College of Arts and Sciences

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes Chinese Flagship different from a regular Chinese major?

Chinese Flagship goes far beyond an ordinary Chinese major that requires typically three or four years of language study. Flagship students will take two more years of Chinese coursework beyond the 3 years required for the EALC Chinese major at Indiana University, study abroad in a summer in mainland China or Taiwan, and also spend a Capstone year in China studying Chinese at a university and doing an internship in Chinese in China.


Who is a good candidate for Chinese Flagship?

Chinese Flagship is a comprehensive program for dedicated students who would like to reach professional proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. We are looking for students who are passionate about learning Chinese and who are willing to put forth the effort in reaching professional proficiency in Chinese that includes one or more summers of studying Chinese in addition to Chinese coursework during the academic year. In addition students should be strong students academically; we have a 3.00 cumulative minimum GPA requirement for pre-Stage 1 and Stage 1 and then a 3.25 minimum cumulative GPA for the more advanced Stage 2.We welcome students with no Chinese language learning background, students who studied Chinese for many years, and heritage Chinese speakers of all levels.


Do I need to major in a particular discipline to be admitted to the program?
No. By completing the required courses for the IU Chinese Language Flagship, you will automatically complete course work for a Chinese minor in East Asian Languages. Students inside the College of Arts and Sciences or School of Global and International Studies with a Bachelor of Arts degree can also easily complete the EALC Accelerated Chinese major − the Chinese Flagship major inside the department of East Asian Languages and Cultures − when they complete Chinese Flagship requirements. 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. However, you do not have to claim this as a major, and students with any academic major may apply.


May I double major in EALC?
Yes. An EALC major will certify your accomplishments in the study of Chinese language and culture, and the second major will develop the knowledge and particular interests related to your long-term professional future.


Is there a minimum GPA to be accepted to the program?
Yes. The minimum GPA standard is 3.25 overall for Stage 2, 3.00 for Stage 1 and pre-Stage 1, or top 10% of the graduating class for incoming freshman.


How much does the IU Chinese Language Flagship Program cost? What funding opportunities are available?
Much of the Flagship training takes place on the IU Bloomington campus during the regular academic year and includes both credit-bearing classes and free extracurricular activities. No funding is provided from the Flagship program for academic years on campus, and students are encouraged to apply for the wide variety of scholarships and financial aid available through IU and other sources to help fund both their academic years and summer study.


A limited number of Flagship scholarships are available for 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) and the capstone year abroad. Note that The Language Flagship, which funds these scholarships, reviews scholarship funding guidelines annually and can make changes at any time. Two other important IU sources of scholarships 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 (


Will my financial aid apply to study abroad?
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. However, this is not automatic. To request that financial aid be applied to an overseas study program, you need to follow the procedure outlined by the Office of Overseas Studies and IU Financial Aid. One area where financial aid usually does not apply is the final semester of internship, which is a professional rather than academic experience. Please see the Bloomington Office of Student Financial Assistance for detailed information about applying for (or renewing) financial aid.


Will I get academic credit for the work I do studying Mandarin over the summer in China?
In most cases, you do receive academic credit for summer study abroad. However, this is not always the case and credit usually transfers as undistributed EALC credit. With the exception of the EALC Accelerated Chinese major, major requirements are generally not fulfilled with study abroad credit. Students should work with their academic advisor to make sure they plan appropriately and see what requirements may be fulfilled with their study abroad.

I am a graduate student. Can I participate in the IU Chinese Language Flagship?
Graduate students are not eligible for admission to the Chinese Flagship Program, and our department will no longer be offering the Graduate Flagship Program as of Fall 2014.

Should my letter of recommendation be in Chinese or English?
Both English and Chinese letters of support are accepted.


Specific to incoming freshmen:

I’m a high school senior. Can I apply to the Flagship program as an incoming freshman?
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 to campus for New Student Orientation

Do you need copies of my high school transcript?
Yes. Although you will send Indiana University a copy of your high school transcript as part of your IU application, you will also need to have a copy of your transcript sent to our offices, either via mail or fax:

Indiana University Chinese Flagship Center
814 E. Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47405
Fax: (812) 855-3222

For which level should I apply?
Most incoming freshmen apply for and are admitted to Stage 1 of the program, which includes beginning to intermediate language courses. More advanced language students may be admitted directly into Stage 2 if they test into Third Year Chinese or higher. Students are recommended to first apply for Stage 1 and then if they test into third year Chinese or higher submit the Chinese essay required for Stage 2 admission.

Do I need a letter of recommendation?
If you are applying to Stage 1 of the program, a recommendation letter is not required, but will be accepted if submitted. For Stage 2 of the program, a letter of recommendation from a faculty member from your academic domain is required as part of the application.


If I’ve applied to the Chinese Flagship Program, do I need to apply to Indiana University as well?
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.


The application requires an interview with Flagship staff, but I don't live near Bloomington.
We are happy to interview prospective students over the phone, and will work with you on every step of the process.


I'm coming to campus, can I meet with someone to talk about the program?
Absolutely! Please contact Chinese Flagship at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 812-856-0412 to set up a visit.  While we can arrange visits on short notice it would be preferred to give at least a week’s notice.


I am flying into Indianapolis. How do I get to Indiana University?
Shuttle service is available on a regular basis from the Indianapolis Airport. For further information please contact these companies directly: Bloomington Shuttle ( & Star of America Shuttle Service (http://


What can you tell me about campus & Bloomington?
For information about Indiana University Bloomington or Bloomington, please visit the following websites:
Indiana University Bloomington
Bloomington Visitor's Bureau