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Fields of Study: Social Science, Engineering

The spring program at Tsinghua University offers coursework taught in English primarily in the fields of engineering, economics and business, or courses taught in Chinese in a variety of additional disciplines.

Unique study opportunities

  • Explore information science, electrical engineering, economics, or management in English.
  • Gain new perspective on your major interests.
  • Develop relationships with notable faculty in your field.
  • Intern in marketing, business, finance, IT or other fields with a company in Beijing.


Language of Instruction: English, Chinese

Chinese Language Study: Optional

Chinese language study is available, but is not a focus of this program.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Minimum of 18 quarter/12 semester UC units; 21 to 27 UC quarter units recommended. Maximum of 30 quarter/20 semester UC units is allowed. Courses typically range from 3 to 6 quarter/ 2 to 4 semester UC units and students typically take 5 to 7 courses.
  • The Berkeley College of Letters & Science requires 19.5 quarter/13 semester UC quarter units.
  • You may take up to one-third (33%) of your total unit load on a P/NP basis.

Current Program Courses

You will finalize your study plans and register for classes after arrival with assistance from UCEAP.

You may conduct guided research work in Tsinghua laboratories, primarily those associated with the life sciences and electronic engineering departments. 

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Host University vs. UC Courses

You may have to exert effort to adapt to the teaching style and requirements of your classes. Approaches vary by teacher. The most common difference is that students have fewer opportunities for classroom participation; however, this is changing as increasing numbers of the faculty have spent periods of study or research abroad. Teachers generally assume that American students will raise issues; in some cases instructors even require student participation. Be sensitive to the cultural norms of Chinese teaching and the individual attitudes of instructors.

Even if you have a high level of Chinese language ability, expect to have some difficulty understanding Chinese university instructors, some of whom have regional accents, speak rapidly, or use specialized terminology. Approaching this situation as a challenge rather than a frustration will enhance your success in China.

In the language courses, you may find the Chinese teaching methodology different from UC. In some courses, there is more focus on memorizing conversations and reading drills than there is on freestyle speaking and conversations. The majority of the courses are also heavily focused on learning characters.

Exercise self-discipline and initiative, and organize your time and activities to give priority to your academic work. Your academic experience will depend on the interest and diligence you put into it. Be prepared to independently invest time and thought in each class. The course materials are likely to be less structured and less clearly outlined than in UC courses. Week-by-week syllabi with specific reading assignments are rare.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework.  

Although practices vary, regular university courses usually have one midterm exam and one final exam or written report. Frequent, short quizzes are rare. Homework may or may not be graded, but you will be penalized if you miss assignments or submit poor or incomplete homework.

In regular university courses outside the language curriculum, the tests are made up by the instructor. The instructor may permit you to do a term paper in lieu of the final exam or allow a longer period for writing the exam.

Exams in the language curriculum often are made up by staff, not necessarily in close consultation with the teacher. Tests are standardized for each level and may not always cover material exactly as it was provided in class.

Exam dates are not negotiable; they cannot be changed.

Grades for this program are usually received by mid- to late September.