Chinese Studies program

Undergrad minor Undergrad certificate

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 in the U.S. as the third most spoken language in the country.

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. In addition to the minor, students can also boost their credentials with a Chinese Proficiency Certificate. All courses are taught by a native speaker of Chinese with a doctoral degree in second language acquisition and language pedagogy. 

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.

Certificate available

Boost your credentials with a Chinese Proficiency Certificate. This certificate requires four semesters of Chinese language courses starting from CHI101. The certificate is not open to Chinese Studies minors.

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. Programs are also an opportunity to earn both program and general education credit. A faculty-led study abroad program is planned for Summer 2024, with partial funding from American Short-term Study in China Initiative.

Sample courses

CHI 201 Chinese Language and Culture in Action I This course continues to develop students' communicative competence in the four skills of listening, reading, speaking, and writing. It also develops students' cross-cultural awareness and competence while building communicative strategies. Prerequisite: CHI 102 or placement. Offered Fall.

CHI 305 Introduction to Modern Chinese Literature This course provides a general survey of the most important Chinese writers of the 20th century and their works. Literary works are discussed in their social, cultural, and historical contexts. Taught in English and based entirely on translated texts, the course is ideal for students with little or no Chinese background who are nevertheless drawn to one of the most vibrant literary cultures in the world. Offered Spring - Even Numbered Years.

CHI 315 Business Chinese This course is aimed to enhance students' language skills in a business context and to promote their understanding of culture and the business environment in contemporary China. Intensive practice in oral comprehension, speaking, writing, utilizing special, topical vocabulary related to international commerce and interaction in a variety of business settings. Prerequisite: CHI 202 or equivalent. Offered Fall - Even Numbered Years.