Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Chinese M.A. Degree

The department attempts to maintain an informal scholarly atmosphere with close contact between students and teachers. A monthly Sinological Circle discussion meeting and the departmental Reading Room, which contains necessary basic research material, manifest this policy. Strong emphasis is placed upon scholarly methodology and research based upon linguistic, literary, philosophical, and philological expertise. 

The M.A. program has three tracks: literature, linguistics and thought. Following the completion of a rigorous set of required courses, M.A. students must pass a translation examination showing competence in both modern and classical Chinese, submit two research papers, and take a final, written examination. Students who receive a Pass on the M. A. Examination will be allowed to enter the doctoral program. Students who receive a Low Pass will earn a terminal M. A. and will not be allowed to pursue further studies in the department. 

Admission to MA Degree

Admission to the Chinese M.A. program normally requires the equivalent of a B.A. in Chinese from UW-Madison. Especially promising students with preparation in other areas, such as another foreign language and literature, Asian Studies, Comparative Literature, Linguistics, English, Philosophy, or History, may conditionally be admitted to the M.A. program and allowed to make up their deficiencies during their first year of study.

Application materials can be found here

Graduate Adviser The M. A. program operates on the advisor system. Students are expected to choose a faculty member as Major Professor no later than the end of the second semester. (See under "Major Professor" in the Graduate School Bulletin.)

MA Degree Requirements All M.A. students are required to take a minimum of 30 credits in graduate level courses to be chosen in consultation with the Major Professor. The following courses must be included in the student's program of study for students entering the program as of Fall semester, 2002-03. Students already enrolled will have the option of continuing under the old requirements.


One two-course sequence from among:

History of Chinese Language (631-632) 
History of Chinese Literature (651-652) 
History of Chinese Thought (661-662)  


One course from among:

History of Chinese Language (631)
History of Chinese Literature.(651) 
History of Chinese Thought (661)

9 cr.
2. Proseminar in Chinese. 3 cr.
3. A seminar in either Chinese literature  OR  Chinese linguistics  OR
Chinese thought
3 cr.
4. Six units of electives in Chinese language or literature. 6 cr.
5. Graduate level courses taken either within or outside of the Department and approved by the advisor. minimum of 3 cr.

Research Papers M.A. candidates are required to submit to the degree committee two substantial research papers written in seminars or, with the consent of the committee, in some other course above the 700 level.

M.A. Final Examination The M.A. final examination will be administered by the Major Professor and the other members of the student's M.A. Committee. This examination will comprise two parts to be given over two consecutive days.

Day 1:

Proseminar and History of Chinese Literature or
History of Chinese Language.

Day 2: Translation examination (the student must demonstrate competence in modern and classical Chinese, as well as in English) and
  specialized course work done in seminars and other classes, and readings done in consultation with the M.A. Committee.