M.A. in Chinese (Advancement to Candidacy)

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 (pdf). Note that M.A. course requirements are on p.2 of the document.

Required Courses (must complete both)

  • CHIN 822 Seminar in Classical Chinese Literature (3)
  • MLL 701 Seminar in Academic Writing and Research Methodology (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)


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.


Visit the current University Bulletin for complete course descriptions and class schedule.


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:

The ATC form can also be downloaded from the Division of Graduate Studies website (select "Chinese" from the pull-down menu).

  • 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.