New Minor Peaks Interest for China Studies Students

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KresLynn Knouse,  Assistant News Editor, @KresLynn




This fall, a new minor in the Chinese commerce emphasis will be available to students at Utah Valley University. The new program is due in part to President Holland’s “China Initiative,” a plan designed to increase UVU’s focus on Chinese studies. Thanks to support and interest from students, they’ll now have the opportunity to study Chinese commerce as part of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.


The new minor will allow students to take an inside look at how business in China relates with Chinese government. Previously, the department offered two minors in Chinese Language and Chinese Studies. This new minor will broaden the spectrum for students with an interest in doing business with China.


Although Chinese Commerce is not a business minor, it does include coursework from the Woodbury School of Business. Frederick White, associate dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, detailed in an interview why the new minor will be held in the Humanities department.


“There are several top business schools that are beginning to argue that an undergraduate degree in business may not be the best path for students,” said White. “What they’re finding is that students with liberal arts undergraduate degrees who then enter an MBA program possess the skills necessary for that degree. Having read that, my first thought was: ‘we should do that.’”


A major aspect of the minor is that it was designed to be “open,” leaving students with the option to tailor the classes they take to their own interests. Any student with an international outlook and an interest in one of the fastest growing economies in the world is encouraged to enroll in the Chinese Commerce minor.


“We should help students obtain the skills that they need. They’re going to learn about China, know the language, build presentations, think critically—all these are skills that the Humanities and Social Sciences department provides you with,” said White. “After completing this program, if these students are interested, they can then apply for an MBA program with the skills these programs are looking for.”


The focus of the new minor is that students need to know about China before they proceed to conduct business there. Students are going to have a basic knowledge in business but more specifically, they are going to know how commerce relates in China.


White hopes to see this program develop over the next few years by hopefully adding internships, a study abroad program with a focus on Chinese commerce, and there is also a possibility of a full major in Chinese commerce. However, these possibilities are contingent upon funding and student interest.