More and more international students aspire to pursue studies in China, especially with the influx of scholarships offered by the Chinese government. But there may be a barrier that makes some hesitate – would you need to be fluent in Chinese to study in China?

Now, many programs and universities in China use English as a medium of instruction. This makes it less challenging for international students to transition, especially those with zero to little knowledge of the country’s languages. While studying for your university degree, you can also enroll in Chinese language classes and learn about the language and culture while being a college student.

Read this article about five top universities in China that welcome international students and offer English-taught programs.

Top Universities for English-taught Programs in China

1. Tsinghua University

Beijing City’s Tsinghua University is among China’s most prestigious universities and a top English-taught school, earning its place among the nation’s top and the world’s best. It was first established as Tsing Hua Imperial College in 1911. Over the years, it has become an attractive institution for many international students as it offers various undergraduate and graduate programs.

Tsinghua University offers around 80 programs for aspiring undergraduate students, provided by more than 20 departments and schools. Most of these courses are for four years except for the architecture and sculpture degree programs. These courses are taught in Chinese and English.

On the other hand, graduate students may choose from the 30 graduate programs offered in English. Of these 30 programs, 22 are for master’s studies, while eight are for doctoral students. Master’s degree-granting programs are usually accomplished within three years, while doctoral or Ph.D. programs are done in four years.

2. Peking University

Peking University is one of the best English-taught schools and another Chinese institution that welcomes thousands of international students into its various degree programs. They take pride in their facilities, research, and university library, which is the largest in Asia. This university comprises six faculties that offer many undergraduate and graduate programs. While many are delivered in Chinese, there are many courses taught in English.

Undergraduate students at Peking University are expected to complete their programs within four to six years. Students are not required to take a Chinese language proficiency exam, but if they plan to take up Chinese-taught courses, they must meet a standard. Otherwise, they may also take up English-taught courses only for two semesters or learn Chinese for a few semesters.

Meanwhile, master’s students must complete theirs within three years, and doctoral students may take up to six years. Graduate students must present and defend a thesis to earn their certificate. There are 12 master’s programs offered in English, including Chinese law, international relations, public policy, and others.

3. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Shanghai Jiao Tong University is a world-class institution and a leading English-taught university established in Shanghai, China, in 1896. It is directly administrated by the country’s Ministry of Education and has five campuses. For over a hundred years, Shanghai Jiao Tong University has molded some of the country’s top scholars and has welcomed thousands of international students.

Aspiring engineering undergraduates may find their program among the engineering cluster programs offered by the institution. All major courses in this cluster program are provided in English or French. Some of the programs offered are mechanical engineering, automation, information engineering, and computer science. However, even though courses are taught in English, students still need to study Chinese and comply with a language requirement to graduate.

Graduate students who plan to take English-taught programs at Shanghai Jiao Tong University must also present proof of English proficiency. Master’s degree programs are usually accomplished within three years if taken full-time, while doctoral programs may take up to four years if taken full-time as well.

4. University of Science and Technology of China

The University of Science and Technology of China was established in 1958 in Beijing by the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Later, they transferred to Hefei, their current location. This institution was founded to help respond to the country’s scientific and technological needs and improve competitiveness at the international level.

Most of the top English-taught programs at the University of Science and Technology of China are for graduate students. Around nine master’s programs and nearly all doctoral programs are delivered in English. Students need to complete their credits and defend their thesis to accomplish their graduate program. Usually, master’s programs are set for two to three years, while doctoral students may take up to four years.

There are also undergraduate programs offered at the University of Science and Technology of China. However, these 35 programs are primarily delivered in Chinese. There may be some taught in English or bilingual; however, these courses are only a part of the program, and knowledge of Chinese may still be needed.

5. Zhejiang University

Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, is one of China’s most ancient and prestigious universities. Even though the university was founded in 1897, it only began accepting international students in 1979. Since then, more than 30,000 foreign students have walked the university halls and learned Chinese culture within the institution.

Various top English-taught programs are being offered at Zhejiang University in China. These include MBBS, Dual Degree, Engineering, and Global Communication and Management programs. Students who enroll in English-taught programs need not prove Chinese fluency but might have to submit proof of English proficiency.

Meanwhile, master’s students may choose from these English-taught programs: civil engineering, chemical engineering, intelligent manufacturing and control engineering, mechanical engineering, mathematics, physics, and applied statistics. Doctoral students also have their selection of postgraduate programs such as Chinese law, botany, zoology, electrical engineering, food science, and many others.


We hope that this article on Best English-taught Universities in China was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more information about studying abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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