Why Study Chinese Studies?

“Our future is China,” declare Boeing executives who are exploring newly opened trade opportunities with the world’s most populated country and the globe’s fastest growing economy. This emerging global superpower will increasingly influence international politics, culture and trade in the 21st century; there is a growing demand throughout the world for people trained in Chinese Studies.

Why Study Chinese Studies at PLU?

Pacific Lutheran University offers a unique program for students interested in weaving their future within China’s through pursuit of an international career or through study abroad and travel. PLU’s Chinese Studies program provides a broad foundation in Chinese language, culture and history. The program allows focus on the religious-philosophical world view and the economic structure of China. The interdisciplinary program offers classes in Chinese language, history and anthropology, with optional work in religion, the arts, business and other fields.

Careers for Chinese Studies Majors


Chinese Studies graduates have found work in foreign investment, tourism and trade in Chinese-speaking countries. Others have found careers in the United States with companies doing business with China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan.

Culture/Service Sector

Once you become fluent in Chinese, consider translation and interpretation services for businesses and government organizations. Educational, church and international exchange groups also welcome people with Chinese Studies backgrounds to serve on their staffs.

Education and Academia

Chinese Studies is an expanding academic area from K-12 to the university level. Teaching and research opportunities will expand to meet a global need for trained China specialists.


Imagine yourself as a diplomat or on staff at a United States embassy or consulate in China, or as a liaison officer in Taiwan. State and Commerce Department positions are increasing locally and nationally as our relations with this 21st-century superpower expand.

Additional Opportunities for Chinese Studies Majors

Study Abroad

You can earn PLU credit (and even transfer your PLU financial aid) when you study in China on one of PLU’s study abroad programs. Zhongshan University in Guangzhou (near Hong Kong) is the premier university in southern China, drawing students from all over China and around the world. Sichuan University in Chengdu offers a broad range of courses including the natural sciences. Both programs emphasize Chinese language, culture and, most importantly, contact with the people of China. Credits earned in these programs can be applied to your Chinese Studies major or minor.

Campus Activities

Back on campus, the Chinese Studies program sponsors campus-wide activities—from Chinese music recitals and lectures to small group discussions with visiting Chinese scholars and Chinese-style dinner parties. A Chinese language residence hall gives students a chance to continue their language skills outside the classroom.

Chinese Studies Club

You can also join the Chinese Studies Club led by fellow students. PLU’s Pacific Rim location allows for countless opportunities for area field trips and off-campus lectures. Join people from a wide range of academic disciplines, together with visiting professors and students from China, and share insights from past and present day China.

Course Requirements

For a list of course offerings, click here »
With the approval of the program chair, selected January term, summer, study abroad and experimental courses may also be included in the major or minor.