Chinese (Mandarin) is spoken by over one billion people around the world. Roughly ninety percent of Chinese speakers live in Mainland China, Taiwan, Singapore, and the countries of Southeast Asia. The long-term strategic importance of the U.S.-China relationship ensures that this language will remain critical for business and government for the foreseeable future. Career opportunities for experts with Chinese language proficiency can be found in almost any field.
The Language Flagship is a public/private partnership sponsored by the National Security Education Program (NSEP) of the Department of Defense and administered by the Institute of International Education (IIE). NSEP is the only federally-funded effort focused on the combined issues of language proficiency, national security, and the needs of the federal workforce. In conjunction with technology and research-oriented investments, NSEP represents an integral component of a national security strategy to eliminate the serious language deficiency in the federal government.
The Language Flagship is a national effort to change the way Americans learn languages. Flagship offers language programs at schools across the United States for undergraduate students in critical languages such as Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Swahili, Turkish, and Urdu. Designed as a network of programs, The Language Flagship seeks to graduate students who will take their place among the next generation of global professionals, commanding a superior level of proficiency in one of many languages critical to U.S. competitiveness and security.
The Language Flagship sponsors twelve Chinese Flagship Programs across the U.S. Each offers unique strengths and provides undergraduate students with pathways to professional-level proficiency in Chinese, together with the academic major of their choice. For more details about each school, please click on the provided links below. Applicants to the Chinese domestic program are encouraged to first contact the university of their choice directly with questions about the application process and terms of study. Please note that only students enrolled in a domestic Chinese Flagship Program may apply for the overseas program.
Arizona State University
The ASU Chinese Language Flagship Center offers dynamic undergraduate programs for highly-motivated students interested in achieving a professional-level of Chinese proficiency while simultaneously pursuing any major of their choice. Their programs attract students who are among the best learners of Chinese in the nation.
The ASU Chinese Flagship Program incorporates Chinese language courses alongside specialized Chinese content courses from various academic disciplines, covering a wide variety of topics including history, politics, literature, religion, economics, and culture. Students also have access to scholarships for intensive summer language programs in the US, China, and Taiwan. During the final year of the Flagship program, the Capstone year, students enroll at Nanjing University for language and direct enrollment courses. They also complete a full-time professional internship that directly relates to their interests and field of study.
For more information about the ASU Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
Brigham Young University
The Chinese Flagship Program at Brigham Young University (BYU) is highly individualized and allows students to successfully focus on their particular academic and professional interests.The Advanced Flagship Program includes three main curricular phases: 1) BYU on-campus directed study, 2) direct enrollment at Nanjing University, and 3) a full-time internship with a Chinese company or organization related to the student's specific area of interest. Two additional tracks include Early Flagship Pathway and Pre-Advanced Flagship Pathway. BYU's first group of students began the program in 2003.
The Chinese Flagship Program is an opportunity for students to bridge the gap between Chinese language and their professional careers. The mission of the Chinese Flagship Center is to create global professionals who can function culturally and linguistically in the professional Chinese world.
For more information about the BYU Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
Located in New York City, Hunter College's Chinese Flagship Center provides an educational environment in which students are immersed in rich cultural and linguistic resources and global professional opportunities. The Center offers a dynamic program that enables students to achieve superior-level Mandarin Chinese proficiency in four years through content-based instruction, one-on-one conversation practice, community service, internships, and one-year study abroad in China.
The Chinese Flagship Program at Hunter College, City University of New York is a rigorous undergraduate program of study in Mandarin Chinese language and culture that aims to enable highly-motivated undergraduate students of all majors to achieve a Superior level of proficiency in Chinese. The program welcomes applications from current Hunter College students, high school seniors who have been admitted to Hunter College or Macaulay Honors College at Hunter, and undergraduates from all majors and at all levels of proficiency in Chinese who seek to achieve a professional level of competence.
For more information about the Hunter College Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
Indiana University's Chinese Flagship Program is a comprehensive program for dedicated students who would like to reach professional proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Flagship students take two more years of language coursework than the three years required for the EALC Chinese major at Indiana University. Altogether, they pursue five years of Chinese language study, completing their coursework at an accelerated rate.
IU’s Chinese Flagship is an innovative language program that will help students gain professional-level language proficiency while they major in any of IU’s fields of study. IU students cultivate marketable skills and prepare for global careers through coursework, tutoring, internships, and extensive study abroad—including the Capstone year in China. The IU program offers intensive language and culture instruction, including group training and individual tutoring, in a U.S. university setting, as well as language immersion internships through IU's public-private partnerships with international organizations and corporations.
For more information about the Indiana University Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
San Francisco State University
Launched in 2009, the San Francisco State University Chinese Flagship Program is a competitive program that combines intensive language instruction and cultural training with professional development. This program provides Flagship students with special domestic courses, individualized tutoring, domain training, multiple study abroad opportunities, and a professional internship in China.
The SF State Chinese Flagship Program involves coursework both at SF State and overseas:
- Coursework at SF state, enhanced by personalized tutoring
- Overseas summer study: eight-week program, specialized for Flagship students
- Overseas Capstone year; specialized Flagship courses, direct enrollment courses, career-oriented internship
The Flagship Program complements any major and enhances students’ competitiveness for scholarships, career opportunities, and graduate school admissions. Students receive individualized advising and become part of a community of highly motivated peers.
The Flagship Program is open both to students who begin their initial study of Chinese at SF State and to students who enroll at an intermediate or advanced level, including students who grew up speaking Chinese at home. Students must have undergraduate status to participate.
For more information about the San Francisco State University Flagship Program, please click here.
University of Hawaii
The University of Hawaii Chinese Flagship Program trains undergraduate students to professional proficiency Chinese while they pursue any major. Chinese Flagship students attain a high level of Chinese language proficiency so that they may use Chinese in professional settings upon graduation.
- Students begin at whatever level is appropriate for them, as determined by the departmental placement test and discussion with the Flagship director. Students accelerate their learning by participating in the tutoring program and in summer programs. Scholarships are available to help offset the cost of summer study and travel.
- Students develop professional, academic, and formal language skills while expanding their knowledge of Chinese culture. Students continue to participate in the tutoring program, but focus on reading, writing, speaking, and listening activities related to their own fields of study. During this level, students apply to the Capstone Year in China.
- Students spend one year at Nanjing University. They enroll in high level language courses at the Flagship Center and directly enroll in courses in their fields at Nanjing University. All students also complete a full-time internship relevant to their own career goals. Scholarships are available to cover the cost of this program.
For more information about the University of Hawaii Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
University of Minnesota
Chinese Flagship students at the University of Minnesota come from majors across the University and immerse themselves in the study of Chinese language and culture in one of the most highly ranked programs in the United States.
Would you like to play a role in defining the relationship between the U.S. and China in the 21st century? That is what Chinese Flagship students will be doing. You can, too. By enrolling in the Chinese Flagship program you can deepen your knowledge of China with first-rate language training, cultural understanding, and study abroad in China. This training is then incorporated into your chosen career path. Whether you are pursuing a career path in finance, education, science, technology, law, the Foreign Service, business, arts and culture, or NGOs, the Chinese Flagship Program is for you! It offers you the language, cultural, and professional skills you need to be a global professional.
For more information about the University of Minnesota Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
University of Mississippi
The Chinese Language Flagship Program at the University of Mississippi was established in 2003 by a grant from the National Security Education Program. The five-year undergraduate Flagship program at the University of Mississippi is designed for highly motivated and diligent students who seek to achieve Superior-level proficiency in Chinese while pursuing degrees in the academic major of their choice. Unique aspects of the Chinese Flagship include an intensive program for beginners in the summer prior to freshman year, a core Chinese Flagship course taught each semester, small classes that allow for personalized instruction, a nine-week summer session in Taiwan immediately following freshman year, and direct enrollment and internship experiences through the Capstone Year in China. Stressing speaking, writing, and presentation skills, as well as listening and reading, the program uses an innovative, task-based curriculum to enable students to achieve professional proficiency in the language.
For more information about the University of Mississippi Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
University of North Georgia
University of Oregon
For more than ten years, the University of Oregon Chinese Flagship Program has provided students with the opportunity to develop professional-level Chinese while studying any academic major of their choice. Flagship students may choose from UO's many summer programs before applying to study abroad in China for one academic year, the Capstone year. The year abroad includes a four-month, full-time internship that matches the students' interests and advances them toward their professional goals. Flagship graduates are certified global professionals who often go on to exciting careers in fields from diplomacy to business to education.
Flagship students join a supportive community of Chinese teachers and learners. They may choose any academic major at UO that matches their interests and strengths. The majority of students double major in Chinese and another academic major. Students frequently select internationally focused majors, including business administration, international relations, and marketing, but many also connect Chinese to other areas creatively, by majoring in the natural sciences, art, music, computer science, or another language.
Flagship’s cross-disciplinary courses, led by the Department of East Asian Languages and Literatures, blend language and culture learning with contemporary topics. Students enroll in regular academic courses, taught in Chinese, and receive explicit language instruction.
For more information about the University of Oregon Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
University of Rhode Island
The Chinese Flagship Program at the University of Rhode Island is designed for students in any major to achieve a professional level of proficiency in Chinese, which is one of the most in-demand languages in business, government, and education.
In this five-year program, students will earn a bachelor’s degree in their chosen academic discipline while working to achieve superior language proficiency and a B.A. in Mandarin Chinese. They will also join a prestigious group of students at a small number of universities across the country who are committed to the highest standard of language learning. Students will have multiple opportunities to study Chinese intensively both domestically and abroad in preparation for the Capstone Year, a year of study and internship in China. The UO Chinese Flagship program is designed to meet the needs of all students, from absolute beginners to heritage speakers.
For more information about the University of Oregon Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.
Western Kentucky University
Western Kentucky University's federally funded Chinese Flagship Program is actively redefining the paradigm in foreign language education. Through dynamic integration of Chinese language instruction in every stage of the undergraduate educational path, this program is designed to bring talented students who start with no knowledge of Chinese up to superior levels of proficiency by the time they graduate from college. WKU students have the unique opportunity to participate in intensive Chinese language study concurrent with any major of study, including one year of immersive language and internship study in China.
WKU takes a fresh approach to foreign language education by infusing study in the WKU Mahurin Honors College with Chinese language learning opportunities, incorporating a series of mandatory study abroad experiences and internships throughout students’ collegiate careers, and transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries that separate language education from learning within the major.
For more information about the Western Kentucky University Chinese Flagship Program, please click here.