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Xiamen University: Application Guidelines for the 2019 Doctoral Programs for International Students

xmu.edu.cn| Updated: May 6, 2019

Xiamen University (XMU), established in 1921 by renowned patriotic overseas Chinese leader Mr. Tan Kah Kee, is a comprehensive institution of higher education  directly affiliated with China's Ministry of Education. In 2017, XMU was categorized as type A university by China's Double First-Class Initiative. The University was placed among the world's top 400 institutions in various authoritative world university rankings, such as THE, QS, US News and ARWU.

Currently, the University has a total enrollment of approximately  40,000 students, including 20,045 in bachelor's programs and 19,819 in master's and doctoral programs. Close to 1,500 international students are enrolled in  degree programs at XMU. Students enjoy a world-class intellectual environment on a campus nestled snugly between the hills and the sea and known for its top-notch faculty and first-class facilities. They form a vibrant and essential part of the XMU community. 

Over the years, XMU has forged partnerships with more than 300 higher-learning institutions in the U.K., the U.S., Japan, France, Russia and engaged in substantive cooperation with 50 of the world's top 200 universities. Moreover, the University operates 16 Confucius Institutes in 13 countries and regions. In February 2016, Xiamen University Malaysia (XMUM) welcomed its first cohort of students. As one of the nation's leading institutions of higher education, XMU is committed to developing the intellectual and personal strengths of its students.

I. Eligibility

1. Applicants must be non-Chinese citizens generally under the age of 50 (as of September 1, 2019), be in good health, and possess a valid regular passport.

Note: Foreign citizens of Chinese origin (including former Chinese citizens who have obtained  foreign citizenships, as well as the non-Chinese descendants of present or former Chinese citizens) only after being officially recognized by the Division of Exit and Entry Administration of Public Security Bureau as foreign citizens, can they apply for Residence Permit in China and register their academic records as international students. Please refer to the Instructions for Citizenship Certification (click to download) for more information. Those who are not officially recognized as foreign citizens will have their qualification for enrolment revoked.

2. Applicants should hold a master's degree or above.

II.  Application Timeline: February 1 - June  1, 2019. Late applications will not be considered.   

III.  Application Procedures

Applicants should apply online and pay the application fee at http://application.xmu.edu.cn.

Applicants are expected to keep their phones on and check their  online application account and email regularly as XMU's Admissions Office will  contact them when necessary.


IV. Application Documents

Applicants must provide true and correct information in all application documents:

1. Application Form for International Students, which  should be completed in Chinese or English and will be automatically generated after successful online application.

2. Bachelor's and Master's degree certificates, bearing the stamp of the University.

(1) Graduating students of master's programs should provide both their formal bachelor's degree certificate and a Certificate of Expected Graduation for master's degree program. Those who have provided this certificate should submit a notarized copy of their formal master's degree certificate to the XMU's Admissions Office before September 1, 2019. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of enrollment.

(2) Master's degree holders submit both their formal bachelor's and master's degree certificates.

3. Academic transcripts for both bachelor's and master's degree studies, bearing the stamp of the University.

(1) Graduating students of master's programs should provide a complete set of academic transcripts for their bachelor's degree studies, as well as academic transcripts for each year of master's degree studies to date.

(2) Master's degree holders should submit a complete set of academic transcripts for both their bachelor's and master's degree studies.

4. Study or research plan.

(1) The Plan should be no less than 1,000 words, written in Chinese when applying for Chinese-medium programs and written in English when applying for English-medium programs.

(2) When applicants intend to apply for two programs, they should present separate study or research plans, with one for each program.

(3) Applicants for  entry to the School of Economics, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics or Gregory and Paula Chow Center for Economics Research should complete the attached form (click to download).

5. Two Letters of Recommendation signed by professors or associate professors, written in Chinese or English. 

6. Language proficiency certificate.

(1) Chinese proficiency requirements for Chinese-medium programs

Applicants for programs in the humanities, economics, management, law, arts and traditional Chinese medicine need to have a Chinese proficiency  certificate of new HSK band 5 with a score of 210 or above; applicants for programs in sciences, engineering and medicine should have a certificate of new HSK band 4 with a score of 210 or above. Applicants who have taken all courses in Chinese during their previous degree studies are exempt from the HSK certificate requirement, but a medium-of-instruction certificate from the University should be furnished.

(2) English proficiency requirements for English-medium programs

Applicants should present a TOEFL iBT certificate with a score of 80 or above, or an IELTS certificate with an overall score of 6.0 or above. XMU's DI Code for TOEFL is C310. Applicants who have taken all courses in English during their previous degree studies are exempt from this requirement, but a medium-of-instruction certificate from the university should be furnished. Native English speakers are exempt from this requirement.

7. Scanned copy of valid regular passport. The passport should be valid through October 31, 2019.

(1) Residents of Mainland China before their emigration should submit a copy of their Residence Cancellation Certificate and Certificate of Naturalization;  residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan should submit a copy of their old identification certificateand Certificate of Naturalization.

(2) To avoid delays in their registration and application for the Residence Permit in China, foreign citizens of Chinese origin (including former Chinese citizens who have obtained foreign citizenships, as well as the non-Chinese descendants of present  or former Chinese citizens) are strongly advised to put together the required documents according to the Instructions for Citizenship Certification (click to download) before their arrival in China.

8. CV, completed in Chinese or English.

9. Foreigner Physical Examination Form (click to download) completed in Chinese or English, bearing the stamp of the hospital.  

10. Financial  Support Guarantee Statement (click to download) and its supporting documents completed in Chinese or English, certifying that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover his or her tuition, accommodation, living expenses and international travels during his or her study in China. Only applicant himself/herself or his/her relative can act as financial sponsor. The Statement  should be accompanied by a copy of the financial sponsor's valid passport or identification certificate. Applicants for scholarships are not exempt from this requirement.

11. Applicants for entry into the School of Architecture and Civil Engineering should possess drawing skills and are required to present sample artistic works.  

Other supporting documents including abstracts of published papers, merit certificates and internship certificates may be submitted in the "Supporting Materials" section in online application as well.


(1) All the application materials in languages other than Chinese or English must be accompanied by the original copy and its notarized translation in Chinese or English. It is advised to have the original copy and its translation notarized at the Chinese Embassy in the applicant's home country. Please stamp on the edges of all sheets with part of the impression on each sheet when the document consists of more than one page.

(2) Applicants are expected to submit a complete set of application materials and will be held accountable for the authenticity of their documents. Incomplete or forged materials will be rejected.

(3) In general, there is no need to mail original hard-copy materials through courier service. However, under extraordinary circumstances, the University reserves the  rights to require applicants to mail original hard-copy documents for further review and identification. No application materials will be returned, regardless of the outcome of the application.

V. Academic Programs

1. Chinese-medium Programs

Please check the list at https://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/16887/list.htm.

2. English-medium Programs

XMU has a team of high-caliber professors, many of whom hold doctorates from overseas universities. They are able to instruct international students in English. Currently XMU offers over 40 doctoral programs at 20 schools or institutes in English. 

For more information, please refer to http://bcms.cndy.org/Main.do

VI. Acceptance and Notification

Xiamen University considers applications in accordance with international practices. International students should submit their application documents for verification of qualification. Application documents will be forwarded to the relevant college or school for academic review. Admission decisions will be made on the basis of the applicants' academic record, language proficiency, overall merits, research output and their prospective advisor's comments. Applicants who are required to attend interviews or take tests will be informed in advance. A list of admitted students will be submitted to the university authorities for final approval.

In most cases, the University will publish the outcome of application on the application system of the Admissions Office two months after receiving a complete set of  documents. Admission Notices and Student Visa Application Forms for successful applicants will be sent out in batches starting in July 2019. Applicants can log into the online application system to view the result of their application and delivery information of the admission package.

VII. Length of program, duration of study and conferral of degree

1. Length of program: 4 years.

2. Duration of study: A maximum of 8 years.

Doctoral candidates can apply for early graduation when they meet the requirements.

3. Conferral of degree

Students will be conferred a doctoral degree and a graduation certificate after they have fulfilled the credit requirement, completed their dissertation and successfully defended the dissertation within the prescribed time frame.

VIII. Application Fee: RMB 400 (payable upon signing up online; non-refundable)

IX. Tuition Fee (excluding cost of course materials)

1. Chinese-medium programs

(1)  Humanities: RMB 30,000 per year, RMB 90,000 in total.

(2)  Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Economics, Management, Law and Arts: RMB 34,000 per year, RMB 102,000 in total.

2. English-medium programs

(1) Humanities: RMB 42,000 per year, RMB 126,000 in total;

(2) Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Economics, Management, Law and Arts: RMB 55,000  per year, RMB 165,000 in total.


(1)  Despite the fact that the length of doctoral programs has been extended to 4 years, doctoral students only pay tuition for a total of 3 years, not 4 years. 

(2)  Tuition fees are subject to change without prior notice upon approval by price regulators.

X. Living Expenses

1. Accommodation Fee (utility charges not included)

(1) The  international student apartments on Siming and Xiang'an campuses are equipped  with a comprehensive range of amenities, with all rooms complete with a private bathroom, an air conditioner, internet access points, a shared washing machine,  etc.

The Siming Campus offer single or double rooms, with daily accommodation fees per  bed ranging from RMB 25 to RMB 100. Students on the Xiang'an Campus will be  accommodated in suites, each of which comprises four double-rooms. The accommodation fee is RMB 2,000-4,000 per person per academic year. Newly admitted students can apply to the XMU's Student Dormitory Administration Office for on-campus accommodation. Detailed information will be available in the  Enrolment Instruction for New Students 2019.

Telephone No. of Student Dormitory Administration Office:

① Siming Campus: +86  (0)592 2180501

② Xiang'an Campus: +86  (0)592 2886252

(2)Due to the limited availability of dormitories on the Siming campus, priority will be given to students who are recipients of full scholarships or scholarships that cover on-campus accommodation on the Siming Campus.

(3)Recipients of Chinese Government Scholarships that cover on-campus accommodation fee, if the give up free on-campus accommodation and choose to live off campus, can apply for accommodation subsidy. Please refer to the updated notice of the year. For enquiries, please contact the Overseas Students Affairs Office on+86 (0)592 2183606 or at osao@xmu.edu.cn.   

(4) Off-Siming campus accommodation:

Students who fail to secure on-campus accommodation are expected to arrange for their off-campus accommodation on their own before their  arrival. The monthly rental of apartments near the Siming campus is around RMB 2,300 per room. 

2. Food Cost: Around  RMB 600-800 per month.

3.  Student Insurance: RMB  600-800 per year.

XI.  Scholarships

Detailed  information is available in the "Scholarships"section at http://admissions.xmu.edu.cn.  

1. Chinese Government Scholarships (Agency No. of XMU: 10384):

The Chinese government provides full or partial scholarships to international  students. Full scholarships cover tuition, accommodation, monthly living  allowance and comprehensive medical insurance costs. Partial scholarships cover one or several items covered by full scholarships.

(1) University Postgraduate Program (full scholarship): International applicants for programs toward a master's degree or a doctoral degree can apply directly to XMU's Admissions Office. Application period: February to March.

(2) Silk Road Program (full scholarship): As one of the higher education institutions on the Silk Road Program, XMU is committed to nurturing leaders and talents in specific fields for countries along the Belt and Road. Applicants can apply directly to XMU's Admissions Office. Application  period: February to March.

(3) Sino-U.S. Cultural Exchange Scholarship (full scholarship): U.S. students who wish to pursue their bachelor's or postgraduate degree education can apply  directly to XMU's Admissions Office. Application period: February 1 to April 15.

(4) Marine Scholarship (full scholarship): The scholarship is to support outstanding students from coastal/island countries in China's South Sea, the Pacific and Indian Oceans or developing African countries to study in China for a master's or doctoral degree in oceanography or other related fields. Applicants who are engaged in fields related to oceanography will be given preference. Applications can be submitted directly to XMU's Admissions Office. Application period: February 1 to April 15.

(5) Bilateral Program (full or partial scholarship): Candidates of all categories can apply for this scholarship. They can apply through the educational affairs office of the Chinese embassy or consulate in their country. Applicants may refer to the above authorities for application deadlines.

For  details on how candidates of the Bilateral Program obtain a pre-admission letter, please see http://admissions.xmu.edu.cn/16883/list.htm.

(6) MOFCOM Scholarship (full scholarship): The scholarship mainly sponsors talents from recipient countries to pursue their  postgraduate degree education in China. Applicants can apply through the  Economic and Commercial Counselor's Office (ECCO) of the Chinese Embassy in their country between January and April each year.

For more information, please visit the website of XMU's Admissions Office http://admissions.xmu.edu.cn and the CSC website at http://www.campuschina.org.   

2. Confucius China Studies Plan (full scholarship)

The fellowships consist of two subprograms, namely, the"Joint Research Ph.D. Fellowship" and "Ph.D. in China Fellowship". They are currently the most valuable fellowship  programs that are available to international students in China. Financial support is mainly is provided through the support of specific research and other projects in the designated academic areas of Humanities and Social Sciences. Applicants need to submit their applications directly at http://ccsp.chinese.cnand choose Xiamen University as the host university. Application period: through February each year.

3. Fujian Provincial Government Scholarships for International Students (partial scholarship)

The Fujian Provincial Government set up this scholarship in 2012 for international students  studying in Fujian in a bachelor's, master's or doctoral program. The scholarship will cover tuition and accommodation only for one academic year. The University will select the best candidates from the pool of students who have passed the annual review. The shortlisted students will be recommended to apply for the scholarship again. Application  period: February to May.

4. Tan Kah Kee Scholarships (full scholarship)

The Tan Kah Kee Scholarships were set up by Xiamen Tan Kah Kee Education Foundation in 2017 as part of its efforts to foster the Tan Kah Kee spirit in entrepreneurship and  dedication to education. The Scholarships are open to international students of Chinese descent from countries along the Maritime Silk Road who wish to study degree programs in Xiamen. The scholarships are full scholarships, covering the recipients' tuition, accommodation, monthly living allowance and insurance expenses. Application  period: February to May. 

5. Xiamen University Scholarship for New International Students (partial scholarship)

XMU itself offers scholarships to doctoral, master's and undergraduate candidates. Scholarship recipients will have their tuitions covered (a maximum of 4 or 5  years for bachelor's degree programs, 2 or 3 years for master's degree programs, 4 years for doctoral degree programs). Moreover, XMU provides monthly living allowances for outstanding master's or doctoral candidates in accordance with  the standards of Chinese Government Scholarships. Application period: February to April.

A comprehensive review will be conducted on applicant's academic record, language proficiency, overall merits, research achievements and their prospective supervisor's comments. In line with XMU's Guidelines on Selecting Candidates for International Students Scholarships, the University will follow the principle of formality, equality and impartiality and select the best candidates from the pool of qualified and admitted students. The shortlisted candidates will be submitted to the university authorities and the relevant scholarship management institutions for final approval.   

The academic performance of scholarship recipients will be assessed on an annual basis and only those meeting the required standards will have their scholarship renewed for the subsequent year. Those who fail in the review may have their scholarship qualification revoked.

XII. Monitoring, complaints and action for misconduct

1.The University is committed to implementing the national admission policies and  regulations and strives to uphold equality and impartiality in the recruitment of international students and the selection of scholarship candidates.  

2. Under the guidance of the University's Student Recruitment Leadership Group,  XMU's international students recruitment is jointly conducted by the XMU Admissions Office and the relevant schools/colleges and is subject to the  monitoring of the XMU Supervision Division. The Supervision Division can be  reached on +86 (0)592 2180299.

3. The University will release its application guidelines prior to each year's application period  and inform the applicants of the outcome of application for entry and/or scholarships. Lists  of scholarship recipients will be disclosed for public comments before being finalized.

4. Applicants should be held accountable for the authenticity of the information and documents they have submitted to the University. Any falsification, misrepresentation or omission will be subject to disciplinary and/or legal action in accordance with the regulations of the University and educational authorities.

XIII.  Contact information

1. XMU Admissions Office (International Students Recruitment)

Tel:  +86 (0)592 2184792/2188375   Fax: +86 (0) 592 2180256

Email:  admissions@xmu.edu.cn      Website: http://admissions.xmu.edu.cn

2. XMU Overseas Students Affairs Office (International Students Registration and Management)

Tel: +86 (0)592  2183606           Fax:  +86 (0) 592 2183663 

Email:  osao@xmu.edu.cn             Website: http://xsc.xmu.edu.cn

3. HSK Test – Xiamen University Test Centre

Tel:  +86 (0)592 2187478             Fax: +86 (0) 592 2093346

Website:  http://www.hanban.edu.cn/tests

★ The  English version of these Guidelines is provided for reference and as a general guide ONLY. In case of discrepancy between the English and Chinese versions, the Chinese version shall prevail. These Guidelines may not be reproduced without authorization.