The Liberal Arts (Boya) College adopts a curriculum that offers general education before major-based training. Its four-year undergraduate program consists of two parts: the first two years are devoted to general education, when students take mandatory core courses which aim to give them a solid foundation in the humanities disciplines; in their third and fourth years, students choose to major in one of the three disciplines—literature, history, or philosophy. Outstanding Boya students will have the opportunity to be recommended to pursue a master’s degree without examination.


         General education before major-based training

        Boya offers broad-based liberal arts education that breaks down barriers between disciplines to cultivate outstanding talents who understand the ancient and the modern, the Chinese tradition and the western world.

        The first two years of general education

        Offering mandatory core courses which aim to lay a solid foundation in the humanities disciplines.

        Choosing a major in the third year

        Students go on to major in literature, history, or philosophy based on their interest and choice.

        Taking advanced courses in other majors

        Students are offered the opportunities to take advanced courses in disciplines other than their majors.
        Taking "reading great books" as the primary teaching method

 At Boya, students read great books (in the original language if possible), with teachers elaborating the text and its context. This method aims to help students understand the Chinese and non-Chinese cultural traditions, and to familiarize them with the basic questions and methods in the liberal arts disciplines. It is further supplemented by in-depth seminar discussions and extensive writing, which strengthen the teaching process and facilitate interaction in order to improve the quality of teaching and learning experience.

Reading Great Books

For each class, instructors select the reading materials and design their own syllabuses to help students approach the text via close reading.

Extensive Writing

Immersed in the books, students have conversations with the texts and their authors, and after intensive reading, they hand in book reports.

In-Depth Discussion

With everyone well prepared, instructors and students engage in meaningful interactions.

Great books have withstood the test of time, and are thus richer than any form of second-hand “introduction” or summaries. This is why at Boya we believe in direct engagement with the great books in their original form. Only in this way can we start intellectual conversations with great minds in history and obtain inner freedom. Extensive writing and lively, in-depth discussions further serve to make the learning process more vigorous.

   A Curriculum Spanning East and West

   Boya takes a field-based approach to undergraduate teaching, with its core courses falling into three categories—“Chinese civilization,” “Western civilization,” and “modern society.” Starting in their third year, students will take mandatory and elective courses in the major of their choice, i.e., in literature, history, or philosophy.

Core Courses at Boya

Chinese Civilization

The Book of Poetry, The Four Books, The Records of the Grand Historian, Selected Works of Zhaoming, The Gongyang Commentary on The Spring and Autumn Annals, Zhuangzi, Zuo Tradition, etc.

Western Civilization

The Iliad and The Odyssey, Plato’s Republic, Classical Greek, Ancient Greek Tragedy, The Social Contract, English Literature, etc.

Modern Society

Classics in Sociological Studies, Field Work, Classics in Anthropology, etc.

International and Open-Minded

Boya has a bilingual curriculum, which features multiple courses taught in English, intensive training in classical languages, and selective courses in other foreign languages. The program admits an international cohort of students and encourage overseas exchange and study abroad. Boya is also dedicated to establishing exchange programs for students and scholars with renowned universities at home and abroad. Having first-rate resources for scholarly and cultural activities, Boya creates a lively community for the study of the humanities to help students become great readers.