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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University February 20, 2006 | Vol. 35 No. 22
SAIS Offers New Master's Degree at Hopkins-Nanjing Center

By Felisa Neuringer Klubes

Johns Hopkins' Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies and Nanjing University in Nanjing, China, are launching a new master of arts in international studies, establishing the first fully accredited joint degree of its kind between the United States and the People's Republic of China.

The first class of master's students will be admitted to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center for Chinese and American Studies for the fall 2006 semester. The center, established in 1986, has offered students a graduate certificate in Chinese and American studies for 20 years. The new master's degree will provide Chinese students with proficiency in English, and American and other international students with proficiency in Chinese, the opportunity to earn a single graduate degree from two highly respected institutions.

Students will take 14 courses and write a thesis during the two-year program. A minimum of 10 courses, plus the thesis and an oral defense, must be conducted in the student's target language. For Chinese students, the target language is English; for American and other international students, the target language is Mandarin Chinese.

"Target language research, discussion and writing deepen students' understanding of the theoretical and cultural assumptions of people in the area of study — advantages that study in one's native language alone cannot afford. English- and Chinese-speaking students will work together in the same classrooms, a situation not found in most other programs in China," said Kathryn Mohrman, executive director of the center's Washington Office.

The degree program takes an interdisciplinary approach to international studies, offering concentrations in international politics, international economics, and comparative and international law. Building upon the success of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center's continuing certificate program, the master's degree is designed to prepare the future leaders of U.S.-China relations.

Robert Daly, the Nanjing-based American co-director of the center, said, "There's a value in studying China in Chinese, with the Chinese and as the Chinese study it. There are few people in the United States skilled enough in Chinese to use the language at a professional level in the way that many Chinese are able to use English, and the new master's program will give international students a huge leg up in their language proficiency."

An additional feature of the program is a new academic governance structure in which professors from SAIS and Nanjing University have jointly established the interdisciplinary master's curriculum and selected the faculty who will teach it.

"As China seeks to internationalize its higher education system," Mohrman said, "the master's degree represents a new level of education cooperation that is pathbreaking today, just as the creation of the center enhanced Sino-American relations 20 years ago."

The expansion of the academic offerings will coincide with the fall opening of a new building in Nanjing. The center's programmatic and physical growth reflects the increasing interest of international students in the study of China and the Chinese language. The expansion will double the facility's size and capacity, providing additional library, classroom and housing space for resident students, faculty, researchers and staff.

Established as one of the first joint ventures between China and the United States, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center is a collaborative project between Johns Hopkins and Nanjing universities. It gives approximately 100 students from the United States, China and other countries the opportunity to live together and pursue graduate studies. SAIS administers the center's activities on behalf of Johns Hopkins.

For more information about the new master's program and application details, go to


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