Student Experience


All students participate in a two-week for-credit Orientation program when they arrive at the College. Orientation includes information sessions on academics, activities focused on team building and intention-setting, practical elements required for living in the College and in China, and formal convocation ceremonies for both Tsinghua University and the program.


The program’s curriculum has been designed to build students’ leadership abilities and deepen their knowledge of China and 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. In addition, students will choose a set of four concentration courses. Focused in three broad fields —Public Policy, Economic and Business, and International Studies— the concentration gives students an opportunity to focus on aspects of global affairs they may not have previously studied.


Leadership development is woven throughout the Schwarzman Scholars program, both in its academics and in the student experience. To provide a foundation for the interactions students will have through mentors and internships, the program offers courses and workshops focused specifically on leadership development.

The leadership workshops are an academic credit bearing series throughout the year. These workshops are a valuable complement to the didactic and practical training components of the unique Schwarzman Scholars curriculum, and are a required element of the program.


All international students take required Mandarin classes during the fall term as part of their coursework. Courses are then optional for the remainder of the year.  Beginner to advanced level courses are available – scholars will take a placement test prior to the start of classes to determine their class.

Chinese students will take advanced English language classes, focusing on writing and presentation skills, and professional and academic English.


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, and support personal growth.


The Deep Dive is a one-week, mandatory, for-credit field based course that gives students the opportunity to learn about a different region of China as well as explore a research topic related to broader themes of economic, social, and political development. Deep Dive destinations have included Xi’an, Baoji, Hangzhou, Suzhou, Shenzhen, and Shijiazhuang/ Xiong’an New Development Zone. Deep Dives that focus on business development visit prominent state-owned and private companies as well as start-ups to learn how these companies and their leaders are adjusting to the rapidly changing business landscape of China. Deep Dives that focus on social development visit schools, nursing homes, community centers, and small business incubators to see how cities and communities are addressing issues such as rural development, left-behind children, and China’s rapidly aging population. Students also have the opportunity to meet with local government officials in each city to discuss business and social development-related issues. Faculty join each of the Deep Dives in order to contextualize what the students are seeing and experiencing, to lead discussion sessions, and to help connect the visits to courses taught in the program.


Career Development encompasses a broad array of post-program goals – from pursuing a job search across myriad industries and geographies, to applying to graduate school, to developing professional skills to further strengthen your long-term career aspirations. Support is available via individual coaching, programs and events, site visits, and resource materials and databases.


The Practical Training Project (PTP) program enables students to apply what they have learned in the classroom by working in small groups on consulting-style projects for leading Chinese and international companies in a variety of fields, including finance, consulting, manufacturing, law, accounting, and sports, as well as nonprofit organizations addressing issues related to the environment, women, children, and education.  Schwarzman Scholars works with host organizations to identify projects that meet their business or institutional needs, while also enabling students to get first-hand experience working within the Chinese context.  The PTP is a mandatory course.


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. Students are highly encouraged to utilize their Deep Dive and classroom learning experiences in their capstone project. Scholars work with a faculty advisor on the written Capstone Project report and required presentation, both due at the end of the academic year.

Events on campus and beyond

Academic life will also be enriched by a range of extracurricular opportunities, from interactions with high-level visiting speakers at Schwarzman College to casual social activities at the student pub and extraordinary evenings with performing artists.

Opportunities after the program

The inaugural class of Schwarzman Scholars, diverse in their backgrounds, experiences, and countries of origin pursued post-program endeavors that reflect these diverse interests and experiences.  For example, 75% have entered the public, private, and non-profit sectors, across myriad industries and geographies, joining organizations such as

  • Bain & Company
  • Boston Cosulting Group
  • Bridgewater Associates
  • Deloitte
  • Delta
  • Facebook
  • Hillhouse Capital
  • J.P. Morgan
  • Lenovo
  • McKinsey & Co.
  • National Committee on U.S. – China Relations
  • The Belfer Center
  • The Wilson Center

In addition, almost 19% of the class continued their education, from PhD’s, to law degrees, to medical schools; destinations include the University of Cambridge, Tsinghua University, Harvard Medical School, and the Columbia Law School. Finally, 3% of the class are fulfilling military commitments and 3% are pursuing personal endeavors such as writing professionally and running for office.



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