UHM Chinese Language Flagship Program | Program
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Chinese Language Flagship Program students gain high levels of Chinese language proficiency so that they can use Chinese in professional settings upon graduation. This involves ongoing language and cultural learning that spans the course of a students’ undergraduate degree.

Beginning Flagship:

A strong foundation is critical to reaching high levels of Chinese proficiency. During this phase of the Flagship, students take CHN 100-400 level courses and participate in Flagship tutoring. Students can accelerate their learning by participating in an intensive summer program  or by taking accelerated courses (CHN 105-405).


Students develop professional, academic, and formal language while expanding their knowledge of Chinese culture. Students take CHN 485-6 and two classes taught in Chinese at UH Manoa (content courses). Some classes that students may participate in include: Economics 416c The Chinese Economy, Musicology 478c Musical Cultures: China, Anthropology 385C Chinese Ethnology, Political Science 308 Chinese Political Economy. These courses can often fulfill other core requirements and the CHN 485-6 is writing intensive.

Flagship Capstone Year in China:

Students spend one academic year in China at one of our partner universities there: Nanjing University and Beijing Union University. Students take classes in their field while taking advanced language courses and also complete an internship relevant to their future career goals.

Note: Students who have previously learned Chinese will be placed into the appropriate level. Students with no previous language study will start in Chinese 101.


There are two different options for Flagship certification. Students may receive both, or select the one that is most appropriate for them.


BA Degree in Chinese with a specialization in Flagship

  • This degree program combines high levels of Chinese proficiency with a broad understanding of Chinese culture and literature.
  • Click here for complete requirements and click here for a sample academic plan

Certification from the National Security Education Program (NSEP)

  • This option focuses on language and cultural proficiency. Once students have completed the Capstone Year and all Flagship requirements, they receive a certification from the National Security Education Program.
    • Reach Intermediate-High Chinese proficiency (according to ACTFL standards, or ILR 1+). Students may already have this level of proficiency due to previous study or family background; otherwise they can take classes at UH Manoa to reach this level.
    • Complete UH Manoa pre-Capstone coursework: CHN 485-6 and two courses in Chinese (12 credits)
    • Complete the Flagship Capstone Year in China: Take two classes in your field and two language classes at a Flagship partner institution and complete a 4-month internship in China.
    • Reach Superior level proficiency (according to ACTFL standards, or ILR 3)


Current UH Manoa undergraduate students are eligible to apply for Flagship via the online application. Requirements are:


  • Students must be enrolled in the appropriate Chinese course for their level (as determined by the departmental placement assessment) during the semester for which they apply.
  • Students should have a strong academic background.
  • Students should be committed to reaching the Superior level of proficiency.


Credentials: Flagship students graduate with high levels of Chinese language proficiency and in-country study and work experience that are reflected on their transcripts and by official certification.

Scholarships: All Flagship students in good standing are eligible for scholarships from The Language Flagship to cover part of the costs of overseas study. In addition, Flagship students are strong candidates for the following scholarships:

Individualized advising and guidance: Upon joining the program, students meet with the UHM Chinese Flagship Director to create an academic plan. Each semester, they meet with the Director again to check on progress and make any needed updates. This individual attention ensures that students are meeting Flagship requirements and also are able to take advantage of other opportunities available to them.

Individual tutoring: All Flagship students receive tutoring at no additional cost. Tutoring focuses on building reading, writing, listening, and speaking language skills and targets students’ weaknesses.