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Tsinghua University (Beijing), Exchange in Engineering
Bejing, China (Exchange Program) (Outgoing Program)
Program Terms:
Program Terms: Academic Year,
Fall Semester,
Spring Semester
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Request Advising
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Program Dates & Deadlines: Click here to view
Restrictions: Princeton applicants only
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Fact Sheet:
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Dept Offering Program: Study Abroad OIP Program Type: Study Abroad (semester)
Language of Instruction: English Language Prerequisite: No
Program Features: Academic Study Time Away: Academic Year, Fall Semester, Spring Semester
Housing options: Dormitory Program Group: Study Abroad OIP
Program Adviser: Claire Hu
Program Description:
Program Description:

tsinghua 1

Tsinghua University, Exchange in Engineering

Please be reminded that you may need to meet different deadlines when applying to this program. For Spring 2021,
  • Nomination deadline: TBD, 2020
  • Tsinghua application deadline: October 16, 2020
  • Princeton application deadline: October 16, 2020

Princeton engineering students will have the opportunity to participate in a program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, studying engineering subjects in English and participating in the life of the campus. With its strong record in research and scholarship, Tsinghua University is consistently ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China.

The University

Tsinghua University was established in 1911 as a preparatory school for Chinese students planning to study in the United States. In 1925, it launched a four-year undergraduate program. In 1952, as part of the nationwide restructuring of higher education in the new People’s Republic of China, Tsinghua University focused primarily on training engineers. In the late 70’s, however, Tsinghua University developed quickly into a comprehensive research university. At present, the university has 14 schools and 56 departments with faculties in science, engineering, humanities, law, medicine, history, philosophy, economics, management, education, and art. The University has now over 25,900 students, including 13,100 undergraduates and 12,800 graduate students. While its teaching is focused on engineering, Tsinghua offers degrees in other sciences, the liberal arts, management and law.  Tsinghua University is consistently ranked as one of the top academic institutions in China, alongside Peking University.

The Setting

The original campus of Tsinghua was set on the grounds of a former royal garden from the Qing Dynasty. Today’s extensive campus is located in the Haidian District in Northwest Beijing near other major universities and boasts modern facilities as well as historical buildings, tree-lined walks, small parks, and athletic fields. The area is bustling with students and activity.

Beijing has been the capital of China since 1279 and has a long history and rich culture. As China’s political, economic, and cultural center, it is a city full of energy with an endless array of activities and sites of cultural interest.


Tsinghua has established agreements for student exchanges with many universities around the world and has been developing an ever-growing number of courses taught in English at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Students in engineering, particularly Computer Science and Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will find courses that can fit easily into the Princeton curriculum.


A full course load is equal to 15 credits for a semester, which is the equivalent of four Princeton courses. Courses can be anywhere from 2 to 5 credits, but most are 3 or 4 credits. You can find courses that have been offered in English recently on the Tsinghua website. For students in computer science we especially recommend the courses offered by the Institute for Interdisciplinary Information Sciences, which is led by Professor Yao, a former Princeton professor, who has developed this elite program within Tsinghua that is taught in English and adopts the teaching methods of top U.S. institutions.  Many of these courses have already been reviewed as acceptable by the Princeton’s computer science department, but students still need to discuss their proposed course choices with the departmental representative. Please see the following links for information on courses from fall 2018 and spring 2019, all in English:
Another elite program with a Princeton connection that is being developed at Tsinghua is the Advanced Clean Energy (ACE) program, organized by a current Princeton professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Professor C. K. Lau. Courses offered by the ACE program in spring 2018 will be Fluid Mechanics and Mechanics of Materials. In 2018-2019 the ACE program will offer Modern Control Systems and Heat Transfer in the fall and Physical Chemistry, Research Practice, Engineering Innovation and Sustainability, and Combustion in the spring. These courses can will fit into the Princeton MAE curriculum. 

In addition to courses offered by these two centers, other engineering course in English are offered in other departments.

Students may also take Chinese language for foreigners and other courses taught in English. For students who have strong Chinese language skills, courses may be taken in Chinese as well. Please note that pending your department's approval and your meeting all course prerequisites, students might be able to take graduate level courses at Tsinghua. Please make sure that you understand and meet all the requirements from your department and have the required prerequisites before registering. Course offering and registration are subject to changes and at the discretion of Tsinghua University.

Academic Advising and Support

There will be an academic adviser while students are in Tsinghua, who will help them with any academic concerns and especially with putting together their schedule for the semester. 

Program Costs and Financial Aid

Students pay regular Princeton tuition for the semester and no tuition is charged by Tsinghua. Housing costs for a single room in Building Six depends on the type of dorm room chosen, but you should budget $1700 (80RMB/day) for housing. Estimated monthly expenses for meals, transportation, and books is 3000 Chinese Yuan/month
and Health insurance is around 300 Chinese Yuan/month. Round-trip air fare is around $1500. Princeton financial aid can be applied to all costs of the program. For information about how financial aid works for study abroad, please visit the Money Matters section of the OIP website.

Passport and Visa

Students are responsible for ensuring that their passports are valid for their entire stay in China. For further information, please consult the U.S. State Department website.
PLEASE NOTE: Your passport must be valid for at least six months after the date you will leave China.

Once students receive official notification of their admission by Tsinghua, they should bring their passport, admission notification, visa application form for study in China, the Physical Examination Record for Foreigners and Blood Test Record for Foreigners to the Embassy or Consulate of the PRC and apply for a student visa.  You may, for a fee, use Visa Central or Travisa to manage the process.


Tsinghua will provide students with on-campus housing and will honor requests for students to live in Building Six, one of the more desirable dorms on campus. Please also see here for a campus tour!

Student Life

Exchange students are encouraged to participate in various extracurricular activities and join the student associations of the University. The International Students Office organizes extracurricular activities for international students, including visits to Chinese cultural and historical destinations, sports competitions, special parties, etc.
Tsinghua University has approximately 200 student associations, and exchange students are encouraged to participate any of them that may be of interest. In addition, the International Office sponsors a “buddy program,” which is a great way to befriend a local student and start to understand the local culture from an insider’s view. Please see here for information on the international student center, and here for information on other services, dining, and health insurance.

Application Process

In order to apply, you must complete several steps:
  • Make an appointment with the appropriate study abroad adviser to discuss your interest in the exchange. Dean Bogucki is also an excellent resource to help you with your academic planning. After meeting with an adviser in OIP, they must review your qualifications and nominate you for the program.
  • Once you have been nominated by the OIP, you will need to apply directly to Tsinghua University through their online application process. 
  • Please complete the Study Abroad Application Questionnaire in GPS.  


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Dates / Deadlines:
Tabular data for Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring Semester 2021 10/16/2020 10/20/2020 TBA TBA
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