China Studies MAIS Handbook

This handbook provides you with information concerning both academic and non-academic matters for students enrolled in a Master of Arts in International Studies, China Studies.

First Things First

The Jackson School of International Studies (JSIS) houses many academic programs; the China Studies program is one of them. The variety of JSIS programs provides a wealth of resources, including colloquia and symposia which bring in outside speakers. We hope you will take advantage of them while you are here.

Thomson Hall is the home of the Jackson School. Your mailbox is in Thomson 311, the Graduate Lounge. Aside from being a good place to study or meet other students, the Graduate Lounge features 5 computers and a small kitchen with a refrigerator and microwave. Please see the Graduate Program Adviser for the entry code for the lounge.

The Office of Academic Services (OAS) is in Thomson 111. OAS staff can answer questions about registration, independent study and thesis credits, and add codes. Check the bulletin boards just outside the door and across the hall for information on visiting speakers, film series, and events.

Advising and Resources
Program Guidelines
Grade Requirements Final Papers and Oral Exam
Applying to Graduate Program Procedures for Finishing On-Leave Status
Fellowship Applications and Financial Aid Library and Other Resources

Advising and Resources

David Bachman Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) David Bachman, Thomson 338, dbachman@uw.edu

The GPC is the faculty adviser for the first year of the program and will help students determine a suitable faculty mentor for the second year. Students should meet with their faculty adviser at least once a quarter. By the fourth quarter in the program, students should establish a Supervisory Committee to advise completing the final requirements of the program.

Graduate Program Manager (GPA) Rebecca Alhadeff

THO 116, ralhadef@uw.edu

The GPA guides students and provides advice on procedures and requirements for graduating from the Jackson School. For quick questions, students may stop by during drop-in hours on Wednesdays from 10 am to noon or Thursdays from 2-4 pm. Appointments are made here.

China Studies Program CoordinatorThomson 301

Once you have set up your UW email, be sure to e-mail the program coordinator so that you can be put on the China Studies email list. This will assure that you receive announcements of talks, courses and other events relevant to China and/or East Asia in general.

Kristi Roundtree East Asia Center Managing Director Kristi Roundtree, Thomson 301A, barnesk@uw.edu

The East Asia Center arranges for speakers, colloquia, and other on campus events for graduate students. Additionally, it is an excellent resource for information on language programs and fellowship opportunities.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies JSIS FLAS/Fellowship Coordinator Robyn Davis, Thomson 126, rldavis@uw.edu

Every autumn the FLAS Coordinator organizes FLAS information sessions for students ahead of the winter application deadline, which usually falls in mid-January. She is also available to meet with students in person and will answer questions via email about applying for and receiving FLAS fellowships.

zhi China Studies Librarian Zhijia Shen, Gowen 322B, zhijia@uw.edu

The University of Washington has one of the best collections of China related materials in the country. Materials are housed in many different buildings across campus. Zhijia specializes in the China related collections housed at the university, including the vast digital resources. Zhijia is willing to meet with students to provide introductions to China Studies collections and resources, customize and tailor research inquiries, and provide general guidance on graduate student research.

Alison Wattles JSIS Career Services & Alumni Relations Alison WattlesThomson 124, awattles@uw.edu

The Career Services Office organizes events on campus with employers, as well as provides support for students seeking internships and preparing to enter the job market upon completion of their degree. Appointments can be made here.

Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies JSIS Computer Specialist, Mark HaslamThomson Hall 407, jsishelp@uw.edu

For technical or software problems with the computers in the Jackson School, contact Mark.

For advice on procedures and requirements, contact the Graduate Program Adviser (GPA), in JSIS Academic Services. You should meet with the GPA at least once a year. It is particularly important to meet with her before registering for your last quarter, to make sure that you have met all requirements and to review graduation procedures.

Professor Madeleine Yue Dong is the Chair of the China Studies Program, and Professor David Bachman, the Associate Chair, is the Faculty Adviser and Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for China Studies. As the GPC, Professor Bachman serves as your overall academic advisor. You should meet with the GPC at least once a year to review your course of study. As you review the program requirements and guidelines, you will find that some actions on your part need formal approval from the GPC. This approval should be in writing and placed in your file in the GPA’s office.

In your second year in the program, you should establish a Supervisory Committee to advise you in completing the final requirements of your program. Obviously, if you intend to graduate in less than two full years, you need to establish your supervisory committee at least a quarter before you graduate.

If you find yourself struggling academically, we strongly advise you to meet with the GPC and/or the GPA as soon as possible to discuss your options.


Familiarize yourself with both the China Studies Program Requirements for a Master of Arts in International Studies and the General Graduate School Requirements for a Master’s Degree. The program requirements are designed to meet Graduate School requirements, but it is important to know that you must satisfy both sets of requirements to graduate. Please also familiarize yourself with the Jackson School’s Satisfactory Performance and Progress Policies for Master’s Students.

Language Requirement

Language study is an essential part of the program. Courses in Chinese language and literature are offered by the Department of Asian Languages and Literature. While you are required to complete third-year Chinese, or second-year Heritage Chinese, you are urged to take instruction beyond this level if your schedule permits.

Students with minimal background in Chinese may wish to take Intensive First-Year Chinese the summer before entry, second-year Chinese the first year, then CHIN 311, 312 and 313/Third-Year Chinese in the second year.

The Department of Asian Languages and Literature requires a placement exam before you register for Chinese. Contact the department asianll@uw.edu or click here.

Required Core Courses

All China Studies graduate students must register for JSIS A 521 and 522 (Winter and Spring quarters, respectively) in their first year. These are introductory graduate-level courses on the interdisciplinary study of modern China through readings drawn from several academic disciplines. The paper written for these courses usually is one of the papers presented for the final degree requirements.

Other Course Work

You must take 26 additional credits with at least 8 credits at the 500 or 600 level. It is possible to apply Graduate Independent Study (JSIS 600) toward this requirement. Thesis credits (JSIS 700) do not count toward these 26 credits. In all cases of 500- and 600-level course work counting toward this requirement, the student is expected to write a substantial paper (15 pages). You are strongly encouraged to take Graduate Seminar (500 level) credits.

The courses taken to fulfill this requirement must be from at least two departments (or disciplines) other than Asian Languages and Literature. This is to ensure that your program of study is interdisciplinary. Courses at the 400, 500 and 600 levels may be counted toward your China studies course work.

First through fourth year Chinese and first year classical Chinese are not included in these 26 units.

While most of your work should focus on China, students may take a maximum of two courses not specifically focused on China for the purposes of fulfilling specific educational or professional objectives, or if these courses will contribute to understanding more fully an issue for the thesis or one of the final papers. For instance, those planning to pursue a Ph.D. may find that the departments they wish to enter have prerequisites not related to China that they must fulfill. On the other hand, students pursuing non-university careers may determine that course work from one of the departments or schools relevant to their career objectives (e.g., Public Affairs, Communications, Business Administration, Education, etc.) will be useful. In both cases, students should consult Advisors from the appropriate schools or departments early. Students adopting this option must obtain written approval from the GPC. These courses must be 400 level and above.

Graduate Independent Study at the 600 level counts toward your overall credits, but it is not considered graded credit even though you may, in some cases, receive a decimal grade. Such grades are not averaged into your GPA. The form you’ll need to complete in order to register for either JSIS 600 or 700 is available here. It requires the signature of your faculty supervisor for the project.

Grade Requirements

Students are expected to maintain a Grade Point Average of at least 3.0. Grades for course work must be at least 3.0, including Chinese language classes.

Final Papers and Oral Exam

Students must take a final oral exam after completing either two research papers or a thesis. With the GPC’s approval, students select a Supervisory Committee consisting of at least two faculty members to oversee both elements, with the Chair a Graduate Faculty member from the China Studies program.

Final Papers

Two Research Papers

One of these papers normally will be completed in JSIS A 521 and 522. The other should be written for a 500-level course in one of the disciplines. This second paper can come from a 400-level course where no comparable 500-level course exists. Each paper should be at least 20 pages in length. These papers should be revised to incorporate comments from the instructor on the original versions.


This option is designed for students who wish to undertake a major research project that involves extensive use of primary sources. Normally work on the thesis is begun in a graduate seminar. If you are considering this option, you should consult the GPC. If you decide to do a thesis, you should consult regularly with the members of your Supervisory Committee for guidance in both research and writing.

You must register for at least 9 thesis credits (JSIS 700). You do not have to register for all of them in one quarter and there is no limit on how many thesis credits you may take. In order to register for thesis credits, you must complete an Independent Study/Thesis Credits form each quarter and obtain a signature from the chair of your Supervisory Committee. Submit this form to JSIS Academic Services (Thomson 111) to get the instructor ID number you will need to register.

Your paper(s) must be approved by your Supervisory Committee prior to taking your oral exam. Regardless of the option you choose, you must submit your finished paper(s) to the Graduate Program Adviser by the end of the 6th week of the quarter in which you plan to graduate. (August 1st if your Oral Exam is in Summer quarter.) Give the GPA a separate manila envelope for each member of your committee containing both of your papers or your thesis. (Address each envelope with the faculty name and box number.) These envelopes will be distributed to your Supervisory Committee members.

Submitting papers in the sixth week allows the Supervisory Committees sufficient time to read the papers and determine whether they are acceptable. If a paper is not acceptable, you will have time to rewrite it. If you are late in submitting your paper(s), you will probably have to register for another quarter.

Oral Exam

Once your paper(s) are approved, you must also pass an oral exam. This exam focuses on your final paper(s), but also may cover your course work. For the Oral Exam, you must be physically present. Please also fill out an Oral Exam Form and submit it to the Graduate Program Adviser by the 6th week of the quarter you wish to graduate.

Before making plans to graduate Summer quarter, check with your committee members to see whether summer graduation is convenient for them. If they agree, your paper(s) must be submitted to the Graduate Program Adviser by the nearest weekday to August 1.

Applying to Graduate

To graduate, you must request your degree through the Graduate School’s Degree Application. The application period commences the first day of the quarter of graduation. The Jackson School requires that you apply by the 7th Sunday of the quarter (5th Sunday in Summer).

The Graduate School will send you an email confirmation of your application for Master’s Degree and inform you of Graduate School requirements that must be met by the end of the quarter in which you graduate. The Graduate Program Adviser will be notified of your application for Master’s Degree and will enter information detailing departmental requirements that must be met. This will generate an email from the Graduate School to you informing you of requirements.

If you do not finish in the quarter you applied to graduate, you will have to apply for the degree again. You must be registered for at least two credits in the quarter you graduate.

Program Procedures for Finishing

As you are approaching the completion of your paper(s), you must schedule your oral exam with your Supervisory Committee. Once the date and time are set, complete an Oral Exam Scheduling Form and obtain Professor Bachman’s signature. Then give it to the Graduate Program Adviser, who will schedule a room for the exam if needed and notify everyone involved. The GPA will prepare your file for your oral exam. Be sure to make an appointment with the GPA in the quarter prior to your planned graduation to make sure that you will have met all requirements, and to review the procedures for finishing.

Prior to your oral exam, your file will be given to one of your committee members. Aside from providing a record of the work you have done in the program, your file also will contain your Oral Exam Completion Approval of Graduation Form and the Application for Master’s Degree, also called the Warrant. Both of these documents must be signed by your committee members following the successful completion of the oral exam and placed in your file.

Thesis Option

Students choosing the thesis option should carefully review the Graduate School page “Final Submission of Your Electronic Thesis or Dissertation (ETD)” for information about uploading the thesis and printing and submitting the signed Supervisory Committee Approval Form, which you must submit by 5:00 pm on the last day of the quarter.

On-Leave Status

Graduate students are required to maintain graduate status during their program of study by enrolling for at least one credit. Failure to maintain this status requires application for reinstatement to the University of Washington ($250). Students who desire to take a quarter or quarters off without going through the reinstatement process must apply for on-leave status for each quarter they do not register, not including summer. For complete details regarding the on-leave policy, refer to Graduate School Memorandum 9.

Registration and Planning Your Class Schedule

Registration for classes begins in the middle of the preceding quarter (middle of Spring Quarter for Autumn). Course lists for East Asia, which contain course descriptions for the upcoming quarter, are available here prior to each registration period. As a continuing student you will be eligible to register in the first Registration Period. Registering early will help you get into the classes you want.

Sample First-Year Schedule

Autumn Quarter

Chinese (at the appropriate level) 5 credits

Elective 3-5 credits

Elective 3-5 credits

Winter Quarter

Chinese (at the appropriate level) 5 credits

JSIS A 521 Seminar: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study of China 5 credits

Elective 3-5 credits

Spring Quarter

Chinese (at the appropriate level) 5 credits

JSIS A 522 Seminar: Introduction to Interdisciplinary Study of China 5 credits

Elective 3-5 credits

Taking Courses Outside the Requirements

You may take courses that do not fulfill program requirements. Comparative study is encouraged, and classes which do not meet China Studies requirements may be useful. However, taking too many courses that do not apply to your degree could prevent you from completing the program within two years.

Number of Credits per Quarter

An average load per quarter for Jackson School graduate students is 12-15 credits or 3-4 courses, depending on credits per course. In the final quarter, students may take fewer courses as they focus on completing their Essays. If you are receiving financial aid, or hold a scholarship, fellowship, or RA position, you must carry at least 10 credits per quarter. International students must be registered for 10 credits in order to maintain F-1 status. International students may take fewer than 10 credits in the final quarter if they have completed all requirements but for the Oral Exam.

You are not required to take a full course load every quarter, but taking a reduced load during Autumn Quarter may put you at a competitive disadvantage for fellowship consideration. It is difficult for the fellowship committee to assess your scholastic performance if you have taken only a course or two. Nearly all students finish this degree in two years (6-7 academic quarters). If you do not carry a full load in your first year, it may affect your ability to finish within two years. You should start your language studies as soon as possible. Many students finish in less than 5 quarters.

Fellowship Applications and Financial Aid

You can be considered through the International and Area Studies Fellowship application for most fellowships offered by the Jackson School. Application procedures will be announced in October; the application deadline is usually January 31, but it is a good idea to check the deadline well in advance. Awards are made in mid-April for the following summer and/or academic year. Specific questions concerning FLAS and other Fellowships should be addressed to the Fellowships Director, Robyn Davis (Thomson 126).

Faculty evaluations and grades earned at the UW are of particular importance to fellowship committees, so it is helpful to carry a full load of relevant courses and do well in them. It is important to make good progress toward your degree before applying, and you must continue this progress if you receive a JSIS fellowship.

For information on need-based financial aid, see the Office of Student Financial Aid.

Library and Other Resources

The University of Washington Libraries are a large system of libraries housed in many different buildings across all three campuses (Seattle, Bothell, and Tacoma). The reference section is on the ground level of the Suzzallo/Allen Library. This can be particularly helpful in searching for materials via the UW Libraries website. The East Asia Library is in Gowen Hall and the Gallagher Law Library is in William H. Gates Hall. Branch libraries also contain China-related resources.

Computer Resources

The Jackson School Graduate Student Council (JSGC) has been successful on several occasions in applying for funds for computers and equipment. Thanks to these efforts, there are five workstations, a printer and a scanner in the third floor in the Graduate Reading Room (Thomson 311). You may use the printers after paying a quarterly fee to JSGC for paper and supplies. To pay this quarterly fee, or if you have any technical or software problems with the computers in the Jackson School Graduate Reading Room, contact the Jackson School’s computer specialist, Mark Haslam, at jsishelp@uw.edu. The computer specialist’s office is in Thomson 407. The Center for Social Science Computation and Research (CSSCR) in Savery 145 offers consultation on computer services for social science students, which includes all JSIS students.

Jackson School Events

The Jackson School’s fifteen degree programs, including China Studies, offer a wide range of colloquiums and symposia featuring JSIS faculty members and guest speakers. Graduate students are encouraged to attend these events. Announcements are usually posted both in Thomson Hall and in the Jackson School Calendar of Events. The calendar will be sent to you via the jsisgrads email list. The calendar is updated and e-mailed weekly.

Finally, the Jackson School provides resources for those not going into Ph.D. programs after graduation, and instead entering the job market. Schedule an appointment with Alison Wattles, the JSIS Career Services Director for advice and help in entering the job market. Consult the JSIS Job Board to see relevant job listings for your field.