Undergraduate Program Chinese

Chinese architecture

Chinese Bachelor's Degree and Minor Overview

The most prominently spoken language on the planet with around 1.2 billion native speakers, Chinese is one of the key languages for international communication.

A bachelor's degree in Chinese from Portland State University prepares you to become proficient in this burgeoning global language through coursework that balances history, art, and literature with modern applications of the language in global business and international communications.

PSU's Chinese program prepares you to enter the Chinese-speaking world through a combination of coursework in contemporary Mandarin Chinese and a thorough examination of its heritage. Explore a literary tradition that extends 3,000 years, from brilliant philosophical texts written millennia ago to contemporary novels of Nobel Prize laureates and achingly beautiful poetry of all ages. Beyond a mastery of the language, you'll also learn the unique social and traditional elements of Chinese communication, with special attention paid to business, economics, and translation.

Degree Details

Chinese Bachelor's Degree or Minor: Why PSU?

We offer unique opportunities for you to interact with native Chinese speakers in the Portland area. A potential Capstone project for Chinese majors, the Chinese Language Program for Youth is a course that gives you the opportunity to work with elementary school programs in the Portland area by assisting teachers and engaging in classroom discussion. Shu Ren (“Shu” meaning cultivate, “Ren” meaning person), is a Portland-area nonprofit made up of parents whose children are in the Mandarin Immersion Program in Portland Public Schools. You'll have the opportunity to interact with this organization, and help nurture Chinese language education in schools around the city.

You can also take advantage of immersing yourself more fully in the Chinese language and culture by studying at PSU’s sister schools, including Zhengzhou University in Henan, and Sun Yatsen University in Taiwan; or choose from a number of study abroad programs in Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, and Hong Kong.

What can I do with a bachelor's degree or minor in Chinese?

Majoring or minoring in Chinese will prepare you to work in a variety of fields, including Chinese teaching and tutoring, international trade and business, social work, law, linguistics, and English teaching, hospitality and tourism, technical writing and translation, and international development.

Recent graduates have pursued additional studies at Stanford, Berkeley, Nanjing, and elsewhere; founded a consulting firm in Shanghai; become a manager for Toyota in Beijing; conducted sociological fieldwork with indigenous tribes on a Taiwanese island, and helped design Portland's Lan Su Chinese Garden.

Featured Courses

CHN 304 Chinese Newspaper Readings
CHN 311 Introductory Classical Chinese
CHN 341U Topics in Chinese Literature and Thought: Service and Retreat
CHN 342U Traditional Chinese Vernacular Literature in Translation
CHN 343U Modern Chinese Vernacular Literature in Translation
CHN 420 and CHN 421 Readings in Chinese Literature
CHN 490 History of the Chinese Language


Student may take up to eight advisor-approved elective credits.


Portland State University is fully accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).