Your Chance to Study in China – Everything You Need to Know About the Schwarzman Scholars Programme

The Schwarzman Scholars programme is one of the most exclusive and highly sought-after graduate scholarships in the world. Offering a fully-funded one-year master’s degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, it provides an unforgettable opportunity to study alongside the world’s future leaders. Applications for the 2024-25 academic year are now open – here is everything you need to know about this life-changing scholarship.

What is the Schwarzman Scholars Programme?

Founded in 2016 through a $525 million grant from philanthropist Stephen A. Schwarzman, the Schwarzman Scholars programme aims to build a global network of future leaders with a deeper understanding of China. Each year, around 200 outstanding students from around the world are selected to study at Tsinghua University in Beijing on a fully-funded one-year master’s degree.


Eligibility Requirements

To be eligible to apply, candidates must:

  • Hold a bachelor’s degree (or equivalent) by the time studies commence in September 2024
  • Be no older than 28 years old by the application deadline of November 1st, 2023
  • Demonstrate exceptional leadership potential and a commitment to public service
  • Have a minimum GPA of 3.7 out of 4.0 (or equivalent)

The programme seeks to admit a diverse group of students representing over 30 different countries. Citizens from any country are eligible to apply.


The Master’s Degree Programme

Upon successful admission, scholars will study one of the following master’s degrees at Tsinghua University for the 2024-25 academic year:

  • Master of Global Affairs
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Master of Public Administration

All courses are taught in English. The multidisciplinary curricula combine coursework with field experiences to provide an in-depth understanding of China and its role in geopolitics, business, and public policy.

Full Financial Coverage

One of the biggest draws of this programme is that successful scholars receive full financial support to cover all educational and living expenses for the one-year master’s degree. This includes:

  • Tuition, fees, and health insurance
  • Room and board in modern on-campus housing
  • Monthly living stipend
  • Round-trip airfare to and from China
  • Mandarin Chinese language training
  • Cultural immersion and field study opportunities

Scholars essentially have all costs covered so they can fully immerse themselves in their studies and experiences without any financial burden. This wide-ranging support is worth well over $200,000 for the academic year.


Networking and Career Development

Beyond the academic programme, Schwarzman Scholars provides unique networking and career development opportunities:

  • Access to a growing alumni network of over 800 Scholars spanning 65 countries
  • Annual international conferences to facilitate dialogue and new partnerships
  • Career services including resume workshops, networking events and job placement support
  • Internship assistance to help scholars gain valuable work experience in China

This unparalleled support aims to cultivate long-lasting relationships between emerging leaders around the world. Many past Scholars credit the programme with launching impactful international careers.

The Application Process

Applying to become a Schwarzman Scholar is highly competitive – around 1500 candidates typically apply each year for the 200 places. Here are the key steps:

  1. Complete the online application form between July-November 1st, 2023. This includes personal details, academic transcripts, resume, language proficiency, essays.
  2. Submit 2 letters of recommendation from professors or employers attesting to leadership potential.
  3. Submit GRE or GMAT scores (taken within 5 years). Waivers available in some circumstances.
  4. Interview (either in-person or via videoconference) with a selection committee in late 2023.
  5. Notification of decision by late February 2024. Successful candidates then have until mid-March to accept their offer.
  6. Commence full-time study in Beijing, China starting in late August/early September 2024.

The application takes considerable time and effort but is well worth it for such a prestigious and life-changing opportunity. Early preparation and drafts of application materials are strongly recommended.

How to Stand Out in Your Schwarzman Scholars Application

With approximately 1500 applicants each year for just 200 places, standing out from the highly accomplished candidate pool is crucial to success. Here are some tips for polishing your application:

Highlight Leadership Potential

As the programme seeks to identify future leaders, demonstrate examples of your leadership through roles in student government, activism, starting initiatives or organizations etc. Quantify your impact and skills.

Showcase Intercultural Experience

Spending meaningful time living, studying or working overseas shows an ability and appetite to immerse yourself in different cultures. This is highly valued given the global mission of the programme.

Express Genuine Interest in China

Beyond the obvious academic and career benefits, articulate your fascination with Chinese language, history, current affairs or other interests related to China. Research shows you understand the country and culture.

Craft Compelling Essay Responses

Thoughtful, well-written essays are important to share your values and motivation. Have others review drafts for feedback. Show rather than tell what makes you a strong candidate.

Prepare for the Interview

Practice sample questions with a friend and research current topics to discuss confidently. Display your passion, communication skills, and ask informed questions yourself during the interview.

Request Meaningful Recommendations

Choose recommenders like professors who can speak to your character and highlight strengths beyond grades. Provide them context on why you are a fit. Maintain contact and thank them.

Following these tips will demonstrate to selectors why you deserve to receive this prestigious opportunity and be part of this impressive global network of Schwarzman Scholars. Best of luck with your application!

Frequently Asked Questions about the Scholarship

This highly sought-after scholarship program receives many queries. Here are answers to some common questions potential applicants may have:

Can I defer my place? – Yes, deferrals of up to one year are permitted under certain circumstances like national service obligations.

What are the housing options? – On-campus housing at Tsinghua University in central Beijing which allows full cultural immersion. Shared apartments include all amenities.

Is the program fully in English? – Yes, all classes, activities and programs are conducted in English without needing Chinese proficiency beforehand. Basic Chinese language training is provided.

How competitive is it? – With around 1500-1800 candidates applying annually for 200 spots, the acceptance rate averages around 10-13%. Exceptional academics, leadership and fit are required.

Can I pursue a career in China after? – While not guaranteed, many scholars utilize the unparalleled network and resources provided to gain internships and jobs in China or with Chinese firms across various industries after graduating.

Is the financial aid renewable? – No, this is a one-year master’s degree program. However, some scholars receive additional scholarships for further postgraduate study elsewhere after completion.

When is the deadline? – The priority application deadline is November 1st, 2023 but late applications may still be considered until December if space allows. Submit early for best chances.

I hope this provides helpful clarity on the Schwarzman Scholars program. Please reach out if any other questions arise regarding this incredible opportunity to study in China.

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