
Masterworks of Japanese Literature (in English)
Introduction to Linguistics
History of East Asian Civilization
Preparatory Subject Matter Subtotal0-30
Depth Subject Matter
Grading. Students may take up to two and no more than two (regular, letter-graded) courses for the major on a P/NP basis. Courses which are only offered on a P/NP basis do not count toward these limits.
Required Courses
CHN 106Chinese Poetry (in English)4
CHN 107Traditional Chinese Fiction (in English)4
CHN 114Introduction to Classical Chinese4
CHN 160The Chinese Language4
Choose one:4
Chinese Film
Modern Chinese Drama
Modern Chinese Fiction (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: The Literature of 20th-Century Taiwan (in English)
Choose CHN 111, 112, & 113 or 111A:12
Intensive Third-Year Chinese 1
Modern Chinese: Reading & Discussion
and Modern Chinese: Reading & Discussion
and Modern Chinese: Reading & Discussion
Note: With prior approval of the undergraduate advisor, students already proficient in Chinese at any third-year level2 must take other upper division CHN courses to replace language course(s).
Choose two; at least 8 units:8
Daoist Traditions
Confucian Traditions
Chinese Film
Modern Chinese Drama
Modern Chinese Fiction (in English)
Western Influences on 20th-Century Chinese Literature (in English)
Poetry of China & Japan (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: Crime & Punishment
Topics in Chinese Literature: Women Writers (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: The Knight-Errant (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: The City in Fiction (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: The Literature of 20th-Century Taiwan (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: Popular Literature (in English)
Topics in Chinese Literature: Scholar & The Courtesan (in English)
Great Writers of China: Texts & Context (in English)
Introduction to Classical Chinese II
Introduction to Classical Chinese III
Advanced Chinese (Can be repeated when content differs.)
Readings in Traditional Chinese Fiction (Can be repeated when content differs.)
Readings in Traditional Chinese Poetry
Readings in Modern Chinese Poetry
Readings in Modern Chinese Prose & Drama (Can be repeated when content differs.)
Chinese Film in Chinese Language
Readings in Classical Chinese (Can be repeated when content differs.)
Fifth-Year Chinese: Selected Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, & Culture (Can be repeated when content differs.)
Up to four (4) units from:
Senior Thesis Honors Project
Directed Group Study
and Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates
Special Study for Advanced Undergraduates
or
From outside the department.
Recommended substitutions from outside the department:
JPN-Any upper division course 3
Early Chinese Art
Chinese Painting
Culture & Political Economy in Contemporary China
Japanese Cinema
Economy of East Asia
Classical China
High Imperial China
Late Imperial China
19th-Century China: The Empire Confronts the West
The Chinese Revolution
History of the People's Republic of China
Special Topics in Chinese History to 1800
Special Topics in Chinese History after 1800
Sex & Society in Modern Chinese History
Government & Politics of East Asia: China
Government & Politics in East Asia: Japan
Buddhism
Ch'an (Zen) Buddhism
Markets, Culture & Inequality in China
or
Other advanced literature and culture courses selected in consultation with the undergraduate advisor.
Depth Subject Matter Subtotal40
Total Units40-70
1

CHN 111A content is equivalent to CHN 111, 112, 113.

2

CHN 111-112-113

3

Excluding JPN 192, 194H, 197T, 198, 199.