Schwarzman Scholars

About Schwarzman Scholars
Application Components
Application Process & Timelines
Campus Advisement
Applicant Resources
Schwarzman in the News & USC Recipients

About Schwarzman Scholars

Per the Schwarzman Scholars website: Schwarzman Scholars, inspired by the Rhodes Scholarship, is a program designed to help future leaders meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond by preparing them to better understand China’s culture, economy, governance and evolving role in the world. Up to 200 Scholars chosen annually from around the world for this highly selective, fully-funded program will have an unrivaled opportunity to live in Beijing for a year of study and cultural immersion, attending lectures, traveling and developing first-hand exposure to China, its people and a global group of promising leaders. Scholars will study for a one-year Masters degree in public policy; international studies; or economics and business at Tsinghua University, one of China’s most prestigious institutes of higher education with a 100 year history of strengthening ties between China and the rest of the world and a record of producing leaders such as President Xi Jinping, former President Hu Jintao, and former Premier Zhu Rongji.

Watch the Schwarzman Scholars Webinar 2019 on YouTube.  For more information, visit the Schwarzman Scholars website.


Per the Schwarzman website, the eligibility requirements are:

  • Undergraduate degree or first degree from an accredited college or university or its equivalent
  • Meet age requirement
  • English language proficiency

Qualities That Make a Strong Applicant

A Schwarzman Scholar should demonstrate extraordinary leadership potential, the ability to anticipate trends, strong intellectual capacity and exemplary character.

Specifically, strong applicants demonstrate the following:

  • A linkage to the Schwarzman vision
  • Evidence of leadership as a process not just positional
  • Problem solving and steps taken toward a solution
  • Academic agility (i.e. multiple academic programs)
  • High level thinking
  • Ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities
  • A desire to understand other cultures, perspectives and positions NOT to change them necessarily
  • Potential to benefit from and contribute to the Schwarzman Scholars program and network of Schwarzman Scholars alumni
  • A curiosity about China and an adventurous side

Additionally, compelling applicants can clearly answer the following:

  • What do you study now? How do your studies connect to a concentration offered by Schwarzman Scholars? How does this all connect to a clear career trajectory?
  • What is your version of leadership?  (Can range from the lead of a six-member research team to the President of a large organization)
  • Why China? Why is China important as a gateway for your career?
  • Why should you be exposed to a global network with a deep connection to China?
  • Why do you want to pursue a Masters degree in China?
  • What is Tsinghua University’s leadership in your chosen field?
  • How will understanding China help you meet your goals in the 21st century?
  • How do you plan to address a problem that is bigger than yourself? Why is China key to understanding this problem? How can you see yourself making a global impact?
  • If you already have extensive experience in China, how will being a Schwarzman Scholar fill a gap for you?

Application Components

  • A complete and successfully submitted online application
  • Uploaded transcripts/academic records (include previous institution if you are a transfer student)
  • Three electronic letters of recommendation
  • Video
  • Current Resume/CV
  • Statement of Purpose and Leadership (750 words)
  • Current Affairs Essay (up to 500 words)
  • Short Answer Question (up to 100 words)

More on Letters of Recommendation:

Referees should know you well and be able to speak to your intellectual abilities, personal characteristics and/or leadership potential. Applicants can choose a combination of professors, supervisors, mentors or advisors.  At least one of these letters must come from a recommender who can comment on the specific examples of leadership described in your application. Read more about letters of recommendation on the Schwarzman Scholars FAQs page.

Currently Enrolled Undergraduates

  • Currently Enrolled Undergraduates should have two letters from professors who can speak to your academic abilities and one letter specifically addressing your leadership abilities (this can be from an employer, supervisor, mentor, faculty member, advisor, or other).

Graduate Students and Young Professionals

  • Graduate Students and Young Professionals should have one letter from a professor, one letter specifically addressing your leadership abilities, and a third letter from the following options that will best represent your current profile: an employer, mentor or additional academic letter.

Application Process and Competition Timelines

China Application System

  • Applicants who hold passports from mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao must apply via the China application system
  • Online application opens in January 2018 and closes on May 31, 2018
  • Interviews: July 2018 in Beijing
  • Admissions Decisions will be made before October 2018

The application for Chinese candidates can be accessed on the Tsinghua University Schwarzman Scholars webpage.

United States/Global Application System

  • Applicants from all other countries and regions must apply using the global application system
  • Online application opens on April 16, 2018 and closes on September 27, 2018 at 11:59pm Eastern Daylight Time
  • Interviews will take place in three locations around the world
  • Admissions Decisions will be made by mid-November 2018

Review the Schwarzman Application page for Instructions for Applicants.

Campus Advisement

Due to the 2018 change in Schwarzman Scholarship application procedures, Institutional Assessment letters are no longer an application component.  However, Academic Honors and Fellowships staff is committed to helping motivated applicants and will offer open advisement throughout the month of July for those applying.  Advisement consists of a meeting with AHF staff to provide feedback on application materials. Materials must be submitted before a meeting can be scheduled.

Email the following materials to Katie Capra compiled in one document by July 20, 2018. Although we encourage materials sent before this date since appointments will be made on a first-come-first-serve basis.  Please include your availability and contact information in the email text.

    • Current Resume/CV
    • Statement of Purpose and Leadership (750 words)
    • Current Affairs Essay (up to 500 words)
    • Short Answer Question (up to 100 words)
    • Optional: link to video

Applicant Resources

In the News

USC’s Edwin Saucedo named a 2019 Schwarzman Scholar, will study in Beijing (December 4, 2017)

USC Dornsife student and alumnus named 2018 Schwarzman Scholars
(December 1, 2016)

Scholar without borders bridges three continents to improve health care 
(May 4, 2017)

USC Schwarzman Recipients

    • 2017: Jack Huebner and Matthew Prusak
    • 2018: Edwin Saucedo

Contact Us

Open Advising: May – Early August
Request an Appointment

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