Flagship FAQ

1. How many students apply to your program each year and what is the acceptance rate?

The Advanced program has typically had between 25-30 applicants each year and have accepted 15-20. However, we will be expanding the numbers accepted gradually over the next few years, which means we are working toward a bigger application pool of qualified students.

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2. What makes a good candidate for admission to the Flagship Program?

Candidates for the Advance Flagship should have a well developed sense of their career goals and have done a substantial part of a major other than Chinese. They may or may not be Chinese majors or minors, but should have studied at least through 301 level of Chinese at the time of application, which would indicate at least an intermediate-high rating on the ACTFL scale (see Testing). In addition, students should have a strong general academic background (minimum 3.3 GPA) and evidence of a strong work ethic.

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3. When can a student enter the Flagship program?

You may apply for the Advanced program while taking Chinese 301 for admittance in the Fall of their junior year. Other entry points may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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4. When is the application deadline and when will I know if I’ve been accepted?

Our Advanced Program application deadline is February 20 for fall entry. We will conduct assessment and interviews in the month after we have received all the applications. Acceptance is generally announced 4 weeks following application.

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5. How long does it take to complete the BYU Chinese Flagship program?

The time in the program depends on individual backgrounds and where a student enters the program. The full program is meant to be completed as an integral part of an undergraduate education, students must complete a minimum of four dedicated Chinese Flagship courses (12 hours) and at least four advanced Chinese electives (12 hours). After a student completes the BYU campus coursework, they participate in the overseas capstone program in China, beginning with direct enrollment at Nanjing University in Nanjing, China for one semester (~5 months) and culminating in an internship in China, which focuses on your specific career goals (~ 4 months).

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6. Can I be a Chinese major and still apply?

Absolutely. As we look at your academic record we take a variety of things into account. Your major is one among many. Most important is how your academic plans lead to your career goals—why the statement of intent is so important. Many Chinese majors want to pursue other fields either in practice or in graduate school and this is an excellent combination for our program.

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7. Do I have to be a Chinese major to apply?

No, we’re interested in all students willing to apply. Many of our students have either a double major with Chinese or a minor with Chinese. We are looking for students with interests that can be applied throughout the job market in China. Our past and current students are majoring in areas such as Political Science, Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Law, Accounting, Journalism, Business Management, and Biochemistry.

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8. Do I have to be a BYU student to apply? Can graduated students be admitted to the program?

To participate as an undergraduate, you must be a BYU student. BYU has phased out its post-BA certificate program. As of 2009, the BYU Flagship Center no longer accepts post-BA applicants.

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9. What is the Chinese Flagship and when was it implemented?

The BYU Chinese Flagship Program was created at BYU in 2002 through a grant received from the National Security Education Program (NSEP). Through NSEP funding, Flagship programs were created nationally in Mandarin Chinese, Korean, Russian and Arabic. Brigham Young University was awarded an NSEP grant to develop curriculum in advanced Mandarin Chinese language instruction and was named the Chinese Flagship Pilot Program. Our pilot program status changed to a continuing status in 2005. Since the initial creation of Flagship, there are now programs at many universities throughout the nation in various Languages (African Languages, Arabic, Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Persian, Russian) considered critical to U.S. national interests. See the National Flagship website for details.

Our curriculum model focuses on helping students to eventually use Chinese in the field of their interest. For example, we help an accounting student learn how to function in a Chinese accounting office by learning Chinese terminology and culture specific to accounting. Students are trained to be able to work in their field in China or act as a liaison between Chinese and American.

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10. Can I participate if I am not a BYU student?

The Chinese Flagship Program operates as an integral part of the BYU undergraduate program. Therefore, all students are required to gain admission to BYU if they have not already at the time of application.

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11. Is financial support available for the program?

Financial support is available from different sources. The career goals of the student help to determine the source of scholarship funding.

1. The Chinese Flagship Program has limited Flagship funding for the Overseas Capstone Program. Flagship support is contingent upon our federal funding as well as student need. Flagship students who intend on applying to the capstone program will also be required to apply for Flagship funding as well as all other applicable funding for Chinese language programs. Scholarships that students should apply to include the Pell Grant, Ben Gillman Scholarship, the Asia Freeman Scholarship and other related scholarships.

2. Students may also apply for the Boren Scholarship (add the link) directly through the National Security Education Program (NSEP). Typically, there is more funding support available for the Boren scholarship than what Flagship Programs can provide. Students with a strong and demonstrated desire to use their Chinese skills toward government service qualify to apply for this funding. For students with this important goal, NSEP funding has financial and career placement advantages. It is important for students interested in this option to be aware that a service payback agreement is required for this funding. For more details about the payback agreement, see the NSEP web site.

3. ROTC Scholarships

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12. Do I need to be a member of the sponsoring church to attend BYU?

No. However, BYU is a private university supported by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS). Admission to BYU and the Chinese Flagship program is not limited to members of the LDS church, but all students and faculty are asked to observe the university-wide honor code.

13. Is Financial Aid available for the program?

Flagship scholarship funding is available for the Overseas Capstone Program, overseas summer programs and domestic intensive language summer programs but are limited to guidelines set forth by our federal sponsoring agency. Amounts of scholarships vary based on amounts of external funding that students receive. Students are required to apply for all outside sources of scholarships before applying for Flagship funding. Students will meet with the Flagship staff as requested to discuss funding options.