Chinese Studies program

mUndergrad minor

One out of five people on the planet speaks Chinese.

You can join them! Studying Chinese will complement any area of study and will set you apart in the job market. China has the second largest economy in the world and is the second largest trading partner of the U.S. While Chinese is an important language on the global stage, it is also popular right here at home as the third most spoken language in the U.S.

In UWL’s Chinese Studies minor, students learn not only how to listen, read and write in Chinese, but they also learn about Chinese culture, language skills in business context, the development of the Chinese civilization and more. All courses in minor are taught by a native speaker of Chinese with a doctoral degree in second language acquisition and language pedagogy.

Is Chinese hard to learn?

Many people think that Chinese is a complex language to learn. However, from a grammatical standpoint, the language is relatively simple. Unlike many languages, Chinese has no verb conjugation, no gender or number agreement, and the same basic word order as English. Chinese characters are artistically formed and loaded with meaning, so the more you learn, the easier it becomes. If you know the most frequently used 600 Chinese characters, you can recognize 80% of Chinese words in daily life. If you know 1,000 characters, over 90% of words are covered.

No matter what level you begin at, our professor does an amazing job of providing additional learning resources to learn more on your own, as well as making time to help her students.

Kali Goodwin

What can you do with a Chinese Studies minor?

Chinese is an asset in many careers. Employers are increasingly interested in employees who can speak Chinese. The number of job listings in the U.S. that required Chinese increased 45% from 2010-2015, according to New American Economy, 2017.

Fields where Chinese is an asset

  • Travel
  • International business
  • Education
  • Legal system
  • Marketing
  • U.S government agencies
  • Hospitality
  • Law enforcement
  • Communications
  • Human resources
  • More

Work abroad

Because curriculum emphasizes internationalization and intercultural competence, graduates are well-equipped to join the workforce abroad. Many opportunities are available after graduation to teach English in China with more than 300 million people in China learning English, according to International TEFL Academy, 2015.

Graduates may also find opportunities working for non-profit organizations around the world through global programs such as the Fulbright Scholars Program, Council on International Educational Exchange and many more.

What distinguishes UWL’s Chinese Studies program?

Unique program

UWL is one of two campuses in the UW System that offers a Chinese Studies minor.

A complement to any major

Chinese is an excellent minor to partner with all majors.

Earn retroactive credits

Students can start at the introductory level or, based on their language proficiency, earn retroactive credits from previous Chinese classes.

Learn Chinese culture with the Chinese Culture Club.

All students who are interested in Chinese culture and language are welcome to join the Chinese Culture Club. Contact Professor Hongying Xu for more information.

Engage with the community, native speakers

Students in the program have opportunities to engage with the local Chinese community and practice speaking skills with native Chinese speakers. Internship opportunities are also available that involve Chinese language.

Study abroad opportunities in China

The Department of Global Cultures and Languages strongly encourages all majors and minors to study abroad, so they can improve their language proficiency and further develop their cross-cultural preparation. GCL students return to campus having earned credit toward their programs of study and can also earn UWL General Education credit. 

Sample courses