FAQ

Master of Arts in Chinese Studies Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Who can apply for the MACS program and what criteria do they need to fulfill?
  2. How do I apply to the program?
  3. What are the tuition and fees for the MACS program?
  4. What benefits will I receive from the MACS program?
  5. Who teaches the MACS courses?
  6. How many students will be accepted into the MACS program?
  7. Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?
  8. How long does the program take to complete?
  9. What courses will I be required to take?
  10. What types of jobs or post-graduate opportunities can I use my MACS degree to apply for?
  11. When are the classes offered?
  12. What extracurricular activities can I participate in as a MACS student?
  13. What housing arrangements are available for graduate students?
  14. What scholarships or student employment options are available to a MACS student?
  15. Can I combine the MACS degree with any other graduate programs?
  16. Where is Valparaiso University located and what does Valparaiso as a city have to offer to students enrolled in VU graduate programs?
  17. Whom should I contact if I am interested in the program or have questions?


1. Who can apply for the MACS program and what criteria do they need to fulfill?
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, including a GPA of 3.0, certified transcripts of a bachelor's degree, two letters of reference (at least one from an Chinese language instructor who can comment on the applicant’s language skills), two page personal essay, and the application fee. In addition, applicants must demonstrate Chinese language competency through any of the following: (1) Completion of three years of college Chinese with average grades of B or higher; (2) Completion of two years of college Chinese and based on the results of admission interviews conducted by VU faculty after receiving his or her application; (3) Strong background in Chinese language (e.g., through family heritage) and 4) A "B" or above certificate on the basic level examination of the HSK standardized test (check with Professor Zhimin Lin (Zhimin.Lin@valpo.edu) for more information on this test). Students having only two years of Chinese or less, or who do not meet the program admission requirements in other ways, may be admitted on the condition that they complete adequate preparatory coursework before being enroll formally in the program.

2. How do I apply to the program?
Applicants may request an application packet by emailing graduate.school@valpo.edu or calling 219-464-5313. Applications may also be found online.

3. What are the tuition and fees for the MACS program?
Tuition and fees total approximately $22,000 for the 2012-2013 academic year (there are tuition discounts for credits earned in the Summer Advanced Chinese Program in Hangzhou, China). Students attending the Summer Advanced Chinese Program in China are also responsible for their own meals and incidental expenses while in China (room and local transportation are provided by the MACS program). Eligible students will also receive a travel grant of up to $1,250 to cover international travel costs.
The living expenses for fall and spring may vary. However, on average, the living expenses, books, and personal travel cost totaling $10,000 per academic year.
For more information on general tuition and fees, please visit the Graduate Studies office website at http://www.valpo.edu/grad.

4. What benefits will I receive from the MACS program?
The MACS program provides a unique mix of learning experiences and professional development opportunities not found in similar programs. Attractive features and benefits include:

    * Developing fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Chinese in relative short period of time
    * Understanding of Chinese culture through a variety of topic courses
    * Summer advanced language program in China with assistance for international travel and accommodation
    * Possible internship in the second summer in China
    * Strong competitive advantage in the job market dealing with East Asia
    * Opportunity to enroll in graduate level courses in most major fields

5. Who teaches the MACS courses?
Faculty for the MACS program include Dr. Zhimin Lin (Chair of the Chinese and Japanese Studies Department and Associate Professor, Political Science), Dr. Benjamin Ridgway (Assistant Professor of Chinese language and literature, Foreign Languages and Literatures), Dr. James Nelson (Associate Professor, Psychology), Dr. Jaishankar Raman (Associate Professor, Economics), Yun Xia (History), Lynn Grantz (English), Jiangang Liu (CIVU).

6. How many students will be accepted into the MACS program?
Approximately 12 students will be accepted annually into the regular MACS program.  K-12 teachers may also apply for the Teacher’s Track of the MACS Program,which has 15 seats each year.

7. Will I have the opportunity to study abroad?

Yes, the Summer Advanced Chinese Program will be the first opportunity to study abroad in the MACS program. Students may also participate in a Spring semester research course that includes a 10-day field research trip to either China or Japan. Internship opportunities are available for students who have completed the fall and spring semesters.

8. How long does the program take to complete?
A full time student can complete the program in one full year (or three full semesters) - beginning in summer and ending in the following summer. Part time students will have up to five years to complete the program.

9. What courses will I be required to take?
The course requirements are:

  • 9 credits of Chinese Language (CHST 501, 502, 541);
  • 3 credits of Introduction to Chinese literature (CHST 520);
  • 3 credits of Best Practices in Teaching Chinese (CHST 590);
  • 9-12 credits of Chinese topics courses (CHST 590/690);
  • 3 credits of Internship in China (CHST 686);
  • 3 credits of Supervised Reading and Research (CHST 695);
  • 1 credit of Preparation for Standardized Test (CHST 699);
  • 6 credits of approved electives


10. What types of jobs or post-graduate opportunities can I use my MACS degree to apply for?
MACS graduates will be able to use their degrees in a variety of fields including, federal government agencies that require a high level of language skills, US and international companies and corporations that require language proficiency for their employees, educational institutions such as high schools or even colleges, NGOs such as foundations, programs and churches, and the ability to apply and enter into competitive PhD programs both in the US and overseas.

11. When are the classes offered?
Summer, Fall and Spring classes are offered Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 9:15 pm. There will be at least one on-line course available for the MACS program each Fall and Spring.

12. What extracurricular activities can I participate in as a MACS student?
Graduate students at VU are able to participate in most of the undergraduate activities, including the highly-active Chinese and Japanese Clubs, opportunities to work for the Confucius Institute at Valparaiso University, the Chinese and Japanese Studies Program and beyond. They may also work for the tutoring program sponsored by the Graduate Office as well its regular activities such as lectures, cultural events, and social outings, and have plenty of opportunities to interact with the more than 80 native Chinese undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in VU.

13. What housing arrangements are available for graduate students?
Off-campus apartments are available for rental. Plans are being made to allow MACS students to live with Chinese native speaking graduate students in university-owned apartments equipped with Chinese-language television programming.

14. What scholarships or student employment options are available to a MACS student?

  • Scholarship. Up to $6,000 per incoming student based on merits and/or needs.
  • Tutoring. Several tutoring positions from the Graduate Office and the Chinese and Japanese Studies Program are available each semester.
  • Research assistantship. Working with individual faculty members when it is available.
  • Office manager. Two positions are available through the Chinese and Japanese Studies Program. Office managers are paid based on hourly wages. The normal workload is about 20 hours per week.
  • Other student employment opportunities are available through the Office of Financial Aid.

15. Can I combine the MACS degree with any other graduate programs?
Yes!  Students can pair the MACS program with the VU School of Law’s Juris Doctorate program.  They can also undertake a dual degree between Chinese Studies and one of the following: English Studies & Communication, International Commerce & Policy, Information Technology, Liberal Studies or Sports Administration.  For more information about these programs and their requirements, please contact the Graduate School at graduate.school@valpo.edu.

16. Where is Valparaiso University located?  What does the city of Valparaiso have to offer to students enrolled in VU graduate programs?
Valparaiso University is located about 50 miles southwest of Chicago. From the city, one can access numerous cultural and social events. For more information, please visit http://www.valpo.edu/about_valpo/. For information about the city of Valparaiso and surrounding areas, including housing, entertainment and nearby attractions, please visit http://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/.

17. Whom should I contact if I am interested in the program or have questions?
Please contact the Graduate School (graduate.school@valpo.edu, 219-464-5313 or 800-821-7685) or Professor Zhimin Lin (Zhimin.Lin@valpo.edu or 219-464-5749), Chair of Chinese and Japanese Studies Program.