Trinity in Shanghai offers a liberal arts curriculum with courses taught in the humanities and social sciences. Many of the courses make use of the resources of the city of Shanghai, where the city becomes an integral component of the course.

  •  Subject areas may include History, Political Science, International Relations, Chinese Language and Culture, Urban Studies, Sociology and more.
  • Students must be enrolled full-time: a minimum of 4 Trinity course credits (14 credit hours) and a maximum of 5.5 Trinity course credits (19.25 credit hours).
    • One Trinity course = about 3 Fudan credits
  • All levels of Chinese language (beginning, intermediate and advanced) are offered. Students are placed based in the appropriate language level after arriving in Shanghai.
  • All students must enroll in a Chinese language course during the Semester/Academic Year program.
  • All students are required to enroll in the core course: Contemporary Shanghai.
  • Students have the option of participating in a for-credit Academic Internship. Students that participate in the internship must also take the seminar: Doing Business in China.

Curriculum Outline 

IMPORTANT NOTE: As we continue to monitor the ongoing pandemic, programs, dates and courses are subject to change and/or suspension as necessary.

Students are required enroll in 4-6 Trinity credits to be considered full time.

  1. Required core course – 1 Trinity credit – SHAN 301 – Contemporary Shanghai: The Chinese Metropolis in Comparative Perspective
  2. Required language course – 2 Trinity credits
  3. Required elective course
  4. Required elective course
  5. Optional internship (if doing internship, must also take seminar) – 1 Trinity credit
  6. Optional elective course

Course Descriptions 

SHAN 301 – Contemporary Shanghai: The Chinese Metropolis in Comparative Perspective (1.0 credit) – Yu Hai 

Shanghai is one of the most powerful cities in China, East Asia, and the World. Its global stature is evident from the powerful architecture – a mix of cutting-edge contemporary designs and grand Western-style edifices dating from the 19th and 20th centuries. At the same time, it is distinctly Chinese and yet occupies a unique place with challenges and issues arising from its position as the financial center in China’s rapid economic development.

Shanghai took shape after China was forced to open itself to the outside world in the second half of the 19th century. Its history taken into consideration, there is no doubt that Shanghai presents an excellent case study of Western influence on Chinese cities in their modernization process and their adaptation and creation of local cultures.

As the economic center of China, Shanghai’s transition from planned economy to market economy is worthy of further study. Many people are also impressed by the diversity of cultures that have left their imprints on Shanghai over the past 170 years. Together, they have molded the city’s culture and made it a natural ground for metropolitan cultural study. The ability to critically assess current and future development mechanisms from a comparative perspective is essential in our increasingly interdependent global world.

This course combines theory with first-hand exposure to Shanghai. The class will address different themes that touch on past and contemporary Shanghai from both a local and global perspective.

Chinese Language (2.0 credits)

Students are required to take Chinese language on the Trinity in Shanghai program. They will be placed in the appropriate level in Shanghai by Fudan University

Doing Business in China – Nathan Wang (0.5 credits)

Internship seminar accompanying an optional internship. Students that elect to participate in an internship must take the Doing Business in China seminar. The internship is worth 0.5 credits and will total 1.0 Trinity credit when combined with the seminar.

Local University Information 

Fudan is a major public research university located in Shanghai, China. It was founded in 1905 and has created a name for itself as one of the most prestigious universities in China . According to the 2018 QS Asian University Ranking, Fudan is the 2nd best university in China and 7th best in Asia. Due to its prestige, Fudan’s undergraduate program is highly selective. Students studying on the Shanghai program will attend the Handan campus, Fudan’s main campus.

Highlight of the University

Fudan University offers students an unrivaled education in a truly global environment. From internships to joining student-run clubs, Fudan University makes it easy for Trinity in Shanghai students to get the most out of their time abroad. Located just north of downtown Shanghai, the university’s location provides the perfect opportunity to explore one of China’s most vibrant cities.


After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Fudan added Arts and Sciences departments from at least ten other universities in eastern China, greatly increasing its academic offerings. In the 1970’s, after the Cultural Revolution, the university evolved into a modern, comprehensive university.

University Size

Fudan has about 44,300 students, including 15,700 undergraduates and approximately 2,800 international students. It has one of the largest populations of international students in China.  It has accepted international students since the 1950s, and was one of the first few institutions in China to do so. Since then, Fudan has accepted and educated over 10,000 foreign students from 100 different countries and regions worldwide.

Academic Differences

The academic system in China and Fudan is quite different than the U.S. Students are expected to keep up with their work outside the classroom. There is more independence expected from students and time management is essential to keeping on track and preparing for exams.


Contact the Shanghai Adviser

Lizzie Smith 66 Vernon Street
Hartford, CT 06106
8:30am - 4:30pm