Study PhD Program in China in English in 2024

China now has the most PhD graduates in the world and is one of the best places to get your PhD.

The course structure of a PhD or doctoral program in China is similar to the UK and US. First, you will choose a novel topic in your field and conduct a detailed research about it with the assistance of a chosen supervisor. Upon completion of the research, you will submit a thesis presenting significant findings.

The normal length of a full-time Chinese PhD program is three to four years with an option apply for a one year extension to complete writing your dissertation.

A PhD’s academic year in China is composed of two semesters, the spring semester which starts in March and ends in mid July and the fall semester which starts in mid September and ends in January.

The curriculum of Chinese PhD programs differ depending on the university of the subject area. However, Chinese universities offering PhD usually go for more formal classroom teaching. In the first two to three years of your PhD program, you must complete training and study as set by your supervisor. This includes classroom discussions and examinations.

During the fourth year of study, you are required to submit a full doctoral thesis on your research project and pass an oral defense in the presence of a panel of experts.

Most Popular PhD Programs

We can help you to apply to any PhD program in China. The most popular PhD programs are:

PhD in Business / Management
PhD in Engineering
PhD in Medicine
PhD in Law
PhD in Finance

You can see the full list of PhD programs here.

Tuition Fee and Admissions

The tuition fee for PhD programs in China vary depending on the field of study. For instance, Arts and Humanities subjects have lower tuition fees when compared to other subject areas. PhD programs related to medicine usually have more expensive tuition fees with science and engineering programs coming in next. You can apply for Chinese government scholarships or Chinese university scholarships to ease the burden financially. Overall, Chinese PhDs offer cheaper tuition costs than universities in the US or Europe.

Basic admission requirements include a master’s degree, passing the entrance examination, having a research supervisor and recommendation letters. Most Chinese university will also required you to pass a certain level of the HSK test (Chinese proficiency test).

PhD Scholarships in China

Yes there are are scholarships for PhD in China but they are not too simple to apply. You need to find a supervisor and then apply, or you need to be accepted for the CSC scholarship. We suggest that you apply to the PhD program at universities and the scholarships at the same time. More information is here.

Articles about PhD Programs in China

We are frequently publishing articles about PhD programs on our blog. You can read more here.

What Is The PhD Application Process For Chinese Universities?
PhD in China

What Is The PhD Application Process For Chinese Universities?

How to write PhD Research Proposal for Chinese Universities
PhD in China

How to write PhD Research Proposal for Chinese Universities

Master’s and PhD Programs Added at Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) – 19th March
Admissions Updates News PhD in China

Master’s and PhD Programs Added at Central University of Finance and Economics (CUFE) – 19th March

PhD Admissions Process

Applying for a PhD in China is different from applying for bachelor or master programs. In addition to meeting the admission requirements and application materials, students are required to find their own supervisors to guide them during the course of their study.

We can help to send you a list of supervisors, and we have a template letter that you can use here. It can be difficult to get hold of the professors, so we put some tips there.

To proceed with your application, you need to find three suitable supervisors from the university for your research proposal. Once your find a supervisor, send the request for supervision on your thesis. If the supervisor approves, you will receive a confirmation letter or email. You can then continue on with the application process.

PhD Admission Requirements

Applicants for doctoral programs must have attained a master’s degree, and students who graduated from a non-Chinese institution must have a master’s degree from an institution recognized by the Ministry of Education of China.

Full List of PhD Programs in China

There are many PhD programs, we suggest you can search by subject here.


The full list of PhD programs in China is here.

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