How does majoring in Chinese Studies at a liberal arts college like The College of Wooster prepare students for jobs or graduate school?

Because of Wooster’s multidisciplinary approach to academics, courses in Chinese language and literature, together with related courses from the departments of sociology, history, philosophy, and religious studies, give students a strong background in China and East Asia in general. The majority of graduates in Chinese from Wooster go on to graduate school and pursue a variety of careers. Many graduates choose to continue their study of languages, while others have gone on to work in education, business, film, public policy, and more.

Chinese Studies Majors and MinorsChinese Studies at The College of Wooster

Chinese Studies at Wooster is a truly multidisciplinary program that includes students from many backgrounds with varying levels of fluency in Chinese.  Students who major or minor in Chinese Studies can expect to immerse themselves in lessons on history, religion, literature, sociology, philosophy, and more. Faculty in the program pride themselves on a classroom culture that allows students to contribute their perspectives while learning from the strengths of others. Those who want to focus on building Chinese language skills can take advantage of intensive language courses, while those who are already fluent in Chinese can focus more fully on literature, history, and other areas.

And while students can build a strong educational foundation as a Chinese Studies major without ever leaving campus, the program is ideally suited to those who with a desire to spend a semester or more learning in China. Off-campus study is both encouraged and supported by The College of Wooster’s longstanding connection to study-abroad partners in China.

Chinese & East Asian Studies GroupChinese immersion outside the classroom

Chinese Studies students can build skills and find a community of learners through dinners, outings to see Chinese films, and other social functions. Intensive language learners, native speakers, and those who have recently returned from studying abroad can apply to live in the Chinese Language Suite in the Luce Residence Hall. A native Chinese speaker serves as the language assistant in this residential learning experience, where students cook together and plan events throughout the year. Chinese Table, where students and instructors gather for dinner and conversation, is held once a week in a private room at the Lowry Center.

Learn more about Chinese Studies at Wooster on our departmental website  Learn more about Luce Hall

Faculty & Staff

Cynthia D. Bernardy

Cynthia D. Bernardy

Academic Administrative Coordinator for Chinese Studies, Classical Studies, English, French & Francophone Studies, German Studies, Russian Studies, and Spanish


James Bonk

James Bonk

Visiting Assistant Professor of Chinese Studies; East Asian Studies; History


Mark Graham

Mark Graham

Associate Professor of Religious Studies; South Asian Studies; East Asian Studies; Co-Liaison to the Museum & Archival Studies Pathway


Setsuko Matsuzawa

Setsuko Matsuzawa

Professor of Anthropology and Sociology; East Asian Studies


Margaret Ng

Margaret Ng Wee-Siang

Associate Professor of History; Archaeology; Chinese Studies; Program Chair of East Asian Studies; Co-Liaison to the Public Health Pathway


Elizabeth Schiltz

Purna, Rao, Raju Chair of Philosophy, Department Chair of Philosophy; Professor of Philosophy; Classical Studies; South Asian Studies


Head shot of Rujie Wang

Rujie Wang

Professor of Chinese Studies; Comparative Literature


Ziying You

Ziying You

Associate Professor & Department Chair of Chinese Studies; East Asian Studies


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Chinese Studies majors complete 11 courses in multiple disciplines. Choices include intensive language courses and classes on Chinese history, sociology, film, globalization, and more.

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To complete a minor in Chinese Studies, students must take six courses in a range of areas that include Chinese language and literature and related courses in anthropology, history, philosophy, and religious studies.

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Independent Study

The Independent Study requirement at Wooster provides a chance for students to pursue in depth a topic of their own choosing, with the one-on-one guidance of a faculty member from their chosen home department and subject area.

Recent Independent Study projects include:

  • Viewing the ‘Other’ in China; Ethnic Minorities in Chinese Films
  • Filial Piety Understood from a Multicultural Perspective
  • Artisans of the Bedchamber: Concubines of the Tang dynasty
  • Queer Subculture in 21st-century China


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Most Chinese Studies graduates from Wooster find opportunities to study or work overseas. Many go on to graduate schools and have entered public service, education, and other fields.


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