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Chinese Language and Culture

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

As interest in learning Chinese increases, so does the demand for language teachers. Offered through GW's East Asian Languages and Literature department, the Master of Arts in Chinese Language and Culture deepens intellectual and cultural understanding of China while preparing students for careers in teaching and related fields. Through the mastery of speech and literacy, students learn how to analyze texts in original Chinese and effectively communicate with native speakers. Graduates pursue futures in education, consulting, academia or as specialists in the private and non-profit sectors. 

Under the leadership of Phyllis Zhang, director of the Chinese Language program in the department of East Asian Languages and Literature, this two-year MA combines a practical and academic approach, with a special emphasis on teaching methods. Students gain a broader knowledge of the rich history and ethnography of China, while also developing skills in professional and scholarly writing in the Chinese language. 

Core courses focus on the history of Chinese literature from antiquity to the present day, as well as the current scholarship conducted in China, Taiwan, Japan and the West. Graduates will master modern Chinese at the advanced level in both speech and literacy. Students can choose to complete 30 credit hours and a thesis, or 33 credit hours without a thesis. The program’s location in downtown Washington, D.C. provides unique opportunities, including internships and collaborations with cultural organizations, federal agencies and museums.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – June 1 (April 1 for international applicants)
Spring – October 1 

Standardized test scores:

GRE general test (institutional code 5246). 

Recommendations required: 

Two (2) academic letters of recommendation

Prerequisite requirements: 

Non-Chinese native speakers must meet minimum Chinese proficiency.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose:

An essay of no more than 750 words, in which you state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field at GW in particular, including your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions: ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday