Major in Chinese

One of the learning objectives of Wake Forest’s liberal education is to broaden students’ linguistic and cultural horizons. The Chinese Program helps the College achieve this important goal through its course offerings in Chinese language and culture. Chinese majors work towards the following learning outcomes by participating in language courses, electives in Chinese literature, film and culture, a survey of East Asian cultures course, and a capstone seminar.

Major Curriculum

Major Curriculum

The major in Chinese Language and Culture requires 31 hours as described below. Study abroad in China is also required. Under special circumstances, a student may substitute an approved intensive immersion program in the U.S. for the study abroad requirement. A minimum “C” average is required for all courses in the major.

Curriculum Map for the Chinese Major

5 Courses in Chinese Language beyond CHI 201 (13 hours)
CHI 220 Third Year Chinese I
CHI 230 Third Year Chinese II
CHI 231 Fourth Year Chinese I
CHI 290 Reading and Writing Chinese (taken abroad)
CHI 296 Chinese across the Curriculum (taken with EAL 375)

2 EAL Courses (6 hours)
EAL 275 Survey of East Asian Cultures
EAL 375 Senior Research Seminar

1 Course in Chinese History, Religion or Politics from the Following List (3 hours)
HST 244 Imperial China
HST 245 Modern China
REL 382 Religion and Culture in China
POL 248 Chinese Politics

3 Elective Courses in Chinese Literature, Film or Culture from the Following List (9 hours)
EAL 221 Themes in Chinese Literature
EAL 222 Traditional Chinese Narrative
EAL 231 Early 20th-century Chinese Modernism
EAL 252 Chinese Cinemas
EAL 271 Mass Culture in Modern China
EAL 272 Literature and Film from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Beyond

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes for the Chinese Major

We expect Chinese majors to be able to:

  1. Speak comfortably and clearly in Chinese about a broad range of topics of personal and specialized interests
  2. Write coherently in Chinese on informal and formal topics using the appropriate stylistic register
  3. Read and comprehend various types writing such as news headlines, short essays, public signs, and advertisements with the aid of dictionaries and other resources
  4. Acquire general knowledge of the literary and cultural traditions of China
  5. Understand China’s cultural and literary traditions within the East Asian and world contexts
  6. Analyze and discuss coherently in English Chinese literary and cultural works
  7. Write logically and clearly in English about Chinese literary and cultural traditions
  8. Develop independent thinking, research, and learning skills to be successful in academic, professional, and personal pursuits after graduation.



Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Courses in Chinese Language
Majors work towards learning outcomes 1, 2, and 3 by taking eight required languages courses: CHI 101, 102, 153, 201, 220, 230, 231, and 290 (taken abroad). Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the courses and include written tests, essays, speaking tests, presentations, and various projects.
Courses in Chinese Literature, Culture, History, Religion, and Politics
Majors work towards learning outcomes 5, 6, 7, and 8 by taking three electives in Chinese literature and culture such as EAL 221, 222, 231,252, 271, or 273, a required survey of East Asian cultures course (EAL 275) and a course in Chinese History (HST 244 or HST 245), Religion (REL 382) or Politics (POL 248). Activities used to develop and assess learning outcomes are embedded in the courses and include analysis papers, research projects, presentations, examinations, and other activities.

Capstone Seminar
A standardized assessment of all of the learning outcomes for the major is performed in EAL 375, a required research seminar on East Asian culture taken in the fall of the fourth year. As part of the seminar, students will also complete a one-credit hour LAC (Learning Across the Curriculum) course in which they develop the Chinese language component of their research projects. Seminar activities used to assess learning outcomes include:

  1. A research paper in English on a topic in Chinese literature or culture.
  2. A presentation in English on the research project.
  3. A two-page abstract of the research project in Chinese.
  4. A presentation on the research project in Chinese.

Assessment Guidelines

  • The paper and presentation in English are evaluated using a five-point rubric that assesses the student’s mastery of outcomes 5, 6, 7, and 8.
  • The project summary and presentation in Chinese are likewise evaluated using a five-point rubric that assesses the student’s mastery of outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8.



Highly qualified majors may apply for admission to the honors program in East Asian languages and cultures. To be graduated with the designation “Honors in Chinese Language and Culture” following completion of EAL 375, the student must enroll in EAL 376, present an honors-quality research paper, successfully defend the paper in an oral examination, and earn an overall grade point average of 3.0 with an average of 3.3 on work in courses taken as part of the major in Chinese.

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