Admission Requirements and Instructional Guidelines for Students in China


China’s Ministry of Education oversees the enrolment of graduate students in higher educational institutions. The Ministry is responsible for formulating the policy, measures and procedure for admissions. There are also admission offices of many higher educational institutions in China which oversee the enrolment process under the guidance of the admission committees of the provinces and municipality. The admission plan is formulated by the State Planning Commission, Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Personnel in China.

To ensure that the quality of teaching does not fall below par, higher educational institutions alone are authorized to grant Master’s or doctoral degrees. New candidates are judged on various parameters such as physical, mental and moral fitness. Outstanding candidates are encouraged to apply for entrance examinations.

Facts and Figures

According to the China Education and Research Network, which is an official body for conducting research on higher education in the nation:
Management Institutes: There are 56 institutions offering MBA programs currently with a total number of 3026 graduates and a total enrolment adding up to approximately 13890.

Post Graduate in Education Institutes: 29 higher educational institutions are given the authority to award Master’s of Education and they have a total enrolment of 1700 students.

Master’s of Clinical Medicine can be awarded by 43 higher educational institutions with a total enrolment of 1678.

Engineering  and Architecture Institutes: There are a total of 16 higher educational institutions which can provide Bachelor’s of Architecture programs with over 4000 graduates. Around 12 higher educational institutions offer Master’s of Architecture program and a total of 200 students have graduated from it. Postgraduate degrees in engineering are available at 70 higher educational institutions which have enrolment of about 5690 students.

A huge number of degree and graduate students have been admitted to higher educational institutions in China in recent times. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in March 2010, there were approximately 30 million students enrolled in higher educational institutions in China.   In 2010, China’s gross enrolment ratio (GER) grew by 6% from the year 2005. The number of teachers employed in higher educational institutions increased by 27% between 2005 and 2010.

International students were admitted into higher educational institutions such as universities in China since the 1950s. In the year 2007, 195,503 students from 188 countries were enrolled in Chinese universities and colleges, according to the Ministry of Education.

Chinese universities provide diploma as well as non-diploma education. Diploma education comprises undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees. Non-diploma courses are for trainees and researchers.

Features and Standard Procedures

Admission Requirements For Undergraduate Courses
According to CUCAS, which is an official body for regulating admissions of international students in China, undergraduate students must be in good health and 18 years or above. In case they are below 18, they must provide a notarization of guarantor in China. Apart from this, they must be high school graduates.

Admission Requirements For Master’s Degree Programs

Applicants for Master’s degree programs can be any of the two below:
  • Distinguished undergraduates from universities
  • Junior college graduates of more than 2 years with equivalent educational level of university graduates
Master’s degree programs last for 2 to 3 years. Candidates must pass their examinations and submit their thesis to get the degree. According to CUCAS, students must also have letters of recommendation from one or two professors and also pass the entrance examinations.

Admission Requirements For Doctoral Programs
Applicants who want to join doctoral degree programs must hold a master’s degree or equivalent educational qualification. They should also have recommendations of a minimum of 2 associate professors/professors who are specialists in the field of study. They must also have passed the entrance examination.

The Entrance Examinations

Entrance examinations for students admitted to higher educational institutions comprise preliminary test as well as main examinations. This is the basic method for admission of graduate students in China. The Ministry of Education is responsible for managing the time, and subjects of the examination as well as the principles on the basis of which they are conducted, according to the China Education and Research Network.

The time and place as well as the subject of main and oral examinations are determined by the universities and colleges themselves. For doctoral candidates, the subject and time of the entrance examinations are decided by the higher educational institutions. Entrance examinations for master’s degree programs candidates comprise political theory, 3 professional courses and some foreign languages. The papers for political theory, foreign language and basic courses are designed by the Ministry of Education. Apart from political theory and foreign languages, entrance examinations for doctoral candidates are prepared by the concerned higher educational institutions.


Admission requirements for undergraduate, graduate and doctoral level programs in China’s colleges and universities are pretty well delineated. The Ministry of Education is involved in formulating the admissions policy as well as regulating the enrolment of students. It is also involved in the conducting and preparation of the entrance examinations to a very large degree.
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