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Chinese Language and Literature


Programs in Chinese language and literature teach people the spoken and written traditions of China.

Programs in Chinese language and literature teach how words began and the languages developed in China. Students learn about regional dialects. They study stories, myths, and writings. Students also learn to apply the knowledge to business and technology.

Chinese language and literature programs include topics such as:


In Chinese language and literature programs, students may be able to specialize in:


Many colleges and universities offer bachelor’s degrees in Chinese language and literature. A bachelor's degree usually takes about four years of full-time study.

A few universities offer graduate degrees in Chinese language and literature. A master’s degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor’s degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master’s degree.

See schools that offer this program.

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Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores. In addition, you must be able to demonstrate that you can speak, read, write, and understand Chinese at an advanced level.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate programs in Chinese language and literature typically require:

Things to Know

Within China there are several other distinctive but related language families. Because of this, most programs typically teach students how to speak, read, and write Mandarin.

Students who major in Chinese language and literature may be required or encouraged to spend some time living, working, and studying abroad. Most programs coordinate semester abroad or work internships. In most cases, you can participate in these after you have completed at least two years of language study.

Colleges that do not have complete programs in Chinese language and literature may offer elective courses as part of a major in interdisciplinary studies or liberal arts.

Often, Chinese language and literature programs are part of Asian studies departments.


East Side Area

Washington State University - Pullman

King-Snohomish Area

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Spokane Community College

Spokane Falls Community College

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

Tacoma Community College

University of Puget Sound

West Side Area

Grays Harbor College

Western Washington University