Chinese Major

Requirement: 10 Courses

Of the 10 courses, 8 must be at the 200 level or above. These courses should be distributed as follows:

Chinese Language Courses: 3 to 6 Courses

  • All must be above the elementary level
  • 2 of these must be at the 300 level or above
  • Must be taken from the appropriate Chinese Language Track:
    • Regular Track: For students raised in homes where non-Chinese language was spoken
    • Alternative Track: For students raised in homes where Chinese was spoken

Chinese Literature/Culture Courses: 3 to 7 Courses

  • Distribution of courses: at least one course at the 100 level, at least 1 course at the 200-300 level, and at least one course at the 400 level and above.
  • 3 of these must be taken in AMES 
  • Literature/Culture Courses outside of Chinese Concentration: may take 1 to 2 Courses
  • Must be at the 100 level or above
  • Must be taken in AMES 

Senior portfolio

On their final semester, AMES majors should turn in a "senior portfolio." The dossier is a capstone that recognizes your work and expertise in the language and culture you chose to work on. It will aid your search for a job and/or application for graduate programs. Most of the documents requested for the dossier are materials you have generated already in your regular coursework. The portfolio includes:

  • Short Reflective Essay:

To introduce the materials in the portfolio, write a brief, 3-pages (or more) essay reflecting on your experience at AMES: What was your experience in AMES? What have you learned? What surprised you? Did you travel to Asia and the Middle East as part of your studies? How has your time abroad shaped your understanding of the language and culture you have studied? How has your view of the world and of yourself changed?

  • Coursework and related curricular and extracurricular pursuits:

List courses you have taken as part of your studies of the language and culture of your choice; also indicate other, related pursuits such as a semester abroad, Duke Engage, internship, sustained involvement in non-profit work, and more. Include prizes you have received in the course of your studies.

  • Papers

Honors thesis (if produced)

Research papers you have written for an AMES class or an independent study with AMES faculty (revised if you like)

You may include papers you have written in an AMES language for any of your classes.

  • Creative work

Have you produced creative work for your AMES classes: poem or short fiction, essays, dramatic piece, music clip, film, painting, sculpture, game or any other object? Please include it (a photo in the case of a physical object) with a brief description

  • Translations

Have you been engaged in substantive translation projects, including interpretation/dubbing for one of your AMES courses or in other courses using your AMES languages? Please include these:

  • Publications

Any academic, artistic, journalistic or other publications


Example of a Course Plan for Students Taking Intermediate-level Chinese:

Language Courses Regular Track
CHINESE 203—Intermediate Chinese I
CHINESE 204—Intermediate Chinese II
CHINESE 305—Advanced Chinese I
CHINESE 306—Advanced Chinese II

Language Courses Alternative Track
CHINESE 131—Literacy in Chinese I
CHINESE 232—Literacy in Chinese II
CHINESE 333—Advanced Literacy in Chinese
CHINESE 334—Issues in Modern Chinese

Literature and Culture Courses
AMES 233—Global Chinese Cities through Literature and Film
AMES 232S—Chinese Literature and Culture in Translation
AMES 431—Modern Chinese Cinema
AMES 535—Chinese Media and Pop Culture
ARTHIST 295—Chinese Art 1900 to Present
ENGLISH 275S—Asian American Literature
PHIL 263—Chinese Philosophy
RELIGION 247—T'ai Chi and Chinese Thought
SES 215FS—The Politics of Language

Literature and Culture Courses Outside of Concentration

AMES 410S—Trauma and Space in Asia