Develop advanced fluency in Chinese language and literature, and study the cultural traditions of China from early times to the present day.  

Learn the language, literature and culture of China as a major or minor. You’ll receive an interdisciplinary introduction to China’s history, social, philosophical and political issues and other cultural concerns, as well as intense language study.

Students majoring in Chinese graduate as fluent speakers, writers, readers and listeners, comfortable with daily conversation, public speeches, and translation. You’ll have experience interpreting texts, understanding film and other media, and be able to sensitively engage with Chinese culture.

Majors supplement their studies with a semester abroad in Beijing or Hangzhou and are encouraged to live in our language residence hall. 

  • In class with Professor Sharon Hou
    In class with Professor Sharon Hou
  • In class with Professor Sharon Hou
    In class with Professor Sharon Hou
  • In class with Professor Sharon Hou
    In class with Professor Sharon Hou

What You'll Study

  • Advanced courses in reading, writing and translation
  • Courses in modern Chinese literature and culture
  • Courses in classical Chinese poetry or fiction
  • Courses in Chinese film or gender and sexuality
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All majors are encouraged to live in the Oldenborg Center’s Chinese hall for at least one year.

Learning at Pomona

  • Belinda Li '17
    "Bao in Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio" by Belinda Li ’17

    “[This] allowed me to not only learn more about the unique social construct of bao, but also understand these classical stories through a cultural lens.”

Amelia DeSnoo '16
Amelia DeSnoo ‘16

Learning Chinese teaches you about the culture of one-sixth of the world population intertwined with more than 3,000 years of history and culture. Learning the language and its culture are therefore inseparable. The depth of not just linguistic but also cultural knowledge gained from learning Chinese is incredibly satisfying.

Faculty & Teaching

Among our Chinese professors are internationally respected translators and experts on modern and classical Chinese literature and second language acquisition. You will become adept in the language, thanks to their attentive teaching. 

Professor Allan Barr

Chinese is a challenging but rewarding language, rooted in a rich culture with a long, continuous history. Classes are typically small and interactive, introducing classic works from the Chinese tradition or focusing on the rapid changes in modern China. Proficiency in Chinese is an asset in today’s world, and our majors go on to careers in such fields as business, law, international affairs and translation.