The CAPS Minor

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The Brittany and Adam J. Levinson China and Asia-Pacific Studies (CAPS) program is an interdisciplinary program designed to train future leaders in various domains of U.S.-China relations. In addition to the CAPS Major, which is normally open to undergraduate students in the College of Arts and Sciences, the program offers a China and Asia-Pacific Studies (CAPS) Minor to undergraduate students enrolled in any of the seven Cornell undergraduate colleges. It provides a structured yet flexible arrangement for students to take advantage of the CAPS unique and rigorous curriculum for studying China’s history, politics, economy, foreign relations, and especially U.S.-China relations both on and off campus. 

Course Requirements

To complete the CAPS Minor, students need to complete at least 18 credits of coursework in China and Asia-Pacific Studies, including one of the CAPS gateway courses (CAPS 3049, CAPS 3403, CAPS 3827, CAPS 3907, and CAPS 3967) and four more courses. At least two of these courses need to be chosen from the list of CAPS core courses, and the remaining two may be electives, generally to be chosen from the list of CAPS-recommended courses (including the courses offered by the School of International Studies at Peking University in China), in consultation with the advisor. One of these electives will usually be a Chinese-language course.

The CAPS course offerings are posted on the College of Arts and Sciences Course Roster and the CAPS Major Web page. The list of electives, which is regularly updated, is intended to be representative but not exhaustive. 

A minimum grade of C must be received for all courses counted towards the Minor. All courses used to fulfill the Minor requirements, including language courses, must be taken for a letter grade.

Language Requirements

All CAPS minors need to complete the equivalent of second-year Chinese, 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). 

Off-campus Opportunities

Students in the Minor may be considered for one of the off-campus semesters (CAPS in Washington, D.C. or CAPS in Beijing, China) if space is available in the program and if they place into the language level appropriate for that semester’s CAPS Chinese courses (2000 level for Beijing). Students who are interested in either of CAPS' off-campus semesters must make an appointment to see the Program Manager, Xu Xin by email or by phone 607-255-4741 for consultation. 


Students may enroll in the CAPS Minor at any point but are encouraged to do so early in order to be put on the CAPS listserv for announcements of news and activities of the program and to be considered for an off-campus study.  

To apply:

  • Obtain a “Minor in China and Asia-Pacific Studies” application packet from the CAPS Office, in person at 105A Morrill Hall, by email, or by phone 607-255-2654.
  • Schedule an appointment with the CAPS Associate Director, Xu Xin, by emailing and bring along the completed form and a copy of your current Cornell transcript to the appointment. 
  • Return the completed form to the CAPS Office, 105A Morrill Hall. 

Upon enrollment, students will be assigned an advisor from the CAPS faculty for consultation on their course of study.

Students enrolled in the CAPS Minor are considered members of the China and Asia-Pacific Studies program and are encouraged to participate in all program activities.


Transcripts reflect successful completion of the requirements for the Minor. In addition, students receive a certificate and a letter of confirmation signed by the Director of the CAPS Program.