Global China Studies

China has again become a major force in the world, while increasingly the world is drawn to China. Beyond the scope of conventional area studies, the innovative interdisciplinary major in Global China Studies allows students to cultivate up-to-date knowledge and critical skills about China. It aims at deepening their understanding of China's interactions with the wider world as well as comprehend the trends within China, at individual, societal, state, and global levels, and in the context of socio-economic, religious, cultural, and political transformations. You can find out more about the program at

Requirements for the Major

Students can choose to follow the academic bulletin from the year that they were admitted or a more recent academic bulletin. For example, if you were admitted to NYU Shanghai in Fall 2019, you can choose to follow the academic bulletin 2019-2020, 2020-2021, and 2021-2022.

Planning the Major

To declare the GCS major, students would need to have a final grade of C or higher or currently enrolled in any required Global China Studies course.

Faculty Mentors

Faculty mentors are the leading faculty and experts in the major disciplines. Students can reach out to faculty mentors for specific questions about the major, and references for connecting with relevant discipline resources. If you have specific questions about specific fields of study within the major, you can search for faculty through the faculty directory.


LaLa Zuo

Associate Professor of Art History

Global China Studies Area Head

Lu Zhao

Assistant Professor of Global China Studies

Tansen Sen

Professor of History

Director of the Center for Global Asia

Lena Scheen

Assistant Professor of Literature

Global China Studies FAQs
Why should I major in Global China Studies?

The Global China Studies is for students who are interested in developing in-depth knowledge about China through the study of Chinese history, society, literature, arts, and politics in a global setting with an emphasis on innovative research methods. Students who are interested in the advanced training in the Chinese language and innovation research methodologies are encouraged to choose the advanced track. It is also recommended for students who plan to seek admission into graduate school or employment in research institutions, governmental and non-governmental organizations in China or elsewhere that focus on China-related issues to declare a major in the GCS advanced track.

What are the differences between the regular track and the advanced track?

The Global China Studies major offers two options. Students may opt to take the track that requires an extensive study of China in a global setting through the completion of an interdisciplinary curriculum without the need for additional Chinese language courses. They could also choose the advanced track option, which trains students to acquire a higher level of Chinese proficiency in addition to developing focused research skills needed for postgraduate professional and academic pursuits. In either case, majors in Global China Studies will graduate with the capacity to become qualified practitioners and thinkers of a changing China in the world.

Global China Studies Major exploration
Independent study

Students are permitted to work on an individual basis under the supervision of a full-time faculty member in the Global China Studies discipline if they have maintained an overall GPA of 3.0 and have a study proposal that is approved by a GCS professor.

Global China Studies capstone

Fall Semester: Methodologies in China Studies; Spring Semester: Research Project Seminar.

The first semester of this two-semester capstone course will focus on the methodologies of China-related research, examining the importance and shortcomings of Chinese primary sources and data, familiarizing with and learning how to access and use key archives, museums, libraries, research tools, databases, and digital websites, and analyzing some of the pivotal books and articles on China. Students will also draft a research proposal, with a preliminary bibliography, and identify a faculty mentor for the second semester of the capstone course. During the second semester, students will work primarily with their respective mentors, but are required to also participate and make presentations at a weekly research seminar. Those opting for Advanced GCS major must demonstrate competency in reading and analyzing Chinese language sources.

Minor in Global China Studies

Four classes in Global China Studies, one of which should be either the Concept of China course or a course listed under the "China and the World" category. Students may take up to two advanced or post-advanced language courses in fulfillment of this minor.