Designed to prepare young leaders to deepen understanding between China and the rest of the world, Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century. Whether in politics, business, or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends.
The Schwarzman Scholars experience is anchored in a rigorous and innovative Master’s of Global Affairs degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of the country’s leading universities.
Students spend a year immersed in an international community of thinkers, innovators, and senior leaders in business, politics, and society. In an environment of intellectual engagement, professional development, and cultural exchange, they learn from one another and pursue their academic disciplines while building their leadership capacities. This experience will expand students’ understanding of the world and create a growing network of global leaders that will build strong ties between China and the rest of the world.
Fields of Study
The Schwarzman Scholars program places no restrictions on your undergraduate major or field of study. The program has had many successful applicants from science, engineering, and the humanities in addition to the social sciences and business.
Schwarzman Scholars pursue a one-year Masters in Global Affairs, working with an academic advisor to design an academic plan that best suits his or her academic and professional goals. Drawing on the best traditions of Tsinghua and top academic institutions around the world, the curriculum bridges the academic and professional worlds to educate students about leadership and about China’s expanding role in the world.
The program of study, including all required courses and activities, is one year, beginning with mandatory orientation in late August and concluding with a graduation ceremony early the following July.
The program’s curriculum has been designed to build students’ leadership abilities and deepen their knowledge of China and global affairs. The program also provides Scholars with unparalleled learning opportunities with leaders from China and the world through high-level interactions at lectures, an internship program, a mentors network, and intensive deep-dive travel seminars.
Core Curriculum: All Schwarzman Scholars share a core curriculum that serves as an anchor for the rest of their studies and builds connections among them as a cohort. In addition to the core curriculum, Scholars are able to choose elective courses from a variety of academic disciplines, mainly but not exclusively from the fields of economics, public policy, and international relations, many with a specific or comparative focus on China. Scholars can focus their electives in one of these fields, if desired.
Leadership Development: Leadership development is woven throughout the Schwarzman Scholars program from Orientation through the academic year and embedded in alumni programming after Scholars leave the College. To provide a foundation for the interactions students will have with mentors and through internships, the program offers courses and skills building workshops focused specifically on leadership development. Scholars will choose between several leadership courses, which have been designed to analyze leadership from interdisciplinary and cross-cultural perspectives and different career perspectives (public, private, and non-profit).
Mentoring: Each student will have the opportunity to work closely with a senior mentor. Leading members of the Beijing business, academic, government, and NGO communities will help advance students’ understanding of Chinese society, culture, and career paths as well as support personal growth.
Internships: Schwarzman optional internships provide an opportunity for students to pursue their particular interests and learning goals, and develop their first-hand experience and understanding of leadership and China, in a setting outside the College. Students may arrange an internship on their own or reference the job portal for intern and volunteer opportunities available during their time in the program. Organizations may include businesses, state-owned enterprises, international organizations, non-governmental agencies, schools, etc.
Capstone Project: The Capstone Project is a requirement for Scholars to complete their program. The project is the culmination of students’ Schwarzman College experience and a final presentation of students’ experience, learning, and growth in their one-year residence and study. There are three Capstone project options: a research paper, a case study, or a policy analysis.
Language: All international students take required Mandarin classes, and Chinese students will take advanced English language classes.
More detailed information about the program curriculum is on the Schwarzman website.
To be eligible for SOP advising services on a Schwarzman Scholars application, an undergraduate student (or recent undergraduate alumni) must:
- be a junior (intending to graduate next academic year), a graduating senior (intending to graduate in the current academic year) or a recent undergraduate degree recipient from UCI within the past 12 months;
- be at least 18 but not yet 28 years of age;
- intend to begin enrollment in a graduate program exactly two Fall terms in the future (not in the upcoming Fall term of the calendar year of application);
- have never previously enrolled in, nor earned, a doctoral degree in any field.
There are no citizenship restrictions. However, students who hold passports from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and/or Macau must apply within the Schwarzman Scholars application system for Chinese students, which has a late-May deadline, consistent with most graduate admissions processes in China.
Schwarzman Scholars receive a comprehensive scholarship, including:
- Tuition Fees;
- Room and board;
- Travel to and from Beijing at the beginning and end of the academic year;
- An in-country study tour;
- Required course books and supplies;
- Health insurance;
- A stipend of $4,000 for personal expenses.
Schwarzman Scholars also have access to shared study facilities and other benefits of Schwarzman College.
- In 2018-19, Brandon Finger (Electrical Engineering) was named a Semi-Finalist.
- In 2016-17, Cassie Zhang (Economics, International Studies) was named an Alternate (waitlisted for funding), and Stella Liu (International Studies) was named a Semi-Finalist.
Brief biographies are available on our Scholarship Recipients page.
Schwarzman Scholars is highly competitive. In 2020, Schwarzman Scholars reviewed 4,700 applications for 145 offers of admission.
The Schwarzman Scholars global selection committee reads each application carefully, examining academic abilities and leadership potential, and considers all of the required application components equally in making a holistic evaluation of each candidate. Leadership is the focus of the selection process, and all parts of the application should reinforce the candidate’s profile as a young leader in her/his field and culture.
Semi-finalists (those short-listed for admissions) will be notified by late October and invited to interview in July (passport holders from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau) or mid-November (U.S. and all other countries of citizenship).
Academic Excellence: Applicants are expected to have demonstrated agility and superior performance in their academic studies, and the most competitive candidates will be among the top students in their graduating class. Our assessment of candidates’ academic abilities draws on global experts who know a variety of grading systems and academic cultures in different world regions.
Leadership Potential: The Schwarzman Scholars selection process strives to understand candidates as individuals and to assess them within their own academic, professional, and cultural contexts. This applies to our assessment of applicants’ leadership potential. We look at essays, in particular the leadership essay, and at the letters of recommendation as key tools in understanding an applicant’s personal experience and approach to leadership. We want candidates to provide specific examples of their leadership that explore their abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, envision solutions, take initiative to act, inspire others to join an effort, and push through resistance and/or challenges to reach results.
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.