Yenching Academy of Peking University

Website: Yenching Academy


The Yenching Academy of Peking University builds bridges between China and the rest of the world through an interdisciplinary master’s program in China Studies for outstanding graduates from all over the globe. This initiative brings together young people who show promise to lead and innovate in their fields in an intensive learning environment where they can explore China and its role in the world - past, present, and future. The Academy aims to thereby shape a new generation of global citizens with a nuanced understanding of China and its role in the world.

Founded on the ideal of fostering global connections and dialogue, the Yenching Academy is a fully funded residential program offering 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 are granted the flexibility to create their own study paths by choosing from six academic concentrations and a variety of extracurricular activities. Studying at the Academy represents a unique opportunity not only for intercultural exchange and interdisciplinary learning, but also for personal and professional development.


The Yenching Academy of Peking University offers a Master's degree in China Studies. This specially designed, English-taught program aims to push the study of China beyond the boundaries of traditionally defined Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines. It creates space to incorporate the diverse backgrounds and experiences of program participants into the study of ancient, modern, and contemporary China, effectively acting as an incubator for innovative approaches to past, present, and future Chinese transformations. At the core of the program lies its emphasis on interdisciplinarity and the value it assigns to thinking about China's development from both Chinese and international perspectives.

Fellowships for international Yenching Scholars are for twelve months, during the course of which they complete their coursework and may complete the thesis. A limited number of financial aid packages are available for those who wish to remain on campus for a second year. Degrees are granted upon the completion of all coursework and satisfactory defense of the thesis, and are awarded in January and July of each year.

Scholars design their study experience by choosing one of six academic concentrations, and pursue a number of core courses and electives, including field studies. Working in small groups encourages Scholars to actively engage in dialogue between academic disciplines, as well as with their peers across concentrations, creating an environment conducive to the exchange of ideas and mutual learning. Complementing academic courses, Chinese language training is provided for all international students, in accordance with their level of proficiency, while foreign language courses are offered to Chinese students.

Research Areas:

Yenching Scholars select classes from six academic concentrations in the field of China Studies. Scholars must complete required core courses and elective courses designed to introduce them to major topics in this field offered by the Yenching Academy and/or Peking University. Chinese language study is compulsory for all international students. Scholars will be placed into one of different levels according to their performance in the placement test at the beginning of the academic year. In order to supplement their regular studies, the Academy organises field studies to culturally, economically, or socio-politically significant regions within Mainland China. Graduation from the Academy requires the successful completion of at least 30 academic credits, as well as writing and orally defending a master’s thesis. For Yenching Scholars from China, at least 75% of the courses must be taught in English.

Research Areas: (more details)

  • Politics and International Relations
  • Philosophy and Religion
  • Literature and Culture
  • Law and Society
  • History and Archaeology
  • Economics and Management

The Yenching Academy provides a generous postgraduate scholarship that covers tuition fees, a travel stipend for one round-trip journey between each Scholar’s base city and Beijing, accommodation, and living costs on Peking University's campus. The Academy offers a residential program aimed at creating a community of enthusiastic, globally oriented young innovators in the heart of China's top university. Such close proximity to the academic infrastructure of Peking University provides a unique opportunity to participate and fully immerse oneself in the life of the university.

Enrolled international students and students from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan spend 12 months in residence at the Yenching Academy. For students from Mainland China, the program lasts 24 months. Coursework is completed during the fall and spring semesters, and it is supplemented by additional study during the summer. Upon completion of their year in residence, students have up to one more year to finalize projects and defend their thesis. During this period, students in good academic standing may apply for a limited number of Teaching, Research, or Administrative Assistantships. In addition, Dean’s Research Grants will be awarded on a bi-annual basis to help fund selected research projects related to China Studies.


In August each year, the Yenching Academy will begin welcoming applications for its next cohort from International, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan candidates. The Yenching Academy annually enrolls approximately 125 new students from both Mainland China and abroad, to study, live, and learn together. International students and students from Hong Kong, Macao, and Taiwan comprise roughly 80% of the student body. 


Applicants should have:

    • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in any field, awarded no later than August 31 of the year in which they wish to enroll; 

    • An outstanding academic record;

    • Strong interest in interdisciplinary study of China;

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

    • Leadership potential;

    • English proficiency.

Successful applicants will demonstrate how the Yenching Academy program is relevant and valuable for their career plans. 

Preference is given to candidates age 28 or younger as of August 31 of the year they wish to enroll.


PRC Passport holders please note: Yenching Academy's eligibility requirements state: "Mainland Chinese applicants apply through a separate process. In accordance with the Chinese Ministry of Education’s requirements, students holding PRC passports are eligible for admission only if: 1) they are currently enrolled as undergraduates in a Mainland Chinese university; or 2) attend the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination (please refer to the Graduate School of Peking University for more information)."

These requirements do not apply to students from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan.

Please see full details at

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

UW is a partner university

The Yenching Academy works with Partner Universities that conduct internal application processes and nominate outstanding candidates for consideration. Applicants enrolled at Partner Universities are required to apply through both their universities' internal processes and the Yenching Academy admissions portal. 

Current UW students and alumni planning to apply need to complete our 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 short time to revise and submit final materials for the national application deadline.

UW Deadline Extended! Complete the UW application by Nov. 18 to be considered for nomination.

Application components:

  • UW campus application form
  • Latest official transcript and transcripts from all previous universities
  • Two letters of  recommendation: Recommendations should be provided by professors or academic advisers from the applicant's home university, or others who are able to comment on your academic performance, motivation for this program, leadership ability and potential, and maturity. 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.
  • CV/resume (no page limit)
  • International English test score (IELTS/TOEFL/Cambridge/CEFR): An English proficiency test score is required for those whose native language is not English or for those who are not graduating from an English-speaking university. Minimum test scores:
    • TOEFL: 100
    • IELTS: 7
    • Cambridge: 180
    • CEFR: C1

Applicants selected as UW nominees will have a 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 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 via Skype video, or in rare cases, in person. All admissions decisions are final.

All personal statements and resumes must be written in English. Applicants who submit non-English diplomas, certificates of current enrollment, transcripts, and any other application documents must also provide a certified translation of each non-English document.

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:

Michelle Sutton

Fellowships and Assistantships Division of the Graduate School
G-1 Communications
Phone: 206-543-7152


UW Bothell students of all levels:

Natalia Dyba
UW Bothell Student Success Center
Phone: 425.352.3261


UW Tacoma students of all levels:

Cindy Schaarschmidt
UW Tacoma Student Fellowships & Awards
1900 Commerce Street
Phone: 253-692-4358