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Chinese Studies

Degree Option: Major
Locations: Lincoln Center and Rose Hill
Visit the Modern Languages and Literatures Department

Study a language and culture central to today’s world.


The past three decades have witnessed the unprecedented development of China as the second largest economy in the world and a leading force in global politics and beyond. Mandarin Chinese is now spoken by over 1 billion people worldwide, and as the country has become increasingly open to the West, learning its language and culture has become a key to competing in many industries. China’s economic development and the critical role the country has come to play suggests the timely importance of Chinese studies.

Chinese studies looks at China both as a vital part of the world today and one of the longest continuing civilizations of human history, and it has a dual focus on language and culture. To study China is to discover global connections evidenced through language, literature, art, philosophy, religion, and history, as well as social, political, and economic structures. Majoring in Chinese studies will prepare you for a career or graduate programs in political science, international studies, finance, and other fields.

In addition, you’ll study philosophy, theology, history, mathematics, languages, and the arts through Fordham’s common core curriculum, the centerpiece of our liberal arts education. We want you to excel in your field—and as a human being.

Program Highlights

The Chinese studies major provides students with solid training in reading and speaking Mandarin Chinese, and it also introduces students to a broad range of Chinese cultural issues and critical phenomena through multiple disciplines. Coursework falls into two categories: (1) cultural study from offerings within the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures and other departments at Fordham, as well as (2) Mandarin Chinese language study. Students will take courses in both Chinese and English.

Majors in Chinese studies must take four required courses:

  • Approaches to Literature
  • Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism: Chinese Thought and Literature
  • Chinese Cultural Concepts
  • Chinese Studies Senior Research Paper

You’ll also choose six electives from courses such as:

  • Politics of Language in China
  • China and Globalization
  • Learning Mandarin Chinese Through Music and Songs
  • Gender and China

Career Outlook

The major in Chinese studies will give you the language skills and cultural understanding to pursue a career or graduate study in fields including:

  • Business
  • Mass media
  • Law
  • Governmental agencies
  • NGOs
  • Philanthropic organizations
  • Relief and aid agencies
  • Human rights groups

Our career services tap Fordham’s ties with more than 3,500 companies. We offer:

  • Post-graduation career search
  • Resume development
  • Interviewing practice
  • Networking skill development
  • Hands-on case-study sessions with industry executives
  • Field-specific advising/coaching

You also get access to our powerful network of alumni, who want to see you succeed as they have.

Learn More About the Chinese Studies Degree