Chinese Studies

In addition to Mandarin Chinese language study, you can engage in a variety of courses that focus on China’s politics, economics, cultures and peoples. You can plan a semester-long program abroad, as well as summer research opportunities in China led by Earlham faculty or internships in China. You’ll also immerse yourself in co-curricular opportunities that bring China to our campus. If you’re interested in concentrated study of China, you may work with your academic adviser to develop an independent, self-designed major in Chinese studies. 

Student performing in Chinese opera

What makes this program great?

Mandarin Chinese has more native speakers than any other language in the world. China has a rich history and is also a dominant player on the modern global stage. Few subjects are as rewarding and deeply important to what is happening in the world today.

Off-campus study

Earlham students who pursue study abroad in China participate in CIEE programs.

Learn more

Campus cultural activities

You can engage in several cultural activities on campus each year, including Chinese Food Workshops, a celebration of the Chinese Lunar New year and performances and talks by visiting artists and scholars.

Chinese studies faculty and students collaborating

Our faculty

Because they also teach in politics, religion, comparative languages and linguistics, Chinese language and culture and other fields, Chinese studies faculty bring a range of academic perspectives to helping you discover how the world can look different when viewed from a Chinese lens.

Program details

Many courses in the Earlham curriculum include significant China content. These courses can be found across the curriculum, including courses cross-listed in politics, religion, Chinese language and culture, global management, film studies, and women’s, gender and sexuality studies. In addition, one-time topic classes are offered, such as “Chinese Societies in Cinema.”

To earn a minor in Chinese studies, you must complete the following courses:

  • Second-year level of Chinese language instruction (CHIN 202 or equivalent).
  • HIS 265/472 Modern China or HIS 266 Contemporary China and the World or CHIN 321 Introduction to Chinese Culture.
  • Three Chinese Studies courses of 3 or more credits each. At least two must be an advanced-level course (300 levels and above).
  • You are strongly recommended, but not required, to complete:
    • Off-campus study program in China, Taiwan or Hong Kong (full year, one semester or summer EPIC Advantage Research Program).

View a full list of courses and their descriptions.

If you are interested in working in business and international trade, government and politics, education and tourism, among many other career areas, a minor in Chinese studies will be valuable to you.

The Earlham Center for Global and Career Education can connect you to funding for summer internships in China and East Asia through the Freeman Foundation Internship Program.

If you are interested in making connections between China’s immense importance to the modern world and the rich diversity of Chinese thought and culture through history, this will be a great fit for you.

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