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Chinese Language Requirements

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Major & Minor Language Requirements

CAPS majors are required to complete three years of college-level Chinese-language courses (CHIN 1000 level through 3000 level) and acquire the high-intermediate (CHIN 3000 level) Chinese proficiency or higher upon graduation. They are expected to maintain a minimum grade of B+ in their Chinese language courses; failure to maintain this expectation may result in dismissal from the major. 

CAPS majors are strongly encouraged to take 4000-level advanced Chinese-language courses, and expected to take one of those courses during the CAPS semester in Beijing.  Two 4000-level Chinese-language courses may count as one CAPS elective course.  Only those who reach the 4000-level Chinese proficiency are eligible for candidacy in the CAPS Honors Program (see "CAPS Honors Program").

All CAPS minors need to complete the equivalent of second-year Chinese (CHIN 2000 level), or, if they place beyond the second year, they must complete any single Chinese language course at a higher level (for advanced students this may be a literature or special-topics class in Chinese). 

Students who have graduated from a Chinese high school (not an international school) in PRC or Taiwan are exempt from the Chinese language requirement.  They need to submit a copy of their high school diploma to the Director of the Chinese Language Program in the Department of Asian Studies in order to finalize the process.  Students who do not have this qualification are required to take the placement test.  If they can demonstrate the linguistic skills of a Chinese high school graduate, they are granted exemption.

The placement test for students whishing to gain an exemption is offered at the beginning of each fall and spring semester, the schedule is posted on the Department of Asian Studies website. The Department of Asian Studies notifies the registrar and CAPS of its exemption decision. 

See the explanations about the CAPS Chinese language course sequencing in details below.

 

Freshmen and Sophomore Years

In the FRESHMEN AND SOPHOMORE YEARS, CAPS students are expected to complete:

  • CHIN 1101-1102 Beginning Mandarin, I & II;
  • CHIN 2201-2202 Intermediate Mandarin, I & II.

Or, at the discretion of Cornell's Chinese language faculty:

  • CHIN 1121-1122 Beginning Mandarin for Professional Students, I & II;
  • CHIN 1123-1124 Beginning Mandarin for Professional Students, III & IV;

Students of Chinese heritage, or other higher-level starters, are expected to complete:

  • CHIN 1109-1110 Beginning Chinese Reading and Writing for Students of Chinese Heritage, I & II;
  • CHIN 2209-2010 Intermediate Chinese Reading and Writing for Students of Chinese Heritage, I & II.

 

Junior Year

In the JUNIOR YEAR, CAPS majors entering the fall semester of their junior year at CIW must be at the 2000-level Chinese proficiency or higher. During the fall semester of the junior year in D.C., they are expected to take:

  • CHIN 3341 High Intermediate Mandarin (equivalent to CHIN 3301); or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.
For students opting not to do the CIW semester, they are expected to take (in Ithaca):
  • CHIN 2201 Intermediate Mandarin I (or equivalent); or
  • CHIN 3301 High Intermediate Mandarin I; or
  • CHIN 4411 Advanced Mandarin I; or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.

During the spring semester of the junior year in Ithaca, they are expected to take:

  • CHIN 2202 Intermediate Mandarin II (or equivalent); or
  • CHIN 3302 High Intermediate Mandarin II; or
  • CHIN 4412 Advanced Mandarin II; or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.
For students going to Beijing in junior spring, they are expected to take:
  • CHIN 3342 High Intermediate Mandarin II (equivalent to CHIN 3302); or
  • CHIN 4442 Advanced Mandarin II (equivalent to CHIN 4412); or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.

 

Senior Year

In the SENIOR YEAR, during the fall semester in Beijing, students are expected to take:

  • CHIN 3341 High Intermediate Mandarin I (equivalent to CHIN 3301); or
  • CHIN 4451 Advanced Chinese I (equivalent to CHIN 4411); or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.
For students staying in Ithaca for senior fall, they are expected to take:
  • CHIN 3301 High Intermediate Mandarin I; or
  • CHIN 4411 Advanced Mandarin I; or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.

During the spring semester in Ithaca, students are expected to take:

  • CHIN 3302 High Intermediate Mandarin II; or
  • CHIN 4412 Advanced Chinese, II; or
  • Any other available Mandarin courses at or above the 4000 level, per the approval of the CAPS administration.