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MIRS: Chinese Studies Specialization

The Masters in International and Regional Studies (MIRS) Chinese studies specialization is designed for students with an interest in gaining a broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of China. Students are introduced to advanced studies of China from different perspectives and disciplines.

Anchored in the The Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies (LRCCS), the MIRS Chinese studies specialization draws upon LRCCS’s broad, interdisciplinary approach to the study of China. LRCCS provides students, specialists, and the public with expert resources and a deeper understanding of contemporary and historical issues related to China.

The annual application deadline is December 15. See the MIRS Admissions page for more information.

Curriculum (36 credits)

MIRS students will complete a total of 36 credits, distributed over at least two academic disciplines, at the 400-level or above. 27 of these credits are determined by the specialization. The remaining 9 credits are required for all MIRS students. MIRS requirements include two core courses and a graduate colloquium. In addition, MIRS students will have access to a graduate professional development workshop.

MIRS Requirements (9 credits)

Core Courses

  • Research Design Seminar: Students will sharpen critical thinking, analytical skills, research design, and writing strategies. (3 credits)
  • Capstone: To complete the program, students will dedicate effort to their capstone, either in research, coursework, or work experience related to their subplan. Select one of the below options: (4 credits)
    • Master’s Thesis: research project supervised by a faculty member
    • Additional Research Seminars: completion of graduate seminars with a substantial independent research component
    • Practicum: internship or work experience related to the subplan combined with a related academic component

Graduate Colloquium

Students will participate in two semesters of engaged discussions covering topics of global significance, including programs (guest lectures and relevant events) and participation in moderated online and in-person discussions. (2 credits)

Chinese Studies Specialization Requirements (27 credits)

The intellectual objective of the Chinese Studies Specialization is to provide graduate students an opportunity to engage in intensive study and research on China on an interdisciplinary basis. A prominent feature of the specialization is the possibility of working closely with our outstanding China faculty. Students are encouraged to pursue individual areas of interest.

In addition to the general MIRS requirements, the LRCCS specialization in Chinese Studies has the following requirements:

  • Advanced oral and written language proficiency (two terms of 4th year or testing out of 4th year proficiency)
  • 3 credits in history
  • 3 credits in premodern China
  • 3 credits in modern China
  • 3 credits of Chinese Studies in the humanities (cannot be combined with other credit requirements)
  • 3 credits of Chinese studies in the social sciences (cannot be combined with other credit requirements)

Sample Plan of Study:

MA: International and Regional Studies
Specialization: Chinese Studies (CS)
Capstone Project: Thesis

Year 1

FALL (9 credits)

Colloquium (required core class)


Research Design (II, required core class)


Modern Chinese History (History) (history credit/modern credit)


Intermediate Chinese 301


WINTER (11 credits)

Intro to Chinese Policy (Public Policy) (Social Science credit)


Colloquium (II, required core class)


Research Design (II, required core class)


Chinese Music (Musicology) (humanities credit) 3

Intermediate Chinese 302


Year 2

FALL (11 credits)

Confucian Ethics (History) (premodern credit)


Thesis Writing Capstone  (II)


Business in Asia (School of Business) 3
Advanced Chinese I 3
WINTER (5 credits)

Advanced Chinese II


  Thesis Writing Capstone (II) 2
  Chinese Politics 3
  Chinese Sociology 3

Total Credits



For more information, contact

The annual application deadline is December 15.