Why China Studies?

China not only has a long history and rich culture among diverse regions and ethnic groups, its rapid economic rise from the early 1980s has also captured the world’s imagination. At the same time, China’s development has started to resonate throughout the globe. China Studies is for students who are interested in the language, culture, politics, history, economy and society of China. Because China Studies is a form of area studies, it uses several disciplines, like for example anthropology, cultural studies, social science or political science to look at China. Students can choose their own focus within the possibilities of the China track. Meanwhile, the extensive language program will help the students to reach a high proficiency level in order to be able to communicate with the world’s largest population, conduct research in China-related fields, or work for Chinese or other international companies. Both China Studies (track) and Chinese Studies (minor in Chinese Language and Culture) can be easily combined with other disciplines, as a background, an eye-opener, or an aid to set a specific research focus within the student’s own field. 

The China Studies program offers:

  • An insight into Chinese culture and society;
  • A communicative curriculum in language teaching;
  • Real experiences in China (through studying for one semester at a top Chinese university or/and participating in a field course in Shanghai);
  • Flexible and tailor-made programs including:
    • following 4 Chinese language and culture courses as a minor;
    • following the English-taught content courses as a track (e.g. ‘Introduction to China’, ‘Field Course Shanghai’, one content course at a Chinese university or ‘Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture’ at UCU);
    • completing all the courses in China Studies in order to continue with a China-related master program;
    • following 1 Chinese language course to fulfill the foreign language (& culture) requirement;
  • Support to interdisciplinary research or thesis writing.

Make sure to have a look at the course descriptions for China Studies related courses.

Exchange Destinations and Field Course

China Studies Exchange Destinations Map

Below you can find more information about exchange destinations that can be part of the China Studies program.

See more information about the Field Course Shanghai.

Suggested Scheduling

The students could choose to start the track either from the fall semester or the spring semester during their first year. Please see the following schedules for the two options:

  First year Second year   Third year
  Fall Spring Fall Spring Summer Fall Spring
Option 1 Intro to Chinese Language Chinese II & Intro to China: Society and Culture Chinese III Exchange: Chinese IV & a China-related course Field Course Shanghai    
  (choose exchange destination)            
Option 2   Intro to China: Society and Culture Intro to Chinese Language Exchange: Chinese II & a China-related course Field Course Shanghai Chinese III Chinese IV
Chinese Language & Culture (minor)

There is also the possibility to take a minor in Chinese Language & Culture. The minor comprises of the following courses:

  • UCHUMCHI11 — Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture
  • UCHUMCHI22 — Chinese Language and Culture II
  • UCHUMCHI32 — Chinese Language and Culture III
  • UCHUMCHI33 — Chinese Language and Culture IV

Please note: In all the language courses, Mandarin, which is the official language in mainland China (also spoken in Taiwan and among the Chinese groups in other Asian countries) and the simplified characters are taught.


Level Fall Spring
1 UCHUMCHI11 — Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture  
2   UCHUMCHI22 — Chinese Language and Culture II 
3 UCHUMCHI32 — Chinese Language and Culture III UCHUMCHI33 — Chinese Language and Culture IV

For more information, please download the Humanities Track Manual, which you can find on the Humanities page.