Beginning fall semester 2006, UGA students with an interest in foreign languages and cultures will have a new option when choosing a major: the bachelor of arts in Chinese language and -literature.
The new major, recently approved by the board of regents, will be administered by the university’s department of comparative literature.
The goal of the new major—the first such major at a public institution in Georgia—will be to foster UGA students’ understanding of Chinese society and culture through a 120-semester-hour program. The program will include four upper-level Chinese language and literature courses, four Asian literature and cinema courses, and three Asian culture courses along with roughly 21 semester hours of electives.
In addition to the new major, the program offers, in cooperation with UGA’s Office of International Education, many opportunities for UGA students to study Chinese abroad at several locations for one and two semesters. Most students who complete a whole year abroad studying Chinese return to UGA speaking the language fairly fluently. A one-year study abroad is comparable in cost with a regular academic year’s expense at UGA.
The major is a response to a new federal program called the National Security Language Initiative that aims to address the country’s shortage of foreign language speakers.