Best California Colleges for Students Majoring in Mandarin Chinese

As the world becomes increasingly connected, knowing how to speak two or more languages is not only beneficial but also essential in increasing marketability after graduation. Students who major in Chinese, study the Chinese language and culture as well as Chinese literature.

In addition to studying the magnificence of present day China’s and it’s 5,000 year history, strong language programs provide students the opportunity to learn Chinese philosophy and classical Chinese as well as provide opportunities to study abroad in various locations throughout China.

One of the many great aspects of pursuing a Chinese major is studying the application of Chinese to various aspects of life: business, science, and technology. A strong Chinese language program is innovative, making it easy for the students to learn and put the language into context. Additionally, to unlock the true potential of a Chinese major, strong programs encourage students to double major so that they are able to utilize their new-found Chinese language skills in a specialization of their choice. California College Bound explores several universities and colleges in California whose Chinese program stands out.

Fact: The Chinese language is spoken by one billion people making it the most widely spoken language in the world.

University of California, San Diego

University of California, San Diego offers a Bachelor of Chinese Studies program that is interdisciplinary, featuring both a major and a minor program that enhances the understanding of China with an emphasis on historical and contemporary research.  Students at the University of California, San Diego, can expect to gain comprehensive linguistic, cultural, political, historical, and artistic understanding of China which helps them to succeed in their careers. The department coordinates with different departments across the university to ensure that students can visualize and learn all about China from a variety of perspectives.  Chinese studies at the University of California; San Diego offers intensive Mandarin language courses.

Fact: University of California, San Diego offers one of the strongest programs on modern Chinese culture and society in the United States with a particular interest in popular culture, religion, and film.  The school offers study abroad opportunities in Taiwan, China and Hong Kong as well as Singapore. Students have the opportunity to explore the Chinese cultures and language in exchange for traditional coursework.

Occidental College

A Chinese studies major at Occidental College is intended for students who are primarily interested in Chinese language and literature. The program aims to help the students explore Chinese culture through its language, films, culture, and study abroad programs so that they can attain advanced language proficiency. The Chinese major at Occidental College features programs in Kunming, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing, and Nanjing.

Fact: with Occidental College offering majors in these foreign languages: French, German, Japanese, Russia, and Spanish, students are allowed to study more than one foreign language. From a linguistics perspective, students are encouraged to combine two languages or one language and linguistics into a group language major.

Pomona College

A Chinese major at Pomona College is designed to help students develop advanced fluency in the Chinese language and literature and study the cultural aspects of China from the early times to present day. Chinese studies at Pomona College can be studied as a major or a minor. Chinese majors at Pomona College supplement their studies with a semester abroad in Hangzhou and Beijing.

Fun fact: Pomona College has developed the Pomona College Chinese Pronunciation guide, a free online learning module on Chinese pronunciation. The site was designed by Prof. F. Xiao, Assistant professor of Asian languages and his students. 

California State University, San Francisco

California State University, San Francisco’s Chinese Flagship program is among the 27 Flagship programs available at various higher education institutions in the USA.  San Francisco States’ Chinese Flagship program is ideal for students who are considering an international career in the Chinese speaking world. The program features intensive language instruction and cultural training through dedicated classes and individual tutoring sessions with students.  The Flagship Program is learner-centered and works intimately with each participant to facilitate their mastery of Chinese. The program involves coursework on campus in San Francisco and in mainland China.

Chinese is spoken by a sixth of the world’s population. Studying a Chinese major teaches the student to speak, write, and read in Chinese, in addition to mastering modern Chinese literature. So what is the checklist for a good Chinese program? Is it the number of full-time professors in the department? The number of years of Chinese language courses the program offers? Or maybe how active the Chinese community is on campus?  California College Bound will help you tick off all the items in your criteria. We will not only bring you a full list of schools that offer a Chinese major in California, but we will also organize tours for you to the schools of your preference.  Join the California College Bound tour program and tell us how we can facilitate your dream to study a Chinese major.

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