Temple University’s Chinese undergraduate options include our thriving language program as well as courses taught in English on Chinese culture and history. We offer a major, a minor and a certificate of specialization.
The Language Program
The language program is designed to meet the needs and interests of students with different backgrounds and levels of proficiency in Mandarin. All of the courses provide instruction intended to help students become proficient in both the spoken and written language over time. To achieve this goal, the program helps students develop the linguistic foundations, strategies, insights and knowledge they will need to carry on their learning of the language beyond the classroom and outside of academic settings.
Available Language Courses
For true beginners, there is Chinese 1001. It requires no previous background or knowledge of Mandarin. Chinese 1001 introduces students to Mandarin’s sound system, the basics of its writing system, and basic grammar and vocabulary. Each of the five subsequent sequentially-ordered courses takes the course ordered before it as a prerequisite and builds on the skills and knowledge mastered in that course. All of these courses focus on students developing a linguistically-accurate, communicatively-effective control over the material studied and insights into how to use the language in culturally and socially appropriate ways. For more on courses see the undergraduate bulletin.
For students with academic or home background in Mandarin for whom Chinese 1001 would be too elementary a course, the program offers language evaluations for placement into a higher level just before the beginning of each semester and during pre-registration. Any student interested in placement into a higher level should contact the program for an evaluation.
The program tries to provide independent studies whenever possible to students interested in continuing their study of Mandarin beyond Chinese 3002, the sixth-semester course. Students interested in taking an independent study should contact the program either in late August before the beginning of the fall semester or during pre-registration during either the fall or spring semesters.
Certificate of Specialization in Chinese
Students can earn a Certificate of Specialization in Chinese by completing the six-course sequence Chinese 1001 through Chinese 3002 with a C- or better in each of the required courses. Anyone interested in participating in the certificate program should go to the Office of Academic Advising to register for the program. Any student interested in pursuing a certificate who has placed above one or more of the required courses should discuss possible course substitutions with the Office of Academic Advising and the Chinese Program’s advisor for the certificate.
Learn More about the Certificate of Specialization in Chinese.
Courses in the General Education Program
The course World Society in Literature and Film as offered in the Chinese program provides a thematically based survey of contemporary Chinese literature and film as a way to understand aspects of Chinese society and culture. This course can be used to fulfill the requirement in the General Education area, “World Society.” The course “Language in Society” as offered by the Chinese program looks at language in some of the many roles it plays in society. This course can be used to fulfill the requirement in the General Education area “Human Behavior.” Of course, the language of instruction is English and all course materials are in English for both of these courses.
Literature and Film
The program continues working on the development of courses on Chinese literature and film. At present, the program offers three courses in this area, a survey of pre-modern literature, a survey of modern literature and a survey of contemporary urban literature and film. All of the readings are in translation, all of the films have English subtitles and the language of instruction is English. These courses are intended for all students with an interest in Chinese literature and film whether or not they have a background in Mandarin. These courses also contribute to the Asian Studies Program.
When you are ready to apply, submit your application online at admissions.temple.edu/apply.