Admission deadlines: Fall – April 1 (February 1 for consideration for assistantships/fellowships)
Spring – October 1
Standardized test scores: The GRE general is not required however if you feel as though submitting scores for the GRE will strengthen your application, you are welcome to submit them.
The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.
Minimum scores for the program are:
- Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
- TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; or
- PTE Academic: 53
Applicants to the M.A. who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.
Recommendations required: One (1) academic letter of recommendation
Prerequisite requirements: All applicants must meet minimum Chinese proficiency (i.e. the intermediate high for speaking and reading based on the ACTFL rating scale).
Prior academic records: Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.
If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided in addition to the originals.
Statement of purpose: An essay of no more than 750 words, in which you state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field at GW in particular, including your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans.
Additional requirements: A self-introduction written in Chinese, two paragraphs typed.
Writing Sample: A writing sample (3-4 pages, double-spaced) on a topic in humanities (literature, language, linguistics, or other) is required. The sample does not need to pertain to China specifically.
Interview: A phone or Skype interview may be given.
International applicants only: Please follow this link - - to review the International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Studies
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

For additional information about the admissions process visit the Columbian College  of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

202-994-6210 (phone)

Hours: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday

Program Requirements

The following requirements must be fulfilled:

The general requirements stated under Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate Programs.

Non-thesis option—30 credits, including up to 6 credits in Chinese language proficiency courses, at least 18 credits in courses in the field, and 3 to 6 credits in elective courses. 

Thesis option—30 credits, including up to 6 credits in Chinese language proficiency courses, at least 18 credits in courses in the field, 3 or 6 credits in elective courses, and 3 credits in CHIN 6999 Thesis Research.

Chinese language proficiency
Students whose Chinese language skills are determined by examination to be below the advanced level must take at least one, but no more than two, of the 4000-level Chinese language courses listed below. These courses are to be taken for graduate credit, which requires additional work in the course, such as essays or projects.
CHIN 4108Readings in Modern Chinese II
CHIN 4119WBusiness Chinese
CHIN 4122WAdvanced Conversation and Composition II
CHIN 4201Special Topics in Advanced Chinese
Students whose language skills are determined to be at the advanced level can take 6000-level language and culture courses to further develop their language proficiency. Language and other courses must be approved by the program director and the advisor. A language proficiency waiver must be pre-approved.
Required courses in the field
At least 18 credits in courses selected from the following:
CHIN 6109Introduction to Classical Chinese I
CHIN 6110Introduction to Classical Chinese II 2
CHIN 6111Chinese Literature in Translation
CHIN 6112Chinese Literature in Translation II
CHIN 6115Chinese Sociolinguistics
CHIN 6123Structure of Chinese
CHIN 6125History of the Chinese Language
CHIN 6126Chinese Phonology
CHIN 6128Chinese Semantics
CHIN 6151Developing Chinese Literacy
CHIN 6163Taiwanese Literature and Film
CHIN 6171Poetry of the Tang and Song Periods I
CHIN 6172Poetry of the Tang and Song Periods II
CHIN 6173Traditional Chinese Theatre and Drama
CHIN 6180Twentieth-Century Chinese Literature II
CHIN 6199Graduate Seminar
CHIN 6201Second Language Acquisition of Mandarin Chinese
CHIN 6210Introduction to Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
CHIN 6301Chinese–English Translation
CHIN 6310Practicum in Chinese Language Instruction
For the non-thesis option: At least one, but no more than three, elective courses (3 to 9 credits) selected from the list below*.
For the thesis option: At least one, but no more than two, elective courses (3 or 6 credits) selected from the list below*. *
CHIN 6550Independent Study for Chinese Language and Culture (Thesis Option) **
CHIN 6841Religion and Politics in China
CPED 6557Second Language Acquisition
CPED 6627Teaching Second Language Reading and Writing
EALL 6811Confucian Literature in East Asia
EALL 6831Introduction to Daoism
EALL 6832Myth, Ritual, and Popular Religion in China
EALL 6881Women, Gender, and Religion in China
Required for thesis option only
CHIN 6999Thesis Research (taken for 3 credits)

*Or an alternative pre-approved course.

**Students must submit a research proposal before enrolling in CHIN 6550.