Yenching Academy

How to apply



The fellowship program at Yenching Academy at Peking University provides full funding for a master’s degree in China Studies. This program aims to build bridges between China and the rest of the world, shaping new generations of global citizens and leaders. Under the guidance of academic mentors, scholars create study paths from courses in six research areas. Yenching Academy facilitates involvement in extracurricular activities and field studies, providing an immersive and intellectually rigorous experience. Each year, about 120 scholars are enrolled as Yenching Scholars, 80% of which are international students and the remainder are from the Chinese Mainland. 


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.


Eligibility requirements include:

  • Minimum of a Bachelor's degree in any field or currently enrolled in a degree program awarded by the time of enrollment at 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.

Peking University does not allow students to be enrolled in other degree programs whilst studying at the university. Although there is no official age requirement, no person over the age of 28 has been admitted to the program. The average age of students entering the program is 23.

Application Components

Applicants may apply through Yenching Academy’s online application portal. The following application components should be submitted in English.

  • Completed online application form
  • Personal statement (750 words or less)
  • Statement of Research Interest (maximum 1500 words, excluding citations)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Diploma(s) or Certificate(s) of Enrollment
  • Two academic letters of recommendation

Native English speakers and graduates of an English taught degree program (undergraduate and above) are not required to provide English proficiency test scores. More information on English proficiency testing can be found at this link. International finalists will be contacted in the winter or early spring for an online interview.

Selection Criteria

Successful applicants have strong academic backgrounds, are highly motivated, and demonstrate potential to become leaders in their chosen fields. Applicants should be able to express how the interdisciplinary China Studies program would be beneficial for their academic and professional goals.

How to Apply

  1. Start considering the Yenching Scholars program in April or May of the year you intend to apply.
  2. Learn about the award: visit the program’s website; check your eligibility and read about alumni from the program.
  3. Book an appointment to meet with Office of Fellowships staff to shape your strategy for this application and your broader plans. 
  4. Draft your application essays and book a draft review appointment with the Office of Fellowships. The last opportunity to do so is before the campus deadline in August. (See the list of campus deadlines for information about the current cycle.)
Once you have submitted your application for the campus deadline, you will receive any final comments on your drafts and then revise them on your own before the national deadline in late November. Please note that because of the timing of other fellowship campus processes, the Office of Fellowships is much more able to provide feedback on Yenching applications in summer as compared to in fall. The opportunity for feedback after the first week of September will be limited.