Instructions by Entry Point & Type
  • Overview : Flagship vs Regular Track
    • The University of Mississippi offers both a major and a minor in Chinese via two distinct tracks: Flagship and non-Flagship.

  • The Chinese Flagship Program

    Flagship is a federally-funded, selective program with the goal of bringing students to a professional level of proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and the cultural competency to match. Flagship students almost inevitably earn a Chinese major while completing the program’s required courses, but it is not necessary to be in Flagship in order to complete a major.

    • Preparation

      High school students may gain insights into our program and also get on our radar

      • High School Chinese or Other Local Chinese Courses
        • When offered, take Chinese in high school or in a local university or community college.
          Memorizing characters is difficult for just about everyone, but even academically gifted students sometimes find that it is somehow much more difficult for them than for others.
          The same can be true of other aspects of the language, such as sentence construction.
          Every language curriculum is different, so it is not always easy to judge how your local coursework will translate into our own.
          Some students will be able to skip one or more terms in our program, but even when this is not the case, prior experience in the language and with the culture of a Chinese language class, you will have more confidence in your ability to thrive in our program.

      • StarTalk
        • Consider attending a summer Chinese program, such as StarTalk.
          We have our own residentialStarTalk program, which is free and grants 6 college credits to rising juniors and seniors who take levels 1, 2, or 3 during the month of July.

      • Gap Year (NSLI-Y, Rotary Club, etc.)
        • Perhaps the best preparation for our program is NSLI-Y (National Security Language Initiative for Youth).
          Other gap year programs have many of the same benefits, although the actual experience may differ from person to person and year to year. Check your local community for opportunities, such as Rotary Club.
          There are also some agencies offering a year abroad, such as SYA. Your high school may already have a relationship with one or more gap year program.
          We encourage you to explore them all; however, based on the experiences of students who have joined our program, we strongly encourage you to consider NSLI-Y. Its application timeline is much earlier than most, and it is also very competitive. Apply early, and make sure to have a back-up plan.


    • Application / Entry points

      If after reading over this description you believe you would like to join Flagship, here are instructions on how to apply

      • From High School
        • Instructions available here.
          Note: students who have taken Chinese in the past will be given a placement interview, usually in early/mid spring, after applying and being accepted.

      • While in first-year Chinese at UM
        • Description and Notes
          • Students who begin taking Chinese at Ole Miss and decide during fall or early spring of freshman year that they want to take the language more intensively may apply to join Flagship and gain access to Flagship coursework beginning as sophomores.
            Almost every year, at least one student successfully transfers into Flagship in this route, but you do have to show consistent hard work that yields results.
            Before applying, students should familiarize themselves with the rights and responsibilities of all Flagship students. Students do have access to intensive courses and receive scholarship funds to study abroad, but these scholarships do not fully cover all costs of the required study abroad sequences.
            All students must be committed to completing the Capstone year, which in most cases, adds one year to the undergraduate career.
            The scholarship funds that accompany Capstone can theoretically cover the entire cost of the program, but in most cases they only cover 75% (about $15k of the $20k cost of attendance).
            Unless they place into a higher cohort, students are almost invariably required to attend our summer program at Shanghai University between the 200 and 300 level curriculum (usually between freshman and sophomore year) and to attend another intensive summer program (one approved by our program) the following summer.
            Most students do receive partial scholarships for both summers, and occasionally a student will receive outside scholarships that cover the full cost. By default, students should expect to spend approximately $4k for each summer (including airfare).
            Also note that the portion of scholarship funds coming from the federal government is not to be thought of as an entitlement and subject to change from one fiscal year to the next.

        • How to Apply
          • Step 1: Inform Your Teacher
            • As early as possible, inform your teacher that you are interested in applying.
              Your teacher’s recommendation will be the the most important factor in your application.
              If your teacher knows you intend to apply, he/she will know to observe you in terms of your class performance & participation, attendance, attitude, motivation, etc. and give you feedback on your performance as it relates to your preparedness for Flagship.

          • Step 2: Become a Model Student (don’t assume you already are)
            • You will need to work harder than what is necessary to “just” get an A in your non-Flagship classes.
              Make sure that you …

              • are present in class every day
              • are on time to class every day (by Chinese standards, being late is a personal insult to your teacher)
              • inform your teacher well in advance if you know you will need to miss class
              • find a way to inform your teacher (perhaps through another student) if you get sick and will need to miss class.
                If at all possible, make sure the teacher is informed at the beginning of class on the day that you miss.
                It may seem unreasonable for teachers to expect you to communicate with them when you are too sick to get out of bed, but many aspects of any foreign culture will seem illogical or unreasonable (including ours to them); it’s simply a matter of priority.
                The most important thing you are communicating when you take the initiative to communicate even when sick is that the class (the time the teacher invested to prepare for it) is of great value to you.
              • are ready, not only to get A’s on all tests and quizzes, but to perform in class with a strong grasp of the material and a reasonable command of new words and sentence patterns so that you can fully participate and act as a positive example to other students.
              • volunteer to help out in any number of small ways in class, thinking of things that might help the teacher.

                Remember that in Chinese culture, anticipation is the expectation. If someone has to ask for help with something that you should have thought to offer, you have already failed and will be perceived as rude, simple, or unrefined. As a Westerner, this may seem impractical or even oppressive, but this unspoken rule is based on custom and reasonability. The most important message to be communicating is that you are trying your best to be fully considerate, particularly towards those in society occupying higher, more prestigious positions (the elderly, those with high levels of education or playing important roles in society, such as your teacher, your boss, etc.). Even if you have only been studying Chinese for a few days and have very little insight into the culture, it is your responsibility to show that you are trying to learn how to be helpful, deferential, and considerate in all ways. This will give your teacher confidence that the time and effort they invest in you will pay off and will relieve them of any concern that recommending you (for anything) will come back to hurt their reputation, or worse, the reputation of those they recommend you to.

          • Step 3: Ask for a Hard Copy Application
            • Email chinese@olemiss.edu and ask to be emailed a hard copy application as an attachment. Make sure to include your name, UM student ID number, and the Chinese class you are currently in.
              You may do this as early as you like, but you should do so at least several weeks before exam week in the fall. This will give your teacher time to write a recommendation letter, or at least to know to do so over the break. You cannot expect your teacher to respond to your emails over winter break.

          • Step 4: Submit Your Application
            • You can email scans of your application to chinese@olemiss.edu. If your “scans” are actually photos taken on your phone, make sure that they are of good quality and easily legible.
              If your teacher does not want to give you access to his/her recommendation letter, make sure that the teacher has agreed to submit the letter directly to the program.
              In your email to chinese@olemiss.edu, make sure to confirm that the program should be expecting a letter from your teacher.
              This will prevent any miscommunication or misunderstandings and will keep you from having to follow up with your teacher, which can be quite difficult to do without seeming rude (by Chinese cultural standards).


      • Beyond CHIN 112
        • It is very difficult to gain access to Flagship after your freshman year, mainly because on the national level, The Language Flagship requires all students to be committed to completing the Capstone year.
          Already, in most cases, students starting as freshmen need to plan on the Capstone year adding 9 months to their undergraduate careers (but not two full semesters of tuition).
          Unless you are able to skip up to a higher level, we will not be able to consider you. Skipping to a higher level requires that you take a placement test and also prove that you will be able to complete all Flagship requirements needed for Capstone participation within a reasonable time period.
          If you believe you are already ready for such a placement test, contact the program director and/or manager so that we can set up a face-to-face meeting and go over the requirements and your plan.
          If you are not ready now but wish to spend the time and money to prepare yourself, you should still arrange to meet with the program as early as possible. Very likely, you will need to study abroad for multiple terms (summer & fall, fall & spring, spring & summer, etc.), but only some study abroad programs can more or less insure that you will reach adequate proficiency levels, and only our director can advise you (in advance) on what will be worth your time and money. You will also need to discuss the integration of your study abroad experience with the requirements for your major(s).
          Note: it is rare for transfer students to be able to complete the Flagship curriculum, but on occasion it is. Please contact us as early as possible to discuss.
          Final Note: If you realize that, given your timeline, it would be too difficult or impractical to join Flagship, but you still wish to reach high proficiency levels, you should take all the courses you can at Ole Miss and study abroad whenever you are able (beginning in the summer after freshman year). You may want to plan on spending anywhere from 6 to 24 months in China/Taiwan through UM Study abroad or on your own after graduation. There are many, many programs, often associated with universities, that will allow you to take intensive language courses independently or as a matriculating student. Our program and the Study Abroad office can help you get started in choosing one that will best suit your long-term goals. Replicating the Flagship program and all of its features (domain training, proficiency exam preparation, direct enrollment, internship in a fully Chinese environment, cultural training, etc.), is very difficult, which is why the program is so valuable. Still, on your own, with the right investment of time and money, you can still develop fluency and prepare yourself to use your language skills for employment.


  • Chinese Major (non-Flagship)

    Therefore, as with Flagship students, any student attempting the major should expect to earn nearly 15 credits while studying abroad for at least one semester or two summers. For proficiency’s sake, we encourage all students to begin studying abroad as early as possible. For those who can afford it, that may be the summer after freshman year, or in some special cases, the summer before freshman year. Please read carefully below, however, to see what credits you might earn abroad and which will contribute directly to a Chinese major or minor.

    • Required Credits
      • A total of 30 Chinese language credits are needed for the major.

        As you will see in the UM Course Catalog, Chinese courses do not begin counting towards the major (or minor) until the 300 level. By default, this means that for students with no prior background (i.e., who begin with CHIN 111 as freshmen), no courses count until junior year.
        Flagship students typically complete enough credits for the major simply by following their required curriculum.  For others, the default pathway (CHIN 301, 302, 401, and 402 during junior and senior years) will not be enough, even for the minor.  
        There is usually at least one extra course available each year for non-Flagship students (CHIN 330 or 399, but subject go change), which should allow a student to complete the minor without leaving campus.  
        All students interested in the major, however, should plan on studying abroad.  
        We highly recommend that students plan out their coursework with a Chinese faculty advisor as well as the Study Abroad office as early as freshman year to establish the best plan of action and to determine the best programs for them.

        The first step in doing so is to declare the Chinese major. This will guarantee that you have a Chinese faculty member as your advisor. If you are on our faculty’s radar as someone seeking a degree, they can help spot any irregularities about your degree progress and make sure you stay/get back on track. This will also make it easier for, or even require, you to meet with them at a very early point.

        If you are currently undeclared, or if your intended program of study when you applied to Ole Miss was something other than Chinese, you will need to fill out the “Change of Major/Advisor” form. Contrary to its name, it is also used to add a second major. This form can be downloaded from the Liberal Arts website, but it must be submitted in person to their office.
        The form itself does not have blanks for two majors, so you will need to clarify what your intended majors are when you drop the form off.

        Note: You should learn to consult the Course Catalog for any decisions related to your degree plans/progress.

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  • Chinese Minor (non-Flagship)
    • A total of 15 credits are needed for the major
      ###Note that, as listed in the course catalogue, Chinese courses do not begin counting towards the major or minor until the 300 level and that a total of 30 and 15 credits are needed for the major and minor, respectively.  Flagship students typically complete enough credits for the major simply by following their required curriculum.  For others, the default pathway (CHIN 301, 302, 401, and 402 during junior and senior years) will not be enough, even for the minor.  There is usually at least one extra course available each year for non-Flagship students (CHIN 330 or 399, but subject go change), which should allow a student to complete the minor without leaving campus.  All students interested in the major, however, should plan on studying abroad.  We highly recommend that students plan out their coursework with a Chinese faculty advisor as well as the Study Abroad office as early as freshman year to establish the best plan of action and to determine the best programs for them.
    • Required Credits
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      • Study Abroad
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Notes for New Students and Orientation Advisors
  1. Interested students who did not apply to Flagship in spring prior to enrolling at the university should contact the program about alternate points of entry.
  2. Our faculty is not available in summer to administer placement exams/interviews. If you are a new student with a background in Chinese and are not sure which course to sign up for in your first semester on campus, you will need to use your best judgement in selecting and registering for a fall course.  Then, on the first day of class, explain your situation to the teacher and ask to be assessed.  If possible, arrange your schedule so that you can move up or down if needed.  You cannot register on your own for a class with an unmet prerequisite. If you are confident that CHIN 111 is too easy for you, you will need to contact Modern Languages to be manually registered for a higher course.
  3. With very few exceptions, our courses are offered in fall or spring, but not both.  You cannot, for example, take CHIN 111 in spring or 112 in fall.  If you believe your Chinese is good enough to skip CHIN 111 and start in spring with CHIN 112, we strongly advise that obtain confirmation from one of our Chinese faculty members at the start of fall semester.  If it turns out that you were overconfident in your abilities, you could lose a whole year.
  4. The default fall course for incoming Flagship freshmen is CHIN 211.  Without confirmation from the program, students should NOT assume they can sign up for any open section.  To insure the quality of the learning environment and to maximize proficiency gains, the program gathers preferences from all students and then assigns an equal number of students to each section.
  5. Most Flagship courses are closed so that even Flagship students must gain approval for the section they wish to take each term.  If you are not certain of the time window in which you will be enrolled, or if you have an urgent situation that requires your schedule be finalized, contact the program immediately.
  6. Note that, as listed in the course catalogue, Chinese courses do not begin counting towards the major or minor until the 300 level and that a total of 30 and 15 credits are needed for the major and minor, respectively.  Flagship students typically complete enough credits for the major simply by following their required curriculum.  For others, the default pathway (CHIN 301, 302, 401, and 402 during junior and senior years) will not be enough, even for the minor.  There is usually at least one extra course available each year for non-Flagship students (CHIN 330 or 399, but subject go change), which should allow a student to complete the minor without leaving campus.  All students interested in the major, however, should plan on studying abroad.  We highly recommend that students plan out their coursework with a Chinese faculty advisor as well as the Study Abroad office as early as freshman year to establish the best plan of action and to determine the best programs for them.

Dual Enrollment Courses (local high school students only)

At-Large Non-Flagship Courses (for UM, non-Flagship students)

Chin 111: Intensive Chinese I (5 credits)

  • The first semester of first-year Chinese.
  • For non-Flagship students, this course is offered in fall only.
  • No prior Chinese knowledge is required.

Chin 112: Intensive Chinese II (5 credits)

  • The second semester of first-year Chinese.
  • For non-Flagship students, this course is offered in spring only.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 111.

Chin 201: Intermediate Chinese I (3 credits)

  • The first semester of second-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 112.

Chin 202: Intermediate Chinese II (3 credits)

  • The second semester of second-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 201.

Chin 301: Conversation and Composition I (3 credits)

  • The first semester of third-year Chinese, which aims to further develop students’ language proficiency via conversation and composition practices.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 202.

Chin 302: Conversation and Composition II (3 credits)

  • The second semester of the third-year Chinese. Continuation of CHIN 301.
  • Pre-requisite: CHIN 301.

Chin 401: Advanced Chinese I (3 credits)

  • The first semester of fourth-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 302.

Chin 402: Advanced Chinese II (3 credits)

  • The second semester of fourth-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 401.

Courses for Flagship and Non-Flagship Students

(The courses below are open to all UM students.)

Chin 198: Elementary Chinese Study Abroad (1-12 credits)

  • Emphasis on building Chinese proficiency and cultural awareness while studying abroad in a Chinese-speaking country.

Chin 199: Special Topics in Chinese (1-6 credits)

  • Topics vary. Available only during Study Abroad and with departmental approval. May not be used to fulfill foreign language requirements.

Chin 298: Intermediate Chinese Study Abroad (1-12 credits)

  • Emphasis on building Chinese proficiency and cultural awareness while studying abroad in a Chinese-speaking country.

Chin 299: Special Topics in Chinese (1-6 credits)

  • Topics vary. Available only during Study Abroad and with departmental approval. May not be used to fulfill foreign language requirement.

Chin 315: Chinese Practicum II (5 credits)

  • This course is a practicum in Chinese society through the use of Chinese language in China or Taiwan.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 202.

Chin 330: Introduction to Chinese Linguistics (3 credits)

  • Introduction to the linguistic terminology and scientific techniques used to study the sounds, vocabulary, phrase and sentence structures, history and social uses of the Chinese language.
  • Pre-requisite: CHIN 202

Chin 331: Intro to Chinese Lit & Literary Analysis (3 credits)

  • Study of literary movements, major writers, and intellectual and cultural ideas in Chinese literature and cultural history.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 202.

Chin 361: China through Film and Literature (3 credits)

  • Study of the evolution of Chinese cinema through selected films to explore the nature and development of contemporary Chinese aesthetics and culture.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 202.

Chin 398: Advanced Chinese Study Abroad (1-12 credits)

  • Emphasis on building Chinese proficiency and cultural awareness while studying abroad in a Chinese-speaking country.

Chin 399: Special Topics in Chinese (3 credits)

  • May be repeated once for credit, with permission of department.

Chin 415: Chinese Practicum III (5 credits)

  • To further strengthen students’ language proficiency levels and intercultural communication competency through a variety of learning projects in China or Taiwan.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 315.

Flagship Courses (for Flagship students only)

Chin 111: Intensive Chinese I (5 credits)

  • The first semester of first-year Chinese, taken by Flagship students in Summer Session I, usually immediately before fall of freshman year.
  • Non-Flagship students take this course in Fall semester.
  • No prior Chinese knowledge is required.

Chin 112: Intensive Chinese II (5 credits)

  • The second semester of first-year Chinese, taken by Flagship students in Summer Session II, usually immediately before fall of freshman year.
  • Non-Flagship students take this course in Spring semester.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 111.

Chin 211: Intensive Chinese III (5 credits)

  • Chinese Flagship students only. The first semester of second-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 112.

Chin 212: Intensive Chinese IV (5 credits)

  • Chinese Flagship students only. The second semester of second-year Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 211.

Chin 215: Chinese Practicum I (5 credits)

  • This is a language intensive, total immersion training course in China for students who have reached Intermediate Mid (or higher) based on the ACTFL scale.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 212.

Chin 313: Media Chinese I: Newspapers and Internet (5 credits)

  • This course helps students learn, explore, and understand Chinese media, culture, tradition, society, and values through authentic materials.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 215.

Chin 314: Media Chinese II: Broadcast News (5 credits)

  • Continuation of CHIN 313.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 313.

Chin 417: Intro to Modern Chinese Literature (5 credits)

  • This course is designed to improve students’ ability to understand Chinese literature orally and in writing.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 314.

Chin 418: Introduction to Classical Chinese (5 credits)

  • This course is designed to provide students an introduction to basic classical Chinese syntax and vocabulary items that are still commonly used in Modern Chinese.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 417.

Chin 450: Domain Knowledge (1-6 credits)

  • Students work under the tutelage of a mentor to obtain domain-specific knowledge in Chinese.
  • Approval of the Chinese Flagship director is required.

Chin 512: 21st Century China: Social Issues in China (3 credits)

  • This course is for students who have achieved advanced levels based on the ACTFL scale. The purpose of this course is to enhance students’ understanding of China’s societal issues in the 21 st century.
  • Approval of the Chinese Flagship director is required.

Chin 513: China and the World (3 credits)

  • This course is for students who have achieved advanced levels based on the ACTFL scale. Students will engage in discussions on a variety of topics in concrete and abstract terms.
  • Approval of the Chinese Flagship director is required.

Chin 550: Advanced Domain Knowledge (1-6 credits)

  • Students who have successfully completed the Chinese Flagship Capstone Program in China may take this course and work under the tutelage of a mentor to obtain further domain-specific knowledge in Chinese.
  • Approval of the Chinese Flagship director is required.
  • Prerequisite: CHIN 596 and 598.

Chin 596: Chinese Capstone Academic Program (1-15 credits)

  • Participation in a Chinese Flagship Capstone program in China. Students take direct enrollment courses and language maintenance courses at one of the two Chinese Flagship Capstone sites in China.
  • Z grade.

Chin 598: Chinese Capstone Internship (1-6 credits)

  • Completion of a 16-week professional internship with a Chinese company in China.
  • Z grade.

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