Department of Asian Languages and Cultures

College of Letters & Science
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Undergraduate Major in Chinese

UW-Madison students at the 2016 Beijing Chinese Speech Contest at Peking University in July, 2016.
UW-Madison students at the 2016 Beijing Chinese Speech Contest at Peking University in July, 2016.

Welcome to the Chinese Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison!

The Chinese program offers students a range of courses and activities which impart an understanding of the culture and civilization of China. With the completion of three basic years of the language, students will be prepared to handle various types of colloquial Chinese. Most of our majors pursue advanced studies in Chinese linguistics or literature, while others combine an interest in China with a degree in business, education, engineering or journalism.

We are proud to tell you that our program is considered one of the most comprehensive Japanese language programs in the US. That is because our introductory courses meet more frequently than comparable courses offered at other institutions and require more time for self-study. Although these courses may seem very challenging, if you keep up with the daily preview and review required for the courses, by the end of the semester, you will have attained considerable improvement in your Japanese language proficiency. Please review our Frequently Asked Questions for more information about the courses and overall program.

Students are encouraged to explore opportunities to use the language outside of the classroom, especially in internships or study abroad programs. Credits earned while on an approved UW-Madison program may count towards the major requirements. It is important to meet in advance with the undergraduate advisor.

Background Questionnaire
If you are a student with prior experience in Japanese (e.g., self-taught, learned in elementary, middle or high school, or learned from family, relatives or friends, etc.) please fill out this questionnaire in order to receive appropriate advising or guidance about placement into language classes at UW.

Placement Tests
The department requires that students who are new to our program take a placement test before enrolling in a language course beyond the first semester level. Our department administers a computer-based Chinese placement test on UW Campus throughout the year. Please review the upcoming test dates. For more information about the test read more on our FAQs page.

Chinese Major Degree Requirements
Please refer to degree requirements in the Guide.

Studying Abroad
Students are encouraged to explore opportunities to use the language outside of the classroom, especially in internships or study abroad programs. Credits earned while on an approved UW-Madison program may count towards the major requirements. 

Declaring the Major
If you have questions about our programs and are exploring your options; or you are ready to declare a major or certificate please make an appointment to meet with Rachel Weiss, Undergraduate Advisor:

Rachel Weiss
E-mail: rweiss@wisc.edu
Office: 1244 Van Hise Hall
Schedule: advising appointment!
Phone: (608) 890-0138


Other certificate programs at UW-Madison

Undergraduate Certificate in East Asian Studies (Center for East Asian Studies)

World Language Education Certiticate program in Chinese (School of Education)