Schwarzman Scholars Program (rising seniors & graduates)


  • applicants via the China application (holders of passports from mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, & Taiwan): May 20, 2023;
  • applicants via the US/Global application (holders of passports other than those for the China application): September 19, 2023.

Intended to prepare the next generation of global leaders, the Schwarzman Scholars Program was created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century. Whether in politics, business or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends. The program is intended to give the world’s best and brightest students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills and professional networks through a one-year Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing – one of China’s most prestigious universities.

Students live and study together on the campus of Schwarzman College, a state-of-the-art facility where all classes are taught in English. Students pursue core and elective courses in a specially designed curriculum which is flexible to the needs of a wide array of interests and professional fields. Read more about the curriculum here.

For full details, please refer to the official website.  

Did you know? There were Wellesley graduates in two of the first three classes of Schwarzman Scholars: Savitri Restrepo Alvarez '16 (watch a video here) and Deborah Tien '12! Will you be the next?


Who is eligible and what makes for a strong candidate?

  • The competition is open to citizens of any nation.
  • Applicants may be seniors or graduates, aged 18-28.
  • All applicants must have strong English language skills.  Proficiency in Mandarin is not required, but would certainly be an asset.
  • There is no required minimum GPA, but applicants are expected to have demonstrated excellence in their academic studies, and the most competitive candidates will be among the top students in their graduating class, as well as demonstrating excellence in other areas. In addition to evaluating applicants’ proven intellectual and academic ability, the admissions process is heavily focused on leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities, and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives, and positions.  Those selected will have demonstrated their potential to produce results within their own culture and context by inspiring and guiding groups and to not only benefit from but also contribute to the Schwarzman Scholars program.
  • Written applications will be reviewed by a team of readers from around the world who will narrow the pool. Approximately 300 semi-finalists will be invited to  in-person regional interviews in Beijing, Singapore, London, or New York, and will go before interview panels comprised of CEOs, former heads of state, university presidents, non-profit executives, journalists, and other leaders from around the world. (Watch a short video about this.)

How do I apply?

Applications should be submitted directly via the official website.  The official application system typically opens in January (for the China application) and April (for the US/Global round).

Wellesley students and graduates interested in applying for this scholarship are warmly encouraged to reach out to the Fellowships team for advice in putting together a strong application, preparing for finalist interviews, and more: book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake to talk things over in person or via telephone or video chat, year-round; or drop by Fellowships Pop-Up Advising virtually or in person (details via Career Education events listings).

Where can I learn more?

There’s a wealth of information provided on the official Schwarzman Scholars website. Don't miss their helpful webinars and info sessions, here.  

Prospective Wellesley applicants are warmly encouraged to refer questions to and to seek advice from Kate Dailinger (book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake or simply drop in virtually or in person to Fellowships Pop-Up Advising, details via Career Education events listings).

*Applicants are urged to seek advice in advance, especially those applying in the global round, which takes place during the high-season for postgraduate fellowships. Book early and beat the August rush! Advising is offered in person or via telephone or video chat, year-round.

Application timeline

Spring and summer

  • Learn about the Scholarship, attend an information session on campus or sign up for an official webinar (see official website for dates/recorded webinar)
  • Start to plan for your application, including talking with people you might ask to write letters of reference.
  • Ask for letters of reference early, especially as the deadlines fall during busy seasons in Wellesley's academic calendar. (Tip: asking for references is much easier to do if you’ve previously sought advice from potential recommenders.)
  • Give yourself an advantage, and start working on your application early. If you’d like feedback in advance of either application deadline, email drafts of essays to (earlier and additional drafts are strongly encouraged).  Then book a Fellowship draft appointment via Handshake; appointments are offered year-round, in person and via telephone or video chat.


  • May, annually: China application deadline (for holders of passports from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao)
    Please see official website for full application details and advice.
  • July, annually: optional priority deadline for Wellesley applicants applying to post graduate fellowships with deadlines between before December 31: if you meet the optional draft deadline, you are guaranteed feedback before the relevant application deadline, and you'll get priority in the booking of advising appointments. (Why wait? Earlier and additional drafts are strongly encouraged. Also, if you miss the draft deadline, don't panic: we'll fit you in if possible once everyone who met the deadline has been accommodated.)
  • September, annually: US/Global application deadline (for holders of passports from countries other than those for the China application)
    Please see official website for full application details and advice. Have a question, but can't find an appointment available? Drop in to Fellowships Pop-Up advising (see Events listings on our website and in Handshake).

Offical semi-finalist interviews:

  • For the China application round, typically July, at Tsinghua University in Beijing
  • For the US/Global application round, typically late October and early November in cities across the globe

Admission decisions due to be made:

  •  For the China application round: typically October
    See their website for news, videos, updates and more.
  • For the US/Global application round: typically mid-November
    See their website for news, videos, updates and more.


Email or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.