Department of Thai


     Founded in 1964, the Department of Thai, as part of Chiang Mai University’s pioneering Faculty of Humanities, has been one of the country’s leading centers of excellence for the study of the Thai language, offering Thai courses in an exceptionally wide range of fields, especially Thai language & linguistics, literature and communication skills, via a diversity of approaches, from contemporary theory to textual examination and comparative studies.
     The Department’s ultimate goal, which has been well achieved, is to equip students with profound knowledge and advanced competencies in the Thai language together with critical, analytical and synthetic skills valuable for their promising careers and lives. Graduates of the Thai Department go on to pursue prestigious careers in education, literature, journalism & mass communication, human resources, the public sectors, businesses and many more


The Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Thai is a four-year program designed to develop students’ skills and expertise in, and an appreciation for the subtlety of, the Thai language. In order to promote versatility and to prepare them for further research & educational arena as well as the career world, students are also intensively trained in communicative English, another foreign language, and courses in the Arts, Social Sciences and Science of their choice.


Key Benefits

  • Extensive & multidimensional courses in Thai literature, language studies & usage plus several aspects of Lanna Language studies has put this program in a prominent place among BA in Thai and similar programs;    
  • Combination of Thai, English and another foreign language skills plus critical, analytical & synthetic thinking training results in genuinely multilingual, well-rounded and adept graduates;
  • Knowledgeable & attentive teaching staff, many of whom are award-winning writers in their own right;
  • Myriads of academic and extra-curricular activities for students to choose from, some examples of which are Reading Camp, Creative Writing workshops and Job Preparation sessions. 


This program allows students to study fundamental courses in the Thai language and then move on to more advanced levels respectively, selecting their own specialty in the three concentrations offered: literature, language & linguistics and skills. This means they themselves design a curriculum that suits them best.   
Over the course of four years, students are required to complete at least 134 credits. In each of the eight semesters, they will take about six individual courses, normally valued at 3.0 or 2.0 credits each, adding up to 18.0 credits per semester on an average.  Along the path, students are also required to take and choose courses in another foreign language, the Arts, Social Sciences and Science and those in the minor program of their choice. 
     In the first year, students are introduced to the academic and analytical characteristics of the Thai language through such courses as Usage of the Thai Language and Aspects of the Thai Language and enjoy fundamental critical thinking and literature-related classes, examples of which are Man and Quest for Knowledge and Literary Studies. At the same time, their English proficiency is well strengthened in courses involving all kinds of communication skills, while several courses in Mathematics and Sciences of their own selection broaden their knowledge and versatility.
    In the second year, students concentrate on a more elaborate study in the Thai language through linguistics, literature and communicative Thai courses: Development of Thai LiteraturePali – Sanskrit in ThaiArt of Prose Writing, and many more. In addition to advanced English courses such as English for Humanities and Mass Communication, students are required to take modules in other foreign language of their choice and start their minor courses at this level.  
    In the third year, besides appreciating the beauty of the Thai language via a number of compulsory literature classes, students start to define their area of interest by choosing four Thai courses from a vast array of topics under three major fields: namely skills, language & linguistics and literature, while continuing with foreign language modules and minor subjects. In the second semester, all students attend the Thai Language and Literature Research Methodology module to prepare themselves for further research and independent study.
     In the fourth year, Depending on their pathway, students choose from a range of advanced courses from their subject areas, for example, Art of Script/Fiction/Poetry WritingContemporary/Southeast Asian/World Literatures,Literature and Cultural Studies, Lanna Language and Literature and Language and Communication, just to name a few. They are required to take the Seminar of Thai Language and Literature class to practice and enhance their analytical and communication skills.


Graduates of the Department of Thai have evidently become successful in a wide range of professions including education, government & civil service, journalism & literary field, hospitality industry, public relations, and many more.
Career destinations include:

    • Academic staff and researchers at Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai & Lampang Rajabhat Universities, Mae Jo University and many other renowned academic institutes
    • Writers for entertainment and documentary programs at Modernine TV
    • Public Relations officers and other positions in Mass Communication field
    • Human Resources Development personnel at several companies

The Faculty of Humanities is one of three faculties established when Chiang Mai University was founded in 1964. The other two faculties are the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Social Sciences. The three faculties offer three groups of foundation courses: natural sciences, social science and humanities as educators at that time believed it would result in a perfect graduate who is equipped with basic knowledge related to things of nature, human society and the mind as well as other qualities of mankind. In the first year of the establishment in 1964, the Faculty of Humanities had 20 full-time academic staff and 2 part-time instructors, 3 administrative staff and 77 students while offering 282 courses.

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