Chinese Studies

[ courses | faculty ]

1009 Humanities and Social Sciences Building
Muir College
(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 the student interested in China to utilize the university’s offerings in various departments to build a major leading to a bachelor’s degree. In addition to coordinating courses in the various departments, the Program in Chinese Studies offers courses directly under its own auspices to round out 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. Such courses are subject to final approval by the program director of an Undergraduate Student Petition upon completion of the course(s). Please note that at least six of the 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.
  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 of those may be Chinese language acquisition courses. All courses not taken at UC San Diego must be reviewed and approved as compatible with the Program in Chinese Studies guidelines via 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 for the current academic year.

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 at least three lower-division courses (a minimum of twelve units) and four upper-division courses (a minimum of sixteen units) for students who place into lower-division courses. Students who place into upper-division Chinese language courses or can demonstrate native fluency may complete the minor, Chinese Studies, 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.

Lower Division


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)

Third World Studies

TWS 23. Third World Literatures: Chinese Literature

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 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

GPIM 461. Doing Business in China

GPPA 467. Chinese Environmental and Energy Policy

GPEC 486. Economic and Social Development of China

Political Science

POLI 113B. Chinese and Japanese Political Thought I

POLI 113C. Chinese and Japanese Political Thought II

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

POLI 131C. The Chinese Revolution (Hoston)

POLI 132. Political Development and Modern 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