Schwarzman Scholars Program – Text-Only


Click here for the infographic overview of the Schwarzman Scholars Program.

The Schwarzman Scholars Program is a one-year master’s degree program that is designed to prepare the next generation of future leaders by deepening their understanding of China’s role in global trends. Each year, up to 200 scholars from the United States, China, and around the world will live and study at the state-of-the-art Schwarzman College on the campus of one of China’s most prestigious institutions, Tsinghua University, located in the nation’s capital of Beijing. This degree is accredited by the Chinese Ministry of Education.



Prospective Schwarzman Scholars are assessed by five standards:

  1. Academic aptitude and intellectual ability
  2. Leadership potential and exemplary character
  3. Entrepreneurial spirit
  4. Ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities
  5. Desire to understand other cultures, perspectives, and positions



Prospective scholars must meet these requirements to apply:

  • Have obtained a bachelor’s degree by August of entering year (August 1, 2018)
  • Be between 18-29 years of age at time of program admission (August 1, 2018)
  • Show proficiency in the English language if not a native speaker

Application Process


The application cycle for Schwarzman Scholars beginning their program of study in August 2019 opens in Spring 2018 to ensure that students have sufficient support from the Scholarships & Fellowships Office and adequate time to put together a thorough application.

In Spring, the Scholarship & Fellowships Office opens its internal campus application for the Schwarzman Scholars Program and hosts information sessions to share details about the fellowship opportunity.

Prospective applicants should use the spring semester through the summer to gather and complete their application materials. It is highly recommended that applicants revisit and revise them frequently, ensuring that their final application is a reflection of their best efforts.

Unlike other fellowship application processes where completed applications get forwarded to a faculty selection committee for review and consideration, the Scholarships and Fellowships Office will endorse any serious candidate for this fellowship opportunity, provided that the campus application documents are submitted by the internal campus deadline. Candidates must also meet with the Scholarships and Fellowships Office to review application documents and work with the office in the following weeks to gather and finalize the application materials due for the national deadline.

Endorsed candidates shall remain in communication with the Scholarship & Fellowships Office and provide application status updates. The Scholarships & Fellowships Office is committed to providing assistance and support throughout each student’s fellowship journey.

Click here for a detailed application timeline.

Application Requirements


Applications for the Schwarzman Scholars Program will require University endorsement. This means that students will not be allowed to submit their application directly to the agency that handles the Schwarzman Scholars Program, but rather via the University with a formal nomination on their behalf. It is imperative that candidates work closely with the Fellowship Advisor to ensure that all application deadlines and requirements are met. Contact information may be found here.

For tips on putting together the various components of the application, please visit the Application Resources page.


The internal campus application consists of:

  • Campus Application Cover Sheet
  • Nomination Permission Form and Waiver
  • Schwarzman Scholars Program Application
    • Personal Statement
      Essay of no more than 750 words that describe the candidate’s professional interests and values and how the Schwarzman Scholars Program and a deeper understanding of China will help advance these goals. Explain short-term objectives for the 1-3 years following the program as well as long-term aspirations. How will the applicant contribute to the community of Schwarzman Scholars and to the program’s mission?
    • Essay on Leadership
      Narrative response of no more than 750 words that includes specific examples of leadership that explores the candidate’s abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, envision solutions, take initiative to act, inspire others to join an effort, and push through resistance and/or challenges in reaching results.
    • Essay on Current Affairs
      Narrative response of no more than 500 words on an issue of interest to the candidate in contemporary social, international, business, environmental, diplomatic, arts, or other policy. Examine current factors and trends influencing the topic and make a realistic recommendation of how local, national, and/or international leaders should intervene to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future.
    • Résumé/CV/List of Activities
      List institutions attended, activities, work experience, and awards/recognition on document that is no longer than two pages. Extracurricular activities should reflect a commitment to serve others, leadership and initiative, and how well-rounded a candidate is overall.
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation
    Letters should be addressed to the Schwarzman Scholars Program Selection Committee, signed on letterhead, and represent a range of academic and professional references.

    • At least one letter must focus on the candidate’s leadership abilities and potential, citing specific examples.
    • One of the four letters required for this application is the endorsement letter, which is not required for the campus application.
    • DO NOT have the letters submitted online; rather, ask recommenders to send letters electronically to
  • Transcripts
    Students may submit a STAR report for all coursework taken within the UH system; official transcripts must be submitted for outside institutions. For non-English institutions, official translation in English must be included.
  • Video (optional, but strongly recommended)
    Up to 1-minute introduction of candidate in any style/setting the applicant feels best conveys his/her interests/personality; file size cannot exceed 20MB.
  • Meeting with Scholarships and Fellowships Office
    Candidates must meet with the Scholarships and Fellowships Office to go over application documents and work with the office in the ensuing weeks to improve application materials for the endorsed deadline.

The UH Mānoa campus deadline to apply is 4:00pm HST on August 8, 2018.


If selected for University endorsement, the following will need to be submitted:

  • Revised Schwarzman Scholars Program Application
    • Revised Personal Statement
    • Revised Essays
    • Revised Résumé/CV/List of Activities
  • 3 Letters of Recommendation (same as the ones already submitted)
  • Official Transcripts
    An official transcript must be submitted for all UH coursework.
  • Video (optional, but strongly recommended)
  • University Endorsement (this counts as the fourth letter of recommendation)

Nominated candidates must submit their final application to the UH Mānoa Scholarships & Fellowships Office by 4:00pm HST on September 7, 2018. Endorsed applications must be received by the Schwarzman Scholars Program by 5:00pm EST on September 15, 2018.

Scholars Program Curriculum and Experience


This immersion program brings an international community of thinkers, innovators, and senior leaders in business, politics, and society together in an environment of intellectual engagement, professional development, and cultural exchange with the aim to expand students’ understanding of the world and create a growing network of global leaders for the future. The curriculum is designed to build leadership skills as well as deepen knowledge of China within a global context and includes:

  • Mandatory Mandarin language instruction during orientation and through the summer and fall terms; continued language training is optional for the spring semester
  • A core curriculum to be completed during the fall and summer terms that focuses on Chinese culture, history and values; leading issues in the global economy; leadership; comparative government; and leading issues in international education
  • Concentration courses in the semester following the core curriculum that scholars work with faculty advisors and tutor to customize to fit professional/academic interests; these courses will fall within the disciplines of public policy, economics and business, or international studies
  • A final project that will be shaped over the course of the program between the student and faculty and tutors, such as a professional internship or a research-based academic project
  • With the exception of language instruction classes, all courses will be taught in English
  • Further information on course listings may be found here

Some features that students can expect from their Schwarzman Scholars experience:

  • A global perspective for a changing world: expanding knowledge of China while being introduced to a broader international network
  • Learning beyond the classroom: pursuing internships that advance students’ academic interests through practical, hands-on experience and build professional relationships in China
  • Mentoring opportunities: working closely with senior mentors who are leaders in business, academics, and government to help progress students’ professional, leadership, and personal growth
  • Experiencing the real China: getting a more intimate look at opportunities and challenged faced by the nation on its path to development and increasing role in the world via insider immersion excursions throughout the various regions of China
  • A range of extracurricular opportunities both on- and off-campus that better students’ understanding of Chinese culture and society



The Application Resources page houses general application documents applicable to all fellowships as well as the following supplemental materials for this specific fellowship:

Schwarzman Scholars Program Application Checklist
Schwarzman Scholars Program Cover Sheet – Campus Application

Application Timeline


Spring 2018Campus Announcement for Open Applications
Feb 13, 2018Schwarzman/Luce Info Session, 2:30-3:30pm in QLC 208
Feb 14, 2018Schwarzman/Luce Info Session, 4:00-5:00pm in QLC 208
Apr 15, 2018Schwarzman Scholars Program Application Available
Aug 8, 2018Deadline for Internal Campus Application
mid-Aug 2018Mandatory meeting with Scholarships & Fellowships Office
Sep 7, 2018Deadline for Final Application for Endorsed Candidates
Sep 15, 2018Deadline to Submit Applications to Schwarzman Scholars Program
Oct 2018Mock Interview for Finalists
Oct/Nov 2018Schwarzman Finalist Interviews
mid-Nov 2018Schwarzman Scholars Selected
Aug 2019Schwarzman Scholars Begin Program