The Department of Chinese and Japanese provides students with a coherent study of a cultural region. This region primarily encompasses China, Japan and Korea—countries that spring from a common historical experience and share many common values and traditions. Though language forms an important part of this study, the focus of the curriculum remains as much cultural as linguistic. Courses are thus taught in English as well as in East Asian languages.

Language Immersion Weekend

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The Traveling Classroom - Sustainable China

  • Discovering the history and culture of international regions
  • Comparing and contrasting the old world with the modern world
  • Celebrating traditions, cultures and languages that differ from your own
  • Exploring global perspectives
  • Mastering your own understanding of Asian languages
  • Study abroad opportunities

Components of the Major

  • Chinese major

  • Beginning Chinese I & II
  • Beginning Intermediate Chinese
  • Intermediate Chinese I & II
  • Advanced Intermediate Chinese
  • Three of the following literature and linguistics courses, taught in translation:
    Introduction to Chinese Language and Culture; Introduction to East Asian Linguistics; Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema in Translation; History of the Chinese Language; Traditional Chinese Literature & Thought.
  • One course in Chinese culture, taught in English
  • Advanced Communicative Chinese
  • Advanced Readings in Chinese
  • Tutorial Studies or Internship in Chinese
  • One senior-level independent study
  • Japanese minor

  • Beginning Japanese I & II
  • Beginning Intermediate Japanese
  • Intermediate Japanese I & II
  • One advanced literature course from:
    Survey of Premodern Japanese Literature and Culture; Survey of Modern Japanese Literature and Film; History of the Japanese Language; Advanced Communicative Japanese; Tutorial Studies/Directed Study/Internship/Independent Study in Japanese
  • Exit proficiency interview

Course descriptions and more courses

Life After Lawrence

Lawrentians can enjoy careers in...

International finance, education (ESL, secondary and higher ed), translation, diplomacy, international logistics coordination, journalism and consulting

Recent employers include...

Axxis, Apple, DePauw University, InsideClimate News, OMNNI Associates, Optum, University of Oxford, Wells Fargo, World Learning, 360i

Lawrentians can earn advanced degrees in…

International relations, Chinese, Japanese, economics, development, business administration, law

At places like...

University of Oxford, Vanderbilt University, University of Washington

Explore a coherent study of cultures, texts and languages that have existed for more than three thousand years, while simultaneously evaluating the current social, political and economic climate of these regions.

By studying Chinese or Japanese, you will develop skills that go beyond the ability to simply speak or read another language. Your mind will open to an awareness that prepares you to adapt and communicate in an ever-evolving world. Our Chinese and Japanese programs extend well beyond the scope of Asia as you will immerse yourself in the policy, sustainability, art and history (to name a few!) of a cultural region within a global context.


The Chandler Senior Experience

A senior-level one-term independent study culminating in the completion of a substantial paper or project derived from previous coursework in the discipline or related fields or field experience in consultation with department faculty. If you are sufficiently advanced in your Chinese language skills we will encourage you to use some Chinese language sources in carrying out your research.

Recent Senior Experiences include:


An Analysis of Chinese Practices of Financial Management

Lives of Sustenance Farmers, Migrant Workers and Individuals of Minority Ethnic Groups in Southwest China

Delayed Response Jokes and the Pun of Chinese Humor

Phonetic Analysis of Mandarin Pop Singers’ Initial Consonants and Sociolinguistic Study

Creative Writing in Chinese: Nirvana High

Take an epic journey with Sustainable China.

Spend a 10-week fall term course called Sustainable China about the sustainability, climate and culture of China. Following that term, take a class field trip of epic proportions to China for a 3-week December term.

Interact with important artifacts.

Lawrence’s broad and deep collection of Japanese woodblock prints at the Wriston Art Galleries includes a wide range of 17th to 20th century ukiyo-e artists like Chikanobu, Keisai Eisen, Hasui Kawase, Torii Kiyonaga, Toyohara Kunichika, Kunisada, Shiro Kasamatsu, Ohara Shoson, Utagawa Toyokuni, and Yoshida Hiroshi.

Explore and expand your horizons.

Lawrence's breadth and depth of course offerings allow you to not only study, speak and develop confidence with language, but also gain knowledge in other areas such as Chinese Traditional Literature and Thought, Modern Chinese Literature and Cinema in Translation and Postmodern Japanese Literature and Culture.

Walk the walk, talk the talk during immersive language retreats.

Discover for an entire weekend at Lawrence’s beautiful northern campus, Björklunden, immersing yourself in the language you are studying. The shores of Lake Michigan will be the background as you spend 48+ hours in the Bjork lodge communicating and engaging with fellow students in Chinese or Japanese.