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Chinese Language Program

The University of Kansas has taught Chinese since 1959 and has since had the strongest Chinese language program in the Great Plains.


Chinese is an easy language to learn to speak. In a few weeks time students in Elementary Chinese 104 know their four tones and can speak beautifully about basic topics of daily life. Learning characters, the most intriguing aspect of Chinese, starts slowly in the first year, then picks up in the second and third years so that students at the advanced level are reading newspapers and contemporary fiction. Graduating majors in Chinese are fluent and can compete with peers from any college in the United States.

Study Abroad

China is a vast and fascinating country with limitless potential for learning and adventure. K.U. students typically spend some time in China, whether at a summer intensive language program or for a year at one of three schools that have exchange programs with K.U. Someone is always around who can tell you what's what in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.


Graduates have gone on to jobs in China in universities, schools, and companies. Some have continued their studies in graduate school, edical school, and law school in the United States. These are some of the places they have gone on to: a consulting firm in Washington, D.C., Hallmark International in Kansas City, United Airlines to be an attendant on flights to Asia, Johns Hopkins University to study public health in China, Shanghai to edit a newspaper, and Thailand to manage a fitness center. Opportunities also exist in government and military intelligence.

China has one of the fastest economic growth rates in the world and holds one quarter of the world's population. It is a country with an ancient and fascinating history, and a complex and interesting role to play in the present. See the following for more information:

Chinese Placement Test Information

If you are enrolling at KU for the first time and want to continue your study of Chinese, you should take an on-line placement exam prior to your arrival on campus. To take the exam, you will need to request a single-use username and password, Chinese Placement Exam. Once your request is processed, you will receive an e-mail containing full instructions for the exam, including the username and password that you will need. At the end of the exam you will be given a preliminary placement, which you should use to register for a specific Chinese course. During the first week of classes, you should meet with your instructor to confirm the accuracy of the placement. If it is determined that another course would be more appropriate, you will be allowed to transfer to that course.

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East Asian Studies Databases
Electronic Resources for East Asian Studies

New M.A. Program

The Center for East Asian Studies (CEAS) at The University of Kansas is offering a new M.A. program in Contemporary East Asian Studies, beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Full-time students with prior East Asian language training will be able to complete the degree within 12 months. For more information about this M.A. program including specific requirements for admission, visit, or contact Ayako Mizumura, Assistant Director of CEAS, by email ( or call 785-864-1478. You can also download our program flyer (PDF) Please share this information with your friends, colleagues and students! We are looking forward to hearing from you.

KU Works for Kansas: A Free Undergraduate Study Tour of Japan

CEAS conducted a Kakehashi Project-Bridge for Tomorrow study tour to Japan for 23 students from colleges and universities throughout Kansas in summer 2014. The tour, which was funded by the Japan Foundation and led by CEAS members Maggie Childs (core faculty) and Nancy Hope (staff), visited selected sites in Tokyo and Shizuoka June 23rd - July 3rd.  For more about the Project, view the video, the itinerary, or excerpts from participant reports. This fall, the Kansas students will make presentations about Japan at local elementary and secondary schools, while CEAS will host 23 students from Shizuoka University who are visiting KU in early spring as part of their Kakehashi tour of America.  

We have a great Chinese History Lecture coming up! Mark your calendars for April 2, for the Wallace Johnson Memorial Lecture in Chinese History. The speaker this year is Jeff Snyder-Reinke, an Associate Professor of History at The College of Idaho. He will talk about "Bones, Babies, and the Politics of Burial in Late Imperial China." See flyer for more details.

We have a great Chinese history lecture coming up! The Wallace Johnson Memorial Lecture is April 2.

Home to 50+ departments, centers, and programs, the School of the Arts, and the School of Public Affairs and Administration
KU offers courses in 40 languages
No. 1 ranking in city management and urban policy —U.S. News and World Report
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
26 prestigious Rhodes Scholars — more than all other Kansas colleges combined
Nearly $290 million in financial aid annually