Admission Requirements For Undergraduate Degree Programs in China

China has the largest higher education system across the globe. Every year, millions of students take the National Entrance Examination or the Gao Kao for admission into higher education institutions.

China has the best undergraduate degree programs when it comes to technical fields such as engineering and information technology.

Most Bachelor’s degree programs last for 2 to 3 years. Other programs such as medical and engineering as well as special courses offered by polytechnic institutions can last for 4 to 5 years. Each of the colleges and universities has special requirements that students must meet.

Standardized Chinese characters have to be used as basic language in institutions of education except when provided for otherwise by law, according to Article 10 of the Law on the Standard Spoken and Written Chinese Language of the People's Republic of China which became operational with effect from 2001. Written and spoken Chinese have to be used for imparting Chinese courses and Chinese textbooks are required by law to use them. However, there are a few international English medium courses as well.

Entrance Test and Requirements

The Gao Kao or the National Higher Education Entrance Examination is also referred to as the National College Entrance Examination. About 9.15 million students appeared for this entrance examination in 2012.  This exam was first started in the year 1955 in China. It is designed for entrance into undergraduate, Bachelor’s degree programs in China. It takes place on 7th and 8th June every year. The compulsory subjects in this examination include Chinese, one foreign language and mathematics.

The other six standard subjects include three sciences-physics, chemistry and biology as well as arts subjects-geography, history and political education. Depending upon whether students want to opt for humanities or science disciplines, they take 2 or 3 of the standard subjects along with the compulsory subjects for the examination.  Students who are in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong must take a different examination.

Scores obtained on the gao kao are used to apply for admission to Chinese universities and colleges for undergraduate courses. Admission requirements for Chinese Bachelor’s degree programs are as follows. Students must be secondary High school graduate or the equivalent (e.g. A-level, successful completion of Year 12, etc). They also must have passed entrance examinations.

Courses Offered

China is home to the most well established and world class universities in the world. Some of the popular cultural subjects for which Chinese universities and colleges are known include Chinese language, calligraphy, science, economics and trade as well as medicine. Professional courses like business administration and finance are also offered here. According to CUCAS, many universities offer several English medium degree programs.

Admission Procedure

You need to check the deadline for the course you are applying to. Most individual universities and colleges have their own admissions calendar. According to CUCAS, those wanting to enrol at regular degree programs should apply in late February, early March for fall semester next year. For such applicants, admission letters are delivered during the last weeks of May or the early weeks of June.

Towards the end of July, the official deadlines for application of most Chinese universities and colleges are reached. Students are given news regarding their admission results in August. Most Chinese universities start classes in September. Late applicants can apply towards the latter part of September in case there are any vacancies.

For those who want to apply for the spring semester, applicants can apply in October of the previous year. Around the end of December or early January, admission letters are delivered to the early applicants. Towards the latter half of January, the official application deadline of the Chinese universities arrives. Students can apply in this month and classes begin in March.

Applications for degree programs require more documents than non-degree programs. Each college or university also has its own set of requirements. Grade transcripts need to be submitted to the individual colleges or universities you are applying to. 

Academic Calendar

The first semester of the Chinese universities and colleges is from September 1 to 1-15 January. The winter break or the Chinese lunar New Year break lasts from 16 January to 15 February/1 March. The second semester or the fall semester lasts from 16 February/2 March to 15 July. Summer break is from 16 July to the month of August.

International Students

CUCAS has an online application system through which international applicants can apply directly to any Chinese university or college for degree or non-degree programs. You need to submit the online application form after establishing an account at CUCAS. You should also upload required admission documents and application materials. Once you have made the payment, you need to submit the application. You can track the status of your application through your CUCAS account.

Admission requirements for international students are as follows. The requirements of the Chinese government include the following:
  • The applicant must be a student who holds either a visitor or a student visa
  • He or she must not have a criminal record. China’s higher educational institutions require a non-criminal certificate notarized and certified by the Chinese embassy for nationals from some countries
  • Applicants should also have the proper qualifications and have a guarantor in China.
  • Applicants should have a valid foreign passport.
Internationals students must meet the following requirements:
  • Chinese medium degree programs require applicants to have passed the Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK). English medium programs admit applicants who have scored well in recognized English proficiency tests such as TOEFL or IELTS. Native speakers of the English language do not need to provide test scores for courses taught in this language.
  • Students who apply for Bachelor’s degree programs must also posses the equivalent of senior high school graduate (Standard 12, GCE advanced level and so on) or a higher academic degree.
  • Students studying in China who want to transfer to another university must obtain permission from their parent university.
China has a host of undergraduate degree programs for students to excel in. Application for these programs is quite simple. International students can apply through CUCAS.
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