Chinese Program

The Chinese Program offers a diverse range of undergraduate and graduate courses in Chinese language, literature, linguistics and translation-interpretation. It also provides the following degree options: Master of Arts in Chinese, Bachelor of Arts in Chinese (major) and a minor in Chinese. 

Study Chinese at San Francisco State University —  with a vast selection of courses, dedicated full-time faculty and students from all corners of the globe, your experience in cosmopolitan San Francisco promises to be the experience of a lifetime. The Chinese program offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chinese, together with a professionally oriented Chinese Flagship Program and a graduate-level Strategic Language Initiative (SLI) Translation-Interpretation Certificate Program. Explore the different degree options and find out more about studying Chinese at San Francisco State University.

Founded in 1959, the Chinese Program at San Francisco State University provides comprehensive degree programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. For all major and minor options, the Chinese Program offers electives taught in both English and Chinese which provide insight into one of the world’s oldest civilizations and inspire the student to view the modern world from alternative perspectives. Courses on modern literature and film, taught in Chinese, reflect the dynamic transformations of contemporary Chinese society and culture. Training in the fundamentals of linguistics complements program goals by revealing the underlying structures of language. To prepare students as fully as possible for future challenges, the Chinese Program balances traditional academic offerings with practical courses such as Business Chinese, Media Chinese and Web Chinese, which equip students with career-related language skills.

The Bachelor of Arts in Chinese is divided into three separate concentrations: Chinese Language, designed for students with little or no background in Chinese language; Chinese Literature and Linguistics, aimed at native and near-native speakers of Chinese language; and Flagship Chinese Language, a federally funded honors program.

The Minor in Chinese Language is designed for beginning language learners, and is focused on the buildup of proficiency in the Modern Standard Language.

The Minor in Chinese Literature and Linguistics, is designed for native and near-native speakers, and requires coursework in advanced language, classical language, linguistics, literature, culture and oratory.

The Master of Arts in Chinese provides advanced training in the areas of literature, linguistics and pedagogy, building a solid foundation for further study and language-related careers. Many of our M.A. graduates advance to study and research at the doctoral level, and others develop skills for China-related careers, including teaching Chinese as a second language, international business and law, and translation and interpretation.

Declare a Major/Minor

To declare a major or minor, complete a Declaration of Major/Minor form, then make an appointment to see the program advisor. Bring a copy of your most recent university transcript to the meeting.

Additional Important Information

View additional resources such as:

  • Chinese Flagship Program
  • Strategic Language Initiative
  • SINITIC: Journal of Chinese Linguistic and Literary Studies
  • Media Coverage for the Program
  • Additional External Resources

Hello written in Chinese

Program Contacts

Program Coordinator: 
Frederik Green, fgreen@sfsu.edu

Undergraduate Advisors: 
Chris Wen-Chao Li, wenchao@sfsu.edu

Charles Egan, chega@sfsu.edu

Frederik Green, fgreen@sfsu.edu

Yang Xiao-Desai, yangxiao@sfsu.edu

Graduate Coordinator
Chris Wen-Chao Li, wenchao@sfsu.edu

Graduate Advisor: 
Yang Xiao-Desai, yangxiao@sfsu.edu

Flagship Program Director:
Charles Egan, chega@sfsu.edu

Flagship Program Associate Director:
Frederik Green, fgreen@sfsu.edu

Flagship Program Manager:
Mia Segura, msegura@sfsu.edu

Flagship Program Outreach Coordinator:
Josh Ortiz, jortiz5@sfsu.edu

The Concentration in Chinese Language is designed for beginning language learners with little or no background in a Chinese language. The program places emphasis on the building of proficiency in Mandarin Chinese (putonghua/guoyu) and an appreciation and understanding of literature and culture.

Note: Native speakers of Chinese and international students who have completed secondary and/or tertiary education in Chinese language in a Chinese-speaking country are discouraged from choosing this concentration.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Chinese Language:

  1. Language and Linguistics: Students will speak, write and understand the Chinese language. They will also be able to analyze the language in its morphology and syntax.
  2. Culture: Cultural competence is gained through courses dedicated to culture and is further reinforced in the variety of advanced literature courses that students take to complete the major. Students will be familiar with the historical and cultural development of Chinese culture, especially in its international context. They will engage in cultural analysis not only of historical and geographical terms, but also as part of a debate about the very notion of culture.
  3. Literature: Primarily through the study of complex literary texts, students will develop critical thinking by identifying issues and problems associated with their object of study, breaking the problem down to its component parts and critically examining them.
  4. Writing skills: Students should be able to write coherent, engaging, and rigorous critical essays in Chinese that conform to accepted academic standards.

Culminating Experience

Before submitting an application for graduation, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese must present evidence of having completed a Culminating Experience project. The Culminating Experience project can be completed through one of three options:

  1. Standardized Test:
    The student shall submit evidence of having passed the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), or the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Mandarin Chinese at the appropriate level. The following grade levels are treated as passing:

    • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): Level 4 or higher
    • Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL): Level 3 or higher
    • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): Advanced low or higher
  2. Writing Portfolio:
    The student shall submit a writing portfolio with evidence of advanced level academic and/or professional writing in both Chinese and English. The portfolio must contain at least one work of Chinese language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment submitted for credit in an upper-division course taught in Chinese, and one work of English language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment accepted for credit in a GWAR course.
  3. Flagship Capstone:
    The Flagship Capstone option is available only to students accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. Students in the Chinese Flagship Program must choose the Flagship Capstone Option, which consists of a "Capstone Year" abroad, to be implemented once the student has reached proficiency benchmarks set by the Language Flagship and has been recommended by the Council of Chinese Flagship Directors.

The Concentration in Chinese Literature and Linguistics is aimed at native and near-native speakers of a Chinese language and consists of 18 units of required coursework in advanced language, linguistics, oratory, literature, and culture, plus an additional 12 units of lower and upper-division electives in Chinese or a related subject. GWAR is built into the course design.

Students will satisfy the University Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by taking one GWAR offering from the Chinese Program or Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. Current GWAR offerings include CHIN 601GW,CHIN 611GW,CHIN 612GW, and MLL 400GW.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Chinese Literature & Linguistics:

  1. Language Skills
    • Listening Comprehension: Student can understand the utterances of native speakers and extract main ideas from recordings of authentic speech, including excerpts from lectures, films, radio, and television broadcasts.
    • Reading Comprehension: Student can understand and summarize main ideas in target language texts intended for general readers, including social correspondences, general purpose essays, short stories, and news writing.
    • Speaking: Student can sustain a conversation on a general topic with a fluent speaker of the target language, narrate and describe on a variety of topics at paragraph length, and respond to spontaneous developments in an exchange.
    • Writing: Student can produce narratives and descriptions, cohesive summaries and routine social correspondences (e.g. business letters, resumes), demonstrating awareness of diction, syntax, and stylistics in the writing process.
  2. Cultural Knowledge
    • Student has an understanding of cultural values, folk beliefs, social conventions and festive celebrations unique to target culture.
    • Student can identify and characterize exemplars of painting, architecture, music, film, and other fine arts in the target culture.
    • Student can identify major historical events and order them chronologically.
  3. Knowledge of Literature
    • Student can identify major literary genres.
    • Student can characterize major literary movements or periods and order them chronologically.
    • Student can identify major historical events and order them chronologically.
  4. Language Structure
    • Student has understanding of sound system (phonetics/phonology) of the target language.
    • Student has understanding of word-formation processes (morphology) in the target language.
    • Student is familiar with syntax of the target language.
    • Student has understanding of the historical development of the target language.
    • Student has understanding of sociolinguistic variation in the target language.

 

Culminating Experience

Before submitting an application for graduation, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese must present evidence of having completed a Culminating Experience project. The Culminating Experience project can be completed through one of three options:

  1. Standardized Test:
    The student shall submit evidence of having passed the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), or the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Mandarin Chinese at the appropriate level. The following grade levels are treated as passing:

    • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): Level 4 or higher
    • Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL): Level 3 or higher
    • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): Advanced low or higher
  2. Writing Portfolio:
    The student shall submit a writing portfolio with evidence of advanced level academic and/or professional writing in both Chinese and English. The portfolio must contain at least one work of Chinese language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment submitted for credit in an upper-division course taught in Chinese, and one work of English language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment accepted for credit in a GWAR course.
  3. Flagship Capstone:
    The Flagship Capstone option is available only to students accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. Students in the Chinese Flagship Program must choose the Flagship Capstone Option, which consists of a "Capstone Year" abroad, to be implemented once the student has reached proficiency benchmarks set by the Language Flagship and has been recommended by the Council of Chinese Flagship Directors.

The Concentration in Flagship Chinese Language, in line with federally funded Chinese Flagship guidelines nationwide, consists of 35 units of lower and upper-division language training, many of which are specifically tailored to students in the Flagship program, plus nine units of coursework in linguistics, culture, classical language, and GWAR. Unique to the Flagship Concentration is a three-unit content course taught in Chinese by a Chinese-proficient specialist in another subject area. Flagship students must also complete 12 units of Flagship-specific Study Abroad arranged through the Flagship Office, which will include coursework and internship components.

NOTE: The Concentration in Flagship Chinese Language is open only to students who have been admitted into the Chinese Flagship Program at San Francisco State University. Contact the Flagship Office in HUM 380 for information.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Flagship Chinese Language:

  1. Language and Linguistics: Students will speak, write and understand the Chinese language. They will also be able to analyze the language in its morphology and syntax.
  2. Culture: Cultural competence is gained through courses dedicated to culture and is further reinforced in the variety of advanced literature courses that students take to complete the major. Students will be familiar with the historical and cultural development of Chinese culture, especially in its international context. They will engage in cultural analysis not only of historical and geographical terms, but also as part of a debate about the very notion of culture.
  3. Literature: Primarily through the study of complex literary texts, students will develop critical thinking by identifying issues and problems associated with their object of study, breaking the problem down to its component parts and critically examining them.
  4. Writing skills: Students should be able to write coherent, engaging, and rigorous critical essays in Chinese that conform to accepted academic standards.

Culminating Experience

Before submitting an application for graduation, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese must present evidence of having completed a Culminating Experience project. The Culminating Experience project can be completed through one of three options:

  1. Standardized Test:
    The student shall submit evidence of having passed the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), or the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Mandarin Chinese at the appropriate level. The following grade levels are treated as passing:

    • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): Level 4 or higher
    • Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL): Level 3 or higher
    • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): Advanced low or higher
  2. Writing Portfolio:
    The student shall submit a writing portfolio with evidence of advanced level academic and/or professional writing in both Chinese and English. The portfolio must contain at least one work of Chinese language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment submitted for credit in an upper-division course taught in Chinese, and one work of English language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment accepted for credit in a GWAR course.
  3. Flagship Capstone:
    The Flagship Capstone option is available only to students accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. Students in the Chinese Flagship Program must choose the Flagship Capstone Option, which consists of a "Capstone Year" abroad, to be implemented once the student has reached proficiency benchmarks set by the Language Flagship and has been recommended by the Council of Chinese Flagship Directors.

The Minor in Chinese is aimed at beginning-level learners with little or no background in the Chinese Language. All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Chinese Language Minor — 18 units

Note: Native speakers of Chinese and international students who have completed secondary and/or tertiary education in the Chinese language in a Chinese-speaking country are discouraged from choosing this minor.

Lower-Division Core (12 units)1

Lower-Division Course List
Code Title Units
CHIN 101 First Semester Chinese 4
CHIN 102 Second Semester Chinese 4
CHIN 103 Third Semester Chinese 4

1 Up to 9 units from the lower-division core can be replaced with high school Advanced Placement (AP) examination credit (see University guidelines). With the permission of a Chinese Program advisor, students able to demonstrate a higher level of Chinese language proficiency may also replace lower-division core units with upper-division Chinese language units.

Upper-Division Core (6 units)

Select Two:

Upper-Division Course List
Code Title Units
CHIN 303 Intermediate Chinese 3
CHIN 311 Conversation and Reading 3
CHIN 312 Speech and Writing 3

NOTE: REGARDING STUDY ABROAD (applies to all Chinese degrees, concentrations, and minors):
Students are encouraged to study abroad through the International Programs of the California State University and the Bilateral Programs of San Francisco State University. For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be used for graduation credit, but no more than half of the units required for the major or minor may be taken outside of the home campus. Flagship Language Concentration students, however, may apply all of their Study Abroad units towards the major. 

NOTE: REGARDING HIGH SCHOOL ADVANCED PLACEMENT (AP)
The following Advanced Placement (AP) scores in Chinese Language and Culture will result in the award of units that can be applied towards the Chinese major/minor. 

  • AP Chinese Score=3 results in award of 4 units to be used towards waiver of CHIN 101 First Semester Chinese.
  • AP Chinese Score=4 results in award of 8 units to be used towards waiver of CHIN 101 First Semester Chinese and CHIN 102 Second Semester Chinese
  • AP Chinese Score=5 results in award of 12 units to be used towards waiver of CHIN 101 First Semester Chinese, CHIN 102 Second Semester Chinese, and CHIN 103 Third Semester Chinese.

This minor is aimed at native and near-native speakers of the Chinese language and consists of 15 units of required coursework in advanced language, linguistics, oratory, literature, and culture, plus an additional 3 units of upper-division electives in Chinese or a related subject. All coursework used to satisfy the requirements of the minor must be completed with a minimum grade point average of 2.0.

Chinese Literature and Linguistics Minor — 18 units

 

Upper-Division Core (15 units)

Course List
Code Title Units
Intermediate Language -- Select One:   3

CHIN 311

Conversation and Reading  

CHIN 312

Speech and Writing  
Advanced Language--Select One:   3

CHIN 401

Advanced Chinese  

CHIN/JOUR 410

Building Chinese Media Literacy  

CHIN/JOUR 411/I R 413

Media Chinese  
Classical Language--Select One:   3

CHIN 501

Introduction to Classical Chinese  

CHIN 502

Readings in Literary Chinese  
Linguistics--Select One:   3
MLL 325 Linguistics for Foreign Languages  
Literature in Translation – select one:   3

CHIN 600

Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture in English  

CHIN 601GW

The Poetic Tradition - GWAR  

CHIN 602

The Narrative Tradition  

CHIN 611GW

The Revolutionary Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature - GWAR  

CHIN 612GW

Negotiating Chineseness in the Late 20th and 21st Centuries - GWAR  

HUM 530

Chinese Civilization  

 

Electives (3 units)

Additional upper-division CHIN-prefix courses as needed to reach a total of 18 units.

 

NOTE REGARDING STUDY ABROAD (applies to all Chinese degrees, concentrations, and minors):
Students are encouraged to study abroad through the International Programs of the California State University and the Bilateral Programs of San Francisco State University. For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be used for graduation credit, but no more than half of the units required for the major or minor may be taken outside of the home campus. Flagship Language Concentration students, however, may apply all of their Study Abroad units towards the major.

The Chinese Program at San Francisco State University offers a Masters Degree in Chinese with a curriculum encompassing classical and modern Chinese literature, Chinese linguistics and Chinese language pedagogy. Additional elective courses are available in the areas of Chinese-English translation and interpretation, and teaching Chinese as a foreign language.

Enter the only Chinese Masters Program in the California State University (CSU) system. Take graduate level classes and learn from top experts in literature, linguistics, pedagogy, research methodology, and translation/interpretation. Enjoy the multicultural buzz of the San Francisco Bay Area and nearby Silicon Valley. Earn a degree that will entitle you to teach at the college level (see the Teaching Credential pathway on this page for additional authorization to teach at the K-12 level) and empower you to pursue advanced research and language-related careers. Low tuition; teaching assistantships for matriculated students; State University Grant available for California residents.

Learn more about the Chinese M.A. Program at San Francisco State University by watching this video.

Admission to the Program

Qualifications (1): Bachelor's Degree and Academic Training

A prerequisite for admission to the Masters Program in Chinese is a Bachelor's Degree in Chinese or a related subject, with a Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 3.0 (which is equivalent to a "B" average in letter grade terms). Applicants are expected to demonstrate advanced level skills in the following areas:

  • Advanced proficiency in spoken Mandarin and standard written Chinese
  • Familiarity with major literary/cultural figures and texts
  • Training in the fundamentals of linguistic analysis
  • Basic reading proficiency in classical Chinese

In exceptional circumstances, applicants who are lacking in one or more of these areas may be admitted conditionally after developing, through consultation with advisers, a program of studies to establish equivalency. Courses prescribed for equivalency may not be credited toward the M.A. degree.

Qualifications (2): English Language Proficiency

Applicants ARE NOT required to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or other standardized academic proficiency tests. However applicants whose native language is not English, who did not complete their Bachelor's Degree at a college or university in an English-speaking country (English-speaking countries include the United States, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, the United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, and Belize), must demonstrate proficiency in English language by taking and passing a standardized English test recognized by San Francisco State University, such as the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) examination. For a full list of recognized tests and passing scores, visit the Division of Graduate Studies’ English language requirements page. Note that these English language requirements are required of all non-native speakers and international students applying to San Francisco State University, and cannot be waived. The requirement holds regardless of citizenship or residency status -- non-native speakers who are U.S. citizens or Green Card holders still must take and pass the required English language exams. The requirement, however, is normally waived for applicants who have completed a bachelor's or master's degree in the United States.

Application Process

In order to assess whether applicants meet acceptable standards and have fulfilled prerequisites, both the Division of Graduate Studies and the Chinese Program are involved in the application review process. Applications are processed through the CalState Apply portal.

Materials Needed for Application

Application materials required by the Division of Graduate Studies are described at the Division of Graduate Studies website. To complete this portion of the application, you will need to fill out an online admissions form on CalState Apply. In addition, you may need to upload a number of different documents, including:

  • Statements of purpose in Chinese and English (details below)
  • Transcripts for all colleges and universities attended
  • Two (2) letters of recommendation
  • [International students/non-native speakers of English] English language testing scores (explained above)

The Statements of Purpose in Chinese and English do not have to be identical translations of each other, but should cover similar content. The two essays will be used to gauge written proficiency in English and Chinese, and to evaluate writing skills and the capacity for organization and analysis. In the Statement of Purpose, we require you to explain the following:

  • Why do you want to pursue graduate studies in Chinese?
  • What kind of prior training and/or work experience do you have that qualifies you for the program? (See “Qualifications” section above for applicant requirements)
  • Why did you choose the Chinese Program at San Francisco State University?
  • What courses do you plan to take if admitted into San Francisco State, and why? What research do you plan to undertake?
  • How does masters level coursework figure in your long-term career planning?

In addition, let the Statement reflect your motivation, your background knowledge, and your level of linguistic sophistication. Statements must be in the form of a coherent essay divided into paragraphs arranged according to theme and topic. Treat the Statement of Purpose as an essay, not a question and answer form. Do not submit bullet point answers to the questions posed above.

Also required for upload are two (2) letters of recommendation from persons familiar your academic and/or professional qualifications.

Faculty on the Program Graduate Admissions Committee meet year round to consider applications. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until program slots are full. Also check the Division of Graduate Studies website for specifics. International students are encouraged to apply well before the closing date, as the issuance of U.S. visas at overseas consulates may be a time-consuming process.

Application Follow-up

After you have submitted your online application, you will be issued a Student Identification Number and a Password, using which you can access your application file online and check the status of your application.

Be sure to log in and check on your status frequently, to see if your application materials have arrived and to see if you are missing any documentation. When all of the documents required by the Division of Graduate Studies have been received, your file will be sent to the Chinese Program for Department Review.

Note that the Chinese Program will not begin review of your application until all of the required documents are in place -- the Chinese Program will not consider applications that are only partially complete. However, a complete application packet does not guarantee admission -- admission into the Chinese M.A. Program is competitive, and the Program reserves the right to select only the best candidates out of the pool of applicants.

The whole process, from completion of file to department admissions decision, normally takes about one to two weeks. If more than two weeks has elapsed since you submitted your complete application and your file still has not been sent for Department Review, contact the Chinese Program graduate adviser to see why it is being held up.

If your application is successful, you will receive an official notice from San Francisco State University informing you of your admission into the Master Program in Chinese. You should receive this notice two to three weeks after submission of your completed application. If your application is unsuccessful, you will receive an official letter to that effect within the same timeframe.

Once admitted, you should contact the Chinese Program Graduate Adviser to seek mandatory advising on courses to take in the following semester. During advising, you will be asked about your prior training, desired course load, preferred length of study, and available hours. Prior to advising, read the "Advancement to Candidacy" section of on this page to familiarize yourself with course offerings and required paperwork.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?
A: No, the GRE is not required for admission to the Master’s program in Chinese.

Q: Can native speakers of Chinese from China, Taiwan or Hong Kong apply to your program?
A: Yes, as long as you have the required academic credentials (see description of prerequisites above). We do not discriminate against applicants based on race or national origin.

Q: What do you mean by B.A. in Chinese or related subject? If my undergraduate major is Business, but I am a native speaker of Chinese, can I apply?
A: We do not set limits on which majors can apply and which cannot, but we do require that students admitted to the Master’s program in Chinese possess the following skills:

  • Advanced proficiency in standard spoken and written modern Chinese
  • Training in Classical Chinese
  • Training in linguistics

The closer to Chinese your major is, the more of the requirements you will have satisfied in the process of studying for a Bachelor’s degree in your subject. If you are a native speaker of Chinese, it is assumed you have advanced proficiency in standard spoken and written modern Chinese. Mention this in your Statement of Purpose, and in the Chinese version of your Statement of Purpose, show us that you are indeed capable of sophisticated essay writing in Standard Chinese. If you were educated to high-school level in a Chinese-speaking country, you will most likely have studied Classical Chinese in school — again, mention this in your Statement of Purpose, so that we have a better understanding of your background.

As for linguistics, we require that you have taken a course such as Chinese Historical Phonology in a Chinese department or English linguistics (e.g. phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics) in an English or foreign languages department. If you have not taken linguistics, but satisfy the first two conditions, we may grant you conditional admission and require that you complete MLL 325 Foreign Language Linguistics in your first year of study.

Q: Do you offer distance learning or online classes? Can the degree be completed online? 
A: We currently offer some classes online and others in-person. We are gradually moving towards a model where students wishing to take classes online will have the option to do so, without sacrificing the availability of in-person instruction. Please contact the program's Graduate Advisor or Graduate Coordinator about online options. 

Q: When I was an undergraduate in China, I took English-language courses such as pronunciation and grammar. Would any of these count as a “linguistics” course that is required for admission?
A: No. A linguistics course is not a language course. A linguistics course should provide training in the scientific analysis of language data. Most linguistics courses have the word “linguistics” or a sub-discipline of linguistics (e.g., phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics) in their course title.

Q: My TOEFL score is just a few points shy of your requirement. I have taken the TOEFL exam many, many times, and this is the best I can do. I am so, so close! I really want to study in your program. Can you waive the TOEFL requirement for me?
A: If your other qualifications are strong, we may be able to offer you conditional admission, with the condition that you take additional English language courses through the American Language Institute (ALI) at San Francisco State University and/or retake and pass the required English language examination after matriculation.

Q: I took the TOEFL back in 1985, and scored well above your required threshold. Can you waive the University requirement that TOEFL grades must be no more than two years old?
A: No. TOEFL valid periods are set by the university as a whole. The Chinese Program does not support petitions to waive this requirement.

Q: I am a U.S. citizen, but I was born in China and Chinese is my native language. Do I need to take the TOEFL?
A: If your native language is not English, and you have not completed a Bachelor’s degree in an English-speaking country (i.e., USA, Canada, Jamaica, Australia, The United Kingdom, Ireland, South Africa, New Zealand, Belize), then you need to take the required English language proficiency exam — even if you are a U.S. citizen. In other words, the determination of English language proficiency is based not on citizenship, but on native language and education. U.S. citizenship or residency does not exempt you from the requirement.

Q: I have a B.A. degree in Chinese from China, and I have been teaching Chinese language in the United States for more than 20 years. Can you waive any of the courses required for the M.A. in Chinese based on my past training and work experience.
A: No – the Chinese M.A. Program is an educational framework that provides training in literature, linguistics and pedagogy for people who are in need training in these subject areas. It is not set up as a certification body to issue diplomas to people who already possess expertise in these areas. 

Q: Do the letters of recommendation have to be from my college professors? Or can they be from a friend or someone at work? 
A: Letters of reference should be from qualified individuals who are familiar with your academic and/or professional abilities. College professors are in the best position to comment on this aspect of your performance, and as such, we recommend that at least one of your letters be from a former college instructor. If you are a recent graduate, you may want to have all of your letters come from college instructors. If you have been working for a while, you may want to ask your superior at work or someone who can testify to your professional knowledge and work ethic to write a letter for you.

Q: Do you have scholarships or teaching assistant (TA) or research assistant (RA) positions available to help offset the cost of tuition and living?
A: Not for incoming students. Incoming international students, in particular, will need to demonstrate that they have the financial means to cover the cost of tuition and living, without receiving any aid from the University. For students who have completed at least one semester of study in the Chinese Master’s program, there are a few scholarships for variable amounts awarded on a competitive basis. There are regular openings for graduate teaching associate (GTA) positions also, which provide valuable job training, but unfortunately, do not offset tuition and living costs. Keep in mind, however, that tuition at San Francisco State is fairly low compared to other schools, especially for California residents, who may also qualify for California's State University Grant.

Q: I've already taken some of the courses required for the Master’s program in Chinese at another institution. Can you waive these courses, or can I transfer credit from another university?
A: The answer to this question is complicated, but involves basically three principles: (1) no double dipping; (2) time constraints; and (3) course level and institution.

“No double dipping” means that you cannot use a course that has counted towards your Bachelor’s degree or other degree or certificate for your Master’s degree at San Francisco State University. In other words, credits cannot be double-counted for multiple degrees. Exceptions to this rule exist only when San Francisco State University has signed a formal accord with your degree-granting body regarding shared credit.

Time constraints include (A) the fact that you can only count courses that have been taken after you received your Bachelor’s degree; and (B) only courses taken within seven years of the award of your Master’s degree in Chinese can count. In other words, any course that you took before you received your Bachelor’s degree  does not count (with the exception of final semester SFSU courses that were not used towards the bachelor's degree), and any course that was taken more than seven years from the date of your expected graduation will not count.

As for course level and institution, for any course to count, it needs to be a regular university course offered at an accredited university (courses from language schools and summer workshops that do not carry official university credit do not count), and the course has to be at a similar level and of similar content to the course you wish to replace. Level and content equivalence will be determined by the graduate adviser and the instructor of the course you wish to replace. If course replacement is approved, two forms will have to be filed with the University: the Request for Graduate Program Transfer Unit Evaluation form, and the ATC Substitution form.

Exceptions to some of the rules above may apply for partner institutions that have signed official exchange agreements with San Francisco State University.

Q: Can I participate in study abroad? If so, how and when do I apply?
A: Yes, study abroad is allowed and encouraged. Those interested should contact the Office of International Programs for information and application materials. A maximum of 12 units from a CSU or SFSU-approved study abroad program can be transferred toward the Master’s degree in Chinese (in other words, the remaining 18 units must be taken on the campus of San Francisco State University). 

Q: Can I become a teacher after getting a Masters Degree in Chinese?
A: The Master’s degree in Chinese will qualify you to teach as a lecturer in a college or university or as a Chinese language teacher in a private elementary school, middle school or high school. Normally it will not allow you to teach as a professor in a university (with a few exceptions), or to work as a teacher in a public elementary school, middle school or high school (private schools are not subject to this rule). To become a university professor, you will most likely have to pursue doctoral level study and research after you complete your Master’s, and receive a Ph.D. or Ed.D. degree.

To work as a K-12 teacher in California, you will need to complete a teaching credential course with the Graduate College of Education, prior to which you must pass a number of tests, including the California Basic Educational Skills Test (C-BEST), and the California Subject Examinations for Teachers (C-SET). The Chinese masters degree plus teaching credential pathway caters to students who wish to take this path.

Q: Do you teach traditional or simplified Chinese?
A: Knowledge of both traditional and simplified Chinese is encouraged in graduate-level study in Chinese at San Francisco State University. Traditional Chinese is needed to read primary texts in classical literature, and simplified Chinese is required for following contemporary scholarship from mainland China.

Q: How long does it take to finish? Is it possible to finish within one year?
A: For most students, it takes a minimum of 3 semesters (1.5 years) to complete the Master’s degree. You will be able to graduate after you have completed all 30 units. At a rate of 9-12 units per semester, which is the normal full time course-load for graduate students, you can finish in three semesters (one and a half years). But keep in mind that not every course that is required for graduation is offered every semester, so seek advising and choose courses judiciously if you wish to graduate in a timely manner. 

Students in certain special programs may be able to complete the Master's degree in 2 semesters (1 year). This includes students in the SF State Scholars Program, which allows students to take graduate courses while still in undergraduate status, and students in the Teaching Credential Pathway coming from institutions with which SF State has formal agreements regarding transfer credit.

Q: What is CHIN 899 Special Study? 
A: CHIN 899 Special Study is an independent study course that is only rarely offered. When it is offered, it is offered only by instructors to students who have already studied with the instructor in a regular class, and who, during that class have demonstrated the ability to carry out independent research. As such, Special Study is not offered to new, incoming students -- students need to have studied with the instructor before in order to petition for Special Study. Also, Special Study is offered only when the instructor has time to supervise the student’s study or project, and when the proposed project matches the research interests of the instructor -- instructors have the right to say no if these two conditions are not met.

Q: My work schedule clashes with that of the graduate seminars that I need to take. Can I do a CHIN 899 Special Study instead? 
A: CHIN 899 Special Study is not designed to allow students to circumvent regular scheduled classes. 

Q: There is a partial overlap between my work schedule and the timing of certain classes. Is it okay if I miss the first half hour of a particular class? 
A: Most classes require full attendance and attendance for the full duration of the class. Study in a degree program requires commitment, an important part of which is arranging your schedule so that you can come to all classes that you are registered for. Most of our in-person graduate level classes are scheduled in the late afternoon, which allows most students to work for the greater part of the day. Some of our part-time students leave work early once a week to attend classes. We also offer a number of online classes.

Q: Do you have any sort of job placement after graduation?
A: From time to time, prospective employers email us with job vacancies, which we post on the Chinese Program Facebook Page.

Completion of the Master of Arts degree in Chinese requires 30 units of coursework (including required courses in literature, linguistics and language pedagogy plus additional electives) and the completion of a Culminating Experience consisting of written and oral examinations in two subjects.

1. Seek Graduate Advising Every Semester

  • Seek advising on what courses to take and how to complete your degree within a projected timeframe
  • Seek advising on what courses taken from outside the Chinese Program will count towards electives
  • Students admitted conditionally must work out with the advisor a plan to complete necessary prerequisites (e.g., MLL 325 Linguistics for Foreign Language, CHIN 501 Introduction to Classical Chinese). Prerequisites must be completed prior to graduation, but do not count towards the 30 units required for the M.A. degree.

 

2. Take Classes (10 classes / 30 units required)

Course requirements are listed below. You can also download a copy of the course requirements. Note that M.A. course requirements are on p.2 of the document.

Teaching/Research Methodology Requirement (choose one from below)

  • MLL 701 Seminar in Academic Writing and Research Methodology (3)

Classical Literature Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 822 Seminar in Classical Chinese Literature (3)

Modern Literature Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 821 Seminar in Modern Chinese Literature (3)
  • CHIN 820 Road to Modernity (3)

Chinese Pedagogy Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 824 Testing & Assessment in Teaching/Learning Chinese as L2 (3)
  • CHIN 825 Chinese Linguistics & Teaching/Learning Chinese as L2 (3)
  • CHIN 837 Materials Development for Teaching Chinese (3)
  • MLL 803 Technology in Foreign Language Education (3)
  • MLL 808 Second Language Acquisition (3)

Chinese Linguistics Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 826 Semantics and Morphology (3)
  • CHIN 827 Language Change and Dialect Variation (3)

Electives (must complete all as described below)

  • [Exclusively graduate (not paired) elective course in Chinese or related subject] (3)
  • [Exclusively graduate (not paired) elective course in Chinese, or paired upper division/graduate course in Chinese (students must enroll using the graduate course number)] (3)
  • [Upper division or graduate electives in Chinese or related subject with approval of graduate advisor] (9)

MINIMUM REQUIRED UNITS = 30

Plus Master's Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations (see below) in two subfields. The student is admitted to the oral examination upon passing the written examination. Both examinations may be attempted not more than two times.

 

3. File the Advancement to Candidacy

File ATC (formerly known as Graduate Approved Program [GAP]) and Culminating Experience forms with the graduate advisor.

Download the two forms from the Division of Graduate Studies Forms section:

  • ATC form (pdf) (for Chinese M.A. degree)
  • Culminating Experience sign-up form (pdf) (for Chinese M.A. degree) (If the course listed on the ATC form is different from the actual course you took in a particular category, fill out an ATC Substitution Form)

 

  • ATC Form specifies which courses you intend to take to complete your Masters Degree in Chinese (if you are not sure which courses will be offered in future semesters, write down your best guess -- you will be allowed to revise the form at a later date)
  • ATC Form must be filed after the first semester, and before the final semester (i.e., you must wait until you have completed 18 units before you can file your GAP form, but you must file it one semester before the semester you intend to graduate).
  • ATC Form will include all core requirements and electives needed to complete the Masters Degree in Chinese.
  • Culminating Experience Form: The Culminating Experience Form specifies what subject areas you will be doing your future Culminating Experience in, and which instructors you will be taking the Culminating Experience with.

 

4. Submit an Application for Graduation

Apply for graduation before the third week of your final semester.

 

5. Complete the Culminating Experience requirement

The Culminating Experience will generally consist of written and oral exams.

Written Exam

Two separate exams taken with two different instructors within the program (one in literature, one in linguistics, for example). Written exams typically take place at the end of a semester; students usually work out with each instructor at the beginning of the semester (before 3rd week of semester) what subject matter the exam will be on, and what materials to study.

Oral Exam 

Takes place after completion of written exam. Consists of a 40 minute session in which both instructors ask questions about contents of written exam -- student is expected to discuss and defend viewpoints expounded in written exam.

To complete the Culminating Experience requirement, candidates must

  • Choose two instructors that you want to take the Culminating Experience with (by the 3rd week of the semester)
  • Get readings lists and exam topics from each instructor
  • Set written and oral exam dates with each instructor

Note to Students

  • The culminating experience requires a full semester's worth of work. Do not treat it as a test that you cram for weeks before the event.
  • Arrangements with professors must be made no later than the third week of the semester of graduation, to allow for semester-long study. Requests for culminating experience arrangements made after the third week are likely to be refused.
  • All exams (including written and oral exams) must be completed before the end of finals week of the graduating semester.

6. File "Report of Completion of Specified Graduate Program Requirements"

  • Form requires signatures of both instructors overseeing Culminating Experience written and oral exam.
  • Once oral exam is completed and Report of Completion has been signed, instructors will bring the signed form to ModernLanguages & Literatures Department Office.
  • Modern Languages & Literatures Department Office will submit report to Division of Graduate Studies.

The Chinese Masters Degree with Teaching Credential pathway is aimed at students interested in obtaining a graduate degree plus the qualifications to teach Chinese language at a K-12 public school. Candidates complete course work for the Master of Arts in their first year, then, upon acceptance by the College of Education, go on to pursue a single-subject or multiple-subject California Teaching Credential.

In order to meet the growing demand for Chinese-English bilingual education in California and across the United States, the Chinese Program has partnered with the Graduate College of Education to create a pathway for students to obtain a Masters Degree in Chinese followed by a California Teaching Credential.

Students admitted into the Chinese Masters Degree + Teaching Credential pathway spend their first year completing the Masters Degree in Chinese, during which time they are assisted in obtaining the qualifications needed to enter the Teaching Credential Program. These required qualifications include (1) the C-Best examination; (2) the C-SET examination; (3) 45 hours of early field experience, all of which must be completed before the student can be admitted into the Teaching Credential Program. 

Three options are available for the Chinese Masters + Teaching Credential pathway:

  • M.A. in Chinese only (30 units, 2-5 semesters, depending on the number of transferring units and whether full-time or part time)
  • M.A. in Chinese  (30 units, 2 semesters) + Multiple-subject credential with bilingual authorization (31-34 units, 2 or 3 semesters)
  • M.A. in Chinese (30 units, 2 semesters) + Single-subject credential (World Language) (30 units, 2 semesters)

Completion of the M.A. degree in Chinese allows the graduate to seek employment as instructors at the college/university level or in K-12 level private schools, as well as apply for entry into doctoral programs. Completion of the Teaching Credential qualifies the graduate to teach Chinese language in public K-12 schools.

For course requirements for the Masters Degree in Chinese, see the M.A. Degree Advancement to Candidacy section on this page.

Learn more about the Chinese M.A. Program at San Francisco State University by watching this video.

 

Download sample roadmaps for the Chinese Masters + Teaching Credential pathway in the following languages:

The SF State Scholars Blended Program (Undergraduate and Graduate) in Chinese is designed for motivated undergraduate Chinese majors who wish to complete both their Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees within a five year timeframe. Those accepted into the program enroll in graduate-level classes starting in their senior year, thereby shortening time to graduate degree completion.

San Francisco State University offers the only Master’s degree in Chinese in the California State University (CSU) system, providing students with qualifications needed for college-level teaching and doctoral research. The Master’s curriculum includes core and elective courses in literature, linguistics, pedagogy, research methodology, and translation/interpretation.

You can download a copy of the course requirements for the SF State Scholar Program in Chinese. If you are currently a Chinese major with a concentration in Chinese Literature and Linguistics, and wish to apply for the SF State Scholar Program in Chinese, view the application form.

 

Course Requirements (Undergraduate Portion)

Language Core (15 units)

CHIN 311

Conversation and Reading

3

CHIN 312

Speech and Writing

3

CHIN 401

Advanced Chinese

3

CHIN 501 or
CHIN 502

Introduction to Classical Chinese or
Readings in Literary Chinese

3

MLL 325

Linguistics for Foreign Languages

3

 

Civilization & Culture (3 units)

CHIN 228

Chinese Language and Society

3

CHIN 270

China and the West

3

CHIN 271

Classic Novel in Pop Culture

3

CHIN 280

Chinese Calligraphy

3

 

Media Literacy (3 units – select from the following)

CHIN 410

Intro to Media Literacy

3

CHIN 411

Media Chinese

3

 

Content Course (3 units – select from the following)

CHIN 341

From Yellow Music to Mandopop

3

CHIN 507

Traditional Chinese Culture

 

CHIN 521

Chinese Modern Fiction

3

CHIN 525

Chinese Applied Linguistics

3

CHIN 530

Oratory and Performance

3

CHIN 537

Chinese Language and Modern China

3

CHIN 580

Topics in Modern Chinese Language and Literature

3

CHIN 582

Topics in Classical Chinese Language and Literature

3

 

Literature in Translation (3 units – select from the following)

CHIN 600

Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture in English

3

CHIN 601GW

The Poetic Tradition – GWAR

3

CHIN 602

The Narrative Tradition

3

CHIN 611GW

The Revolutionary Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature - GWAR

3

CHIN 612GW

Negotiating Chineseness in the Late 20th and 21st Centuries - GWAR

3

HUM 530

Chinese Civilization

3

 

Graduation Writing Requirement (0-3 units)

GWAR

Any course with GWAR suffix (if not satisfied in “Literature in Translation” section

3

 

 

Electives (0-3)

Additional upper-division CHIN-prefix courses as needed to reach a total of 30 units in the major.

 

*Courses from the lower division cluster can be replaced with high school Advanced Placement (AP) examination credit (see university guidelines).

 

TOTAL UNITS: 30-33

 

Culminating Experience

Prior to submitting an application for graduation, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese must present evidence of having completed a Culminating Experience project. The Culminating Experience project can be completed through one of three options:

1. Standardized Test:

The student shall submit evidence of having passed the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), or the ACTFL/ILROral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Mandarin Chinese at the appropriate level. The following grade levels are treated as passing:

  • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): Level 4 or higher
  • Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL): Level 3 or higher
  • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): Advanced low or higher

2. Writing Portfolio:

The student shall submit a writing portfolio with evidence of advanced level academic and/or professional writing in both Chinese and English. The portfolio must contain at least one work of Chinese language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment submitted for credit in an upper division course taught in Chinese, and one work of English language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment accepted for credit in a GWAR course. 

3. Flagship Capstone:

The Flagship Capstone option is available only to students accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. Students in the Chinese Flagship Program must choose the Flagship Capstone Option, which consists of a "Capstone Year" abroad for study and internship, to be implemented once the student has reached proficiency benchmarks set by the Language Flagship and has been recommended by the Council of Chinese Flagship Directors.

 

Complementary Studies (effective Fall 2014)

Required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese are 12 units of Complementary Studies, which must come from courses bearing a prefix other than CHIN. Complementary Studies for the Chinese major can be satisfied via four possible routes: (1) FOREIGN LANGUAGE: 12 units in any foreign language other than Chinese (may include up to 3 units of FL prefix courses); (2) STUDY ABROAD: 12 units of course work taken in an approved study abroad program (including CSU Study Abroad, SFSU Bilateral, Chinese Flagship, and SLI Translation-Interpretation programs); (3) 2ND MAJOR / MINOR / CERTIFICATE: 12 units of course work taken as part of a second major, a minor or a certificate; (4) RELATED SUBJECTS: 12 units of course work in related disciplines with the approval of a Chinese Program advisor. Related disciplines typically include linguistics, literature, philosophy, history, education, and any aspect of greater China, East Asia, or Asian Americans.

Where a course with a non-CHIN prefix is taken as a core requirement or elective for the Chinese major, the said course may also (doubly) count towards Complementary Studies only via the Study Abroad option or the 2nd Major/Minor/Certificate option listed above. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Foreign Language option are allowed a maximum of 3 units of overlap of FL-prefix courses between Chinese major and Complementary Studies units. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Related Subjects option are not allowed to double-count major and Complementary Studies units.

 

Complementary Studies Option

(NOITE: All units counting towards Complementary Studies must bear a prefix other than CHIN)

a. Languages other than English

12 units in any foreign language other than Chinese (may include up to 3 units of FL prefix courses). Except for FL prefix courses, Complementary Studies units from this category must be in addition to, and may not overlap with units required for the Chinese major.

b. 2nd Major / Minor / Certificate

12 units from study towards a second major, a minor, or a certificate in any subject. Where applicable, units from this category may apply towards both Complementary Studies and the Chinese major (double-counting allowed).

c. Study Abroad

12 units from recognized Study Abroad programs. Recognized programs include CSU Study Abroad programs, SFSU Bilateral programs, Chinese Flagship study abroad and internship, and Strategic Language Initiative (SLI) Translation-Interpretation exchange program. Where applicable, units from this category may apply towards both Complementary Studies and the Chinese major (double-counting allowed).

d. A coherent group of courses approved by a major advisor as complementary to the major

Student will meet with Chinese Program advisor well prior to semester of graduation to design a course of study in related disciplines that best complements the student’s demonstrated research agenda or career goals. Related disciplines typically include (but are not limited to) linguistics, literature, philosophy, history, education, and any aspect of greater China, East Asia, or Asian American Studies. Complementary Studies units from this category must be in addition to, and may not overlap with units required for the Chinese major.

 

Apply for Transition to Graduate Status

Upon completion of all undergraduate degree requirements, student will apply for (undergraduate) graduation and complete the “SF State Scholars Baccalaureate Degree Review Application”.

  • Students can continue to take undergraduate classes after transitioning to graduate status. However, no lower division classes taken in graduate status will count towards the undergraduate degree. After transitioning to graduate status, students will pay post-baccalaureate tuition and campus fees. If, for any reason, the student wishes to switch back to undergraduate status, the difference in fees will not be refunded.
  • Students will be charged the undergraduate tuition fee only during the time in which they have earned fewer than degree applicable 120 semester units.

 

Course Requirements (graduate portion)

 1. Seek graduate advising every semester

  • Seek advising on what courses to take and how to complete your degree within a projected timeframe
  • Seek advising on what courses taken from outside the Chinese Program will count towards electives

2. Take classes (10 classes / 30 units required)

Course requirements are listed below. You can also download a copy of the course requirements. Note that M.A. course requirements are on p.2 of the document.

Research/Teaching Methodology Requirement (choose one from below)

  • MLL 701 Seminar in Academic Writing and Research Methodology (3)

Classical Literature Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 822 Seminar in Classical Chinese Literature (3)

Modern Literature Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 821 Seminar in Modern Chinese Literature (3) 
  • CHIN 820 Road to Modernity (3)

Chinese Pedagogy Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 824 Testing & Assessment in Teaching/Learning Chinese as L2 (3)
  • CHIN 825 Chinese Linguistics & Teaching/Learning Chinese as L2 (3)
  • CHIN 837 Materials Development for Teaching Chinese (3)
  • MLL 803 Technology in Foreign Language Education (3)
  • MLL 808 Second Language Acquisition (3)

Chinese Linguistics Requirement (choose one from below)

  • CHIN 826 Semantics and Morphology (3)
  • CHIN 827 Language Change and Dialect Variation (3)

Electives (must complete all as described below)

  • [Exclusively graduate (not paired) elective course in Chinese or related subject] (3)
  • [Exclusively graduate (not paired) elective course in Chinese, or paired upper division/graduate course in Chinese (students must enroll using the graduate course number)] (3)
  • [Upper division or graduate electives in Chinese or related subject with approval of graduate advisor] (9)
MINIMUM REQUIRED UNITS = 30

Plus Master's Comprehensive Written and Oral Examinations (see below) in two subfields. The student is admitted to the oral examination upon passing the written examination. Both examinations may be attempted not more than two times.

3. File the Advancement to Candidacy

File the ATC (formerly known as Graduate Approved Program [GAP]) and Culminating Experience forms with the graduate advisor.

Download the two forms from the Division of Graduate Studies Forms page:

  • ATC form (pdf) (for Chinese M.A. degree)
  • Culminating Experience sign-up form (pdf) (for Chinese M.A. degree)
  • (If the course listed on the ATC form is different from the actual course you took in a particular category, fill out an ATC Substitution Form)

 

  • ATC Form specifies which courses you intend to take to complete your Masters Degree in Chinese (if you are not sure which courses will be offered in future semesters, write down your best guess -- you will be allowed to revise the form at a later date)
  • ATC Form must be filed after the first semester, and before the final semester (i.e., you must wait until you have completed 18 units before you can file your ATC form, but you must file it one semester before the semester you intend to graduate).
  • ATC Form will include all core requirements and electives needed to complete the Masters Degree in Chinese.
  • Culminating Experience Form: The Culminating Experience Form specifies what subject areas you will be doing your future Culminating Experience in, and which instructors you will be taking the Culminating Experience with.

4. Submit an Application for Graduation

Apply for graduation before the third week of your final semester.

5. Complete the Culminating Experience requirement

The Culminating Experience will generally consist of written and oral exams.

Written Exam

Two separate exams taken with two different instructors within the program (one in literature, one in linguistics, for example). Written exams typically take place at the end of a semester; students usually work out with each instructor at the beginning of the semester (before 3rd week of semester) what subject matter the exam will be on, and what materials to study.

Oral Exam 

Takes place after completion of written exam. Consists of a 40 minute session in which both instructors ask questions about contents of written exam -- student is expected to discuss and defend viewpoints expounded in written exam.

To complete the Culminating Experience requirement, candidates must

  • Choose two instructors that you want to take the Culminating Experience with (by the 3rd week of the semester)
  • Get readings lists and exam topics from each instructor
  • Set written and oral exam dates with each instructor

Note to Students

  • The culminating experience requires a full semester's worth of work. Do not treat it as a test that you cram for weeks before the event.
  • Arrangements with professors must be made no later than the third week of the semester of graduation, to allow for semester-long study. Requests for culminating experience arrangements made after the third week are likely to be refused.
  • All exams (including written and oral exams) must be completed before the end of finals week of the graduating semester.

6. File "Report of Completion of Specified Graduate Program Requirements"

  • Form requires signatures of both instructors overseeing Culminating Experience written and oral exam.
  • Once oral exam is completed and Report of Completion has been signed, instructors will bring the signed form to Modern Languages & Literatures Department Office.
  • Modern Languages & Literatures Department Office will submit report to Division of Graduate Studies.

To apply for the SF State Scholar Program in Chinese, download an application form, then make an appointment to see the SF State Chinese Scholar Program advisor.

View a sample roadmap to the completion of the SF State Scholar Program in Chinese.