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Chinese Departmental Honors

Elena Suet-Ying ChiuAssociate Professor & Chinese Honors Program Director
Office: Herter 333
Phone: (413) 545-5840

Departmental Honors (DH) is an Advanced Scholarship track of Commonwealth Honors College (CHC). Students may complete DH as part of the full CHC curriculum, which includes Honors General Studies, or they may complete DH alone. All DH students are members of CHC.

Successful completion of the DH course requirements with minimum grades of B (or as specified below) and the submission of a properly formatted Honors Thesis or Project manuscript (minimum grade of B for Seminar manuscripts) will result in the award of "Departmental Honors" on the student's academic transcript. For information about DH, speak with your Honors Program Director and see Admission Process below. For information about the full CHC Curriculum, please click here.

General Admission Criteria

Minimally, to be eligible to apply for DH, students must have 1) An overall GPA of 3.400 or higher earned after one or more fulltime semester/s of UMass Amherst coursework; 2) The ability to complete the DH sub-plan requirements; 3) The ability to complete the CHC minimum residency requirement, i.e., 45-graded (not pass/fail) credits earned at UMass Amherst (not transferred)

Admissions Process

  • UMass Amherst students who are not already members of CHC must apply to Departmental Honors, an Advanced Scholarship CHC sub-plan, please visit the Apply Page.
  • Students who are already members of CHC should meet with the department’s Honors Program Director (HPD) regarding their interest in joining Departmental Honors (DH), an Advanced Scholarship CHC sub-plan. The HPD will determine a student's eligibility and preparedness for DH. Admission to DH will be at the discretion of the HPD based on the criteria as established by the department and CHC (see Admission Criteria above). The HPD will notify the CHC office of newly accepted DH students so appropriate steps can be taken to designate the sub-plan on SPIRE.

Program Requirements

  • 1 CHINESE honors course any level
  • 1 CHINESE honors course 300-level or higher
  • Honors Thesis or Project. Options include:
    • Individually contracted: CHINESE 499Y Honors Research and CHINESE 499T Honors Thesis


  • A maximum of two Chinese intensive language courses (6 credits each) may be counted toward the DH requirements.
  • When offered, 1cr CHINESE 291H, 391H and 491H seminars plus their pre-requisite non-honors root course are acceptable as DH electives.

Requirement Exceptions Note

Note: exceptions to the requirements above require approval by both the Honors Program Director (HPD) and a Commonwealth Honors College advisor; requests must be submitted in writing via the CHC Paths..

For more information, contact Professor Enhua Zhang, the Honors Program Director for Chinese, for the Spring 2021 semester.

General Links

Honors Program Directors
Commonwelath Honors College Online Application
Honors Credentialing
Honors Thesis
Departmental Honors

All Departmental Honors Requirements