Schwarzman Scholars Program

History and Purpose

Chairman, CEO and Cofounder of Blackstone, Stephen A. Schwarzman founded the Schwarzman Scholars Program in 2014 in order to give the most talented future leaders the power to change the course of history. An active philanthropist, Mr. Schwarzman has personally donated $100 million to this effort and is leading a campaign to raise $250 million more to fully endow the program—the single largest charitable effort in China's history coming from largely international donors. In both business and education, Mr. Schwarzman has dedicated his career to developing transformative solutions to some of the world’s great challenges. His charitable giving has included anchor support for the New York Public Library and sponsoring educational opportunity for talented children. His vision in designing Schwarzman Scholars is to create a growing network of global leaders for the future, and to create change at a global scale.

Description of the Schwarzman Scholars Award

The program includes cultural immersion, leadership training, and graduate study on the campus of the newly built Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.   All Schwarzman Scholars share a core curriculum that serves as an anchor for the rest of their studies and builds connections among them as a cohort. Core courses include: Chinese culture and history; comparative politics and government; critical debates in international relations; leading issues in the global economy; and leadership training. Students will pursue a master’s degree in one of three disciplines: Public Policy; Economics and Business; or International Studies.  Instructors will include some of Tsinghua’s most accomplished faculty and visiting scholars from other leading institutions, as well as entrepreneurs, policy makers and thought leaders from around the world. Students will also be matched with senior mentors in business, academic, and government communities, and may pursue internships. The comprehensive scholarship includes: tuition and fees, room and board; travel to and from Beijing (one round trip); an in-country study tour; required course books and supplies; a Lenovo laptop and smartphone; health insurance; a modest personal stipend.

Eligibility Requirements and Rules for Nomination

Applicants must have/be:

  • Any citizenship (the program aims for a student body of 45% US citizens; 20% from China, and 35% from the rest of the world)
  • At least 18 years old but not yet 28
  • English language proficiency (all courses are taught in English)
  • Undergraduate degree  by the time orientation begins in July; all fields are welcome 
  • Demonstrated excellence in academic studies; competitive candidates will be among the top students in their graduating class; no GPA minimum but at least a 3.7 is recommended for MHC candidates
  • Strong applicants will demonstrate leadership potential, strength of character, ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities, a desire to contribute to other cultures, perspectives, and positions; they will be able to show their potential to not only benefit from but also contribute to the Schwarzman program and alumni network

Nomination: Alumnae may apply at large. Applications for MHC enrolled students must be accompanied by an assessment form completed by the National Fellowships Advisor. There is no limit to the number of applicants per school.

Reapplication: Candidates who have been denied admission to the program in a previous competition may reapply, but should do so only if there has been a significant change in their profile as an applicant.

How to Apply

Interested students should begin by reading each page of the Schwarzman Scholar website to become thoroughly acquainted with the award, and/or attend an information session on campus. They are then invited to request an appointment with the National Fellowships Advisor to discuss their candidacy. The National Fellowships Advisor can provide feedback on essays for the application if they are submitted well in advance of the deadline. Note that there are two different application deadlines, one for those holding passports from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao (deadline is June 15th) and one for all other applicants (deadline is September 15th), but see information about exceptions on website. More than 300 semi-finalists will be invited to in-person regional interviews in Beijing, Bangkok, London, or New York.

Application Components

Completed and submitted online application including the three essays and supplementary components below

  • Uploaded transcripts from every college or university attended (degree or non-degree, full or part-time, undergraduate or graduate)
  • Recommendation letters (for currently enrolled undergraduates): 2 from professors who have taught you in the classroom and can speak to your academic abilities; 2 from someone who can address your leadership abilities (may be employer, supervisor, faculty member, or other); 1 institutional assessment letter (500 words) written by fellowships advisor); letters should be on letterhead and are uploaded to portal
  • Recommendation letters (for alumnae): 1 from a professor who can speak to your academic abilities; 1 from someone who can address your leadership abilities; the remaining two letters can be chosen from the following, depending on what will best reflect your current profile: a letter from an employer or mentor concerning leadership; an academic letter from a professor; an institutional assessment letter (500 words) from a fellowship advisor 
  • Personal statement (750 words); see detailed prompts on Schwarzman website.
  • Current Affairs essay (500 words): choose an issue in contemporary social, international, business, environmental, diplomatic, arts, or other policy that is of interest to you, laying out current factors and trends influencing the topic and make a realistic recommendation of how local, national, or international leaders should intervene to contribute to a more peaceful and prosperous future
  • Leadership essay: (750 words); this essay should focus on how the candidate has explored their abilities to understand challenges and opportunities, envision solutions, take initiative to act, inspire others to join an effort, and push through resistance and/or challenges in reaching results (see extended prompt on Schwarzman website) 
  • Short Answer Question (100 words): opportunity to highlight something about yourself not covered elsewhere in application
  • Current resume/CV (no longer than 2 pages)
  • Video introduction: strongly recommended but not required, can be up to one minute in length; candidates are invited to introduce themselves in any style or setting they think best conveys their interests and personality (file less than 20 MB)

Campus Process and Checklist

Enrolled undergraduates who wish to apply for this award as seniors should contact the National Fellowships Advisor several months prior to the application deadline to discuss their candidacy and the process for applying. They must submit copies of their application materials to the National Fellowships Advisor one month before their deadline, and request that their recommenders also send electronic versions of their letters to the National Fellowships Advisor so that an institutional assessment letter can be prepared. Candidates submit their applications in the online Schwarzman Scholars portal; the fellowships advisor uploads the letter directly to the portal.