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Chinese Studies

[ courses | faculty ]

School of Arts and Humanities
Arts and Humanities Building, Sixth Floor
(858) 534-6477

All courses, faculty listings, and curricular and degree requirements described herein are subject to change or deletion without notice.

Chinese studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students interested in China to utilize the university’s offerings in various departments to build a major leading to a bachelor’s degree. Chinese studies courses are offered through the Chinese Studies Program directly as well as through a variety of affiliated departments and programs to allow students flexibility to follow their interests within the available offerings.

The Chinese Studies Program combines historical understanding with an emphasis on modern and contemporary China. The Department of History has a strong specialization in late imperial and modern China. A full spectrum of courses on the politics, economics, society, and culture of today’s China are offered via other departments at UC San Diego. Another focal point of research interest is visual culture and cultural history in modern and premodern China. The interdisciplinary nature of the program (see departmental affiliation of the participating faculty) can accommodate students of a wide range of interests. In addition to our local resources, the University of California Education Abroad Program (EAP) and Opportunities Abroad Program (OAP) are affiliated with various universities and language institutes in China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore. This, together with other academic exchange programs with a number of Chinese universities, provides the possibility of a junior year abroad, to take both Mandarin Chinese courses and nonlanguage courses dealing with various aspects of Chinese studies. Courses taken outside of UC San Diego must be petitioned to be added to the Chinese studies major or minor upon return. The program coordinator can provide guidance on the process. Please note that at least six of the twelve upper-division courses for the major must be taken at UC San Diego.

The Major Program

The student choosing a major in Chinese studies must meet the following requirements:

  1. Two years of Mandarin Chinese (CHIN 10 A-B-C and 20 A-B-C or equivalent) or equivalent Chinese language knowledge.
  2. Twelve upper-division four-unit courses in Chinese studies topics.
    • Courses must be taken from at least three different departments or programs.
    • Three of the twelve courses must be upper-division Chinese history.
    • One of the three history courses must be a four-unit seminar or colloquium in which students are expected to write a substantial term paper. Typically, the Department of History offers at least one colloquium per academic year, which are usually numbered HIEA 161–171. The student will need to request and receive permission from the professor and the Department of History before enrolling in such a course. The colloquium must be completed at UC San Diego.
    • No more than six of those upper-division courses may be Chinese language acquisition courses.
    • A minimum of six upper-division courses must be taken at UC San Diego.
  3. As a rule, all courses must be taken and completed for a letter grade for both the major and minor. Exceptions are granted for CHIN 198 and CHIN 199.

In principle, the courses that the Chinese Studies Program accepts are lower- and upper-division courses that study China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, or Mandarin Chinese. Only six upper-division courses may be taken abroad (or at another institution) and only three taken outside of UC San Diego may be Chinese language acquisition courses. All courses not taken at UC San Diego must be reviewed and approved by submitting a student petition upon returning from EAP, OAP, or from another US academic institution. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the Chinese Studies Program, a majority of the courses listed below are planned by participating departments or programs.

Honors Program

Minimum requirements for admission to the program are

  1. Junior standing
  2. A GPA of 3.5 or better in the major
  3. Overall GPA of 3.2 or better
  4. Recommendation of a faculty sponsor who is familiar with the student’s work
  5. Completion of at least four approved upper-division courses approved by the Chinese Studies Program
  6. Completion of at least one year of Chinese language study or equivalent knowledge

Students who qualify for honors must consult with a faculty mentor; submit a proposal; complete the appropriate form(s); enroll, complete, and pass a two-quarter sequence of directed study during which they define a research project; carry out the research; and complete a senior thesis.

The completed thesis will be evaluated by a committee consisting of the student’s thesis adviser and one other faculty member appointed by the Chinese Studies Program director.

The Minor Program

A minor in Chinese studies consists of a maximum of three lower-division courses (a maximum of twelve units) and at least four upper-division courses (a minimum of sixteen units). Students who place into upper-division Chinese language courses or demonstrate native fluency may complete the Chinese studies minor with seven upper-division courses (a minimum of twenty-eight units). Students who wish to declare the minor but do not wish to pursue language study may also complete the minor with seven upper-division courses. Each course must be taken for a letter grade. The seven courses must be selected from across three different departments or programs. No more than four Chinese language courses may be applied toward the minor. For students wishing to apply courses taken abroad to the minor, certain restrictions do apply. Please consult with the program coordinator regarding the following: the student petition process, the minimum four-unit requirement for each course taken abroad, which type of courses qualify, and what combination is applicable for each particular student.

Courses Applicable for the Chinese Studies Major and/or Minor Offered by Various Departments and Programs

For description of courses listed below, see appropriate departmental listing. All graduate-level courses require consent of the instructor/department for undergraduate students. Some departmental offerings have content that varies from year to year. In those cases, Chinese Studies Program approval via student petition is given only when content relates primarily to China. Courses not listed here that are related to Chinese studies may be counted toward the Chinese studies major or minor by petition.

Lower Division (only for the minor)


HILD 10. East Asia: The Great Tradition

HILD 11. East Asia and the West

HILD 12. Twentieth-Century East Asia


LTWL 4C. Fiction and Film in Twentieth-Century Societies: Asian Societies (Zhang)


MUS 13AS. World Music: Asia and Oceania (Guy)

Global South Studies

GSS 23. Chinese History and Culture

Upper Division


ANSC 136. Traditional Chinese Society (Jordan)

ANSC 137. Chinese Popular Religion (Jordan)


HIEA 122. The History of Chinese Culture and Society: The Late Imperial Period

HIEA 124. Life in Ming China (1369–1644)

HIEA 125. Women and Gender in East Asia

HIEA 126. The Silk Road in Chinese and Japanese History (Cahill)

HIEA 129. Faces of the Chinese Past

HIEA 130. End of the Chinese Empire: 1800–1911

HIEA 131. China in War and Revolution: 1911–1949

HIEA 132. Mao’s China, 1949–1976

HIEA 133. Twentieth-Century China: Cultural History

HIEA 134. History of Thought and Religion in China: Confucianism

HIEA 137. Women and Family in Chinese History

HIEA 138. Women and the Chinese Revolution

HIEA 140. China since 1978

HIEA 155. China and the Environment

HIEA 164. Seminar in Late Imperial Chinese History

HIEA 166. Creating Ming Histories

HIEA 168. Special Topics in Classical and Medieval Chinese History

HIEA 171. Society and Culture/Pre-modern China


LIGN 141. Language Structures


LTCH 101. Readings in Contemporary Chinese Literature

LTEA 100A. Classical Chinese Poetry

LTEA 100B. Modern Chinese Poetry

LTEA 100C. Contemporary Chinese Poetry

LTEA 110A. Classical Chinese Fiction in Translation

LTEA 110B. Modern Chinese Fiction in Translation

LTEA 110C. Contemporary Chinese Fiction in Translation

LTEA 120A. Chinese Films

LTEA 120B. Taiwan Films

LTEA 120C. Hong Kong Films

LTWR 113. Intercultural Writing: Chinese


MUS 111. Topics/World Music Traditions (Topic must be music of China)

School of Global Policy and Strategy

GPPS 400. International Relations of Asia-Pacific

GPPS 403. Chinese Security, Technology, and Innovation

GPPS 404. Chinese Politics

GPPS 405. U.S.-China Relations

GPPS 406. China: Global Economic Order

GPPS 407. IR/National Security of China

GPIM 455. Financing the Chinese Miracle (with prerequisite)

GPIM 461. Doing Business in China

GPPA 467. Chinese Environmental and Energy Policy

GPPS 476. Chinese Sources and Methods (with prerequisite)

GPEC 486. Economic and Social Development of China


POLI 158. Topics in Chinese Philosophy

Political Science

POLI 113A. East Asian Thought in Comparative Perspective

POLI 113B and POLI 113BR. Chinese and Japanese Political Thought I

POLI 113C and POLI 113CR. Chinese and Japanese Political Thought II

POLI 130B. Politics in the People’s Republic of China (Shirk)

POLI 131C and POLI 131CR. The Chinese Revolution (Hoston)

POLI 132 and POLI 132R. Political Development and Modern China


SOCI 140K. Law and Society in China

SOCI 188G. Chinese Society

SOCI 189. Special Topics in Comparative-Historical Sociology

Visual Arts

VIS 105D. Art Forms and Chinese Calligraphy

VIS 105E. Chinese Calligraphy as Installation

VIS 127B. Arts of China

VIS 127C. Arts of Modern China

VIS 127D. Early Chinese Painting

VIS 127E. Later Chinese Painting

VIS 127G. Twentieth-Century Chinese Art

VIS 127N. Twentieth-Century Art in China and Japan