Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Chinese Literature & Linguistics

Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Chinese Literature and Linguistics

The Concentration in Chinese Literature and Linguistics is aimed at native and near-native speakers of a Chinese language and consists of 18 units of required coursework in advanced language, linguistics, oratory, literature, and culture, plus an additional 12 units of lower and upper-division electives in Chinese or a related subject. Students have the opportunity for language immersion through exchange programs in China and Taiwan. Graduates of the program have gone on to work in language teaching, civil service, private business, the technology sector, and translation/interpretation.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Chinese: Concentration in Chinese Literature & Linguistics:

  1. Language Skills
    1. Listening Comprehension: Student can understand the utterances of native speakers and extract main ideas from recordings of authentic speech, including excerpts from lectures, films, radio, and television broadcasts.
    2. Reading Comprehension: Student can understand and summarize main ideas in target language texts intended for general readers, including social correspondences, general purpose essays, short stories, and news writing.
    3. Speaking: Student can sustain a conversation on a general topic with a fluent speaker of the target language, narrate and describe on a variety of topics at paragraph length, and respond to spontaneous developments in an exchange.
    4. Writing: Student can produce narratives and descriptions, cohesive summaries and routine social correspondences (e.g. business letters, resumes), demonstrating awareness of diction, syntax, and stylistics in the writing process.
  2. Cultural Knowledge
    1. Student has an understanding of cultural values, folk beliefs, social conventions and festive celebrations unique to target culture.
    2. Student can identify and characterize exemplars of painting, architecture, music, film, and other fine arts in the target culture.
    3. Student can identify major historical events and order them chronologically.
  3. Knowledge of Literature
    1. Student can identify major literary genres.
    2. Student can characterize major literary movements or periods and order them chronologically.
    3. Student can identify major historical events and order them chronologically.
  4. Language Structure
    1. Student has understanding of sound system (phonetics/phonology) of the target language.
    2. Student has understanding of word-formation processes (morphology) in the target language.
    3. Student is familiar with syntax of the target language.
    4. Student has understanding of the historical development of the target language.
    5. Student has understanding of sociolinguistic variation in the target language.

Culminating Experience

Before submitting an application for graduation, candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese must present evidence of having completed a Culminating Experience project. The Culminating Experience project can be completed through one of three options:

  1. Standardized Test:
    The student shall submit evidence of having passed the Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK), the Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL), or the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) for Mandarin Chinese at the appropriate level. The following grade levels are treated as passing:
    • Hanyu Shuiping Kaoshi (HSK): Level 4 or higher
    • Test of Chinese as a Foreign Language (TOCFL): Level 3 or higher
    • Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI): Advanced low or higher
  2. Writing Portfolio:
    The student shall submit a writing portfolio with evidence of advanced level academic and/or professional writing in both Chinese and English. The portfolio must contain at least one work of Chinese language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment submitted for credit in an upper-division course taught in Chinese, and one work of English language academic or professional writing developed out of a writing assignment accepted for credit in a GWAR course.
  3. Flagship Capstone:
    The Flagship Capstone option is available only to students accepted into the Chinese Flagship Program. Students in the Chinese Flagship Program must choose the Flagship Capstone Option, which consists of a "Capstone Year" abroad, to be implemented once the student has reached proficiency benchmarks set by the Language Flagship and has been recommended by the Council of Chinese Flagship Directors.

Chinese (B.A.): Concentration in Chinese Literature and Linguistics — 30 Units

Language Core (15 units)

CHIN 311Conversation and Reading3
CHIN 312Speech and Writing3
CHIN 401Advanced Chinese3
Select One:3
Introduction to Classical Chinese
Readings in Literary Chinese
MLL 325Linguistics for Foreign Languages3

Civilization & Culture1 (3 units)

Select One:

CHIN 228Chinese Language and Society3
CHIN 270China and the West: Cross-Cultural Encounters Through Literature and Art from Middles Ages-Present3
CHIN 271The Classic Chinese Novel in Contemporary Pop Culture3

Media Literacy (3 units)

Select One:

CHIN 410Building Chinese Media Literacy3
CHIN 411Media Chinese3

Content Course (3 units)

Select One:

CHIN 341From Yellow Music to Mando Pop: The History & Practice of Popular Music in 20th & 21st Century China3
CHIN 507Traditional Chinese Culture3
CHIN 521Chinese Modern Fiction3
CHIN 525Chinese Applied Linguistics3
CHIN 537Chinese Language and Modern China3
CHIN 580Topics in Modern Chinese Language and Literature3

Literature in Translation (3 units)

Select One:

CHIN 600Topics in Chinese Language, Literature, and Culture in English3
CHIN 601GWThe Poetic Tradition - GWAR3
CHIN 602The Narrative Tradition3
CHIN 611GWThe Revolutionary Tradition in Modern Chinese Literature - GWAR3
CHIN 612GWNegotiating Chineseness in the Late 20th and 21st Centuries - GWAR3
HUM 530Chinese Civilization3

Graduation Writing Requirement (GWAR) (0-3 Units)

If not chosen from the 600 level courses above.

Electives (0-3 Units)

Additional upper-division CHIN-prefix courses as needed to reach a total of 30 units in the major.


Courses from the lower-division cluster can be replaced with high school Advanced Placement (AP) examination credit (see University guidelines).

Complementary Studies

Required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Chinese are 12 units of Complementary Studies, which must come from courses bearing a prefix other than CHIN, and not cross-listed with CHIN. Complementary Studies for the Chinese major can be satisfied via four possible routes:

  1. 12 units in any foreign language other than Chinese (may include up to 3 units of MLL prefix courses);
  2. 12 units of course work taken in an approved study abroad program (including CSU Study Abroad, SF State Bilateral, Chinese Flagship, and SLI Translation-Interpretation programs);
  3. 12 units of course work taken as part of a second major, a minor or a certificate;
  4. 12 units of course work in related disciplines with the approval of a Chinese Program advisor.

Related disciplines typically include linguistics, literature, philosophy, history, education, and any aspect of Greater China, East Asia, or Asian Americans.

Where a course with a non-CHIN prefix is taken as a core requirement or elective for the Chinese major, the said course may also (double) count towards Complementary Studies only via the Study Abroad option or the 2nd Major/Minor/Certificate option listed above. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Foreign Language option are allowed a maximum of three units of overlap of MLL prefix courses between Chinese major and Complementary Studies units. Students satisfying Complementary Studies through the Related Subjects option are not allowed to double-count major and Complementary Studies units.

NOTE: Regarding Study Abroad (applies to all Chinese degrees, concentrations, and minors): Students are encouraged to study abroad through the International Programs of the California State University and the Bilateral Programs of San Francisco State University. For students opting to study abroad, all study abroad units will count as units in residence and can be used for graduation credit, but no more than half of the units required for the major or minor may be taken outside of the home campus. Flagship Language Concentration students, however, may apply all of their Study Abroad units towards the major.

General Education Requirements

Requirement Course Level Units Area Designation
Oral Communication LD 3 A1
Written English Communication LD 3 A2
Critical Thinking LD 3 A3
Physical Science LD 3 B1
Life Science LD 3 B2
Lab Science LD 1 B3
Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning LD 3 B4
Arts LD 3 C1
Humanities LD 3 C2
Arts or Humanities LD 3 C1 or C2
Social Sciences LD 3 D1
Social Sciences: US History LD 3 D2
Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD) LD 3 E
Ethnic Studies LD 3 F
Physical and/or Life Science UD 3 UD-B
Arts and/or Humanities UD 3 UD-C
Social Sciences UD 3 UD-D
SF State Studies
Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.
American Ethnic and Racial Minorities LD or UD 3 AERM
Environmental Sustainability LD or UD 3 ES
Global Perspectives LD or UD 3 GP
Social Justice LD or UD 3 SJ

Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.

First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)

The roadmaps presented in this Bulletin are intended as suggested plans of study and do not replace meeting with an advisor. For a more personalized roadmap, please use the Degree Planner tool found in your Student Center.

First-Time Student Roadmap

SF State Scholars

The San Francisco State Scholars program provides undergraduate students with an accelerated pathway to a graduate degree. Students in this program pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously. This program allows students to earn graduate credit while in their junior and/or senior year, reducing the number of semesters required for completion of a master’s degree.

SF State Scholars Roadmap

General Advising Information for Transfer Students

  1. Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
  2. The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
    • a course in U.S. History
    • a course in U.S. & California Government

For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:

  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
  • Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.

Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.

Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).

Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.

Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.

Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.

Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs

Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.

Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit

Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.