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Program Overview

Chinese Language

Chinese Language Certificate


Mandarin Chinese is the most widely spoken variety of Chinese. It is the official language of Mainland China, Taiwan, and Singapore, and is spoken natively by approximately 900 million people, making it the language with the most native speakers worldwide. The Chinese Language Certificate offers students specializing in all professional and academic fields a valuable credential for their proficiency in Mandarin Chinese and their knowledge of Chinese cultures, expanding their horizons to the Chinese-speaking world. 

Whether learners are job seekers interested in working for an international corporation or organization; world travelers who want richer, more immersive experiences; or are interested​ in exploring the customs and traditions of the Chinese-speaking world, the Chinese Language Certificate gives them the tools to be able to communicate in Chinese in non-specialized settings, while also becoming familiar with elements embedded in the Chinese culture.

The program’s Northwestern University curriculum is practical and learner-centered, taught by current faculty from Northwestern’s foreign language departments. All courses are offered weekday evenings in the fall, winter, and spring quarters on the Northwestern University campus. Students in the program acquire language and cultural competence through dynamic courses that incorporate multimedia and online teaching tools and real-time classroom interactions. All courses offer one unit of undergraduate credit.

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About the Chinese Language Certificate

Chinese Language Certificate Goals and Activities

Chinese Language Certificate Courses

All of the following are required: 

  • Chinese 111-A Elementary Chinese I
  • Chinese 111-B Elementary Chinese II
  • Chinese 111-C Elementary Chinese III
  • Chinese 121-A Intermediate Chinese I
  • Chinese 121-B Intermediate Chinese II
  • Chinese 121-C Intermediate Chinese III

Placement in more advanced courses in the curriculum is possible based on the student’s level of proficiency, which is assessed by program instructors prior to course registration. Students may enroll in courses in a third-year sequence based on assessment. Third-year courses are offered by the Northwestern Department of Asian Languages and Cultures during the daytime; enrollment will be based on both assessment and student availability.

A minimum of four courses are required for a certificate. At least two of those courses must be at the second-year level.

The recommended start time for this program is fall quarter.

View Chinese Language courses

Admission for the Chinese Language Certificate

In addition to completing an online application, you'll also need to submit a few supplemental materials. A list of requirements for admission including application deadlines and tips on how to apply can be found at the Admission page.

 

Chinese Language Certificate Tuition

Post-baccalaureate students in Northwestern School of Professional Studies pay per course. For more information about financial obligations and tuition, please visit the Tuition page.

 

Chinese Language Certificate Registration Information

Whether you're a first-time registrant or current and returning student, all students register using our online student registration and records system. Important information about registering for courses at SPS, including registration timelines and adding or dropping courses in which you are already enrolled, can be found on the Registration Information page.

 

Find out more about the Chinese Language Certificate

Program Courses:Course Detail
Chinese I <> CHINESE 111-A

This first course in a three-course sequence (completed by Chinese 111-B in Winter quarter and 111-C in Spring quarter) introduces the material of the first year Beginning Chinese curriculum, presenting the Pinyin system, Chinese characters and compound words, and grammar of standard modern Mandarin Chinese. This course provides a practical, learner-centered curriculum and aims to help true beginners develop their communicative competence in four basic skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing, while gaining competence in Chinese culture, making connections to their daily life, and building links among communities. This first course in the three-course sequence introduces the standard (Mandarin) Chinese phonetics system (Pinyin), Chinese writing system (simplified Chinese characters), basic grammar and simple sentence structures. Speaking, listening, character, grammar, and communicative exercises are included throughout the course. 

Note: CHINESE 111-A is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit CHINESE 111-A must meet participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View CHINESE 111-A Sections
Chinese I <> CHINESE 111-B

This course is the second in the first year Chinese sequence. It continues the study of Pinyin system, written characters, compound words and grammar of Mandarin Chinese as well as a more in-depth introduction to the Chinese culture. The course aims to help students develop their communicative competence in the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. Prerequisite: CHINESE 111-A or equivalent.

Note: CHINESE 111-B is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View CHINESE 111-B Sections
Chinese I <> CHINESE 111-C

This course is the third in a three-course sequence. The course aims to help students develop their communicative competence in the four basic skills: listening, speaking, reading and writing. It continues the study of Pinyin system, written characters, compound words and grammar of Mandarin Chinese with greater emphasis on development of fluency and accuracy. Students are encouraged to continue studying second-year Chinese. Prerequisite: CHINESE 111-A,-B or equivalent. 

Note: CHINESE 111-C is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


View CHINESE 111-C Sections
Chinese II <> CHINESE 121-A

This intermediate Chinese three-course sequence is designed to link to the first year Chinese curriculum by continuing to provide a practical, learner-centered learning experience for intermediate level students. Conversation, listening comprehension, character practicing, grammar, communicative exercises and essay writing are included throughout the course. While students of intermediate Chinese need to continue to build their mastery of commonly used vocabulary and grammatical structures, this course also focuses on the building of students' abilities in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as they can reach the intermediate level of competence. Prerequisite: CHINESE 111-A,-B,-C or equivalent. 

Note: CHINESE 121-A is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
Chinese II <> CHINESE 121-B

This intermediate Chinese three-course sequence is designed to link to the first year Chinese curriculum by continuing to provide a practical, learner-centered learning experience for intermediate level students. Conversation, listening comprehension, character practicing, grammar, communicative exercises and essay writing are included throughout the course. The content and activities in this course build upon what has been studied in the introductory level curriculum, gradually adding more sophisticated vocabulary and grammatical structures. Students learn to build from words and phrases, to sentences and cohesive passages, and then to application in communicative tasks. Prerequisite: CHINESE 121-A or equivalent. 

Note: CHINESE 121-B is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
Chinese II CHINESE 121-C

This intermediate Chinese three-course sequence is designed to link to the first year Chinese curriculum by continuing to provide a practical, learner-centered learning experience for intermediate level students. Conversation, listening comprehension, character practicing, grammar, communicative exercises and essay writing are included throughout the course. This third course emphasizes the building of students' abilities in the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing as they can reach the intermediate level of competence. The content and activities in this course are to increase students' "media literacy," accomplished by including class materials in styles of newspaper, magazines, and Internet news articles. Prerequisite: CHINESE 121-A,-B or equivalent. 

Note: CHINESE 121-C is available to for students to audit—credit will not be earned, but tuition is reduced. Students enrolled to audit the course must meet prerequisites, as well as participation and assessment requirements as outlined in the course syllabus.


There is no available section.
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