- Global Careers
How to work with China across the full range of human endeavor to enhance positive developments and minimize frictions is one of the great challenges of the Twenty-First Century. The Johns Hopkins SAIS China Studies Program provides multiple opportunities to learn about China in Washington, Europe, and throughout the Chinese-speaking world.
The China Studies Program is second to none in the number of courses offered on contemporary China. The Program’s hallmark is its academically superb faculty, with considerable experience outside of academe, from work in government and multilateral organizations to NGOs and foundations. Courses they teach range from Chinese leadership and foreign policy, economic and political reform, human rights and law, and environment, to China’s military and the country’s growing involvement in Africa and beyond. The China Studies Program works closely with the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies. Interested students have the opportunity to spend time in China learning from top Chinese and international scholars.
China Studies students will be exposed to visiting policy makers and academics, have opportunities to undertake internships in Greater China and/or in Washington, DC, and they participate in field trips to China or the societies with which it interacts. A core commitment of the China Studies Program is to offer a curriculum that puts contemporary China in regional and historical context and integrates comparative and theoretical perspectives with the judgment that experience and history provide.
Aside from China itself, Washington, DC is ground zero for the study of contemporary China and China policy. China Studies is in the center of Washington--amidst embassies, think tanks, NGOs, and government agencies, all with considerable China involvement and expertise. Given their unmatched opportunity to study China from both the inside and outside, China Studies graduates are employed in government, business, multilateral organizations, and NGOs around the world.
The program hosts a monthly lecture series that brings leading experts on dimensions of China from academia, the business world and the policy community to speak at the school.
This event series provides opportunities for members of the China Studies Program and others in the school's community to explore current topics on China with experts in an informal setting.
Each year China Studies provides limited funding to help offset some of the costs students may incur in undertaking internships in Greater China during the summer.
When funding is available, China Studies faculty may organize travel for limited numbers of students on topics involving Chinese domestic or foreign policy.
China Studies offers an annual research seminar on various topics for which students complete research papers of publishable quality. Students may also have opportunities to serve as research assistants for academic books or other projects.
China Studies Program hosts an Annual Rome Endowment Photo Contest each year. This contest encourages the outstanding use of photography to tell compelling stories about our China Studies students’ travel experiences in Greater China. At the end of the spring semester, China Studies will award six cash prizes to winners. These awards will include three third place awards ($100); two second place awards ($200); and, one first place award ($300).
The China Studies Working Paper Series showcases research conducted by MA candidates in China Studies classes. Submissions are accepted on a semester basis and undergo a committee review process to ensure that these papers are of the highest quality. Papers in this series have gone on to be published elsewhere.
The Hopkins-Nanjing Center Certificate Advanced Standing Students who have been admitted to Johns Hopkins SAIS in Washington, DC, and are sufficiently advanced in the Chinese language are eligible for a five-semester MA and certificate program. Students who spend two semesters at the center in Nanjing graduate with a Certificate in Chinese and American Studies. After three additional semesters in Washington, they also graduate with an MA from the school. Some students may be able to gradute in two semesters or two semesters and a summer, depending on whether they receive additional credits based on their course selections at the HNC.
Nanjing may be completed during any contiguous academic year. For instance, a student may (1) attend classes in Nanjing before or while applying to Johns Hopkins SAIS; (2) spend a year in Nanjing after completing two semesters in Washington; or (3) begin study in Nanjing in the fall after completing three semesters in Washington. Students pursuing this option must meet the admission requirements of both programs. Hopkins-Nanjing Center (HNC) work may not be combined with a Johns Hopkins SAIS dual-degree program such as the Johns Hopkins SAIS-Wharton MA-MBA or the Johns Hopkins SAIS-Stanford MA-JD or with other advanced standing. Acceptance to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center or to Johns Hopkins SAIS does not constitute acceptance to the other institution. US and other international students completing a graduate degree elsewhere may petition their home university to accept work completed at the HNC as credit toward their degree. Classes taken as a non-degree Johns Hopkins SAIS student will not count toward credit for the Johns Hopkins SAIS degree. Students can, however, petition requirements to be waived.
HNC Certificate students:
In addition, HNC Certificate students pursuing China Studies:
All students are strongly encouraged to have taken courses in both Chinese domestic and foreign policy.
*To receive credit for courses offered by the Hopkins-Nanjing Center toward the China Studies concentration, students with a certificate from the HNC entering Johns Hopkins SAIS must submit to the China Studies Program for review and approval a list of those courses completed at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center that they wish to have count as fulfilling the courses on China required for the concentration. As part of the course approval process, students will be asked to provide an official transcript from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and may be asked to provide supporting materials from the courses for which they are seeking SAIS credit, such as syllabi. Courses from the HNC for which a student has received a grade below a B- will not be eligible for school credit.
Learn more about the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.
China Studies Program Learning Goals and Objectives
Entering Class 2016-2017
MA students must take the equivalent of 16 non-language courses (64 credits) in order to graduate. Those students who are approved for dual degree or advanced standing may only need to take 12 courses (48 credits) or 14 courses (56 credits) as approved by Academic Affairs.
Students concentrating in China Studies must take at least 4 courses within this program.
Students who received the HNC Certificate in Chinese and American Studies will receive a reduction in the number of China Studies course requirements, but must take a minimum one China Studies course at the Washington, DC campus. Academic Affairs will inform each student of the approved reductions.
Students also must fulfill the general requirements for the field of Asian Studies, that is, an additional 2 Asian Studies courses outside of China Studies.
Students in China Studies also have the option of pursuing a specialization in the International Relations of Asia (AsiaIR).
Students must complete 4 courses within this program.
· Macroeconomics (prerequisite or concurrent Microeconomics)
· International Trade Theory (prerequisite Microeconomics)
· International Monetary Theory (prerequisite Macroeconomics)
Eligible students who pass the waiver exams in these subjects or who pass Microeocnomics in Pre-Term must replace those courses with alternate economics courses. Many students choose to pursue an International Economics Specialization in one of four areas of economics and therefore use electives to meet these requirements. Students may also choose to specialize in Emerging Markets.
Students must receive a 2.67 average in the 4 required economics courses or they must retake a course(s) until a 2.67 average is obtained. If any of the 4 courses are achieved by passing a waiver exam or during Pre-Term, the student must substitute an economics elective course(s) in place of the waived course(s) in order to fulfill the economics requirement above. In this case, the school will use the highest economics program elective course grade(s) to compute this average if a student is replacing one or more of the 4 required courses of Microeconomics, Macroeconomics, International Trade Theory or International Monetary Theory.
Students must complete one course from the list below.
· Statistical Methods for Business & Economics
· Econometrics (prerequisite Statistical Methods for Business & Economics)
· Applied Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
· Macro Econometrics (prerequisite Econometrics)
· Risk Analysis and Modeling
· Quantitative Global Economics (prerequisite International Monetary Theory)
Students may not double-count a Quantitative Reasoning requirement as one of the four required International Economics courses and vice-versa. Eligible students who pass the statistics waiver exam or pass the statistics course in Pre-Term are still required to take an alternate Quantitative Reasoning course from the list above.
All students must pass 2 core exams and/or courses in addition to their concentration requirements. China Studies concentrators must pass Comparative Politics as one of their core requirements prior to the start of their third semester. If the second core is not completed by the start of the final semester, a student must enroll in second core course.
· American Foreign Policy Since World War II
· Comparative Politics (old name Comparative National Systems)
· Evolution of the International Systems
· Theories of International Relations
China Studies MA candidates must pass exams to demonstrate proficiency in Chinese. All non-native English speakers are required to pass an English placement exam upon entering the school. Native Chinese speakers must pass proficiency in a second language which can include English. Recent HNC Certificate students are exempt from taking the Chinese proficiency exam and will have met the proficiency requirement.
China Studies concentrators must complete ONE of the following capstones:
1. China Studies Capstone Exam that tests the student's knowledge of China in relation to the student's overall coursework
2. MA Oral Exam (to compete for honors—if eligible)
China Studies Minor Requirements: (as of AY 16/17)
General Minor Requirements:
To add or change a minor, please click HERE.
Students concentrating in China Studies must take at least four courses within the program and an additional two courses in Asian Studies. Refer to the curriculum page for details.
A review of the various ways in which China has been affected by and responded to the global financial and economic crisis that started with the US “Subprime Crisis” in 2007. China’s growth dropped to a very low level towards the end of 2008 (when measured on month-on-month basis), which added to unemployment, especially of migrants and university graduates. The course will also examine how the sharp contraction in external demand due to the international crisis compounded the effects of an earlier domestically engineered showdown aimed at cooling the country’s overheating property sector.
Examines US policy toward China and specific US-Chinese political, economic, cultural and security relations, with emphasis on the post-1949 period. Gives special attention to the foreign policy processes in each nation, recurrent policy issues and their implications for each nation’s behavior, and relations with third parties.
Examines the dramatic social changes brought about by China’s rapid economic growth and explores the implications of rapid urbanization due to massive rural-to-urban migration, the decline of state-owned enterprises, the growth of a consumer society, the spread of corruption and the continuing search for new values. Addresses the possible evolution of civil society, focusing on the rise of religious belief, the increasing number of NGOs and the introduction of competitive elections at the village level.
Severe environmental degradation threatens China's future economic development and affects other societies globally. Through the study of key natural resource sectors, this course examines the ways in which the Chinese state has managed these sectors, emphasizing the interaction between the central government and localities. Also considers the roles played by such non-state actors as NGOs, ethnic groups and individual citizens and addresses the domestic and international political implications of the environmental challenges China faces. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the China Studies Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the International Policy Program).
Provides an overview of law in China today. Starting with a look at China's legal history and its social and economic transformation in the last 60 years, examines key elements of the nation's legal system and the role of law in society, economy and polity. Seeks to give students an understanding of the Chinese legal system that they can bring to future work or study concerning Chinese politics and history, China’s international relations, business and trade with China and Chinese economic and social reforms. Knowledge of China, its language or law is not prerequisite; however, representation of these disciplines in the class enriches discussions. (This is a cross-listed course offered by the China Studies Program that also can fulfill a requirement for the International Law and Organizations Program.)
Johns Hopkins SAIS China Studies hosts the China Forum, which features presentations and speeches by top officials and thinkers who manage and study China's evolving role in the world. Students also attend luncheons and hear invited China scholars discuss their latest research.
Alumni Facebook Group
Join the group by visiting the Johns Hopkins SAIS China Alumni Group and click “Request to Join”. You will need to have a Facebook account to login and join. The group is focused on connecting China Alumni and updating them on all events hosted by the China Studies program.
Alumni Linkedin Group
Join the group by visiting the Johns Hopkins SAIS China Alumni Group and click “Join Group”. You will need to have a Linkedin account to login and join. The group is focused on connecting China Alumni and friends in a professional context.
Alumni Email List
To join the Johns Hopkins SAIS China Alumni email list, please e-mail SAIS.China.Alumni@jhu.com and provide your name and year of graduation.
The China Studies Working Paper Series showcases research conducted by MA candidates in China Studies classes. Submissions are accepted on a semester basis and undergo a committee review process to ensure that these papers are of the highest quality.