College of Liberal Arts & Social Sciences > Academics > Modern Languages > Student Resources > Language Resources > Chinese Studies

Chinese Studies

Learn more about DePaul's Chinese language curriculum and course sequencing.

The rise of China presents new economic, political and social realities that demand greater U.S. engagement at every level. As the foundation of that engagement, we urgently need to raise the number of Americans who can demonstrate a functional proficiency in Chinese.

  • China’s tremendous economic growth creates new opportunities and challenges for U.S. businesses. Between 1978 and 2002, China's annual GDP growth reached 9.4%, three times the world's average, and in recent years (2001-2004) China accounted for one third of global economic growth.

  • China is an immense market for American goods and services, and a vital supplier to American manufacturers and consumers. U.S. trade with China exceeded $245 billion in 2004 (second only to trade with Canada and Mexico).

  • China’s political importance in the Asia-Pacific region is broadly acknowledged and, particularly since 9/11, its help has been sought on difficult issues like North Korea and terrorism. Collaboration with China is increasingly deemed essential for solving a range of global issues, from nuclear proliferation to the environment, from currency exchange to trade laws.

  • As the most enduring world civilization, China has a major international cultural presence, in literature and cuisine, in music and film, dance and art, religion and philosophy, drawing on its tremendous heritage to enrich our present.

  • An official language of the United Nations, Chinese is the most widely spoken first language in the world, extending beyond the People’s Republic of China and Taiwan to Indonesia , Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, to the Philippines, and to Mongolia.

  • In the United States the Asian and Pacific Islander population is projected to grow 213 percent, from 10.7 million to 33.4 million, in the next 50 years, a substantial demographic shift. Their share of the nation’s population will double, from 3.8 percent to 8 percent.

Above material courtesy of the Asia Society (2009).

DePaul University offers undergraduate and graduate-level Chinese language instruction, plus specialized advanced language courses such as Introduction to Commercial Chinese and Chinese Culture through Film. The Chinese Studies Program is interdisciplinary with regular China focused courses in art, economics, history, philosophy, religion, politics and other areas. We offer a major and minor in Chinese Studies, combining language and culture courses, a minor focused specifically on advanced-level Chinese language and a minor in Chinese Business.  The study of China and Chinese language can also be integrated with other programs, such as the minor in International Business through the Driehaus College of Business, or a major or minor in International Studies.

In addition, we also offer an 8-week summer intensive language program at Fudan University in Shanghai, one of China’s most prestigious universities, every summer. For detailed information, please check the Section “Study Abroad” below.

Many of our students double major in International Studies, Environmental Studies, Geography, Peace Justice and Conflict Studies, Political Science or pursue a dual degree with a BA in Chinese Studies and a BSB in Finance or Accountancy.  Many of our students also choose Chinese Studies as their primary major and may add minors such as International Communication, Global Asian Studies, Hospitality Leadership or Management.

Practically anything!  One of the many benefits of a language major is the flexibility afforded to you. You can work in whatever areas you've gained experiences in while in college through part-time jobs, internships, and student organizations.  If you are interested in working in hospitality, for example, you can major in Chinese Studies and complete hospitality courses for your open electives while also working a part-time job in the hospitality industry.  If you are interested in working for the government, you can begin as a volunteer in a government office, apply for City of Chicago internships, and work part-time as an office assistant or desk receptionist for an alderman's office.  Working on campus in an administrative capacity can also provide you with excellent experiences in an office setting.

To learn more about college majors, what to study and how to make the most of your college experience, please read below, review our Yearly Guide, review our homepage and check out this Career Center handout.

In Pursuit of Chinese

A language "studies" major allows students to complete classes in the target language and classes in English about the target language culture (religion, history, art, etc.). This makes language studies majors a desirable double major, as students have more flexibility to select courses that best fit their needs and interests. Students may be able to double count their learning domain requirements with the "studies" courses (also known as "allied" courses) when they pursue a language studies major as the secondary major. In order to fit a language studies secondary major into their graduation timeline, students are recommended to complete approved allied courses that are also learning domain approved courses. For a list of approved allied and learning domain courses, please click here. For a class scheduling template to help determine whether or not a double major or additional minor may be completed within a desired graduation timeline, please click here.

Students who are interested in pursuing a double major, but who do not have enough open electives in which to complete a double major may wish to consider pursuing dual degrees, instead of a double major. The requirements for dual degrees are outlined online here.  A double major = one degree with two majors and one diploma. Dual degrees = two degrees with two majors and two diplomas (e.g., Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in Finance PLUS Bachelor of Arts with a major in Chinese Studies). Students should discuss any interest in pursuing dual degrees with their advisors in both programs. Click here for an example of how students might be able to double count requirements and/or complete dual degrees.

Language Proficiency Development

  • Read newspapers, books, comics
    • list of Chinese newspapers
    • list of Chinese magazines
  • Change the language on your electronic devices to Mandarin
  • Borrow Chinese books from the Chicago Public Library
  • You can read free Chinese e-books through Loyal Books
  • Chinese Text Project ~ For those interested in reading traditional Chinese text, this website may be of interest. DePaul's Chinese Studies curriculum covers simplified Chinese text.
  • Listen to music in Chinese through online radio stations such as:
  • Watch Chinese movies without the subtitles
  • Watch Chinese youtube videos
  • Listen to Chinese podcasts
  • Listen to Chinese audiobooks. If this sounds overwhelming, try listening to Chinese audiobooks for books you've already read in English, or read the English book equivalent of the Chinese audiobook together, to follow along. You can listen to free audiobooks through sites such as:

Employment Opportunities

  • ~ Helping U.S. companies export.  The purpose of the program is to provide college students and law students with "hands-on" experience working in a commercial section of a U.S. Embassy or Consulate. Each post determines its own criteria for intern applicants.
  • Global China Connection ~ GCC's unique Chinese Language and Internship Program combines Chinese language studies with practical work experience in an international corporation or domestic company operating in China. This program is ideal for graduate students or professionals interested in improving their Chinese language skills and gaining work experience in China. The Internship program may also be combined with the Chinese Language and Business program offered by GCC.
  • Consider this to be a list of possibilities ~ Bi/multilingual students have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. The key is to gain experiences relevant to your future career so that employers don't have to spend more time and money to train you.  
  • Find additional internship/job options through DePaul Handshake. Once you log in, click on jobs/internships and review the jobs/internships that have been posted.
  • Gather additional information about the types of internships that are available with the companies you're interested in, research intern applicant requirements and gain perspective on what employers are looking for in job applicants so that you may work to gain those skills. 
The posting of an internship or job does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the internship or job.  Students should understand that DePaul University does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding internships and jobs included here.  Students are responsible for requesting additional information from a potential internship site or employer as necessary to make internship or employment decisions.
  • Princeton-in-Asia ~ This is an excellent program, run through Princeton but not restricted to their students.  They currently have 19 teaching positions in China.  They also have some internships with businesses and NGO’s.  Applicants should be graduating or have recently graduated.  The program includes an orientation meeting.  They find good positions and provide good support.  You should make enough to live on while in China and get some assistance for the airfare.  The program fees are low, around $400.  Applications are due at the start of December to begin teaching the next fall.
  • The Council on International Educational Exchange ~ China is a country on the move and its vibrant culture will leave you breathless! Bolster your resume while you experience this fast-growing super power firsthand as it becomes a leader in world economics. Learn Chinese or brush up on your Chinese skills while building your future by learning Chinese methods of networking and negotiation. Experience China’s traditional festivals, try exotic Chinese cuisine, immerse yourself in the vibrant pulse of some of the world’s most lively cities, or find your inner balance with early morning tai chi lessons. You will find yourself teaching English in a culture that is very different from your own—bringing your own culture into the classroom through your lesson plans.
  • Teach for China ~ This innovative nonprofit organization takes a unique approach to eliminating educational inequity in China by enlisting the US and China's most promising future leaders in the effort. Placed in four-person, cross-cultural teams (2 Americans + 2 Chinese) at their host schools, TFC's Fellows share profound, enduring experiences that will shape the long-term trajectory of US-China relations, and ultimately produce shared solutions to as yet unsolved problems. Fellows receive 6 weeks of intensive training and Chinese language instruction before they begin teaching in local schools throughout China.
  • Youth for Understanding (YFU) ~ Looking for a career unlike any you’ve had before? YFU seeks passionate individuals who are up for an enriching challenge: Working with students, families and volunteers to advance intercultural understanding, mutual respect and social responsibility through educational exchanges.
  • USDA (Foreign Agricultural Service & International Development) ~ The USDA Internship Program provides paid work experiences for students who are in high school or pursuing an undergraduate or graduate degree in an accredited college or university (including Home-Schooling, Certificate Programs and Community Colleges). Interns may work during the summer, fall, spring or year round. Please apply at - Students and Recent Graduates.
  • VIA (Asia/US Exchange Programs ~ VIA has 50 years of experience facilitating cultural exchange between the U.S. and Asia. Our programs in Asia include long-term and summer opportunities, as well as our recently launched Sports for Social Change program. 
  • Coalition for a Better Chinese American Community (CBCAC) ~ CBCAC’s mission is to unite the resources of member organizations to empower Chinese American communities in Greater Chicago.  As a coalition of member organizations, CBCAC carries out its mission through civic education, issue advocacy, communication with policy makers and community mobilization.
  • World Chicago ~ WorldChicago facilitates professional and personal interactions for international leaders during official visits to Chicago through U.S. Department of State sponsored exchange programs; enhances respect and communication through international exchanges and alliances; and promotes the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois as important centers of business and culture.
GoinGlobal ~ Provides country-specific career and employment information. Search for jobs and internships in more than 30 countries and over 50 USA metropolitan areas. View country career guides, get news on H-1B Visa employers and more.
Careerjet ~ job search engine in Taiwan
51job ~ A leading human resource solutions provider in China, offering a broad array of services in the areas of recruitment solutions, training and assessment, and HR outsourcing and consulting services. Combining the strengths of traditional (print) and new (Internet) media, 51job delivers an integrated recruitment solution by leveraging technology and expertise with a large staff of experienced professionals. 51job serves hundreds of thousands of domestic and multinational corporate clients through 25 offices in Mainland China.
ChinaJob ~ If you are looking for a job required by Chinese government or multinational firms, you’re in the right place. ChinaJob mainly provides HR service to international talents. Some of the services are resume posting, job posting and forums.

Financial Support

  • VIA (Asia/US Exchange Programs) ~ VIA is proud to offer three fully funded fellowships each year.  
  • Fulbright, Boren, Marshall, Rhodes, Carnegie, Truman information for DePaul students can be found on the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences' Scholarship site
  • Thomas R. Pickering Foreign Affairs Fellowship Program ~ Funded by the U.S. Department of State and administered by The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars, the Thomas R. Pickering Fellowship Program provides undergraduate and graduate students with financial support, mentoring and professional development to prepare them academically and professionally for a career in the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Women, members of minority groups historically underrepresented in the Foreign Service, and students with financial need are encouraged to apply.
  • Henry Luce Foundation ~ The Henry Luce Foundation was established in 1936 by Henry R. Luce, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Time Inc., to honor his parents who were missionary educators in China. The Foundation builds upon the vision and values of four generations of the Luce family: broadening knowledge and encouraging the highest standards of service and leadership. A not-for-profit corporation, the Luce Foundation operates under the laws of the State of New York and aims to exemplify the best practices of responsible, effective philanthropy.
  • National Geographic ~ Building on our legacy of supporting groundbreaking research and vital conservation worldwide for more than a century, National Geographic has established The National Geographic Air and Water Conservation Fund. This grant program supports the field research of Chinese scientists who are exploring innovative solutions to water and air quality issues.  Funding will be given to on-the-ground projects in China at the cutting edge of research, technology, and conservation that require seed capital, including those that investigate risky or unproven approaches.
  • Blakemore Foundation Language Grants ~These grants are for intensive study of Asian languages. For Mandarin Chinese, one can study either at the International Chinese Language Program (ICLP) at National Taiwan University (Taibei) or the Inter-University Program at Tsinghua University (Beijing). The grants are intended for those pursuing an academic, professional or business career that involves the regular use of a modern East or Southeast Asian language. The scholarships are primarily intended for graduate students or those early in a career involving China, but they rarely are granted to students coming directly from an undergraduate degree. They must be used for a full academic year of study. Application deadline is usually December 30.
  • Students may review and apply for scholarships available to DePaul students through the Academic Works scholarship application site.
  • Freeman-ASIA ~ Freeman Awards for Study in Asia (Freeman-ASIA) provides scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students with demonstrated financial need to study abroad in East or Southeast Asia.
  • China Scholarship ~ The Chinese government has been offering DePaul students two full scholarships to study in China for a semester, including tuition, housing, insurance, and a monthly living allowance.  Students can choose three schools as their preferences, although the final placement is made by the China Scholarship Council.nbsp; Only current DePaul students can apply, but this scholarship can be used either while still a student at DePaul or after graduation.nbsp; In other words, you can still apply even if you are about to graduate.  Our preference will be for students who have shown serious interest in China, particularly by studying Chinese language (usually students selected are in or have completed second year Chinese), but the requirements are flexible so if you think you can make a good case for why you should get it, apply.nbsp; This is a great opportunity.nbsp; Five DePaul students so far have gone to China with this scholarship.  The application deadline is usually in March for scholarships to study in the following academic year.
  • Gates Cambridge ~ You can apply for a Gates Cambridge Scholarship if you are: a citizen of any country outside the United Kingdom, applying to pursue one of the following full-time residential courses of study at the University of Cambridge: PhD (three year research-only degree), MSc or MLitt (two year research-only degree), One year postgraduate course (e.g. MPhil, LLM, MASt, Diploma, MBA etc.)
  • Gilman International Scholarship ~ The Gilman International Scholarship Program offers scholarships for U.S. undergraduate students who are receiving federal Pell Grant funding to participate in study abroad programs worldwide.  Awards for the regular grant are up to $5000, but they also offer supplements of up to an additional $3000 for “critical needs” languages, which includes Chinese.  You must apply to a study abroad program in addition to applying for the grant.  You could apply for this grant to help fund DePaul’s winter/spring quarters study abroad program or other year-long programs.  It will not cover summer programs (or the December break).  In most years, several DePaul students receive this scholarship, so the odds are fairly good.  The application deadline is early October for the coming winter/spring quarter, or mid-April for the following fal
  • National Security Education Program (NSEP) David L. Boren Scholarships ~ This is a scholarship program for study abroad in “critical needs” languages, which includes Chinese.  Like the Gilman scholarship, you could apply for this grant to help fund DePaul’s winter/spring quarters study abroad program, but their preference is for year-long programs.  This scholarship can also be used to study in the year after you graduate, but you must be a student when you apply.  Upon return, NSEP recipients must work for the federal government for at least one year.
  • American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) ~ List of scholarships by language

Study Abroad

Study Abroad scholarships are available to eligible students.
  • Shanghai ~ students enroll in one Chinese Studies course spring quarter and earn 12 credits/3 classes for CHN at the level (198/298) appropriate for them.

The posting of non-DePaul study abroad opportunities does not mean that DePaul University is making any recommendation regarding the program. Students should understand that DePaul does not make any representations or guarantees about the accuracy of information regarding study abroad programs contained on third-party sites unaffiliated with DePaul. Students are responsible for requesting additional information as necessary in order to make study abroad decisions.

Students can find many resources and study abroad opportunities listed through 100K Strong. 

The 100,000 Strong Foundation formally launched in 2013 by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to help answer President Barack Obama’s call to deepen Americans’ understanding of China through study abroad. It is the 100,000 Strong Foundation’s mission to promote the expansion and diversification of Americans studying Mandarin and studying abroad in China. The goal is to bridge the gap between cultures, strengthen the bilateral economic and strategic relationship, and enhance global stability.

Learn more about the Chinese Studies program through the Chinese Studies Program blog. To sign up for the email list announcing China-related activities and courses, email Dr. Li Jin.