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Yenching Academy of Peking University

The Yenching Academy offers international students a fellowship to pursue a Master of Arts degree programme in China Studies. The programme is open for students from all programmes and faculties.

15 November
Target group
Countries/ nationalities
Destination country: China
Scholarship type
Archaeology, Humanities, Governance and Global Affairs, Law, Social and Behavioural Sciences, Science

Eligibility requirements

Applicant qualifications: 

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree in any field, awarded no later than 31 August in the year in which you wish to enroll
  • Outstanding academic record
  • Record of extracurricular achievement, community engagement and social responsibility;
  • Indications of leadership potential
  • 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 
    - CET 6: Overall 600 
    - TEM 4: Pass level of “良好”or above 
    - Submission of English scores: For IELTS, make sure you choose “Yenching Academy of Peking University” as the designated recipient of your scores when you book the exam time. For TOEFL, use the institution code: C488. 

*Native English speakers and those enrolled in or graduated from a primarily English-taught degree programme are not required to provide this documentation.

Yenching Academy does not set a strict age limit for applicants, but to date, no students over the age of 28 have been admitted to the programme. The average age of students entering the programme is 23.

What qualities should a Yenching Scholar possess?

The Yenching Academy seeks talented, high potential individuals whose collective diversity will create a rich learning and living environment. The best way to understand what the Yenching Academy is looking for in candidates is to review the bios of previous scholars, available on the programme’s website. Note that candidates should have a strong interest in China, but do not need to have Chinese language study experience.

Scholarship or loan amount

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, a monthly stipend and field study costs.

Application process

  • Complete the Yenching Academy 2021 application form
    Note: If you wish to apply for a different academic year do not use this form. Instead contact the Study Abroad Team for further information.
  • Ask two (associate) professors to complete the Recommender form and send it directly to: Studyabroad@sea.leidenuniv.nl (mentioning Yenching Academy and your name).
  • Write a personal statement. Your statement should include a personal introduction and the reasons why you wish to be a Yenching Scholar. Written in English, it should not exceed 750 words. Use your full name + Personal Statement as the document name.
  • Before 15 November: send your complete 'Application Package' (see below) to: Studyabroad@sea.leidenuniv.nl, mentioning ‘Yenching Academy’ in the subject line.

Application package

  • Completed application form
  • Personal statement (750 words or less)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcript(s)*
  • Diploma(s) or Certificate(s) of Enrollment*
  • Two letters of recommendation by (associate) professors
  • International English proficiency test score (at least IELTS Academic 7/TOEFL 100/Cambridge 180/CEFR C1)**

* If your official university documents are issued in a language other than English or Chinese, you must upload copies of both the original documents and certified English translations. This requirement also applies to diplomas issued in Latin.

** Native English speakers and students/alumni of primarily English-taught degree programmes are not required to provide English proficiency test scores.

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.

Selection process

  • Leiden Univerity will pre-select 3 to 5 students.  
  • Leiden University will nominate the selected students to Yenching Academy by 11 December.
  • Nominated students must complete the online application procedure with Yenching Academy by 11 December. 
    andidates from Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan will need to apply both through the Yenching Academy admissions portal as well as through the Peking University Graduate Admissions website by 4 December 2020. Detailed and specific instructions for applicants from these regions will be available here.
  • Upon receipt of the nominee's complete application, Yenching Academy will consider them for finalist interviews.
  • Yenching Academy will contact selected candidates* directly to schedule interviews in the winter or early spring. Most will be held via Skype.
  • Acceptances may be issued on a rolling basis. The majority of admission decisions will be made in March 2021.

* Note that candidates nominated by their home university are not guaranteed a place. However, Yenching Academy does give extra consideration to nominated candidates.  

Programme information

Programme duration

The Yenching Academy programme is two years in duration. However, international students are only required to stay in Beijing for the first year. All scholars in good standing have the option to extend the fellowship for a second year, if they wish to remain in Beijing. Those who leave campus after one year may complete their theses and thesis defense via Skype.

Residential College

The Yenching Academy classrooms and offices are located in the Jing Yuan Courtyard in the heart of the Peking University campus. Yenching Scholars and visiting faculty will reside nearby, in dormitory facilities that have common lounges, a library and a cafeteria.

Further information

For more information, take a look at: 

Poster Yenching Academy
Poster Yenching Academy
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