Founded in 1898, Peking University is the first national university in Chinese modern history, ranking among the top universities in China and worldwide. In addition to its strong academic reputation, Peking University is renowned for the beauty of its traditional Chinese architecture around its campus. According to the latest data published by the Essential Science Indicators, Peking University, among universities and research institutions worldwide, ranked among the top 1 percent in 18 fields including mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology and biochemistry, monocular biology and genetics, computer science, engineering, materials science, botany and zoology, earth science, agronomy, psychiatry and psychology, environmental science and ecological science, clinical medicine, pharmacology and toxicology, neuroscience and behavioral science, social science, economics and business, standing out as the best in Mainland China. Peking University also is the largest university library in Asia, with a collection of 7.7 million books, and Chinese and foreign journals and newspapers.
Situated in Beijing, the city is both a tribute to China's proud history and a gateway to China's future. The capital city during the Liao, Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties, Beijing has long been the political, cultural, and diplomatic center of China. It is now an international metropolis, home to nearly 12 million people from all walks of life.
Alongside 7,300 cultural relics and historic sites and more than 200 scenic spots -- including the world's largest palace, the Forbidden City, as well as the Great Wall, Summer Palace, and Temple of Heaven -- Beijing boasts an impressive modern skyline, a reflection of its rapid economic development. The recently expanded Beijing Capital International Airport is China's largest and most advanced airport.
You will receive credit for all academic courses taken at this institution, and all of your grades from abroad will count toward your Penn State cumulative GPA. You may not take any courses overseas on a Pass/Fail basis. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad.
Grades at Peking University are based on a mid-term, final exam, homework, attendance and class participation. For a list of potential course offerings, please refer to the relevant Peking University course listing depending on the type of exchange program for which you are applying.
Option 1: Regular Peking University Courses in Mandarin – Students who pass the Chinese Proficiency Test with a Level 6 score must enroll in major-related courses taught in Mandarin. Students in this track may be allowed to take only 1 - 2 courses outside of the academic department of their discipline.
Option 2: Chinese as a Second Language Courses – Students who do not pass the Chinese Proficiency Test with a Level 6 score may only take classes offered by the School of Chinese as a Second Language. Courses include Chinese language, Chinese culture and area studies. Students in this track must take a course load of 18 academic hours per week and may not take major-related courses.
Peking University recently made available a number of courses taught in English to exchange students. Courses vary by semester but previous topics have included Chinese history, economics and literature. More courses taught in English will be available in the future and additional information about the available courses will be provided after acceptance to the program. Students may take no more than two courses taught in English per semester at Peking University. Students wanting to focus on their Chinese language studies should only take one course taught in English.
To see what kind of credit students in past semesters have received for courses taken on this program, visit the Beijing Peking University Course Equivalency List. Students will need to complete the course equivalency process once you have been accepted to your program and after you have completed your registration abroad. To obtain specific instructions on this process visit the Course Equivalencies webpage.
Applicants must be non-Chinese citizens. Due to Chinese law, students with People's Republic of China, Taiwan, Macau or Hong Kong passports may not participate in this exchange program.
Chinese Language Proficiency Requirements
Exchange students known as "General Visiting Students" at Peking University are required to take a Chinese language proficiency exam upon arrival or in advance of arrival. Only students who pass the exam with a high level score determined by Peking may enroll in courses of their academic discipline taught in Mandarin. Otherwise, students who do not pass the exam must enroll in Chinese as a Second Language courses offered by Peking University's International College for Chinese Language Studies.
Students intending to take major-related coursework in Mandarin may choose to take the Chinese Proficiency Test prior to their departure to China. The exam is comprised of listening, reading, composition sections as well as an oral exam. For test dates, please visit the exam time website.
Test scores are published within a month after the test date. Students who pass with a Level 6 or above are exempt from taking the Chinese language proficiency exam upon arrival to Peking University and may enroll in major-related courses at Peking University. Student may take the Chinese Proficiency Test one year prior to participation on the exchange program. Test scores are valid for 2 years.
Students who are hoping to take regular Peking University courses in Mandarin are strongly encouraged to take the exam before leaving the United States.
Housing and Meals
Students have the option to apply to live in the on-campus dorms (less expensive but older facilities) or off-campus housing (more expensive but newer facilities) that are located close to campus. On-campus housing is competitive and not guaranteed. Students can apply for housing one month prior to arrival. Housing application information is included in the International Student Handbook provided by Peking University to accepted students. International students are encouraged to apply to the Zhonghuanyuan Global Village, a newer housing facility.
Please note that students who live off campus must register to the local police station.
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the academic year budget sheet and spring budget sheet. These budget sheets include information on costs that are billable to the bursar bill, as well as estimated additional costs. Costs vary by program, so it is important to review this information carefully.
Please note that tuition rates may vary depending on major and class standing.
Financial Aid & Scholarships
Penn State students studying through Education Abroad can use most components of their existing financial aid packages toward the cost of study abroad. This may include federal and state grants, VA educational benefits, federal student loans, and University scholarships and grants. Notable exceptions include work-study awards and some athletic scholarships.
The University Office of Global Programs also administers a number of grants and scholarships. Eligibility is based on academic excellence and/or financial need. There is also funding available for study abroad programs in diverse locations and for students from diverse backgrounds. In most cases, applicants should have a current year FAFSA on file with the Office of Student Aid. Funding opportunities may also be available through Penn State academic departments. For detailed information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities and application procedures, please visit theFunding Study Abroadsection of the Global Penn State website.
For More Information
For more information about programs and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with or contact our Peer Advisers. These study abroad returnees can explain program options, give an overview of the education abroad process, as well as provide information about his/her program. If you are not at University Park, contact your Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of each program, schedule an appointment with the education abroad adviser for this program.
For the inside scoop on life in a foreign country, be sure to check out the GeoBlogs of Penn State students currently studying abroad.
How to Apply
If you would like to participate on this study abroad program, you will need to apply to Penn State Education Abroad by clicking the "Apply Now" button on this page.
You must complete the following materials in your application:
Education Abroad Questionnaire
One academic recommendation
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.
NOTE: NOTE: Please note: The dates listed above are not the actual dates of the program. At a later date your program dates will be provided to you. Should you have any questions, please follow up with your Education Abroad advisor.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing.
NOTE: Start date marks arrival in host country. End date marks departure from program housing. Confirm dates with Peking University before purchasing airline tickets.
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed
University Office of Global Programs | The Pennsylvania State University |
410 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802 Phone: 814-865-7681 - Fax: 814-865-3336