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Courses & Credits

The program curriculum includes two required courses and two elective courses:

Recommended credit is 16 semester credits, which includes four semester credits for each course.

Except for Chinese language, all courses are taught in English. There are no prerequisites for any of the courses.

  More information about credit distribution and grades


Chinese Language

Instructors: East China Normal University faculty
Required, 4 semester credits

Students may study Chinese at any level, providing opportunities for both beginning speakers, and those students who already have some background in Chinese language. Students with background in Chinese will be given a placement test upon arrival. All Chinese language courses are taught by ECNU instructors from the International College of Chinese Studies.


Elective courses at ECNU

Instructors: East China Normal University faculty

Required 2 courses, total of 8 semester credits

Students register for two elective courses, choosing from the ECNU International Education Center’s Global China Program, which includes the course offered by the ACM Visiting Faculty Director (see below).

Students with advanced proficiency in Mandarin Chinese may register for undergraduate courses open to international students in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The Global China Program regularly offers up to ten courses for international students to choose from, in areas such as: business/economics, sociology, culture and philosophy, politics, urban studies and geography, and international relations. Courses are taught in English and include frequent site visits to different areas of Shanghai. A list of course offerings and descriptions is available on the ECNU website.

Modern Chinese History

Instructor: Dr. Shiwei Chen, Fall 2018 ACM Visiting Faculty Director
Elective course (Fall 2018), 4 semester credits
Download the course syllabus

This course is designed to give an introduction to the history of modern China from the Qing dynasty to the present and to understand the continuities and the changes that help to shape the Chinese nation today. The course is divided into three segments. The first segment focuses on the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), the last flowering of the traditional Chinese world order, and moves from there through the long years of the disintegration and the final collapse of the old empire. The second segment analyzes the great Chinese revolution (1912-1949) — in both the Nationalist and Communist phases — that has been one of the most significant episodes in the history of the 20th-century world. The third segment discusses the legacies of the Chinese revolution in the post-1949 period, which profoundly influenced and will continue to influence the political, economic, cultural, and social developments of contemporary China.


Independent Study Project

Instructor: Dr. Shiwei Chen, Fall 2018 ACM Visiting Faculty Director
Required, 4 semester credits
Download the course syllabus

Throughout the semester, each ACM student plans and completes an independent study project under the direction of the ACM visiting faculty director. Projects may be conducted in a wide variety of fields in social sciences and humanities, with topics that are linked to the program location, and are expected to emphasize research in the community, including interviews and observation. At the end of the program, students typically prepare written reports and present their projects to the group. Students are encouraged to formulate projects to fit their individual interests and/or their program of study at their home campus.

Learn more about independent study projects »


Credit Distribution & Grades

The course credit you receive for the Shanghai: Perspectives on Contemporary China program is determined according to policies at your college.

Check with your advisor and college registrar in advance to find out how much credit you will receive and how it will be distributed, especially if you plan to use your courses in Shanghai to fulfill college or departmental requirements.

Grade reports

All students who complete an ACM off-campus study program receive a grade report which lists their courses, credits, and grades. Most colleges accept this grade report as an official academic document. If a college requires an official academic transcript, ACM can arrange to have an official transcript issued through Beloit College for a $350 processing fee. To request an official transcript, students must make a formal request through ACM at the time of acceptance.