M.A. in Chinese

The M.A. program in Chinese is designed for students with strong academic records and an interest in pursuing postgraduate research in Chinese literature, philosophy, or linguistics, but who have not yet acquired the language skills or disciplinary foundation necessary to enter a Ph.D. program. (Note: Students who wish to pursue advanced language training in preparation for post-graduate research in other fields of Chinese studies are referred to the interdisciplinary M.A. program in the Center for East Asian Studies.)

The candidate must finish third-year Chinese, and one course in advanced classical Chinese with a letter grade of 'B' or higher. Placement tests in modern and in classical Chinese will be given for incoming students during orientation week, Autumn Quarter. Those who fail to place into advanced level classical must take beginning classical Chinese. Qualified students may, upon consultation with the graduate advisor, be permitted to certify that they have attained the equivalent level of proficiency by passing examinations.

Students should always consult the most up-to-date version of the degree plan on the Stanford Bulletin as well as the EALC Graduate Handbook. Each student should meet with their faculty advisor at least once per quarter to discuss the degree requirements and their progress.

Degree Requirements for the M.A. in Chinese
  1. Demonstrate proficiency in modern Chinese through completion of one of the tracks of third-year Chinese with a letter grade of 'B' or higher:
    • CHINLANG 103 - Third-Year Modern Chinese, Third Quarter (5 units)
    • CHINLANG 103B - Third-Year Modern Chinese for Bilingual Speakers, Third Quarter (3 units)
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in classical Chinese through completion of one of three advanced classical Chinese courses with a letter grade of 'B' or higher:
    • CHINA 208 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Philosophical Texts (3-5 units)
    • CHINA 209 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Historical Narration (2-5 units)
    • CHINA 210 - Advanced Classical Chinese: Literary Essays (2-5 units)
  3. Proseminar sequence: Complete the following courses for a letter grade of 'B' or higher:
    • EALC 201 - Proseminar in East Asian Humanities I: Skills and Methodologies (3 units) - required for literature students, optional for linguistics students
    • EALC 202 - Proseminar in East Asian Humanities II: Current Scholarship (1 unit) - required for literature students, optional for linguistics students
    • CHINA 290 - Research in Chinese Linguistics (3 units) - required for linguistics students in lieu of or in addition to EALC 201
  4. Four CHINA courses numbered above 200.
  5. Two upper-division or graduate-level courses in fields such as Chinese anthropology, art history, history, philosophy, political science, religious studies, or another field, as approved by the DGS in consultation with the student's advisor.
  6. A master's thesis; enroll in CHINA 299 - Master's Thesis or Qualifying Paper (1-5 units).
Degree Timeline for the M.A. in Chinese

First Year: Autumn Quarter

  • Attend the department orientation for grad students. An email will be sent out closer to the date notifying grad students of the time and meeting place. At the orientation, the Directors of Graduate Studies will go over the EALC Graduate Handbook, department expectations, and degree requirements for M.A. students. You may also be asked to complete the following forms, as required by the department:
    • EALC Emergency Contact Information
    • EALC Information Consent Waiver Form
  • For International Students: if you are an international student whose native language is not English, you may be required to take the English Placement Test upon arrival. Students who accept an offer of admission and who Graduate Admissions requires to take the test will find it as a To-Do list item in their Axess account. For more information, please visit the English Placement Test page on the Language Center website.
  • Students may also attend the New Graduate Student Orientation, hosted by the Graduate Life Office. Every year, the Graduate Life Office works with student volunteers to coordinate the New Graduate Student Orientation, or NGSO. In hopes to orient Stanford's new graduate students to the campus and ease their transitions here, it occurs the week prior to the start of classes. The programs are open to all incoming graduate students, both new and transfer students. For International Students: whether you arrive before orientation or during orientation, be sure to visit Stanford's Bechtel International Center (I-Center) website for full details of the Graduate International Student Orientation.

First Year: Spring Quarter

  • At the beginning of the spring quarter, all graduate students must complete the Department's Annual Review Progress Report. Department faculty will use the information to evaluate student progress, and provide students with feedback.
  • Towards the end of the spring quarter, students should at this point identify potential department faculty members who could serve as their thesis advisor(s). Once the faculty member has agreed to be their thesis advisor, students should work with the professor for the remainder of their time at Stanford to complete their thesis, while taking courses to complete the 45-unit minimum requirement and requirements specific to the M.A. in Chinese.

Second Year: Autumn Quarter

  • If the M.A. student has not done so already, they should find a faculty member who will be their thesis advisor, and begin working with the thesis advisor to complete the M.A. thesis, while taking courses to complete the 45-unit minimum requirement and requirements specific to the M.A. in Chinese.

Second Year: Spring Quarter

  • At the beginning of the spring quarter, all graduate students must complete the Department's Annual Review Progress Report. Department faculty will use the information to evaluate student progress, and provide students with feedback.
  • Except for unexpected circumstances, second-year M.A. students should be graduating by spring quarter. Students must:
  • Second-year students who will not be graduating in the spring, please make an appointment to talk to the Student Services Officer no later than two weeks before the Apply to Graduate deadline for spring quarter.

Note: As a general rule of thumb, students should check the Stanford Bulletin Archives to make sure that they complete requirements for the year that they were matriculated.