Mandarin Chinese is the official language in China and Taiwan, spoken by over 1.3 billion people, about one fifth of the global population. China is the world’s third largest country with an area of 9.7 million square kilometers (3.7. million square miles). China’s long history goes back in time more than 5,000 years. Lately, China has become the second-biggest world economy and the world’s largest exporter. Hence, Mandarin Chinese is recognized as one of the critical languages by the U.S government. The grammar of Mandarin Chinese, unlike most languages, does not have tense, gender, or conjugation rules. It is a tonal language and uses characters (or logographs) for its writing system. Traditional characters continue to be used in Taiwan, whereas Mainland China has simplified the characters. The Chinese Language Program at Rice CLIC offers a four-year academic program of studies. The courses offered through CLIC guide students to understand the Chinese-speaking culture and society through our focus on language awareness and critical language analysis. Chinese is one of the options that fulfills the language requirements for the Asian Studies major offered by the Chao Center for Asian Studies and for the Linguistics major offered by the Rice Linguistics Department.