Chinese Department


Learning Outcomes

Chinese Major

Chinese majors, upon satisfactory completion of the degree, will have realized the following outcomes in the areas listed below:


  • Achieved advanced proficiency in speaking, listening, and reading Mandarin Chinese, and high-intermediate proficiency in writing Mandarin Chinese.
  • Learned how to use Chinese to navigate diverse situations in everyday and professional settings.
  • Achieved a basic understanding of the grammar and vocabulary of Classical Chinese, and the ability to read more challenging texts with the assistance of a dictionary.

Literature and Culture

  • Acquired research, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills through engaging in interdisciplinary, cross-linguistic, cross-cultural, and comparative literary and historical analyses.
  • Learned to engage with specific time periods, genres, traditions, or issues in Chinese culture through close analysis of primary and secondary sources, both in the original and in translation.
  • Become familiar with basic bibliographic skills and protocols for conducting research on Chinese-related topics, including how to identify, assess, and interpret primary and secondary textual, audio-visual, and online sources.
  • Produced an original, persuasive, coherent, and substantial work of scholarship (the Senior Thesis), in which one has: 
    • defined a significant research topic in Chinese literature and culture based on one’s intellectual interests and existing scholarship; 
    • developed and pursued a rigorous methodology appropriate to that research topic; 
    • analyzed primary sources through close readings and comparative analysis; 
    • engaged with (sometimes in the form of extensive translation) primary and secondary sources in the original Chinese; 
    • undertaken an independent and sustained investigation of a topic with the support of an advisor; 
    • successfully presented, discussed, and defended one’s work orally in front of a committee of Reed faculty


  • Learned to use one’s Chinese language to interact and collaborate with members of local and international Chinese-speaking communities
  • Cultivated relations with peers and faculty from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds

Chinese Minor

Upon the completion of a Chinese minor, students will:

  1. Achieve high-intermediate proficiency in speaking, listening, and reading Mandarin Chinese, and intermediate proficiency in writing Mandarin Chinese.
  2. Become familiar with one or more specific time periods, genres, traditions, or issues in Chinese culture, and gained a basic understanding and appreciation for China’s complex literary and cultural traditions.