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 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 is woven throughout the Schwarzman Scholars program from Orientation through the academic year and embedded in alumni programming after Scholars leave the College.  It is a vital part of both academics and the student experience. 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.


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 an internship or full-time 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.


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. Ideally, an internship will allow students to do one or more of the following: gain new skills; further explore concepts they have learned in class; participate in activities related to their Capstone project; develop their concept of leadership; practice their language skills in a real-world setting; and/or gain work experience in their field or explore a potential new path of interest.  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.

We encourage scholars to take advantage of the strong relationships our program has with a diverse group of Beijing-based organizations when exploring internship opportunities.


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.

Opportunities after the program

Schwarzman Scholars graduates, diverse in their backgrounds, experiences, and countries of origin pursue 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.

The second cohort of Schwarzman Scholars, equally diverse in their backgrounds, experiences, and countries of origin pursued post-program endeavors that reflect these diverse interests and experiences.  Interim data indicates 65% have entered the public, private, and non-profit sectors, across myriad industries and geographies, joining organizations such as:

In addition, interim data indicates 17% of the class continued their education, from PhD’s, to law degrees, to medical schools; destinations include the Oxford University, Blavatnik School of Government, Tsinghua University, Yale Law School, and Harvard Medical School. Finally, 8% of the class are fulfilling military commitments and 10% are pursuing personal endeavors such as starting their own business.

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