The University of Massachusetts Amherst
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Licensure and Certificates

Besides the Chinese and Japanese major degree programs, East Asian Languages & Cultures offers courses that can fulfill requirements for a variety of certificate programs as well as the Chinese Teacher Licensure Program. Students can pursue these programs in addition to their majors and enhance their college education.

In addition to the programs below, we are also proud to offer a Certificate in Korean.

The Asian & Asian American Studies Certificate is an interdisciplinary program consisting of eight courses that provides students with (1) a thorough understanding of both Asian and Asian American histories, experiences, and contemporary issues and (2) multi-disciplinary and multi-method research, analysis, and thinking skills, both of which prepare students for the increasingly diverse, globalized, and interconnected world of the 21st century. It DOES NOT constitute a major degree program. Rather, it should complement a regular degree program for those who would like to complete a minor concentration in Asian and Asian American Studies.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the certificate program website.

Asian Languages and Literature courses that can count toward the certificate: Most Chinese and Japanese courses

For more information, contact Professor C. N. Le, the Program Director.


The Chinese Teacher Licensure Program is designed to prepare students to earn a teaching license in Chinese for middle or high school (grades 5-12). Candidates are required to take courses in Chinese language, literature, history/civilization, teaching methodology, education, and pass the ACTFL Oral Proficiency Interview with a rating of at least “advanced low”. Candidates are also required to complete supervised student teaching in a middle or high school. Candidates will receive initial licensure in Massachusetts after completing the program.

To be admitted to the program, potential candidates should have a B.A. degree with a major in Chinese or related fields, and they must have earned a 2.7 cumulative average and a 3.0 grade average in their major in their undergraduate course of study. They should also have passed the English part of the Massachusetts Tests for Educator Licensure (MTEL) and subject part of MTEL, which is Chinese. In addition, candidates are requested to submit at least two letters of recommendation from previous teachers and a personal statement.

For detailed information about the program, please contact:

Professor Zhijun Wang


As railroad workers and refugees, dance hall performers and PhDs, as businessmen and organizers, soldiers and interpreters, Asian/Pacific/Americans have played an integral role in American history. From diverse origins, Asian/Pacific/Americans have forged solidarity among themselves as well as with African Americans, Latin@s, and American Indians to counter the exploitation of a racialized marketplace and discriminatory law. Asian/Pacific/American students formed the backbone of the movement to establish A/P/A studies at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The A/P/A experience provides fundamental perspectives on the American experience as well as the legacies of colonialism and dynamics of globalization.

Come explore all this and more through the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Certificate Program. Combining coursework with internships and field experience, you will learn to appreciate A/P/A cultural expressions, understand the racial formation of Asian/Pacific/Americans and investigate how international conflicts, global economic systems and ongoing migration affect A/P/A communities and their intersections with others.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the Five College Asian/Pacific/American Studies Certificate Program website.

Asian Languages and Literature courses that can count toward the certificate:

  • Chinese 241: Contemporary Chinese Literature
  • Chinese 394PI: Chinese Popular Culture
  • Japanese 197G: Buddhist Cultures in the World

The Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program is one of the sixteen certificate programs offered through the Five Colleges, Incorporated, the nonprofit consortium established to promote the broad educational and cultural objectives of its member institutions, Amherst College, Smith College, Mount Holyoke College, Hampshire College, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The program takes advantage of one of the largest concentrations of scholars of Buddhist Studies in the U.S. and enables students to study most of the major Buddhist traditions. The certificate can be pursued in conjunction with Chinese or Japanese majors.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the Five College Buddhist Studies Certificate Program website

  • Asian Languages and Literature courses that can count toward the certificate:
  • Chinese 138  “Religion in Chinese Culture”
  • Chinese 597K  “Buddhist and Taoist Literature”
  • Japanese 197R “Introduction to Japanese Religion”
  • Japanese 197G “Buddhist Cultures in the World”
  • Japanese 392M “Japanese Buddhism and the Literary Arts”

For more information, contact Professor Reiko Sono, the UMass faculty advisor of the program.


With challenges such as globalization, regional and ethnic conflict, environmental degradation, resource scarcity, demographic stress, global climate change and wide disparities in global economic development and global public health among others, the world is increasingly more complex. Now more than ever, students need to be prepared to confront the complexities of these international challenges with interdisciplinary understandings. The Five College International Relations Certificate Program is designed for students who want to make connections between their field of study and the global challenges.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the Five College International Relations Certificate Program website.

Asian Languages and Literature courses that can count toward the certificate:

  • Chinese 126 Intensive Elementary Chinese I
  • Chinese 246 Intensive Elementary Chinese II 
  • Chinese 326 Intensive Intermediate Chinese I 
  • Chinese 327 Intensive Intermediate Chinese II
  • Chinese 136 Introduction to Chinese Cinema
  • Chinese 138 Religion in Chinese Culture
  • Chinese 150 Peoples and Languages of China
  • Chinese 153 Literature: Poetry
  • Chinese 197Q Late Imperial Chinese Literature and Culture
  • Chinese 197S China in World Affairs
  • Chinese 241 Contemporary Chinese Literature
  • Chinese 242 Chinese Vernacular Literature
  • Chinese 394 PI Chinese Popular Culture
  • Chinese 394WI Women in Chinese Cultures 
  • Japanese 126 Intensive Elementary Japanese I
  • Japanese 246 Intensive Elementary Japanese II
  • Japanese 326 Intensive Intermediate Japanese I
  • Japanese 327 Intensive Intermediate Japanese II
  • Japanese 135  Japanese Art and Culture
  • Japanese 144  Japanese Literature in Translation
  • Japanese 197A Japanese Poetry and Song
  • Japanese 291 A  Japanese Women Writers
  • Japanese 560  Seminar in Japanese Literature

In addition, a number of advanced culture courses in Chinese and Japanese are also eligible for credit toward the certificate. Students must consult about specific courses with their faculty advisors.


Interpreting Studies Certificate Program is offered by the UMass Translation Center. It is an introduction to the theory and practice of language interpreting, and can be combined with Chinese or Japanese study. Students will learn about the history of interpreting, modes and theoretical models, ethics and standards, as well as skills & techniques to work as interpreters in a variety of settings. This program is not a certification (no such thing exists in the United States except for court interpreters in a few languages and ASL interpreters), but serves as basic preparation for future studies and work in the field.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the Translation Center website.

Asian Languages and Literature courses that can count toward the certificate: Any courses at 300 level or above.


Religion, in its manifold forms, has been a significant area of human activity throughout history, and it remains a potent force and formative influence in modern politics, society, and culture. Its study is an essential part of a global liberal arts education. The Religious Studies Certificate Program offers undergraduates a framework within which to pursue the comparative and interdisciplinary study of religious phenomena in human societies across different cultures, places, and times.

For requirements and how to enroll, visit the Religious Studies Certificate Program website.

East Asian Languages & Cultures courses that can count toward the certificate:

  • Chinese 597K: Buddhist and Taoist Literature
  • Japanese 197C: Introduction to Japanese Religions
  • Japanese 197G: Buddhist Cultures in the World