Yenching Academy of Peking University

Website: Yenching Academy


The Yenching Academy of Peking University aims to build bridges between China and the rest of the world through an interdisciplinary master's program in China Studies. This initiative brings together young people who have demonstrated a talent for leadership and innovation. At Yenching, they are immersed in an intensive learning environment where they can explore China and its role in the world—past, present, and future. The Academy's goal is to shape new generations of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China.

The Yenching Academy provides full fellowships to its scholars, and offers them a wide array of interdisciplinary courses on China within broadly defined fields of the humanities and social sciences. Working closely with their academic mentors, Yenching Scholars create their own study paths by choosing courses from six research areas. They participate in a variety of extracurricular activities and field studies, organized by the Yenching Academy, and designed by scholars themselves. Studying at the Academy is an exceptional opportunity to take part in intercultural exchanges and interdisciplinary learning, developing both personally and professionally.

Scholarship Support:

All admitted students receive the Yenching Fellowship for the first academic year, which covers tuition, accommodation in the Yenching Academy House, a travel stipend for one round-trip journey between your base city and Beijing (the base city must be a city within the country of your nationality; cost of this round-trip will be estimated and calculated by YCA), basic medical insurance, a monthly stipend, and expenses related to research.

Students who maintained a good academic standing, and plan to stay in Beijing during their second academic year can apply for the second-year Yenching Fellowship. This will cover the tuition, accommodation in the Yenching Academy House, basic medical insurance, and a monthly stipend.

2-Year Program:

The Yenching Academy program is two years in duration. Fellowships for students are initially for twelve months, during which they complete their coursework and may write their theses.

All Yenching scholars are required to live on campus during the first academic year. During the second academic year, it is compulsory for the Chinese students (including those from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan) to continue staying in Beijing, while international students can choose whether or not to stay in Beijing to complete thesis writing and the defense. Students who maintained a good academic standing and continued to live in Beijing can apply for the second-year Yenching Fellowship. Furthermore, second-year students who choose to live on campus and serve in student assistantship roles can receive additional funding support.

Degrees are granted after the completion of all coursework and satisfactory defense of the thesis. They are awarded in January and July of each year.

Learn about the curriculum

Learn about admission



Applicants should have:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree in any field or currently enrolled in a degree program awarded no later than August 31 of the year in which they wish to enroll in Yenching Academy;

  • An outstanding academic record;

  • Strong interest in interdisciplinary study of China;

  • A record of extracurricular achievement, community engagement, social responsibility, and leadership potential;

  • English proficiency.

  • Yenching Academy does not have a strict age cut-off for applicants, but to date, no person over the age of 28 has been admitted to the program. The average age of students entering the program is 23.


For Mainland Chinese Candidates:

Mainland Chinese applicants apply through a different process. Yenching Academy is currently only able to accept application from Mainland Chinese students (PRC passport holders) who are currently enrolled as an undergraduate in a Mainland Chinese
university. For more information, please refer to the Peking University Graduate Admissions website. This requirement does not apply to students from the Hong Kong, Macao or Taiwan regions. 

Student Type
  • senior
  • graduate
Citizen Type
  • US Citizen
  • Permanent Resident
  • International or Other Visa Status

UW is a partner university

Yenching Academy works with Partner Universities that conduct internal application processes and nominate outstanding candidates for consideration. All students and alumni of Partner Universities are required to apply through their home universities. 

Current UW students and alumni planning to apply need to complete our UW campus application and submit that campus application by our internal UW deadline. The campus application will require the same elements as the national application. A UW nomination committee will review all submitted applications and select applications to be nominated. Nominated applicants will have a very short time to revise and submit final materials for the national application deadline.

Please apply for UW nomination by completing our online application. The application will open on Sept. 11, 2023.

Application components:

  • UW campus application form; available starting in September
  • Latest official transcript and transcripts from all previous universities (for the campus application, unofficial transcripts are fine)
  • Two letters of recommendation: Peking University will only accept recommendation letters written by full professors or associate professors (or equivalent titles). This is a very strict requirement. Please provide your recommenders with the Yenching Academy Recommendation Cover Form.
  • Personal statement: The personal statement, not to exceed 750 words in English, should include a self-introduction and well-articulated explanation of how you would make the most of the Yenching Academy program experience, as well as how it would benefit your career.
  • Statement of Research Interest (maximum 1,500 words, excluding citations): This statement should include your: 1) key research question(s); 2) background to study and/or summary of literature, and 3) study design that could reflect the applicant's academic training. Please note that applicants are not committed to making this proposed project their Master's thesis topic. The Yenching Admissions Committee uses this proposal as a way to judge how applicants formulate and write about academic topics.
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV): limited to two pages, plus an additional page for Awards, Recognitions and/or Publications (if applicable).
  • English proficiency demonstrated through one of the following scores:
    • IELTS (Academic): Overall 7.0
    • TOEFL (iBT): Overall 100
    • Cambridge English Scale (Advanced): Overall 185
    • Submission of English scores: For IELTS, TOEFL, and Cambridge tests, we will only accept scores sent directly to us from these organizations. Please choose "Yenching Academy of Peking University" as the designated recipient of the scores. For TOEFL, use the institution code: C488.
    • TOEFL and IELTS English proficiency tests must be taken after September 01, 2021. Currently, Yenching Academy does not accept TOEFL MyBest Scores, TOEFL iBT Home Edition, or IELTS Indicator test.
    • Native English speakers and students or alumni of an English-taught Bachelor's degree program are not required to provide English proficiency test scores.

Applicants selected as UW nominees will have a very short time to continue to revise and polish their application materials for the international selection process. Nominees' final application materials must be submitted through Yenching Academy's online application system by the official deadline date (usually in early December). Recommendation letters will be forwarded to Yenching Academy on behalf of nominees, so will not need to be uploaded through the online system.

Finalists for admission to Yenching Academy will be interviewed (remotely). All admissions decisions are final.


Applicants from Chinese Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan (HMT)

Applicants from these regions are required to submit two online applications, and send the application materials in hardcopy to the admissions office.

  • Yenching Academy admissions portal: Application for 2024 enrollment is open from August 15, 2023 (Beijing time). Deadline for applicants from the HMT regions will be announced around October via the Graduate School of Peking University website.
  • Peking University Graduate Admissions website: The opening and closing times of the Peking University Graduate Admissions website will be announced via the Graduate School of Peking University website.

Detailed and specific instructions for HMT applicants is available here, as well as on the Yenching Academy admissions portal. Failure to complete the Peking University Graduate Admissions application will result in incomplete and unsuccessful application to the Yenching Academy.

Applicants Born in the Chinese Mainland or HMT Regions Intending to Apply as an International Candidate

Peking University has a regulation pertaining to applicants from the Chinese Mainland and the HMT regions who have previously changed their citizenship and intend to apply as an international student. Former citizens of the P.R.C. and the HMT regions must have switched their citizenship for at least six years before being eligible to apply as an international student. Such applicants will need to provide a non-PRC or non-HMT passport that became valid before April 30, 2018.

Additionally, applicants who were born in the Chinese Mainland and later renounced their Chinese citizenships will also need to provide the following documents to before December 10, 2023:

  • A non-PRC passport and/or a naturalization document valid before April 30, 2018, as well as a PRC passport with a cancellation stamp;
  • A document that proves the cancellation of their record of household registration within the Chinese Mainland. This is issued by the police station in which they had their household registration in China.
  • Applicants may provide the items outlined in the first point (non-PRC passport, naturalization document, and invalid PRC passport) during the application stage, and submit the household registration cancellation document later in time.

Note that without the above information, applicants will not be recognized as an international student by the university, leading to ineligibility for admission.

Chinese Language Proficiency

Chinese language proficiency is not a requirement but is highly valued for the Master's in China Studies program. Applicants who meet one of the following conditions can be eligible to take Chinese-taught and China-related courses offered in other departments within Peking University:

  • HSK 6 test taken after September 1, 2022 and with a test report of: 1) a total score of 210 or higher; and 2) a score no less than 65 for writing;
  • Completed a full-time degree program of which the Chinese language was the only language of instruction. Note that applicants will need to provide documentation from the university to certify the language of instruction.


Contact Information

UW Seattle undergraduate students and alumni:

Robin Chang

Office of Merit Scholarships, Fellowships & Awards
171 Mary Gates Hall
Phone: 206-543-2603


UW Seattle graduate students and alumni:

Graduate School Office of Fellowships & Awards
G-1 Communications
Phone: 206-543-7152


UW Bothell students of all levels:

Natalia Dyba
UW Bothell Student Success Center
Phone: 425.352.3261