East Asian Studies

Minor in Chinese




The minor in Chinese focuses on the acquisition of modern language proficiency as well as knowledge of aspects of Chinese literature and civilization. The Chinese minor requires a minimum of eighteen credits:

1. At least six credits in Modern Mandarin Chinese above EALC2121 Intermediate Chinese I

  • EALC2122 Intermediate Chinese II (3 credits; co-requisite EALC2124)
  • EALC2124 Intermediate Chinese practicum (3 credits; co-requisite EALC2122)
  • EALC3161 Business Chinese (3 credits)
  • EALC3162 Newspaper and Media Chinese (3 credits)
  • EALC3163 Contemporary Chinese Literature (3 credits)
  • EALC4121 Advanced Chinese I (3 credits)
  • EALC4122 Advanced Chinese II (3 credits)

2. At least six credits in Chinese culture and literature, which may include courses taught in translation and language courses in Classical Chinese:

  • EALC2062 Love and Nature in Far Eastern Literatures (3 credits)
  • EALC2063 Wisdom and Philosophy of East Asia (3 credits))
  • EALC2064 Far Eastern Literary Masterpieces (3 credits)
  • EALC2161 Ghosts and Strange Happenings in Chinese Literature (3 credits)
  • EALC2162 Gods and Heroes in Chinese Literature (3 credits)
  • EALC3165 Gender and Sexuality in Traditional Chinese Literature (3 credits)
  • EALC3166 Traditional Chinese Literature (3 credits)
  • EALC4151 Readings in Chinese Literature and Philosophy (3 credits)

3. No more than six credits may be transferred from another department or institutions. Departmental approval is required for all transferred courses.

4. According to the A&S EPC “New Co-counting Limitations for Majors and Minors,” “in order to earn a departmental minor, students must have at least 15 credits in the minor program that are not used to fulfill requirements for another major or minor.” Please plan your studies accordingly.


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Spring 2024

Sample Courses

Q. When and how can I take the placement test?

A. Students who have never studied Chinese or spoken Chinese at home do not need to take the placement test. This test is required for students with prior experience in Chinese. 

Q. What textbooks are we using?

A. For the Elementary Chinese I & II, Intermediate Chinese I & II, and Advanced Chinese I & II, we use the textbook series of New Practical Chinese Reader (books 1-5). For all the other courses, the teaching materials are specifically chosen by individual instructors.

Q. What are the differences between lectures and practicums in the Elementary and Intermediate Chinese courses? Do I have to attend both of them?

A. Yes, you need to attend both lectures and practicums. The professor in charge of the course delivers lectures, whereas experienced instructors in Chinese language lead practicums. The lectures focus on grammatical explanations, reading, writing & translation skills, and the practicums dedicate to drilling grammatical patterns, training conversational skills, and practicing writing characters.

Q. Which type of Chinese characters does your program teach? Simplified or Traditional?

A. We teach Simplified Chinese characters, but we also offer traditional Chinese character version (for texts and exams) upon request.

Q. How can I install a Chinese keyboard in my laptop?

A. A computer, whether a PC or a Mac, is considered Chinese-ready if it is within six years old. No extra software is necessary; simply access the control panel to install the Chinese input method.

Installing a Chinese Keyboard


Why Study Chinese?

Train a bilingual brain
If language structures thought, then learning a language like Chinese — with its distinct perspective on meaning and communication — can help you gain a whole new way of understanding the East, the West, and the world (especially if you’re a coming from an Indo-European language background). By mastering the rhythmic tones of Chinese pronunciation, communicating through pictographic written characters, and grasping the ins and outs of a grammar without verb conjugations or plural & gender forms, you can challenge yourself intellectually while redefining your memory, creative, and problem-solving skills.

Career & Personal Growth
Two languages in the world give you the opportunity to converse with, learn from, and befriend over a billion people: Chinese is one (and the other is English). This also means a wealth of career opportunities, from roles in translation, academic research, teaching, international business, trade, finance, and countless more. On the personal side, you can enrich your life with an appreciation for the intricate nuances of Chinese arts, such as calligraphy and cooking, or immerse yourself in the vibrant world of Chinese-language entertainment, from songs like “Tong Hua” to movies like “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” (or even “Everything Everywhere All at Once”).

Global Importance
The world is still rapidly globalizing, day by day we face international challenges that call for cooperative solutions, and Chinese-speaking countries continue to play critical roles in the world stage— which means a mindset of cross-cultural understanding is more important than ever. By broadening your horizons and gaining insight into the diverse lives and thoughts of others, you’ll position yourself to help build a future grounded in a collaborative ethos and mutual interest in the well-being of future generations.

Gateway through history

With over 5,000 years of history, Chinese is one of the oldest languages still in use. You won’t just trace the development of Chinese civilization, from ancient times to the present. You’ll also be entering into a tradition of philosophical, literary, artistic and political thought that has shaped and influenced societies in East Asia and beyond for thousands of years.

Students and teachers from Elementary Chinese class gathering at Boston's Kung Fu Tea on November 18, 2018.