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Ph.D. in Chinese

The Ph.D. program in Chinese is designed to prepare students for a doctoral degree in Chinese literature, philosophy, or linguistics.

Applicants must have a minimum of three years of Chinese language study at Stanford or the equivalent to be considered for admission. Ph.D. students will complete the M.A. (as described in the M.A. requirements section on this website) on the way to advancing to Ph.D. candidacy. The majority of required course work for Ph.D. students demands the ability to read primary and secondary materials in Chinese. Advanced standing may be considered for students entering the Ph.D. program who have already completed an M.A. in Chinese literature or linguistics elsewhere only in cases when the level of prior course work and research is deemed equivalent to departmental requirements for the Ph.D. All courses must be taken for a letter grade.

For a Ph.D. in Chinese, a candidate must fulfill the following requirements:

  1. Complete the department's requirements for the M.A. in Chinese and two of three advanced classical Chinese Courses: CHINLIT 221, Advanced Classical Chinese: Philosophical Texts; CHINLIT 222, Advanced Classical Chinese: Historical Narration; or CHINLIT 223, Advanced Classical Chinese: Literary Essays. All incoming Ph.D. students must take a placement test in classical Chinese held during Orientation Week of fall quarter. Those who fail to place into the advanced level must take Beginning Classical Chinese.
  2. Demonstrate proficiency in at least one supporting language, to be chosen in consultation with the primary adviser according to the candidate's specific research goals. Reading proficiency must be certified through a written examination or an appropriate amount of coursework, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. When deemed necessary by the student's adviser(s), working knowledge of a third language may also be required.
  3. Students in Chinese literature must take at least one Chinese linguistics course, and linguistics students must take at least one literature course.  One linguistics course is CHINA 291:  Structure of Modern Chinese.
  4. Complete two relevant seminars at the 300 level. These seminars must be in different subjects.
  5. Pass a set of three comprehensive written examinations, one of which tests the candidate's methodological competence in the relevant discipline. The remaining two fields are chosen, with the approval of the graduate adviser in consultation with the student's individual adviser, from the following: archaeolology, anthropology, art, Chinese literature, history, Japanese literature, linguistics, philosophy, and religion. With the adviser's approval, a Ph.D. minor in a supporting field may be deemed equivalent to the completion of one of these three examinations.
  6. Demonstrate pedagogical proficiency by serving as a teaching assistant for a minimum of one quarter, and taking DLCL 301, The Learning and Teaching of Second Languages.
  7. Pass the University Oral Examination — General regulations governing the oral examination are found in the "Graduate Degrees" section of the University Bulletin. The candidate is examined on questions related to the dissertation after acceptable parts of it have been completed in draft form.
  8. Submit a dissertation demonstrating ability to undertake original research based on primary materials in Chinese.