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Academics

The CAPS program offers unparalleled opportunities for those interested in contemporary China and/or U.S.-China relations by providing a wide variety of courses, two off-campus options in Beijing and Washington, D.C., multiple tracks of Chinese language training, and high-quality internship opportunities in both the U.S. and China. The program offers a four-year undergraduate major to Cornell students in the College of Arts & Sciences, and a cross-college minor to all Cornell undergraduate students. 

Off campus in Washington, D.C., and Beijing

Washington, D.C.: CAPS students have the option of spending the fall semester of their junior year in Washington, D.C., at Cornell in Washington (CIW). CIW is not required for the CAPS major, but is highly recommended. In addition to Chinese language studies, students take a seminar on U.S.-China relations and a CIW/CAPS core course. Meanwhile, they will have China-related internships working in government agencies, embassies, media, business, law firms, NGOs, and other organizations.


Beijing, China: CAPS students spend either the spring semester of their junior year or the fall semester of their senior year in Beijing at Peking University, China’s most distinguished institution of higher learning. In addition to Chinese language studies, the students will take two courses on Chinese history, politics, and foreign relations. In Beijing, students will hold internships with agencies comparable to those in Washington D.C.

Click here to read more about the off-campus semesters. 

I knew I wanted to study Chinese and I figured that CAPS would be the major that would push me to "get the job done." I was also looking for a major that would incorporate some interdisciplinary elements and would prepare me for a job relating to international affairs. I was also super excited about the small class size.

— Audrey Keranan '12, Thomas R. Pickering Fellow at U.S. Department of State