The program’s curriculum has been designed to build students’ leadership abilities and deepen their knowledge of China and its role in global affairs.


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. Schwarzman Scholars will complete much of the core curriculum together early in the program, in the fall of their year in Beijing. Core coursework will consist of the following:

  • Scholars will choose between an offering of leadership courses, which have been designed to analyze leadership characteristics from interdisciplinary perspectives and multiple cultural and professional settings
  • A Global Affairs course, introducing Scholars to current and future challenges in global affairs, and the governance and ethical issues that will confront them as leaders
  • A course on Chinese political, economic, and social reform, covering aspects of China’s development over the last forty years.

Elective Courses

Each Scholar works individually with their faculty advisors to design an academic plan that best suits his or her academic and professional goals. Scholars are able to choose from a wide range of elective courses, and can opt to either create their own individualized academic plan or focus their electives in one of the major themes of our course offerings: public policy, economics and business, or international studies.

The PUBLIC POLICY courses introduce Scholars to the conceptual framework and practical skills necessary to succeed in public service and to understand the influence of public policy on business and civil society. These courses will focus on identifying, addressing and finding solutions to pressing policy challenges and failures that impact current world affairs, and China’s role therein. The program has recruited faculty from around the world who are distinguished policy experts and/or successful public leaders.

The ECONOMICS AND BUSINESS offerings include courses that introduce the theory and knowledge needed to prepare scholars for careers in international finance and economic and business development in the public and private sectors. Coursework in international trade, finance and global business and China’s role therein will ensure that students are prepared to engage in real-world issues. The program has recruited distinguished faculty and practitioners to serve as visiting faculty and guest lecturers at the College.

The INTERNATIONAL STUDIES courses and other partnerships provide an introduction to knowledge and skills in policy, diplomacy, security, trade, legal studies and other important drivers between China and the world. The program has recruited faculty and guest lecturers from related academic disciplines as well as internationally experienced political leaders, foreign policy experts, statesmen, business leaders and legal experts.

Students are not required to focus their courses in any one area and can design an individualized academic plan drawing on courses from multiple areas and from a wide variety of other elective courses offered at the college on China and global affairs.  They can also choose courses offered through other English language master’s programs at Tsinghua University in law, public health, public policy, international relations, environmental studies, business, education, etc.


Language courses are mandatory for all students in Module One, and then become optional for the remainder of the year.

For international students, Chinese language instruction is offered at all levels, from beginner to advanced, throughout the year. For Chinese students, advanced English language classes, focusing on academic and business writing, and presentation skills, are offered.

Curriculum Innovation and Collaboration

Each year, the program’s curriculum is evaluated and refined to ensure that Schwarzman Scholars are well prepared to meet current and future challenges in global affairs. This results in an academic program that is innovative, dynamic, and unique to Schwarzman Scholars.

The Schwarzman Scholars curriculum was developed in collaboration with academic leaders from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Stanford, Oxford, Duke and other prestigious universities around the world.

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