Chinese Language and Culture

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Arts (M.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

The Master of Arts degree in Chinese Language and Culture (CLC) offers students the opportunity to deepen intellectual and cultural understanding of China as well as to learn the Chinese language. It prepares students for careers in various fields such as academia, consulting, government, business, non-profit, or education. Being in the heart of the nation’s capital, our program allows students the opportunity to interact with many leading organizations, business headquarters, consulting firms, and government and media agencies based in D.C. Students can enrich their learning experiences with additional activities. Here are the program highlights:

  •  The only MA program of its kind in the greater D.C. region
  •  Customized curriculum to suit personal interests and career goals
  •  Close mentorship from well-established scholars and award-winning teachers in the department
  •  Competitive teaching assistant or internship positions
  •  Numerous China-related events and lectures on and off campus
  •  Preparation for the pursuit of either a professional career or doctoral studies
  •  Access to the many resources of downtown Washington, D.C.
  •  Building a professional network to support career opportunities


Admission Requirements

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 M.A. 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.

International applicants only:

Please review 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.

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.

Additional Requirement: A self-introduction written in Chinese (typed), two paragraphs.


A phone or Skype interview may be given.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 215
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday