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Chinese is critical to a wide range of professions and interests, and your courses aim to prepare you for any opportunity. Examining the region’s changing identity and China’s literature and culture will be part of your coursework. You may decide to study in Beijing with the rigorous Associated Colleges in China program.

About the Major

Chinese is part of Hamilton's East Asian Languages and Literatures Department. The Chinese language will be at the heart of all four years of your study: The language is key to understanding China’s heritage, culture and current affairs. Within the framework of a liberal arts education, the curriculum is designed to meet the urgent need for China specialists who are competent in the language and who are able to study China through original materials.

As someone who has really appreciated her time at Hamilton and was able to begin senior year with a job offer already, I owe a lot of my success to the Chinese program. Not only has learning Chinese helped me be a competitive candidate in a global job market, but it also helped me develop lifelong skills such as the ability to adapt to new situations and effective interpersonal communication.

Lisa Yang — Chinese and economics major

The rapid growth of the Pacific Rim as an economic and technological giant in world affairs has spurred a parallel interest in the region's languages and people. Chinese has become one of the most widely taught foreign languages in the United States, essential for politics, diplomacy, business, education and cutting-edge technology.

Careers After Hamilton

  • 5th Grade Science Teacher, Teach for America
  • Equity Trader, Goldman Sachs
  • Educator, Museum of Chinese in the Americas
  • Owner, Council on International Educational Exchange
  • Research Technician, Albert Einstein College of Medicine
  • Television Reporter and Producer, Thomson Reuters (Beijing)
  • Marketing Specialist, GCIS China Strategic Research
  • VP Global Education Initiatives, The National Center for Sustainable Development

Contact Information


Chinese Program

Masaaki Kamiya
198 College Hill Road
Clinton, NY 13323
315-859-4972 mkamiya@hamilton.edu

Meet Our Faculty

A Sampling of Courses

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First-Term Chinese 110F


An introduction to spoken and written modern Chinese through conversational drills, comprehension, reading and writing practice in classwork and homework. Four hours of class, with additional lab work and individual sessions for each student.

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Americans & Chinese: Case Studies of Cross-Cultural Communication 165F


Through film screening, role-play, skit performances and discussions, students learn to identify differences in the behavioral culture between Americans and Chinese. The course brings students of different cultural backgrounds together and conducts cross-cultural comparison through observation, first-hand experience sharing, and critical analysis. It helps Americans to interact more effectively when dealing with Chinese counterparts in their future careers. It also helps Chinese native speakers to better adjust to the American culture. All course materials are in English or subtitled.

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Exploring the Roots of Contemporary Issues in China 240S


Through examining twelve contemporary issues in China, this introductory course on Chinese civilization will explore some fundamental themes that help to shape and define the culture. Students are expected to be engaged in readings, lectures, discussions, video screenings, and interviews. Issues that we will discover include the food and environment in China; Taoism’s transformation in modernity; Neo-Confucianism and the education system; media censorship and its background; the legacy and future of Chinese language, and so on. Taught in English. No prior knowledge of China is required.

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Advanced Chinese: Reading and Writing 410F


Designed for students who are approaching advanced level Chinese but need further refinements on vocabulary usage and formal expression, this course aims at increasing reading and composition capabilities with a primary focus on language accuracy and appropriateness. Students will be exposed to a large amount of authentic and formal Chinese texts covering political issues, social structure, and economic development in China to obtain the skills necessary to complete various writing tasks. (Writing-intensive.) Writing-intensive. Oral Presentations.

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Advanced Spoken Chinese 426S


This course is designed to improve students’ oral Chinese proficiency to advanced level and to help students prepare for ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI). Through guided discussions on various topics in both formal and informal settings, students will be trained to master Chinese speaking skills to support opinion, hypothesize, and discuss topic concretely and abstractly in a fluent and accurate manner. Oral Presentations.

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Masterpieces of Chinese Literature 430S


Reading and discussion of the masterpieces from Chinese literature including essays during the early Qin and Han dynasties, poetry and prose from the Tang and Song dynasties, the novels from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Taught in Chinese. Writing-intensive.

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