Jan 06 2020
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Top 20 Universities in China for International Students in 2020

You’ve heard of the heavy hitters—Qingdao University of Technology, Beijing Language and Culture University, among others—but have you given deep thought to what else is out there beyond the big names in Chinese universities? There are dozens of universities in China offering low cost (even FREE) masters programs abroad for English speakers. Keep shopping amongst the top 20 universities in China to find the right one for YOU and your goals, budget, and timeline.

Top 20 universities in China in 2020

With the help of Times Higher Education, we’ve collected the big names to create a comprehensive China university ranking for 2020. Use a Chinese government scholarship to attend a number of these universities in China for free!

1. Tsinghua University

Tsinghua University is one of the best universities in Beijing for international students.

Good for: Science, Engineering

2. Peking University

Tsinghua and Peking University flip-flop frequently as they vy for the #1 spot as the top university in China for international students.

Good for: Modern Languages, Natural Sciences, Linguistics, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science and Information Systems, Dentistry

3. University of Science and Technology of China

USTC has over 15,000 students and focuses extensively on research output as an institution. It was established in 1958 as the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and thus makes a great fit for our STEM friends reading this.

Good for: Engineering and Technology, Computer Science, Physical Sciences, Life Sciences, Law, Business & Economics

4. Zhejiang University

Zhejiang University, located in picturesque Hangzhou, has been around for more than a century! With around 45,000 undergraduates, you won't be short on classmates and new friends to make (pandas not included).

Good for: Arts and Humanities, Business & Economics, Education, Psychology, Social Sciences

5. Fudan University

Fudan University calls Shanghai home and takes a liberal arts approach to education that will feel familiar to international students in China. Nearly 30,000 students enjoy attending school in China at this private university.

Good for: Clinical, Health, Law, Arts & Humanities, Education, Business & Economics

6. Nanjing University

Nanjing University is located about 200 miles west of Shanghai and boasts 21 schools, one of China's largest libraries, and a membershpi in the C9 League (an elite alliance of nine universities in mainland China).

Good for: Humanities, Social Sciences, Management Natural Sciences, Engineering

7. Shanghai Jiao Tong University

Of course, Shanghai Jiao Tong University made our list of the top 20 universities in China for international students! It is a major research university in Shanghai, renowned as one of the oldest, most prestigious, and selective universities in China.

Good for: Engineering and Technology, Clinical Health

8. Sun Yat-sen University

Sun Yat-Sen University was founded by Dr. Sun Yat-sen in 1924 in mainland China (Guangzhou, Zhuhai, Shenzhen). You might recognize his name as Dr. Sun Yat-sen was a revolutionary and the founding father of the Republic of China. Fun fact: It's host to the world' second fastest supercomputer, Tianhe-2.

Good for: Research, Medicine and Dentistry, Engineering, Life Sciences, Business and Economics, Psychology

9. Beijing Normal University

Beijing Normal University is a public research university located in Beijing, China, with a strong emphasis on basic disciplines of the humanities, sciences, teacher education, and educational science.

Good for: Education, Humanities, Sociology, Chemistry, Biological Sciences

10. Huazhong University of Science and Technology

Join nearly 24,000 other masters candidates to study at HUST, a university that has earned a world class reputation in the short 60 years since its opening. In early 2000s, the university merged with Tongji Medical University, making it a great option if you're seeking medical masters programs abroad in China.

Good for: Medicine, Engineering and Technology, Physical Sciences, Health

11. Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech)

SUSTech is a public research university in Guangdong province, specializing in interdisciplinary research. It is a public university, but is unique in that it is funded by the Shenzhen Municipal Government instead of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China as part of an initiative to experiment with Chinese higher education reform.

Good for: Engineering, Science, Technology, Research, Innovation

12. Nankai University

Head north to Nankai University, one of the top 20 universities in China for international students! Based in Tianjin on the coast of the sea of Bohai, your fellow alumni will include famous names such as the beloved late Premier Zhou Enlai.

Good for: Engineering and Technology, Business and Economics

13. Wuhan University

Wuhan University is a national research university in Hubei province that opened in 1893. Hundreds of years of excellence don't lie—plus, it is regarded by many as one of the most beautiful campuses in China.

Good for: Engineerng and Technology, Health, Social Sciences

14. Central South University

CSU was established in April 2000 on the basis of the amalgamation of three former individual universities (Hunan Medical University (HMU), Changsha Railway University (CRU), and Central South University of Technology (CSUT)). It was formerly under the administration of the Chinese Ministry of Health (dating back to 1914). It offers 282 different master's degrees and 142 doctorate degrees from 31 colleges.

Good for: Literature and Journalism, Foreign Languages, Humanities, Business, Law

15. Harbin Institute of Technology

Harbin Institute of Technology hosts nearly 1500 international students at the eastern terminus of the Silk Road. It focuses heavily on Science and Engineering (they've even designed, built, and launched their own satellites) and is considered one of the best global universities for engineering by US News.

Good for: Technology, Science, Research

16. Hunan University

Hunan University traces its history back to the Yuelu Academy founded in 976 AD during the Song dynasty. Yes—You read that right! It's had over 1000 years to become one of the top 20 universities for international students in China. It's primarily a technology and engineering university and is based in Changsha, the capital of Hunan province.

Good for: Technology, Engineering

17. Tongji University

Fun fact: Tongji University was established in 1907 by the German government and German physicians in Shanghai.

Good for: Engineering, Business, Architecture, Civil Engineering, Economics

18. Beihang University

Together with Tsinghua University, Peking University, and Beijing Institute of Technology, it is widely considered to be one of the top four engineering research universities in Beijing. It is also among China's very first academic institutes with a graduate school.

Good for: Engineering, Technology, Hard Sciences, Aeronautical Engineering, Astronautics, Philosophy, Law

19. East China Normal University

ECNU's original role was to train teachers for secondary and higher education, but very soon housed top-class researchers and evolved into an elite research-intensive university. It has more than 22 schools and is affiliated with NYU Shanghai and the Asia-Europe Business School in Zizhu. Many notable alumni from the institution are authors and writers, inclugin Chen Danyan, Dai Houyung, and Ge Fei.

Good for: Engineering, Technology, Journalism

20. Renmin University of China

Renmin University of China, based in the student-district of Beijing (Haidian), consists of 23 schools and 13 research institutes with nearly 250 specialties for post-graduate students.

Good for: Humanities, Social Sciences, Legal Studies, Economics, Journalism, Business, Public Administration, Law

Study at one of the best universities for international students in China in 2020!

Earning your masters degree shouldn’t be a chore—even when you’re moving halfway across the world to earn it. This list of top universities in China will jumpstart your research to your most exciting life chapter yet.

Take a Tour of Universities in Beijing & Shanghai This Year

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