FAQs

What does a successful applicant look like?

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In addition to an outstanding academic career, as evidenced by transcripts and letters of recommendation, successful applicants will also have been able to show that they have the potential to be leaders in their chosen fields. The admissions committee looks to the personal statement for a well-reasoned and persuasive explanation of how applicants will benefit from being a Yenching Scholar. Interviews with finalists help the committee get a sense of the applicant’s academic and personal qualities, and how well they are suited for the program.

 

Students applying from Mainland China will all be 2016 graduates of top Chinese universities, including Peking University, and will have majored in a wide variety of fields in the humanities, social sciences, and sciences. Like all Yenching Scholars whose native language is not English, they will have demonstrated strong proficiency in English. Chinese applicants are typically motivated to attend the Yenching Academy by a desire to broaden and deepen knowledge of their own country, strengthen their ability to engage intellectually with people from around the world, and improve their personal leadership qualities.

What is the selection process?

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The international admissions process for Yenching consists of a rigorous pre-selection process entailing a paper application based on all the major criteria listed in Admissions. After this screening, selected candidates are then recommended to an interview committee panel composed of faculty members at Peking University who come up with a combined assessment of the candidate after conducting interviews via conference messaging platforms or, in rare cases, in person. The criteria required for receipt of the Yenching Scholarship relate to academic merit, leadership potential, international exposure, and long-term aspirations. Chinese students pass through a similarly rigorous admissions process based on the Ministry of Education graduate student application system.

I hold a PRC passport but am a U.S. permanent resident (I have a "green card"); am I eligible to apply?

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PRC passport holders must be admitted according to the regulations of the Chinese Ministry of Education. They must qualify for exemption from the examination based on their university’s recommendations. Those who are not currently attending a Chinese university will not be able to participate in the Mainland student application process, and thus, cannot be considered for this program.

I graduated with a B.A. from a Chinese university and am now studying for a Master's out-side of China. How can I apply?

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As stated above, PRC passport holders must be admitted according to the regulations of the Chinese Ministry of Education. They must qualify for exemption from the examination based on their university’s recommendations. Those who are not currently attending a Chinese university will not be able to participate in the Mainland student application process, and thus, cannot be considered for this program.

When will the course catalogue be available?

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Updated information about the core and elective courses will be made available to incoming Yenching Scholars in the course of the summer prior to their arrival in Beijing.

How will the academic calendar be organized?

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The Yenching Academy's calendar will be aligned with that of Peking University. Major holidays include Chinese National Day (week-long break around October 1st), and the Lunar New Year (month-long break between the Fall and Winter semesters in late January and February).

Why is the length of residence of the Master’s program different for Chinese students and international students?

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The Chinese Ministry of Education stipulates that all Chinese students must complete two years in residence in order to obtain a Master’s degree in China, resulting in a different program length for Chinese and international students. International students have the possibility of prolonging their stay at the Academy. Scholarship funding will be allocated based on the program length.

When will admissions decisions be made?

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Admissions are not on a rolling basis; however, the Admissions Committee will begin the process of shortlisting early applicants each fall. Those selected will be interviewed via online conferencing platforms or, in rare cases, in person. Final admissions decisions will be made by March every year. 

Is a thesis required?

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All Yenching Scholars are required to write a Master's thesis under the guidance of a faculty advisor and must defend it orally before an academic committee. With the permission of their advisor, students who leave China before they have completed their oral defense may also defend their thesis via conference messaging platforms. 

Are there minimum credit requirements for the determination of scholars’ academic con-centrations?

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The Academy encourages its scholars to explore China as widely as possible during their stay in the country. Aside from the requirements of their four chosen core courses, field studies, and language study, there are no other formal requirements, provided scholars complete a minimum of 30 credits. Scholars’ formal concentrations are determined solely by the alignment of their thesis topic. 

What kind of accommodation will be provided?

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Yenching Scholars will be housed in newly-renovated single rooms in the Shaoyuan #6 international student complex located on Peking University’s campus. Most Scholars will share a bathroom with one other person of the same gender.

What costs does the Yenching Scholarship cover?

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The scholarship covers tuition, accommodation, a round trip to and from home, medical insurance, and an adequate living stipend to cover campus living costs at Peking University and costs related to field studies.

How is the Yenching Academy funded?

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The Yenching Academy was first conceived and developed by Peking University. With this approved proposal, a fundraising campaign was launched to secure the necessary funds to support the purposes and costs of this new school. All of the operational budget of YCA, including costs of the scholarship, construction and renovation of classrooms, and administration of the Academy are funded by the private donations of Chinese entrepreneurs and businessmen. For example, one of the major benefactors of the Yenching Academy is Mr. Ronald Chao of Bai Xian Education Foundation. Other private donors have wished to remain anonymous. Peking University continues to welcome further avenues to explore external support and contributions to help realize the mission of the Yenching Academy.