Founded in 1898, Peking University (PKU) 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. Currently consisting of five faculties, Humanities, Social Sciences, Sciences, Medicine, and Information and Engineering, PKU has 47 colleges and departments, offering 105 undergraduate programs, 291 graduate programs, and 249 doctoral programs. PKU is comprised of 14,810 undergraduates, 12,082 postgraduates and 6,838 doctoral candidates, of which approximately 2,600 are short-term international students from 80 countries. PKU 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 11 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.
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 PKU are required to take a Chinese language proficiency exam upon arrival. Only students who pass the exam with a high level score determined by PKU 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 PKU's International College for Chinese Language Studies.
Students intending to take major-related coursework in Mandarin may choose to take the HSK Chinese Language Proficiency Exam prior to their departure to China. The HSK exam is offered at Penn State's Confucius Institute several times a semester. Students may register for the Level 6 exam one month in advance. The exam is comprised of listening, reading, composition sections as well as an oral exam. Email email@example.com to register for the exam.
Confucius Institute Test Dates:
|October 21, 2012
||September 24, 2012
|April 20, 2013
||April 10, 2013
|October 20, 2013
||October 10, 2013
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 PKU and may enroll in major-related courses at PKU. Student may take the HSK exam one year prior to participation on the exchange program. Test scores are valid for 2 years.
Students who are hoping to take regular PKU courses in Mandarin are strongly encouraged to take the exam before leaving the United States.
Education Abroad Credits
Students 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. Grades at PKU 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 PKU course listing depending on the type of exchange program for which you are applying.
- Option 1: Regular PKU Courses in Mandarin – Students who pass the HSK Chinese Proficiency Exam 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. PKU Course Catalog
- Option 2: Chinese as a Second Language Courses – Students who do not pass the HSK exam with a Level 6 score may only take classes offered by the International College for Chinese Language Studies. 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. Chinese as a Second Language Courses
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 our Course Equivalencies page. Students may not fulfill GHA (General Health and Activity) general education requirements abroad. To learn how the courses on this program can work into your individual degree audit, meet with your academic adviser.
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 PKU to accepted students. International students are encouraged to apply to the Zhonghuanyuan Global Village (newer housing facility).
For more information on program costs, please be sure to review the Budget Sheets listed above. 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 above may vary depending on major and class standing.
Special Funding Available: For Academic Year 2015-2016, PKU is offering incoming exchange students a stipend of 2500RMB/month (roughly 400USD/month) for the period the student is on exchange.
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, including the Whole World Scholarship. 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 see Funding Study Abroad.
For More Information
For more information about this program and education abroad at Penn State, we encourage you to meet with 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. Students at University Park can also contact their International Coordinator within their college. If you're not at University Park, students at Commonwealth Campuses can contact their Campus Global Representative.
To learn more about the specifics of this 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 at the top of this page. You must complete the pre-decision materials in your application as well as submit post-decision materials once you are accepted to the program.
Visit the How to Apply section of our website for more information.