The Department of Chinese and Japanese offers all interested students opportunities to learn Chinese and Japanese and to gain an understanding of Chinese and/or Japanese literature and culture. The department courses and activities introduce students to Chinese and Japanese cultures through comparative studies in a broader East Asian context. Its curricula provide students who pursue a major or a correlate in Chinese or Japanese with solid disciplinary training, preparing them for post-graduate endeavors ranging from graduate studies to careers in both the public and private sectors. The diverse faculty brings their own training and interests into the classroom, offering students a wide range of approaches to studying language, literature, and culture. Traditional Chinese and Japanese arts, such as calligraphy, flower arrangement, and tea ceremony, are an integrated part of our learning experiences.

The department stresses student involvement and communication with the faculty. Activities such as Weekly Language Table sessions, held at ACDC, give students the chance to practice their language skills outside the classroom in a relaxed, social setting. In addition, students are encouraged to celebrate and participate in numerous event days sponsored by the department. The Chinese/Japanese Culture Day festival, Chinese New Year festival, and Cherry Blossom Festival are all events where students can use their language skills and learn traditional Chinese and Japanese arts.

The department administers nine-week, Vassar-sponsored summer program in China. Students can study the language, experience Chinese culture, and tour the country for Vassar credits at Qingdao University. The department also supports and recommends students to Junior Year Abroad programs in China and Japan. Each year a number of our graduates are accepted by the highly selective Japan Exchange Program.

Chinese and Japanese Certification Programs:  The Chinese and Japanese Department jointly with the Department of Education offers programs leading to the New York State Initial Adolescent Education Certificate (grades 7-12) in both Chinese and Japanese. Students who choose to obtain the credential must major in Chinese or Japanese, and complete 9.5 units in education.  Upon successful completion of the program, candidates will be eligible to teach in any secondary school in New York, as well as many other states that have signed reciprocity agreements with the State of New York.