Application Process for International Students in China - Part 2

Application Deadlines

It is vital that you check the deadline for the course you have applied for. Applications received in time are guaranteed to be considered by colleges and universities in China. Higher educational institutions in China only consider applications after the deadline if they have vacancies for the courses following the selection of those who have applied well in time.

CUCAS suggests the following schedule for those who want to apply for fall semester (commencing in spring):

  1. End of February/ Beginning of March
  2. Candidates can start applying for the courses
  • April-May
  • Early applications can be made. This is ideal for courses with limited vacancies.
  • Last weeks of May
  • Those who submitted applications in March now receive their admission results.
  • June
  • Early applicants receive admission letters.
  • Last weeks of July
  • Official application deadline for most Chinese universities and colleges.
  • Start of August
  • Receipt of acceptance letter and JW202 form by candidates who applied before the deadline 4 weeks before the commencement of the program. Visas can now be applied for at the Chinese consulates.
  • Start of September
  • Programs commence as the academic year begins in most Chinese universities.
  • Towards late September
  • Late applicants can now apply provided there are vacancies at the concerned college or university. CUCAS can be consulted regarding any possible vacancies for courses. 

Late February or early March is when the spring semester commences in the Chinese academic year. Students who want to take up courses for the spring semester need to adhere to the following deadlines, according to CUCAS:

  1. Late October
  2. Applicants can submit their documents and applications for spring semester of the coming year.
  • November to January
  • Early applications can be made. This is especially advisable if there are limited vacancies for the courses you are applying to.
  • December
  • Early applicants now receive their acceptance email.
  • Start of January
  • Admission/acceptance letters reach early applicants who can now apply for a visa.
  • Later weeks in January
  • This is an official application deadline for most Chinese universities. Applicants should ideally submit their applications before this date.
  • February (before program commences)
  • Late applications can now be received if there are any vacancies left for the desired course.
  • Later weeks of February or early weeks in March
  • Date of commencement of the spring semester at Chinese universities and colleges

While some courses start in the fall semester, others may start in spring. Check the starting dates of the course. You can also seek the advice of CUCAS regarding when it is the best time to apply. You should ideally submit the application two months before the course commences. Some courses have start dates subject to approval.

This is because the university may be offering the program only if the existing course is being updated. This implies that the university may not yet be receiving application for this course. You should check with CUCAS before applying for any course. Students who want to take a year or semester off before starting their studies need to check with CUCAS. Under certain circumstances, deferred entry applications are accepted by Chinese universities.


Chinese universities and colleges follow certain specific procedures. The CUCAS (China’s University and College Admission System) provides easy and convenient methods of applying online to all the universities and colleges in China which accept international students.
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