Schwarzman Scholars

Schwarzman Scholars

UCI (Pre-Application) Deadline:

March 2019 (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau citizens)

April 2019 (U.S. & all other countries of citizenship)

Pre-Application Link: TBD

2018 Application Process Overview


The Schwarzman Scholars representative is coming to campus! If interested, please RSVP to attend the special Schwarzman Scholars Information Session on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm in HIB 135.


The Schwarzman Scholars funds one year of study in a leadership development curriculum at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities. The program aims to cultivate the next generation of global leaders through fostering a better understanding of China’s role in global trends. In addition to the core coursework, students choose from concentrations in Public Policy, Economics and Business, or International Studies, and complete corporate or non-profit internships for real-world leadership experience. All courses will be taught in English.

Who is Eligible
Applicants from every country of the world are eligible to apply. Applicants must be at least 18 but not yet 28 years of age. Begin the process during the spring before your final year on campus by submitting a Pre-Application. See SELECTION PROCEDURE section of page for more information. If you win the scholarship, you will travel shortly after graduating. (Schwarzman candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time of travel. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you apply.) Current seniors or recent UCI alumni may also apply.

Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.

The scholarship does not stipulate a minimum GPA. However, to be competitive, applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA and must be able to demonstrate professional competence and dedication to the field of study through leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, publications or performances, and/or significant work experience/internships related to the major.

Up to 200 Schwarzman Scholars will be funded every year, with about 45% of the awards going to students from the United States.

UCI graduate students: contact the Graduate Resource Center for advising.

Selection Procedure
The first step in applying is to complete a Pre-Application, accessible each year throughout March. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with students to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. For detailed information about each stage of the application process, please view the Application Process Overview.

After completing the Pre-App and meeting with SOP staff to discuss your candidacy, you will work on the formal application. Your supporting documents, including three faculty letters of recommendation, will be due this summer.

The electronic application includes an application form, 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, a curriculum vitae, three essays, 1 short answer question, and a brief video introduction. Shortlisted applicants are invited to interview in mid-November.

Who Wins
In 2016, Cassie Zhang was named an Alternate (waitlisted), and Stella Liu became a Schwarzman finalist.

Selection will be based on academic excellence and leadership potential as well as performance in the semi-finalist interviews. Schwarzman has defined leadership potential as “the ability to conceptualize, articulate and implement new approaches to existing conditions, with determination, energy, courage and adaptability to drive change despite obstacles.” Students should also possess the “ability to anticipate trends and paradigm changes, exemplary character, desire to understand other cultures, perspectives and positions.”

Semi-finalists will be notified by late October.

Schwarzman Scholars will receive funding for tuition/fees, room and board, travel to and from Beijing, special travel organized within China for program participants, course books and supplies, a laptop and smartphone, health insurance, and a small stipend for personal expenses.

The program is named for its founder and largest donor, Stephen A. Schwarzman, founder and CEO of the Blackstone Group. Esteemed historian Niall Ferguson (Harvard University) will be the first Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Schwarzman program.

Schwarzman’s Advisory Board includes Former Prime Ministers Tony Blair (Great Britain); Kevin Rudd (Australia), and Brian Mulrony (Canada); Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy; Former United States Secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice,  Colin Powell, and Henry Kissinger; Former US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; and world-famous cellist Yo-Yo Ma.

World Wide Web
Further information is available at the Schwarzman website.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application to begin the Schwarzman Scholars application process.

For applications and more information, contact the Scholarship Opportunities Program at 824-0189. We are located within the Center for Excellence in Writing & Communication, on the first floor of Science Library (Building 520).

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.