Study Abroad - China - Curriculum


This 3-week summer program offers five credits of course work hours of ABA-approved credit.  

The one-week modules include:

  • Chinese Language, Culture, Legal History and Law (Duquesne University)
  • The Innocence Revolution: A Comparative Examination of Criminal Justice Reforms in the U.S. and China
  • Issues in Family Law in Comparative Context

Chinese Language, Culture, Legal History, and Law – 1 credit

This course will introduce students to the overview of Chinese language, culture, legal history, and law, including classroom instruction at Duquesne, augmented with in-person visits to sites of legal and cultural importance in China. Course taught by Associate Dean Frank Y. Liu. Course held at Duquesne and on-site at legal and cultural institutions in China.

The Innocence Revolution: A Comparative Examination of Criminal Justice Reforms in the U.S. and China – 2 credits

The second module will examine the contours of "conviction integrity" under both the US and Chinese criminal justice systems and how and these virtues/values play out (or not) in terms of our separate and shared responses to the convictions of factually innocent individuals (post conviction exonerations). Taught by Professor John T. Rago, this course will examine common errors leading to wrongful convictions and lessons learned in specific cases from both criminal justice systems. We will examine reform efforts in place or underway as a result ofthe learning moment produced by wrongful convictions. Guest lectures will be delivered by Chinese faculty who will provide their own experiences and perspectives on wrongful convictions and reform efforts in China.

Issues in Family Law in Comparative Context – 2 credits

The third module covers constitutional and criminal features of U.S. family law, including what constitutes unlawful family violence, and the parameters of lawful state regulation of reproduction and pregnancy. Professor Rona Kitchen will teach the course. Guest lectures with Chinese faculty will provide comparative perspective on how family law functions in China.

Class Schedule

To maximize the free time of the students' weekends, classes meet:

  • Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Check back for the program schedule.

Course Materials

The course materials will be prepared by the Duquesne faculty member who will be teaching the program.


The examination for these courses will occur on the final day of the program, and will consist of a combination of multiple-choice and essay questions. Students will be permitted to refer to notes during the exam, provided that they took the notes themselves during the course of the program. Students will take a comprehensive written examination on the last day of class.

Students will earn up to 5 academic credits through participating in the program. The program consists of three distinct courses, each of which will be graded separately on Duquesne’s standard letter scale. Grades earned in these courses will count toward students’ QPA and graduation requirements, and may also be used to fulfill concentration requirements.

Students are required to attend all lectures and sponsored excursions during the program.