Undergraduate Studies in Chinese

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 Chinese 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 Chinese 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 Chinese (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.

Chinese Professional Communication Certificate
Please refer to certificate requirements in the Guide.

As of fall 2019 the structure of our Chinese language courses will change in the following ways:

1) 1st through 4th Semester Chinese 8 hours / 6 credits –> 5 hours / 4 credits

2) 5th & 6th Semester Chinese –as is (no change)

3) 7th through 8th Semester Chinese

These courses will be replaced by advanced languages courses that emphasize specific skills and topics in order to meet the diverse student needs and to increase flexibility.

To be more specific, the department offers the following language courses that count towards Chinese Major and Chinese Professional Communication Certificate:

Fall 2019

  • ASIALANG 101 First Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 111 Elementary Chinese II (requisite course: ASIALANG 110)
  • ASIALANG 201 Third Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 301 Fifth Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 378 Chinese Conversation (requisite course: ASIALANG 202)
  • ASIALANG 454 Advanced Chinese through Media (requisite course: ASIALANG 301)

Spring 2020

  • ASIALANG 102 Second Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 110 Elementary Chinese I
  • ASIALANG 202 Fourth Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 302 Sixth Semester Chinese
  • ASIALANG 379 Business Chinese (requisite course: ASIALANG 202)
  • ASIALANG 374 Advanced Readings in Chinese I (requisite course: ASIALANG 301)

After 302 (6th Semester Chinese, if you were planning to take 7th and 8th Semester Chinese on campus in 2019-2020 to complete the major requirements, there are two options to fulfill the language portion of the requirements:

  • Following old requirements: take ASIALANG 454 and 374 and count them replacing 7th and 8th Semester Chinese
  • Following new requirements: choose 2 courses from ASIALANG 378, 454, 379, and 374.

Whether it would make sense to you to consider following the old or new requirements may depend of what literature, culture and/or linguistics courses you have taken. Please consult with the undergraduate advisor, Rachel Weiss, to make the decision most suitable for you.

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 via Starfish.
Phone: (608) 890-0138


Other certificate programs at UW-Madison

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

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