Schwarzman Scholars Accepting Applications for Inaugural Class of Future Leaders

April 15, 2015

Schwarzman Scholars is pleased to announce that it is accepting applications for its inaugural class of scholars, set to matriculate in June of 2016. Schwarzman Scholars is a highly selective, one year Master’s degree program based at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s top academic institutions. Inspired by the Rhodes scholarship, it is designed to prepare the next generation of leaders for the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century.

The scholarship is fully-funded for all participants, including travel costs and a personal stipend, and is supported by the program’s endowment which is expected to be $350 million. This unparalleled opportunity will be extended to 100 students in its first year and 200 students each year thereafter, with 45% of scholars coming from the United States, 20% from China, and 35% from the rest of the world. The program is open to students and young professionals between the ages of 18 and 28 years old, regardless of nationality, who are proficient in English and have obtained an undergraduate degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or university.

Schwarzman Scholars has received widespread international attention from prospective students, donors and the press, including having been described by The Economist as “a testament to China’s place as a new center of gravity” and by the Financial Times as “a groundbreaking initiative” that will support a new generation of leaders as they learn to overcome differences and lead with confidence and sensitivity.

“In order to create a more peaceful and prosperous future, it is crucial that the next generation of leaders forge deep relationships, authentic mutual understanding across cultures, and a dialogue of genuine respect,” said Schwarzman Scholars Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman. “We are pleased to begin the process of recruiting the most exceptional young people, and to provide them with the resources necessary to grow into the leaders that will define their generation and generations to come.”

With the application now live on, the rigorous selection process commences. In addition to evaluating applicants’ proven intellectual and academic ability, the admissions process is heavily focused on evaluating applicants’ leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate paradigm changes, and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives and positions. Those selected will have demonstrated their potential to not only benefit from but also contribute to the Schwarzman Scholars program. Finalists will be invited to an in-person regional interview.

“We are looking for very specific applicants, those who are not just intellectually curious, but who are willing to take risks, expand their worldview, and build their professional capacities through immersion in Chinese culture and society,” said Schwarzman Scholars Global Director of Admissions Rob Garris. “This class of Schwarzman Scholars will be the first members of a global network of leaders that will grow in perpetuity, and who will impact the future in ways that are not yet known.”

Based at Tsinghua University, the most highly ranked mainland university in multiple global rankings, the program is led by one of China’s leading economists, David Daokui Li. The program’s academic curriculum was crafted by some of the most talented academic leaders from prestigious universities globally including Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, and Oxford. In addition to a core curriculum, scholars will focus on one of three academic disciplines: public policy, economics and business, or international studies. The program has recruited a group of leading scholars from Tsinghua University as well as visiting scholars from leading institutions around the world.

“Schwarzman Scholars represents a mobilization of the world’s leading academic institutions to build an intellectually stimulating and comprehensive program for the brightest future leaders,” said Dean David Daokui Li. “This highly selective program aims to be at the forefront of postgraduate education, and we are thrilled to begin the process of selecting our first class of scholars.”

Beyond the classroom, scholars will gain unrivaled exposure to China and a broader network of important relationships through prestigious internships, mentorship opportunities, distinguished speakers and extensive travel throughout China aligned with their academic concentrations and professional interests. Scholars will be provided with career services support, giving them access to the best career opportunities and global network both while in Beijing and after they graduate. This combination of coursework and real-life experience will provide students with the first-hand, in-depth understanding of China critically important to lead in the 21st Century.

All scholars will study and reside at Schwarzman College, a newly constructed state-of-the-art campus at Tsinghua University, designed to encourage close friendships, cross-cultural connections, and intellectual exchange. When completed, Schwarzman College will be the first academic building in China with both LEED Gold and China Green building Label 2-Star certification.

Officially launched in October of 2014, Schwarzman Scholars’ recruitment effort is building momentum globally. This fall, official launch events were hosted in four major cities to officially introduce the program to university fellowship offices, journalists and important guests around the world.

The application can be found on the Schwarzman Scholars website,, and must be submitted by October 1, 2015. Successful candidates will be notified of their acceptance in late-November of 2015.

To register for an informational webinar with Rob Garris, Global Director of Admissions at Schwarzman Scholars, please click here if you are a prospective student and here if you are a faculty advisor. To read the Schwarzman Scholars frequently asked admissions questions, please click here.

About Schwarzman Scholars:

Schwarzman Scholars was inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, which was founded in 1902 to promote international understanding and peace, and is designed to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond. Blackstone Co-Founder Stephen A. Schwarzman contributed $100 million to the program and is leading a fundraising campaign to raise an additional $250 million from private sources to endow the program in perpetuity. The endowment will support up to 200 scholars annually from the U.S., China and around the world for a one-year Master’s Degree program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, one of China’s most prestigious universities and an indispensable base for the country’s scientific and technological research. Scholars chosen for this highly selective program will live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling, and developing a better understanding of China. Admissions will open in the fall of 2015, with the first class of students in residence by the summer of 2016. Learn more at, like us on Facebook at and follow us on Twitter at @SchwarzmanOrg. Schwarzman Scholars does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin.


Media Contact:

Christine Anderson
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