Frequently asked questions about the Chinese Flagship

First, Chinese Flagship is a comprehensive program for dedicated students who wish to prioritize attaining professional proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. Flagship requires two more years of language coursework than the three years required for the EALC Chinese major at Indiana University. Altogether, students pursue five years of Chinese language study, completing their coursework at an accelerated rate. 

Second, Flagship students enhance their learning with summer study abroad, individualized tutoring with native Mandarin speakers, along with a Capstone year abroad, where they continue to study the language while enrolled in university courses in their major field. Students also participate in an internship relating to professional interests when overseas.

Third, Chinese Flagship students are eligible for Flagship funding, which typically covers the majority of study abroad expenses.

After completing Flagship, students earn a certificate. However, anyone interested in also obtaining a Chinese major can easily do so by checking with their advisor.

The Flagship is designed for students who are passionate about learning Chinese and who are willing to put forth the effort needed to reach professional language proficiency. In addition to Chinese language coursework during the academic year, the program includes one or more summers of studying Chinese.

Students should be strong academically. We have a 3.00 minimum cumulative GPA requirement for all students and Chinese grade minimum of B (83%).

While the program is rigorous, we welcome students with various levels of exposure to Chinese: those with no Chinese language learning background, students with previous experience studying Chinese, and heritage Chinese speakers of all levels.

No. Students of all majors are welcome to apply to the program, including students in the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Global and International Studies, Kelley School of Business, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, School of Informatics, Jacobs School of Music, or any other undergraduate program at Indiana University.

Completing the required courses for the Chinese Flagship enables students in the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Global and International Studies (SGIS) to receive a minor in Chinese, and it does not require as many courses as a Chinese major.

Students in the College and the Hamilton Lugar School can easily complete the EALC Language Flagship Chinese Concentration major (the Chinese Flagship major inside the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures) when earning the Chinese Flagship requirements. A major in Chinese would require several additional classes.

To learn more about these programs and/or declare a major or minor please contact the EALC academic advisor or look at the EALC website. Keep in mind that you do not have to claim the Chinese Flagship as a major, and students with any academic major may apply.

Yes. An EALC major will certify your accomplishments in the study of the Chinese language and culture. Your second major helps you develop a breadth of knowledge and particular interests related to your long-term professional future.

Yes. The minimum GPA standard for acceptance in the program is 3.00 overall for transfer students and current Indiana University Bloomington students.

Much of the Flagship training takes place on the IU Bloomington campus during the regular academic year, through both credit-bearing classes and free extracurricular activities. While no funding is provided from the Flagship program for academic years on campus, students are encouraged to apply for the wide variety of scholarships and financial aid available through IU and other sources, helping to fund both their academic years and summer study.

A select number of Flagship scholarships are available to especially committed and talented Chinese language learners, to facilitate one or (in some cases) two summers of language learning, either at the IU Flagship Chinese Institute or abroad at selected programs. Scholarships are also available for the Capstone year abroad.

Note that the Language Flagship, which funds these scholarships, reviews its scholarship funding guidelines annually and can make changes at any time. Typically, Chinese Flagship students are able to cover the majority of their study abroad expenses through Flagship scholarships.

Two other important IU scholarship sources are the Hutton Honors College and IU Office of Scholarships. Students may also consider federal funding such as Boren Scholarships and the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Program. Chinese Flagship staff offer assistance to students applying for these prestigious and competitive scholarships.

Ordinarily, financial aid awarded to students for study at IU may be applied to overseas study for a program that contributes to the student's undergraduate degree. This is not, however, automatic.

To request that financial aid be applied to an overseas study program, you need to follow the procedure and explore resources outlined by the Office of Overseas Studies and IU Student Central. Please see the Bloomington Office of Student Financial Assistance for detailed information about applying for (or renewing) financial aid.

Students should meet with their academic advisor before summer study or study abroad to see which requirements may be fulfilled and make sure that they plan accordingly.

Students are also responsible for checking with their summer program regarding how grades and transcripts will be sent to the appropriate offices at IU.

Graduate students are not eligible for admission to the Chinese Flagship Program. The program is only open to undergraduate students.

For incoming freshmen:

Yes! The acceptance of high school students is conditional upon their matriculation to Indiana University and a Chinese language placement exam is taken before they arrive on campus for new student orientation.

No. You do not need to send us a copy of your high school transcript as part of your Chinese Flagship application.

Yes, all students must apply and be accepted to Indiana University in order to participate in the Chinese Flagship Program. Our office is a separate entity from IU's Office of Admissions and there is limited communication between the two. Information on how to apply to IU can be found at the Office of Admissions.

We are happy to interview prospective students over the phone and will work with you on every step of the process.

Absolutely! Please contact Chinese Flagship at flagship@indiana.edu or 812-856-0412 to set up a visit. While we can arrange visits on short notice, it is best to give at least a week’s notice.