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Curriculum | Certificate in Chinese and American Studies + MAIA

The Certificate in Chinese and American Studies at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center will give you the flexibility in course selection while deepening your knowledge of Sino-global relations.

The MAIA at SAIS Europe is a research-focused program, where you will be able to personalize your curriculum and focus on the contemporary issues in international affairs of the greatest importance to you aligned with your career interests. 


Students must complete a total of eight courses in Nanjing, five of which must be taught in Mandarin. Many students elect to take additional courses taught in English with their Chinese peers.

Intermediate to advanced level proficiency in Mandarin is required prior to beginning studies. All applicants to Hopkins-Nanjing Center programs are required to take the Avant Assessment STAMP Chinese proficiency test. Applicants have typically completed three to four years of college-level Chinese and have spent time in China.

The recommended score on the STAMP Chinese proficiency test for the certificate program is 1200 or above. 

All MAIA candidates must successfully complete at least two economics courses in the fall or spring terms. Students who select Microeconomics and Macroeconomics—the basic required courses —will also need to enroll in Fundamentals of Trade and Monetary Theory as a non-credit course to ensure a basic understanding of those topics.

Students who have previously taken courses equivalent to intermediate Micro- and Macroeconomics may petition to take a waiver exam to demonstrate their knowledge. However, students who pass the waiver exam in Micro- and/or Macroeconomics must then substitute the waived course with the approved upper-level economics course.

MAIA students may take Microeconomics at SAIS Europe during Pre-Term.

Pre-term courses are not counted toward the MAIA economics requirement although they will fulfill pre-requisite requirements for other courses. MAIA students who pass Microeconomics in Pre-Term must therefore substitute it with another approved economics course.

Native English speakers must pass a proficiency examination in one of the seven foreign languages offered at SAIS Europe:

  • Arabic
  • French
  • German
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • Chinese: a small pilot program at novice level will be launched in 2019-20 in cooperation with the Confucius Institute at the University of Bologna

Non-native English speakers must pass an English proficiency exam administered by the school. 

Non-native Chinese speakers who complete the HNC Certificate are automatically approved for language proficiency in Chinese since their content courses were taught in that language. Native Chinese speaking students can use English for proficiency.

During the application process, non-native speakers of English will be required to submit a score from one of the following English competency exam: TOEFL, IELTS or a CPE.  To see our English Language Examination policy, please click here. However, at the start of the academic year, all non-native English speaking students at SAIS Europe must take the English proficiency exam, regardless of previous test results, to ensure an adequate level in all skills.

Upon admission to the MAIA program, candidates determine whether they wish to pursue the option to complete 14 non-language courses and write a thesis of approximately 15-20,000 words, or in lieu of a thesis complete two additional courses, one of which entails a substantial research paper. Students meet with a faculty advisor to discuss their options and potential thesis topics of interest.