Japanese professor standing at chalkboard teaching students.

To become an effective teacher of Chinese, you need to know pedagogical theory—and be able to apply it.

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The Master in Chinese focuses specifically on Teaching Chinese as a Second Language and is designed for current teachers of Chinese or those who wish to teach Chinese as a foreign language.

Program Options

Master’s students can either complete their course requirements entirely in four summers in Vermont, or during two summers in Vermont and one academic year at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey. See more about program options.


Our classes, projects, and instruction enhance your linguistic facility and build your knowledge of and experience with pedagogical ideas and practice to prepare and expand your career as a language teacher. Students immerse themselves in language and culture through academic work, the Language Pledge®, and participation in cocurricular activities.

To help you refine your skills, we have created a living laboratory in which you will prepare curriculum and use it in the classroom, under the guidance of experienced educators. Our Chinese School faculty are chosen from among the most dedicated, hardworking professionals in academia and are here to support you.

All required and elective courses during the Chinese School summer session in Middlebury, Vermont, are taught in Chinese by master teachers from both the U.S. and China, and focus on the development of and best practices in teaching Chinese as a second (or third) language.

Middlebury Language Schools students receive Outstanding Chinese Teacher Awards.
Fang Bian and Ying Zhang—both students in the Middlebury Language Schools’ Master’s in Chinese—are the two recipients of the 2023 Outstanding Chinese Teacher Award of the Chinese Language Association of Secondary-Elementary Schools (CLASS). Read more.

Degree Requirements

Students enrolled in the Chinese School master’s degree program must successfully complete 12 course units in the following:

  • Linguistics for Chinese Language Teachers (3 units required)
  • Curriculum, Instruction & Assessment (4 units required)
  • Culture: Core and Manifestation of Communication (2 units required)
  • Special Topics (2 units required)
  • Experiential Learning/Teaching Practicum (1 unit required)

Middlebury awards one unit of graduate credit (equivalent to three semester hours) for each graduate course. The normal course load is 3 course units per summer. Most students complete their graduate degree in four summers. All students enrolled in the master’s have ten years to complete the degree. Students can transfer up to three credits with preapproval from the director.

See the course listing.


Graduate degrees are for students who have already acquired graduate-level proficiency in their language and have generally studied their language for four years or longer, unless they are native speakers. See additional Chinese application instructions. Applicants who will not hold a BA, or who plan to attend for one summer only for professional development, should select the 6-week non-degree option (select ‘Graduate Level - New Applicants (MA or DML)’ on the application). The GRE is not required.


Thanks to the support of generous donors (including many Language Schools alumni) and Middlebury’s commitment to provide an opportunity for as many students as possible, we are pleased to offer limited need-based financial aid and merit-based fellowships and scholarships for students.

Career Outcomes

Students who earn a graduate degree in Chinese pursue rewarding careers and opportunities in a range of fields:

  • Doctoral programs
  • Teaching or academic administration
  • Social work
  • Speech and language pathology
  • Government
  • Nonprofit organizations

Talk to a graduate of our master’s in Chinese program, and you’ll likely hear them describe the remarkable language acquisition and academic achievement that has dramatically broadened their perspective and helped them to realize their career goals.