How to apply to the CSC Scholarship Step by Step

Here is our step-by-step, simple guide on how to apply for the CSC Scholarship to fund your studies in China!

CSC scholarships are one of the most common scholarships awarded to international students. Provided by the Chinese Scholarship Council, this type of government scholarship is an initiative of the Chinese Ministry of Education to promote education, cultural exchange, political cooperation, and mutual understanding between other countries and China. CSC scholarships can be partially or full-funded.

CSC does not cover MBA programs, MBBS programs (MBBS have very limited scholarships), or those programs with a very high tuition fee.

For your reference, the official website of the CSC Scholarship is right here.

CSC scholarships are not the only ones available: there are dozens of other different types of scholarships. Read our scholarship guide here to learn more.

Step 1: Identify a university that offers the CSC Scholarship

There are 279 different universities that can accept CSC scholarship students. The list is here.

Step 2: Identify which scholarship you will apply for.

CSC Scholarship is an umbrella term. Underneath, there are actually many different scholarships you can apply for.

CSC Program Category Type B = Chinese University Program Scholarship. Applications of Type B will be reviewed by the applied universities. Chinese University Program applicants can apply for 3 universities.

CSC Program Category Type A = non-University scholarships. Applicants for such programs must fill in the “Agency Number” of the corresponding accepting institution (such as the Chinese Embassy in a certain country), and the submitted applications will be reviewed by the corresponding accepting institution. Bilateral Program, Great Wall Program, European Union Program, ASEAN University Network Program, Pacific Islands Forum Program, World Meteorological Organization Program, Chinese Trade Unions Silk Road Scholarship, MOFCOM SCHOLARSHIP-CSC Program, Marine Scholarship of China program are all Type A. Students applying through the Chinese Embassy can apply for 2 universities.

Overall age requirement for CSC scholarship:
Bachelor: 18-25
Master: 18-35
PhD: 18-40

Here is the detailed information on the eligibility and application process. Open each link for the detailed steps and documents needed.

Chinese Government Scholarship-Bilateral Program

Eligibility: 

  • Non-Chinese citizens
  • The Bilateral Program supports undergraduate students, graduate students, general scholars and senior scholars. Please consult the dispatching authorities of your home country for the categories available
  • Under the age of 50 (check the website link for specific age requirements)

Application Period

  •  The deadline depends on the respective Chinese embassy, but usually from January-February, it might close pretty early.

Where to Apply

  • Apply to the dispatching authorities for overseas study of your home country.
  • Once you are approved, apply to your target university, then complete an online application on the CSC website.

Chinese Government Scholarship-Chinese University Program

Eligibility:

  • This scholarship only supports graduate students.

Application Period

  • You need to apply between January to end of March

Where to Apply

  • Apply to your target university, then complete an online application on the CSC website, then submit all documents to the university.

Great Wall Program

Eligibility

  • This program only supports general scholars and senior scholars from developing countries (master’s and PhD)This program only supports general scholars and senior scholars from developing countries (master’s and PhD)

Application Period

  • You need to apply between early January and early April.

Where to Apply

  • Apply to the National Commission for UNESCO in your home country for CGS opportunity. Then, once you have been selected as a candidate, apply to your target university for a Pre-Admission letter and complete an application on the CSC website.
  • Find information on UNESCO’s webpage here.
  • Find the National Commissions from your country here.

EU Program

Eligibility

  • This program supports undergraduate students, graduate students, general scholars and senior scholars from EU member countries.

Application Period

  • You need to apply between early January and early April.

Where to Apply

  • You should apply to the Office for Education and Culture, Mission of P. R. China to the European Union. Apply to your target university for the Pre-admission Letter once recommended by the dispatching authorities as an eligible candidate, then complete an application on the CSC website.
  • You may find the call for applications for 2022/2023 school year here on the Mission’s website when it is posted.

PIF Program

Eligibility

  •  This program supports undergraduate students, graduate students, general scholars and senior scholars from Pacific Island countries (specifically, citizens of PIF member countries).

Application Period

  • You need to apply between early January and early April.

Where to Apply

  • You should apply to Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat. Apply to your target university for the Pre-admission Letter once recommended by the dispatching authorities as an eligible candidate, then complete an application on the CSC website. Submit all your application documents to PIF Secretariat before the deadline.

AUN Program

Eligibility

  • This scholarship only supports graduate students from ASEAN member countries: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Application Period

  • You need to apply between November and January. 

Where to Apply

  • Apply to the AUN Secretariat for CGS opportunity.  Apply to your target university for the Pre-admission Letter once recommended by the dispatching authorities as an eligible candidate. Complete the online application procedure at CGS website. Then submit all documents to the AUN Secretariat.
  • Find contact info for AUN (ASEAN University Network) here.
  • The address of the AUN Secretariat is: Office of the AUN Secretariat 17th Floor, Chaloem Rajakumari 60 Building, Chulalongkorn University, Phayathai Road, Bangkok 10330, Thailand 

WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Program

Eligibility

  • This program supports undergraduate students, master students and doctoral students to study meteorology. 
  • The two designated universities for this program are Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology and Hohai University. 
  • The majors are limited to Meteorology, Hydrology and Water Resources Monitoring & Management.

Application Period

  • You need to apply between early November and next February. 

Where to Apply

  • You should apply to WMO Secretariat.  Apply to your target university for the Pre-admission Letter once recommended by WMO Secretariat as an eligible candidate. Complete the online application procedure at CGS website. Then submit all documents to the WMO Secretariat.

Marine Scholarship of China

Eligibility

  • The applicant should be a citizen of non-Chinese nationality in good health, from a coastal/island country of South China Sea, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific and its surrounding island countries, or an African, American developing country.
  • The applicant must apply for the postgraduate program of ocean-related specialties.
  • Any applicant who is currently engaged in oceanographic and relevant sectors will be given high priority.
  • The universities offering this scholarship are: Xiamen University, Zhejiang University, Ocean University of China, Tongji University

Application Period

  • Every year, from 1st January to 30th April

Where to Apply

  • The CSC manages and grants this scholarship, so you shall apply on the CSC website

MOFCOM Scholarship

Eligibility

  • MOFCOM Scholarship-CSC Program supports Master’s program for 2-3 years or PhD program for 3 years. Scholarship winners must register for an English-taught program.
  • Must be a citizen of a developing country other than the People’s Republic of China, and under the age of 45.
  • With at least three years’ working experience, and be a bachelor’s degree holder when applying for master’s program; be a master’s degree holder when applying for doctoral program;
  • Be incumbents with a relevant educational background or working experience to the applied program are preferred;Be public officials of division level and above (or corresponding level) in government sectors, or senior management staff of organizations and enterprises, or academic backbones of universities and research institutions;
  • Be sufficient in English which meets the academic requirements of the program, be equivalent to IELTS 6.0 or TOEFL 80 and above level;
  • Have the potential of professional development, and is committed to promoting the friendly exchanges and cooperation between the host country and China;
  • Neither studying in China nor being admitted to other scholarship programs provided by Chinese government.

Application Period

  • The Economic and Commercial Counselor’s Office (ECCO) of the Chinese Embassy in your country will be open for application. Please consult the application receiving authority for the deadline of each year

Where to Apply

  • The applicants shall obtain the approval and recommendation from the relevant department of host country before applying for this scholarship.  
  • For the applicants whose host government allows them to submit the application directly to the Embassy of China, please obtain the permission or recommendation letter from the host government which states that the applicant has been approved to study in China, and then submit all documents to the ECCO of the Chinese Embassy in the host country.
  • ECCO contact information here: http://www.china-aibo.cn 

China Trade Unions Silk Road Scholarship

Eligibility

  • CTUSRS supports promising trade union officials with related working experience from countries along the “Belt and Road” to study Chinese Language in PRC for one year at Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Holder of a high school certificate as least and under the age of 45;
  • Having at least one-year work experience, and preferably have experience in China-related affairs;
  • Not a concurrent awardee of a Chinese government scholarship.

Application Period

  • You need to apply between early January and March.

Where to Apply

  • Fill out an application and submit relevant documents on the CSC website

Confucius Institute Scholarships (CIS)

Eligibility

  • Confucius Institutes Scholarships are for two categories: Chinese language learners, and Chinese language teachers.
  • For Chinese language learner students, the application is open to applicant who owns a non-Chinese citizenship, aged between 16 and 35, in good health condition, (Applicant is currently working in a Chinese language teaching position shall not exceed the age limit of 45. Undergraduate student shall not exceed the age limit of 20)
  • For a Bachelor’s in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, applicants shall be non-Chinese citizens, aged below 25, and have a high school certificate or above; applicants shall score no less than 180 in HSK (level 3) and 60 in HSKK (intermediate level)
  • For a Master’s in Teaching Chinese to Speakers of Other Languages, applicants should be non-Chinese citizens, aged below 35, and have a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent; applicants shall score at least 180 in HSK (level 5) and 60 in HSKK (intermediate level)

Application Period

Online registration will be available from March 1 on the International Chinese Language Teachers Scholarship application website (cis.chinese.cn)

  • For students who plan to begin classes in July, the deadline is April 15
  • For students who plan to begin classes in September, the deadline is May 15
  • For students who plan to begin classes in December, the deadline is September 15
  • For students who plan to begin classes in March, the deadline is before the middle of November

Where to Apply

  • Since the scholarship process is slightly different for Chinese language learners and Chinese language teachers, you need to check the link above and look at the specific scholarship you want.
  • In general, you will need to log on to the Confucius Institute Scholarships website (http://cis.chinese.cn) to register, complete the Confucius Institute Scholarships Application Form online, and upload the scanned copies of relevant supporting documents.
  • If you need to submit recommendation materials, here are the acceptable recommending institutions:
    • Confucius Institutes and Confucius classrooms which have been in operation for more than six months. For more information, please refer to www.hanban.org.
    • Testing centers for Chinese Proficiency Test (HSK) which have the right to recommend Confucius Institute Scholarship candidates. For information, please refer to www.chinesetest.cn.
    • Oversea organizers of Chinese Bridge Competition: education and cultural offices (groups) of China’s oversea embassies (consulates), Confucius Institute and relevant educational institutions. For further information, please consult chinesebridge@hanban.org.

Step 3: Identify the agency number

When applying for the CSC scholarship to study in China, you will need to put the agency of the institution that is sponsoring you for your scholarship. The full list of agency numbers is here.

Step 4: Prepare your documents

You will need to check the links of the specific scholarships for the exact document requirements. However, these are the basic ones you need to have prepared:

How to apply to the CSC scholarship

Table key:

** if needed

Only applicants for graduate programs or senior scholar programs must submit two letters of recommendation in Chinese or English from professors or associate professors.

§ Marine Scholarship applicants also need to submit an Application for joint training with relevant institutions. The applicant needs to submit the application in Chinese or English if he/she needs joint training.

Step 5: Submit your documents

Take photocopies of all documents for your own reference. Send the documents to the relevant authorities before the deadline.

Take note of who you need to send documents to first. For some scholarships, you need to be preselected by another authority before applying to the university or on the CSC website. Take care you complete all the steps in the right order!

Step 6: Await the results!

We wish you the best of luck in applying for your scholarship!

But we offer more than that…check out our scholarship application service. We can help make the process easier and better for you.

If you have questions, leave a comment!

FAQ:

What if I get more than 1 CSC scholarship offer? Each scholarship recipient—even when admitted by multiple universities—will be granted no more than one scholarship. CSC will select for you which host university you will attend. You can only accept one Chinese government scholarship at a time.

Can I apply for more than one scholarship? For Type A scholarships, you can apply for 3 universities. For Type B (Chinese University Program) you can apply for 3. However, please note that some CSC scholarships (for example, China Trade Unions Silk Road Scholarship) are only for a few specific universities.

Which universities accept CSC scholarships? The full list of 279 universities is here. But please check carefully, some scholarships are for a limited number of universities. The China Trade Unions Silk Road scholarship is only for BLCU.

Savannah Billman has a master's degree in Chinese Law and Society at the Yenching Academy of Peking University. She holds a B.A. from NYU Shanghai and has also written for The World of Chinese, TechNode, SupChina, and Sixth Tone.
Savannah Billman
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Taylor christ
Taylor christ
1 month ago

having an HSK4 certificate can it bring advantage to you for being selected for the Chinese government scholarship ?

MOHAMED
MOHAMED
1 month ago

Hello, please i know the agency number of embassy of P.R. China in Mali

Abdul Rahman
Abdul Rahman
1 month ago

I applied for the CSC 2021 Scholarships which were awarded by China to the Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan. I also have application type A . The three universities I selected in the onli

Rauf
Rauf
12 days ago
Reply to  Abdul Rahman

Hi Abdul Rehman.

Hansika
Hansika
25 days ago

If the application is submitted with IELTS , is there a chance of selecting the Chinese government scholarship? Or do i wanna HSK result?

Vicitra Erinanda
Vicitra Erinanda
11 days ago

Hi, Savannah! is it necessary for me to choose the start date of study? how do I know the available scholarship offered to me and its deadline? I look forward for your reply, thank u in advance 🙂

Vicitra Erinanda
Vicitra Erinanda
10 days ago

It is said that for bachelor’s type A must choose 2 university, but on my application shows up 3 university choices, is there something wrong with it? Also, I have my x-ray chest result on last november, can i submit it? Many thanks n have a good day, Savannah;)

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