The Yenching Academy master's program in China Studies incorporates both Eastern and Western perspectives, as scholars draw upon diverse viewpoints to explore issues related to contemporary Chinese society and culture. The curriculum investigates Chinese thoughts and values, drawing upon interdisciplinary theories and methodologies from both China and abroad. The program focuses on core features and values of Chinese society, and Chinese civilization's role in the transformation of modern global culture and governance.

Yenching Scholars complete core and elective courses that introduce them to major topics in the field of China Studies. The Academy also organizes field studies to culturally, economically, and socio-politically significant regions within Mainland China.

Chinese language study is compulsory for all international students. In addition to Yenching Academy course offerings, Scholars may select courses in other Peking University departments, taught in either Chinese or English. For Yenching Scholars from China, at least 75% of the courses must be taught in English.

Graduation from the Academy requires the successful completion of at least 31 academic credits, as well as writing and orally defending a master's thesis. 

Compulsory Courses

China in Transition

China in Transition explores the topics of modernity and sustainability from the perspectives of four disciplines: economics, sociology, politics and law, and environment. It examines the interactive and restricted relations among these areas, combining lectures with group discussions, and incorporating both research and field studies. Team work and independent research are both important components of the course. Students are encouraged to design field studies themselves, and to carry out team academic research projects in various regions of China.

Field Study

In this course, all students travel to Sichuan and Chongqing for a week-long study trip led by professors from different disciplines. By visiting historical and cultural sites as well as modern industrial parks, scholars learn about the transformation and development of Sichuan and Chongqing from perspectives such as history, architecture, religion, customs, and modern economic growth. During the field study trip, students not only deepen their understanding of ancient Chinese culture and history, but also experience traces of innovation and development in contemporary China.

Topics in China Studies Lecture Series

The Topics in China Studies Lecture Series invites renowned scholars from China and abroad to deliver talks on issues related to China Studies, ranging across the social sciences and humanities. The course is question-oriented, and employs interdisciplinary knowledge and methodologies to spark meaningful discussions and academic dialogue.

Compulsory Language Courses

All international Yenching Scholars enroll in Chinese language courses taught by faculty of the Peking University School of Chinese as a Second Language. Students attend small group classes according to their levels of Chinese. The course focuses on application of language knowledge, improving communicative competence across contexts, and developing reading and writing abilities. It also aims to help students improve their intercultural communication awareness and capabilities.

Elective Courses

General Elective Courses

Quantitative Reasoning 

Academic Writing

Qualitative Research Method

Leadership Development

Literature and Culture

Reading Classical Chinese Literature

Contemporary Chinese and American Fiction in Comparative Perspective

Art of China

History and Archaeology

Development of Chinese Civilization

Ethnographies of Modern Education: China and Beyond

History of the Field: Sinology and China Studies from a Global Perspective

Philosophy and Religion

Critical Conceptions of Chinese Thoughts

Chinese Classics and Thought: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism

Chinese World Views

Law and Society

Contemporary Chinese Society

The Legal Dynamics of Chinese Commerce and Society

Women in Contemporary China

Understanding Social Inequality: China and the World 

China and International Law 

Social Stratification and Mobility in China

Chinese Frontier Societies: A Socio-historical Approach

Critical Perspectives on Modern Sino-Foreign Relations

Chinese Population

Economics and Management

China's Financial System

The Economic Thinking of Chinese Entrepreneurs

China and the World Economy: A Macroeconomic Perspective

International Trade

China's Economic Reform and Development

Rural China Studies (Taught in Chinese)

China in the World Economy: Han Dynasty to the Present

Politics and International Relations

China's Diplomacy and Global Governance in the New Era

Theory and Practice of Chinese Foreign Policy

Cultural Dimensions of China's Foreign Relations

Chinese Perspective on Global Migration

Retrospect and Prospect of International Development Cooperation in China

Reforms in China: Theory and Policy

Chinese Politics in Historical Perspective (Taught in Chinese)


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