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Schwarzman Scholars

August 28, 2017 (internal deadline for all other nationalities besides those who hold passports from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macaonationals, in which case applications are due by May 15, 2017)
Arts and Humanities
Social Science
Full Year


2017 marks the first graduating class of Schwarzman Scholars, in which the Chairman, CEO and Co-founder of Blackstone, Stephen A. Schwarzman, ambitiously set the program’s plan to fund up to 200 scholars annually from around the world to work towards a one-year, fully funded Master’s Degree at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China. Inspired by the Rhodes scholarship, the Schwarzman Scholars Program is the single largest philanthropic effort ever undertaken in China by (largely) international donors, and possesses an impressive list of Advisory Board and Academic Advisory Council members to reflect this. The program is ultimately designed to train future leaders to meet the challenges of the 21st century and beyond by preparing the scholars to better understand China, its role in global trends, and their role as future leaders.

As a Schwarzman Scholar, students will meet global leaders, travel throughout China, establish professional mentorships, encounter a range of cultural and academic experiences, and be immersed in the local economy, culture, academics and social life of Beijing. Schwarzman Scholars will participate in a rigorous and thorough selection process, and ultimately be selected for their leadership potential, academic performance, extracurricular interests, and demonstrated potential to benefit fromas well as contribute to the Schwarzman Scholars program. Successful candidates will be offered a Master’s Degree within one of three (self-selected) academic disciplines: public policy, economics and business, or international studies. While hosted at Tsinghua University, the program is taught entirely in English. Prior to the program’s start date, Scholars will be required to attend a Summer Orientation at Tsinghua University in July, where they will have the opportunity to learn Chinese, explore Beijing, meet fellow Scholars, and be introduced to faculty and staff.

Eligibility: Rising seniors, graduating seniors, and recent graduates of Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies are eligible, provided they meet scholarship criteria.

To apply: All students should create an account in the Schwarzman application portal ( and complete all application materials there by the deadline provided above. Currently enrolled undergraduate students (only) need to apply for Columbia University's Recommendation. To do so, please open an application online here (by clicking 'Start an Application') and submit application materials to this OGP online application no later than 11:59pm EST for the deadline that aligns with your nationality (according to which passport you hold).

Alumni applicants who hold passports from Mainland China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Macao must apply online by an earlier deadline (see above for deadline information). Applicants holding a passport from all other countries must apply to Columbia by the second deadline provided above.

All letters of recommendation should be submitted directly by your recommenders through the Schwarzman website portal by the national deadline in compliance with your nationality. You do not need to have your letters of recommendation submitted to Columbia. For currently enrolled undergraduate applicants, one of your four letters of recommendation should be an institutional letter of recommendation, which will be completed by the Office of Global Programs (contact OGP regarding this). Alumni need not secure a letter from Columbia, but should include a total of four letters of recommendation within their application and have those letter submitted directly to Schwarzman.

Meet Columbia's most recent Schwarzman Scholars: Andrew Ertl '17GS (History), Akshay Shah '14 SEAS (Electrical Engineering)