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 or currently enrolled in a degree program awarded no later than August 31, 2022;

  • 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.

  • The 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:

2022 cohort recruitment for Mainland Chinese candidates who were qualified as exempt from the National Postgraduate Entrance Examination will begin on April 2, 2021. Application deadline: May 14, 2021 (12:00 noon Beijing time). Detailed instructions are available through the Yenching Academy admissions portal and the Graduate School of Peking University.

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 very short time to revise and submit final materials for the national application deadline.

Application components:

  • UW campus application form
  • 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).  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
    • CEFR: C1 level
    • 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. Note that tests must be taken after September 01, 2019.
    • 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 via Skype video, or in rare cases, in person. All admissions decisions are final.

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

Candidates from these regions will need to apply both through our admissions portal and through the Peking University Graduate Admissions website before December 4, 2020. Detailed and specific instructions for applicants from these regions will be available here. Note that applicants holding any forms of identification from these regions must apply as an HMT applicant. 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 November 30, 2015. They will also need to provide proof of their renunciation of Chinese citizenship.

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 01, 2019 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:

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