Schwarzman Scholars

UCI (Big 10 Pre-Application) Optional Advising Deadline:

March 9, 2020 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau citizens) for Fall 2021 admissions

April 6, 2020 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (U.S. & all other countries of citizenship) for Fall 2021 admissions

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the optional advising process.

For Reference Only2019 Application Process Overview


The Schwarzman Scholars representative is coming to campus on Tuesday, April 7, 2020! If interested, please visit Events to sign-up.


Schwarzman Scholars is a fully-funded master’s program in Global Affairs leadership at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities. The program aims to cultivate the next generation of international 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.

Applicants from every country of the world are eligible to apply. Applicants must be at least 18 but not yet 28 years of age. You must finish your bachelor’s degree before enrollment in the Schwarzman Scholars program. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you 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, SOP advisors recommend that applicants achieve at least a 3.7 GPA and demonstrate a strong record of noteworthy accomplishment, professional competence, and dedication to ambitious career goals in public service, international business or trade, or academia. Relevant qualifications may include 1 or more years of leadership or mentoring roles in academic, extracurricular, or service organizations; publications or performances; and/or significant work experience/internships relevant to the stated career goals.

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

SOP Optional Advising Process
Campus endorsement (nomination) is not a component of the Schwarzman Scholars application. Working with SOP staff advisors during spring and summer to produce a competitive Schwarzman Scholars application is optional but encouraged.

To begin the SOP advising process, juniors, graduating seniors, and alumni within 1 year of graduation complete a Big 10 Pre-Application. In April and May, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with potential applicants to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps.

SOP has limited advising capacity and prioritizes currently enrolled undergraduates and highly competitive candidates in our optional advising process. If you miss SOP’s Pre-Application deadline, or if it has been more than 1 year since your graduation from UCI, please apply directly to Schwarzman Scholars.

After completing the Pre-App and meeting with SOP staff to discuss your candidacy, you will work on drafts of your application and receive strategic coaching from SOP staff. As time permits, SOP staff may also offer advising to your recommendation letter writers. For detailed information about each stage of the application process, please view the Application Process Overview.

The electronic application typically includes an application form, 3 letters of recommendation, transcripts, a curriculum vitae, 2 essays, 1 short answer question, and a brief video introduction.

Recent Winners and Selection Procedures
In 2018-19, Brandon Finger was named a semi-finalist. In 2016-17, Cassie Zhang was named an Alternate (waitlisted), and Stella Liu became a Schwarzman semi-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 (those short-listed for admissions) will be notified by late October and invited to interview in July (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macau citizens) or mid-November (U.S. and all other countries of citizenship).

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. 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.

For More Information
Please visit the Schwarzman Scholars website. Please note that there is a separate website for applicants from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the application process.

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only. UCI graduate students: contact the Graduate Resource Center for advising.

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