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Masters Program

The acceleration of globalization and the growing importance of language enable students in the masters program to offer necessary skills for today's emerging international society. Graduates pursue professional careers in a wide range of areas related to China including international; business, media, foreign service (and other governmental departments), international organizations, nonprofit institutions, and education. Some continue their academic studies by pursuing a Ph.D. degree.

For admission information please see the Prospective Students page.

Course Requirements
Each student must complete a total of 24 semester hours of graduate course work on Asia, primarily China, with a cumulative average of "B" or better. Only graduate-level courses (numbered 400 and above) are eligible for Rackham credit and can be counted toward the total semester hour requirement.

  • Interdisciplinary seminars in Chinese studies
  • One course from the history department on Chinese history
  • One course focusing primarily on the imperial or pre-imperial period
  • One course focusing primarily on modern China

Some courses can fulfill more than one requirement. The distribution of courses must include courses from at least two different departments, not including CCS courses or language courses. The CCS associate director will adjudicate all questions concerning these requirements.

Masters Project
Students may choose among a range of options for a final project that best reflects their training, interests, and plans for future development. The final project may take the form of a traditional thesis or be developed in a different format such as an annotated translation, a creative exhibit project, or a power point presentation supported with a written document and annotations. Two shorter research papers based on prior work for a graduate class may also be submitted (see Graduate Student Handbook for details). In all cases, solid research, familiarity with Western-language literature, Chinese sources, and scholarly contributions are expected.

  • The proposal for a final project must be reviewed and approved by a committee (usually consisting of two CCS faculty members) before the student may start working on the project itself.
  • The same committee will provide supervision in the next stage and submit a written evaluation when the project is finished.

Under exceptional circumstances, students may petition to submit two shorter research papers to substitute for the master's thesis. A student intending to file such a petition should consult with the associate director of CCS ahead of time to determine whether his or her circumstances merit such a petition.

Chinese Language Requirement

  • Students in the MA program in Chinese Studies must complete third-year competence in reading and speaking Chinese.
  • Competency will be evaluated by the U-M Department of Asian Languages and Cultures, through a language test or successful completion of coursework in modern Chinese.
  • Only fourth-year-level language classes can count toward the CCS MA credit requirement.
  • Students with limited prior language training are encouraged to apply for summer language study fellowships as a means to fulfill the language requirement.


  • The CCS associate director assigns a center faculty advisor to each student upon registration.
  • Students should consult the advisor about course selection and other substantive issues.
  • Students meet with the CCS associate director at the beginning of each academic year to discuss course selection plans.
  • Students should submit a written course plan to the student services coordinator each semester before the registration deadline. The coordinator should be notified of changes in course registration.
  • Schedule an advising appointment HERE.