• Related Links:
  • Department Website
  • Courses/Requirements
A Sampling:

Basic Chinese I, II and II
Development of basic skills for students with no knowledge of Mandarin

Intermediate Chinese I, II and III
Continued development of all skills in Mandarin

Advanced Chinese I, II and II
Continued formal study of the Chinese language

Modern Chinese Literature
An introduction to a wide range of Chinese literature

Chinese Cinema
The development and transformation of Chinese cinema from the glitzy production studios of 1930s Shanghai to the contemporary hinterlands of China, the backstreets of Hong Kong and the towns of Taiwan

Asian American Film and Performance
Topics in Asian American studies through film and performance by and about Asian Americans

Literary Traditions in East Asia
Literary developments in East Asia, including at the aesthetic and philosophic foundations of its varied literature through poetic genres, story forms, oral storytelling, travel literature and drama

Perspectives in Modern East Asian Literature
Literary and artistic developments in East Asia since the mid-19th century through novels, short stories, plays, paintings, architecture, music and film

The Changing Face of China
The study (entirely in Chinese) of advanced authentic texts of diverse topics covering the sociopolitical, economic and cultural dimensions of a drastically changing China sitting in the whirlwind of commercialization and globalization

Chinese Program
Chinese Program
Humanities 213
807 Union Street
Schenectady, NY 12308
(518) 388-6211
Practicing Chinese calligraphy in Shanghai
Practicing Chinese calligraphy in Shanghai


See where Union takes you:
  • Communications and Development Specialist, YFU USA, Washington, D.C.
  • Entrepreneur, Nanjing, China; Chairman and CEO, Enjoy China International Holdings
  • Analyst, ChinaVest, financial services, Shanghai
  • High School English Language Arts Teacher, Shanghai Community International School, Shanghai
  • Advanced language studies at IUP-Tsinghua University, Beijing
  • Former Chinese Language Trainer, U.S. Embassy, Beijing
  • Chinese Liaison, World Trade Logistics/Mainfreight, Baltimore, Md.
  • Human Capital Consultant, Info Tech, Paycom, N.Y.
  • Asia Manager, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, Beijing, China
  • Legislative assistant, Washington, D.C.
Study Abroad
Explore, Experience, Engage
Mouseover to change map:
  • Shanghai, China
    One of the largest metropolitan areas in the world with a population of more than 20 million
  • Tianjin, China
    The China mini-term focuses on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which has been practiced for thousands of years.
International Programs Office» Union Abroad Map»

The Chinese major at Union offers a unique opportunity to become immersed in the world's most widely spoken language and one of its most fascinating cultures.

Elizabeth Lehmann '12

"Learning Chinese challenged me in extraordinary ways, shaped me into who I am today and changed my perspective on the world. On my term in Shanghai, I found it both rewarding and humbling to be successful at such a difficult language. Studying in China also opened my eyes to a rich and historic culture, which is often misinterpreted."

Elizabeth Lehmann '12

Some 885 million people speak Mandarin Chinese today. As a Union College Chinese major, you will develop your speaking, listening, reading and writing skills in highly individualized settings. Beyond the language sequence, courses will range from an exploration of Chinese literature, cinema, and gender and sexuality to "The New Wall of China," an interdisciplinary overview of the cultural, historical and artistic attributes of a region in China whose geo-political landscape has been dramatically shaped by the construction of the Three Gorges Dam.

Outside the classroom, you'll be exposed to film series and speakers, as well as gatherings of the Chinese Language Table in Reamer Campus Center. The Asian Student Union sponsors numerous events and discussions about current Asian and Asian-American issues. Union students also get involved in the annual Pan-Asian American Workshop with other local colleges. And those with a passion for Asian culture may live with like-minded students (typically 8-10 residents) in Thurston House, a popular theme house.

You can experience China firsthand with your classmates and professors on Union's fall term abroad in Shanghai. In addition to the rigorous coursework at Fudan University, one of the country's top universities, this popular term is packed with excursions, including visits to the Shanghai U.S. Consulate and Shanghai Stock Exchange, and field trips to Hangzhou, the Three Gorges, Nanjing and Beijing. Faculty-advised independent study and Union's mini-term in Tianjin, which focuses on Traditional Chinese Medicine, are other outstanding study abroad options for the Chinese major at Union.

Students who graduate with proficiency in Chinese have a range of exciting career options and a leg up on jobs that relate to the Chinese-speaking world. Union alumni have gone on to professional degrees in international law, medicine and teaching. They also are active in business and finance, government, human rights and tourism.