Master of Arts in Chinese Studies

Program Description
The demand for students with fluency in Chinese combined with conventional degrees and professional experience is growing rapidly. The Master of Arts in Chinese Studies (MACS) is an innovative program designed to prepare students in any field of undergraduate study, with at least two years of college Chinese, for the opportunities and challenges posed by the emergence of China as a formidable political and economic force over the next several decades.

The 37-credit program emphasizes developing fluency in the Chinese (Mandarin) language as well as an understanding of Chinese culture, politics, and history.

Why this program?
The MACS program provides a unique mix of learning experiences and opportunities not found in similar programs. Attractive features and benefits include:

  • Improved fluency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding Mandarin Chinese;
  • Understanding of Chinese culture and society through a variety of topic courses;
  • Summer study and travel in China (Summer Advanced Chinese Program);
  • Summer work internship in China;
  • Strong competitive advantage in the international job market dealing with East Asia;
  • Opportunity to enroll in graduate-level courses in most major fields.

Core Requirements
37 credits
CHST 531 Contemporary Chinese in Mass Media I
4 cr
CHST 532 Contemporary Chinese in Mass Media II
4 cr
CHST 590/690 Topics/Seminar in Chinese Studies
9 cr
CHST 607 Intensified Fourth Year Chinese I
5 cr
CHST 608 Intensified Fourth Year Chinese II
5 cr
CHST 695 Supervised Readings & Research in Chinese Studies
1-3 cr
CHST 696 Graduate Seminar in Chinese Studies I
0.5 cr
CHST 697 Graduate Seminar in Chinese Studies II
0.5 cr
In addition, students may select up to 6 credits of graduate level coursework related to their academic discipline or interests (e.g., economics, psychology, political science, international commerce, history, English, law, etc.), if courses are available and prerequisites are met.
Sample topics courses include: Classic Chinese Novels, Public Policy in China, East Asian Theatre, Media & Cultures in East Asia, and Pedagogy of Teaching Chinese.
Summer Advanced Chinese Program
All students enrolled in the MACS program (with the exception of those whose level of Chinese is determined by Valparaiso University as sufficient to take the intensified fourth year Chinese upon admission) are required to enroll in the Summer Semester. The program offers seven to eleven weeks of intensive training in Chinese language and an optional four-week internship program. With small classes, daily drills, and a curriculum designed to match the needs of individual students, the program prepares students for taking the far more rigorous, intensified Fourth Year Chinese and Topics in Chinese courses on campus in fall and spring. Students who successfully complete the summer semester will earn 6 credits that can be applied to their degree with an additional 3 credits if they opt to do the internship. Students who enter the program with less than three years of college Chinese may be required to study at the Valparaiso University China Study Center for two summers. To learn more about the Summer Advanced Chinese Program, please visit the SACP website.


Early Entry Option for VU Undergraduates

Qualified VU juniors and seniors may apply to begin graduate course work in Chinese Studies prior to graduation.  This unique program allows students to save time and money on their graduate programs.  For more information, students should speak with their academic advisor and contact an admissions counselor at the Graduate School.

Criteria for Admission
Students with any undergraduate major may apply. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate School, which include:

  • An overall grade point average of 3.0;
  • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score of at least 550 (paper version), 230 (computer-based), or Internet Based Test (TOEFL iBT) score of at least 80; minimum IELTS (International English Language Testing System) score of 6; CET score of 6, or an INTERLINK Language Center Level 5, or the equivalent for non-native English speakers;
  • Demonstrate proficiency in Chinese language by any one of the following:
    1) Completion of three years of college Chinese;
    2) Completion of two years of college Chinese and Valparaiso University's intensive summer immersion program at the third year level.

Heritage learners must demonstrate proficiency at the third year level through assessment in a placement test. All students enrolling in the program will have their Chinese language proficiency assessed by means of the department's placement test or phone interview prior to their first semester in the program. Students who do not meet these conditions may be accepted into the program on the condition that they complete the third year of Chinese at Valparaiso University prior to the start of their participation in the program. Third year language classes offered at Valparaiso University may not be applied to the MACS program.

As part of the application process, students must provide:

  • Valparaiso University Graduate Application and MACS Supplemental Application;
  • Official transcripts of all prior undergraduate and graduate coursework.  If you have received an undergraduate or graduate degree from Valparaiso University, you are not required to submit an official transcript from Valparaiso University;
  • Two letters of recommendation (at least one from an academic adviser or faculty);
  • A reflective essay indicating the reasons for undertaking graduate study in Chinese Studies;
  • Application fee: $30 for U.S. citizens and $50 for international students.

Due to the limited number of seats available, applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their application materials by April 15 in order to be considered for the summer session. Students needing to take preparatory coursework in third year Chinese must begin their study during the summer.

Financial Considerations
Students are strongly encouraged to begin their study during either the summer or fall semesters. Students may be surprised to discover the affordable tuition rate at Valparaiso University. Tuition for the 2011-2012 academic year is $560 per credit hour, highly competitive for a private institution of recognized national quality. Full-time graduate students pay a $183 general fee each fall and spring semester. Part-time graduate students pay a $100 general fee each fall and spring semester.  Financial aid is available through direct and indirect student loans for students taking 6 credits or more during fall and spring semesters. Students may transfer up to 6 credits of approved graduate coursework into the program.

Program scholarships and research/teaching assistantships of up to $5,000/year are offered to full-time students on the basis of merit or special need. In addition, scholarships to assist with summer travel to China may be awarded each year. To learn more about these financial assistance opportunities, click here.  Financial aid in the form of federal loans is also available to students enrolling in 6 or more credits each semester. To learn more about financial aid, contact the Office of Financial Aid by phone at 1-888-GO-VALPO (1-888-468-2576) or by email at

For more information about the Master of Arts in Chinese Studies program
To learn more about the Master of Arts in Chinese Studies, visit their department website at or

Interested students should request an information packet from the Office of the Graduate School through our website or by e-mailing

Click here to apply online.