Majors

A MAJOR IS AN EXTENDED STUDY OF ONE ACADEMIC AREA. AT DUKE KUNSHAN UNIVERSITY, MAJORS ARE ORGANIZED BY AREAS OF KNOWLEDGE INCLUDING NATURAL SCIENCES, SOCIAL SCIENCES, AND ARTS AND HUMANITIES.

Undergraduate students will declare their majors before the end of their second year. Duke Kunshan initially offers 8 majors approved by the Chinese Ministry of Education, and more majors are under development, including humanities majors that integrate history, philosophy, literature, and the arts, as well as social science majors integrating economics, sociology, anthropology, and psychology. By the time the inaugural class of students declare their majors in 2020, there will be close to 20 majors.

The first round of approved majors include:

 Material Science/Physics 

Many of tomorrow’s innovations in fields such as fast computing, renewable energy generation, batteries, and transportation will rely on the unique and novel properties of materials. The development of such materials requires integrated knowledge in physics, chemistry, and biology, along with advanced mathematics and computation. Material Science/Physics introduces students to atomic structure, macroscopic elastic and thermodynamic properties, electric and magnetic properties, and fabrication methods and applications.

Career Path

This major prepares graduates for advanced study in material science, physics, computer science, and math and for careers in fields such as nanotechnology, electronics, biomedical sciences, and automotive and aerospace industries.

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 Material Science/Physics 

Many of tomorrow’s innovations in fields such as fast computing, renewable energy generation, batteries, and transportation will rely on the unique and novel properties of materials. The development of such materials requires integrated knowledge in physics, chemistry, and biology, along with advanced mathematics and computation. Material Science/Physics introduces students to atomic structure, macroscopic elastic and thermodynamic properties, electric and magnetic properties, and fabrication methods and applications.

Career Path

This major prepares graduates for advanced study in material science, physics, computer science, and math and for careers in fields such as nanotechnology, electronics, biomedical sciences, and automotive and aerospace industries.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 3 & 4
  • Scientific Writing and Communication

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Fundamentals of Material Science
  • Materials Synthesis and Characterization (Lab)
  • Mathematic Methods for Material Science
  • Thermal and Statistical Physics
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Properties of Materials

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Classical Mechanics
  • Quantum Mechanics
  • Solid State and Soft Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Properties of Materials

Political Economy/Political Science

Globalization and the profound structural changes occurring in international affairs make it imperative that we train a new generation of scholars and leaders who can navigate an increasingly complex world. This major examines politics, markets, and societies using a variety of analytic tools to assess how international and domestic political factors interact with economic factors to determine outcomes in a wide variety of areas, including globalization, international trade and finance, regulation, development, taxes, institutional design, the environment and income distribution.

Career Path

Graduates are prepared to understand and shape political and economic policy, to play leadership roles in the public and private sector at home and abroad, and to study at the world’s leading schools of politics, economics and international affairs.

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Political Economy/Political Science

Globalization and the profound structural changes occurring in international affairs make it imperative that we train a new generation of scholars and leaders who can navigate an increasingly complex world. This major examines politics, markets, and societies using a variety of analytic tools to assess how international and domestic political factors interact with economic factors to determine outcomes in a wide variety of areas, including globalization, international trade and finance, regulation, development, taxes, institutional design, the environment and income distribution.

Career Path

Graduates are prepared to understand and shape political and economic policy, to play leadership roles in the public and private sector at home and abroad, and to study at the world’s leading schools of politics, economics and international affairs.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Decision Making under Uncertainty
  • Foundational Questions in Social Science

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Statistics and Econometrics
  • Ethics, Markets, Politics
  • Economics Principles
  • Development
  • International Political Economy
  • China’s Economic Transition

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Conceptions of Democracy and Meritocracy
  • Policy Making Processes
  • Program Evaluation
  • Public Opinion
  • Modern Chinese Politics

Environmental Science/Chemistry

The Environmental Science/Chemistry major uniquely combines the natural and social sciences relevant to understanding the biosphere and its interaction with human society. In order to more deeply appreciate and explore how humans interact with – and have an impact on – their environment, students take courses that lay the scientific foundations for the physical world. They combine that education with coursework about the social, political, legal, and economic factors that both encourage and hinder environmental cooperation and competition around the world. The Chemistry track in Environmental Science is designed for students who are interested in a scientific perspective on environmental issues and who seek core training in the study of the structure, properties, and reactions of chemical elements and the compounds they form.

Career Path

Graduates will be prepared for careers with organizations including environmental protection agencies, research institutes, private companies, and consulting firms. Graduates will also be well positioned for graduate studies in environmental science, chemistry, public policy.

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Environmental Science/Chemistry

The Environmental Science/Chemistry major uniquely combines the natural and social sciences relevant to understanding the biosphere and its interaction with human society. In order to more deeply appreciate and explore how humans interact with – and have an impact on – their environment, students take courses that lay the scientific foundations for the physical world. They combine that education with coursework about the social, political, legal, and economic factors that both encourage and hinder environmental cooperation and competition around the world. The Chemistry track in Environmental Science is designed for students who are interested in a scientific perspective on environmental issues and who seek core training in the study of the structure, properties, and reactions of chemical elements and the compounds they form.

Career Path

Graduates will be prepared for careers with organizations including environmental protection agencies, research institutes, private companies, and consulting firms. Graduates will also be well positioned for graduate studies in environmental science, chemistry, public policy.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 3 & 4
  • Scientific Writing and Communication

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Introduction to Environmental Sciences
  • Applied Environmental Science and Policy
  • International Environmental Policy
  • Dynamic Earth and Oceans: Physical and Biological Sciences for the Environment
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Environmental Economics

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Organic Chemistry: Core Concepts for Environmental Science
  • Environmental Chemistry and Toxicology
  • Air Pollution Science and Engineering
  • Chemical Fate of Organic Compounds
  • Chemical Transformation of Environmental Contaminants

Environmental Science/Public Policy

China and many other countries in the world face environmental challenges including heavy air pollution, decreasing water quality, desertification, loss of natural areas and biodiversity, and social and environmental problems. Addressing these challenges requires interdisciplinary training to develop an understanding of the complex interactions between our environment and human society. The Public Policy track in Environmental Science provides specific additional training in broad policy skills and methods.

Career Path

Graduates can enter professions in environment, policy, and renewable energy with employers including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, consulting companies, research institutions, and universities. Some will also choose to pursue graduate study.

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Environmental Science/Public Policy

China and many other countries in the world face environmental challenges including heavy air pollution, decreasing water quality, desertification, loss of natural areas and biodiversity, and social and environmental problems. Addressing these challenges requires interdisciplinary training to develop an understanding of the complex interactions between our environment and human society. The Public Policy track in Environmental Science provides specific additional training in broad policy skills and methods.

Career Path

Graduates can enter professions in environment, policy, and renewable energy with employers including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, consulting companies, research institutions, and universities. Some will also choose to pursue graduate study.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Decision Making under Uncertainty
  • Foundational Questions in Social Science

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Introduction to Environmental Sciences
  • Applied Environmental Science and Policy
  • International Environmental Policy
  • Dynamic Earth and Oceans: Physical and Biological Sciences for the Environment
  • Biodiversity and Conservation
  • Environmental Economics

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Climate Change Law and Policy
  • Fundamentals of Geospatial Analysis
  • Field Methods in Earth and Environmental Science
  • Environment and Development Economics
  • Community-based Environmental Management
  • Energy Economics and Policy
  • Global Environmental Health: Economics and Policy
  • Environmental Justice

 Global China Studies/History  

This major examines the meanings of “China” as a nation-state, a region, and as a culture in the global setting, and provides students with the skills needed to purposefully navigate the changing landscape of academics, business, government, policy, and the arts. It prepares students for a world in which China is at the center of shaping the 21st century. It positions international students for lifelong engagement with China’s politics, economy, and society, while preparing Chinese students to encounter the wider world with a firm understanding of their own roots, their unique history and institutions, and the ability to see their own country as others see it.

Career Path

This major prepares students for careers in business, public service, media, and culture as well as for further study to pursue careers in academia, law and other professions, with a foundational knowledge of China’s global role.

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 Global China Studies/History  

This major examines the meanings of “China” as a nation-state, a region, and as a culture in the global setting, and provides students with the skills needed to purposefully navigate the changing landscape of academics, business, government, policy, and the arts. It prepares students for a world in which China is at the center of shaping the 21st century. It positions international students for lifelong engagement with China’s politics, economy, and society, while preparing Chinese students to encounter the wider world with a firm understanding of their own roots, their unique history and institutions, and the ability to see their own country as others see it.

Career Path

This major prepares students for careers in business, public service, media, and culture as well as for further study to pursue careers in academia, law and other professions, with a foundational knowledge of China’s global role.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Decision Making under Uncertainty
  • Foundational Questions in Social Science
  • The Art of Interpretation 1: Written Texts

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • From Empire to Nation
  • Modern Chinese Politics
  • China’s Transitioning Economy
  • The Factory: From Socialist Industrialism to World Assembly
  • Visuality in China

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Chinese History 1: Competing Schools, Warring States, and the Ideal of Empire
  • Chinese History 2: Importing Culture and Recasting Society
  • Chinese History 3: The Foundations of Modern China
  • History Methods and Research
  • China in Global Perspective 1: China and the Silk Roads World: 500-1500
  • China in Global Perspective 2: The Internationalization of Modern China

 Global Health/Public Policy 

The Global Health/Public Policy major introduces students to an area of study that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. From the natural sciences, students study the physical components of global health, such as biological bases of disease and the underlying factors in the physical world that incubate and spread disease. From the social sciences, classes focus on the social, political, economic and cultural elements that shape health, such as the study of cultural practices around sickness and healing, and the political factors that may influence international response to epidemics. The Public Policy track in Global Health provides specific additional training in broad policy skills and methods.

Career Path

This major prepares graduates to pursue positions with global health organizations including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, consulting companies, research institutions, and universities. Graduates may also elect to pursue graduate study in global health and public policy.

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 Global Health/Public Policy 

The Global Health/Public Policy major introduces students to an area of study that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. From the natural sciences, students study the physical components of global health, such as biological bases of disease and the underlying factors in the physical world that incubate and spread disease. From the social sciences, classes focus on the social, political, economic and cultural elements that shape health, such as the study of cultural practices around sickness and healing, and the political factors that may influence international response to epidemics. The Public Policy track in Global Health provides specific additional training in broad policy skills and methods.

Career Path

This major prepares graduates to pursue positions with global health organizations including non-governmental organizations, government agencies, consulting companies, research institutions, and universities. Graduates may also elect to pursue graduate study in global health and public policy.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Decision Making under Uncertainty
  • Foundational Questions in Social Science

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Global Health Ethics
  • Global Health Research Methods
  • Social Determinants of Health

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • International Development and Poverty
  • Global Comparative Health Care Systems
  • Global Health Program Design and Evaluation
  • Global Health Governance
  • Media and Health Communication

 Global Health/Biology 

The Global Health/Biology major introduces students to global health as an area of study that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. The major combines elements of natural science and social science. From the natural sciences, studies include the physical components of global health, such as biological bases of disease and the underlying factors in the physical world that incubate and spread disease. From the social sciences, classes provide an understanding of the social, political, economic and cultural elements that shape health, such as the study of cultural practices around sickness and healing, and the political factors that may influence international response to epidemics. The Biology track in Global Health provides specific additional training and expertise in the biological sciences.

Career Path

Graduates can enter global health professions at the national or international levels such as non-governmental organizations, government agencies, biotechnology companies, consulting companies, and research institutions, and can pursue graduate study in global health, public policy, biology, public health, law, and policy.

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 Global Health/Biology 

The Global Health/Biology major introduces students to global health as an area of study that places a priority on improving health and achieving equity in health for all people worldwide. The major combines elements of natural science and social science. From the natural sciences, studies include the physical components of global health, such as biological bases of disease and the underlying factors in the physical world that incubate and spread disease. From the social sciences, classes provide an understanding of the social, political, economic and cultural elements that shape health, such as the study of cultural practices around sickness and healing, and the political factors that may influence international response to epidemics. The Biology track in Global Health provides specific additional training and expertise in the biological sciences.

Career Path

Graduates can enter global health professions at the national or international levels such as non-governmental organizations, government agencies, biotechnology companies, consulting companies, and research institutions, and can pursue graduate study in global health, public policy, biology, public health, law, and policy.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 3 & 4
  • Scientific Writing and Communication

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Introduction to Global Health
  • Global Health Ethics
  • Global Health Research Methods
  • Social Determinants of Health

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
  • Microbiology
  • Evolution of Infectious Diseases
  • Ecology of Human Health
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Introduction to Genetics
  • Introduction to Biochemistry

Applied Math and Computation/Math

The study of applied mathematics and computational sciences deals with the use of mathematical concepts and computational techniques in various fields of science and engineering. It has become an indispensable component of almost every discipline of science, engineering, industry, and technology.

Career Path

Graduates will be prepared to begin careers in research and development, teaching, finance, technology and management, or to pursue graduate study in the United States, China or internationally.

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Applied Math and Computation/Math

The study of applied mathematics and computational sciences deals with the use of mathematical concepts and computational techniques in various fields of science and engineering. It has become an indispensable component of almost every discipline of science, engineering, industry, and technology.

Career Path

Graduates will be prepared to begin careers in research and development, teaching, finance, technology and management, or to pursue graduate study in the United States, China or internationally.

Divisional Foundation courses:

  • Mathematical Foundations 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 1 & 2
  • Integrated Science 3 & 4
  • Scientific Writing and Communication

Interdisciplinary Studies courses:

  • Mathematical Analysis
  • Probability
  • ODE and Dynamical Systems
  • Numerical Analysis
  • Partial Differential Equations

Disciplinary Studies courses:

  • Statistics
  • Stochastic Modeling & Computing
  • Complex Variable
  • Real Analysis

New Majors

In addition to the initial 8 majors listed above, more majors are under development. By the time the inaugural class of students declare their majors in 2020, there will be close to 20 majors. The new majors that have been submitted for approval by the Chinese Ministry of Education include:
  • Data Science
  • Institutions and Governance/Economics
  • Political Economy/Economics
  • Cultures and Movements/Sociology
  • Cultures and Movements/Cultural Anthropology
  • US Studies/American History
  • US Studies/American Literature
  • Ethics and Leadership/Philosophy
  • Ethics and Leadership/Religious Studies
  • Media and Arts/Creative Practice
  • Media and Arts/History
  • Global Cultural Studies/World Literature
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New Majors

In addition to the initial 8 majors listed above, more majors are under development. By the time the inaugural class of students declare their majors in 2020, there will be close to 20 majors. The new majors that have been submitted for approval by the Chinese Ministry of Education include:
  • Data Science
  • Institutions and Governance/Economics
  • Political Economy/Economics
  • Cultures and Movements/Sociology
  • Cultures and Movements/Cultural Anthropology
  • US Studies/American History
  • US Studies/American Literature
  • Ethics and Leadership/Philosophy
  • Ethics and Leadership/Religious Studies
  • Media and Arts/Creative Practice
  • Media and Arts/History
  • Global Cultural Studies/World Literature