Program Requirements and Opportunities
Published annually, the Course Catalog sets out the requirements of the academic programs--the majors, minors, and concentrations. Each Bryn Mawr student must declare a major before the end of the sophomore year. Students may also declare a minor or a concentration, but neither is required for the A.B. degree. Students must comply with the requirements published in the Course Catalog at the time when they declare the major, minor and/or concentration.
The Course Catalog also sets out the College requirements. Students must comply with the College requirements published at the time they enter Bryn Mawr College.
East Asian Languages and Cultures (Bi-Co)
The Bi-College Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures is housed at both Bryn Mawr and Haverford Colleges. Our mission is to foster learning about East Asia through rigorous language study and through deep and exploratory engagement with prominent themes and sources from East Asian countries. Towards these ends, EALC offers Chinese and Japanese language through the advanced level and an array of courses on East Asian culture taught in English, including such topics as religion, visual culture, film, gender, history, and literature. The Major seeks to train students in language, guide them through a curriculum that situates East Asian culture within global discourses, and nurture their skills in critical thinking, research, and writing. The two language programs, Chinese and Japanese, are central and foremost in this effort. Minors are offered in each of the languages. There is also a Minor in EALC. (See details on the requirements of the Major and the three Minor tracks below.) Many students choose to study abroad in China or Japan during the school year or during the summer to enrich their knowledge and experience; alumni have pursued a wide variety of fields after graduation, both in East Asia and in the United States. Students also take advantage of offerings on East Asia at Swarthmore and Penn; such courses may be applied to credit towards the major or minor.
EALC has four learning goals:
- Laying the foundations for proficiency in Japanese or Chinese language and culture.
- Gaining broad knowledge of the East Asian cultural sphere across time and in its global context.
- Developing basic bibliographic skills and protocols; learning how to identify, evaluate, and interpret primary textual and visual sources..
- Embarking on and completing a major independent research project that pulls together past coursework, taking the knowledge and skills gained to a new level to demonstrate mastery of a particular aspect of East Asian culture.
The Chinese Program is a fully integrated Bi-Co program. We offer multiple levels of instruction in Mandarin Chinese.
- First-Year Chinese (CNSE B001-CNSE B002) and Second-Year Chinese (CNSE B003–CNSE B004) both have master and drill sections.
- First-Year Chinese (CNSE B001–CNSE B002) is a year-long course. Students must complete both semesters to receive a total of three credits.
- We offer Non-intensive First-Year Chinese (CNSE H007-CNSE H008) for students with some background in Chinese, based on results of a placement test. Upon completion of this full-year sequence, students move on to Second-Year Chinese.
- Following Third-Year, we offer Advanced Chinese each semester. So far, we have eight topic courses in the Advanced Chinese series and students can continue taking Advanced Chinese for credits as long as the topics differ.
The Bi-Co Japanese Program offers five years of instruction in modern Japanese. All Japanese language courses are offered at Haverford.
- First-Year Japanese (JNSE H001-JNSE H002) meets six hours per week. This is a year-long course. Students must complete both semesters in order to receive credit.
- Second-Year Japanese (JNSE H003-JNSE H004) meets five hours per week.
- Third- and Fourth-Year (Advanced) Japanese (JNSE H101-JNSE H102 and JNSE H201/JNSE H201B) meet three hours per week.
- Advanced Japanese takes a different topic each term; students can take it any term as Fourth- or Fifth-Year Japanese, with one credit per semester, and repeat the course with different topic headings.
EALC Major Requirements - Twelve Courses
Two introductory courses, Major Seminar, Capstone
- EALC 131 Chinese Civ. (can be replaced with alternate 100 level on China)
- EALC 132 Japanese Civ. (can be replaced with alternate 100 level on Japan)
- EALC 200 Themes and Methods in the study of East Asia*
- EALC 398 Senior Thesis (This is a single semester thesis offered only in the fall)
- *EALC 200 is the BMC Writing Intensive (WI) Course designated for the EALC Major
Two Terms of Intermediate/Advanced Language
- Two terms of Japanese or Chinese at Third-Year level or above
Students who demonstrate the equivalent of third year level or above in Chinese or Japanese (with approval of the respective language director) may petition to substitute alternative coursework with major advisor approval
- Two must be 300-level EALC courses
- Four other electives selected from 200 or 300 level. Students can substitute up to one 100 level and up to two non-EALC (including CNSE or JNSE) courses with major advisor approval.
Language Minor Requirements
Chinese Minor and Japanese Minor Requirements
The Chinese language and Japanese language minors both require six language courses. Students must take at least four language courses in our Bi-Co programs, and can take at most two at the Quaker Consortium or our approved off-campus domestic or Study Abroad programs. The most advanced course taken for the minor will be at the BiCo.
Candidates for the Minor are approved in consultation with the language program directors.
The EALC minor requires six courses taken in the EALC Department, including language courses. The mix must include EALC 200 and one 300-level course.
Requirements for Honors
The departmental faculty awards honors based on superior performance in two areas: coursework in major-related courses (including language classes), and the senior thesis. The faculty requires a minimum 3.7 average in major-related coursework to consider a student for honors.
The EALC Department strongly recommends that majors study abroad to maximize their language proficiency and cultural familiarity. We require formal approval by the study abroad adviser prior to the student’s travel. Without this approval, credit for courses taken abroad may not be accepted by EALC. If study abroad is not practical, students may consider attending certain intensive summer schools that EALC has approved. Students must work out these plans in concert with the department’s study abroad adviser and the student’s dean.
Language Placement Tests
The two language programs conduct placement tests for first-time students at all levels in the week before classes start in the fall semester.
To qualify for third-year language courses, students need to finish second-year courses with a score of 3.0 or above in all four areas of training: listening, speaking, reading, and writing.
If students do not meet the minimum grade at the conclusion of second-year language study, they must consult with the director of the respective language program and work out a summer study plan that may include taking summer courses or studying on their own under supervision.
Students who do not meet the requirement to advance must take a placement test before starting third-year language study in the fall.
Graduating Seniors in EALC are eligible for the “Margaret Mayeda Petersson Prize,” which recognizes a spirit of engagement and enthusiasm through the major and the thesis project.
Graduating Seniors from any department who have studied Chinese are eligible for the “Hu Shih Prize in Chinese” which recognizes excellence and dedication in the study of the Chinese language.