International MA Program in Chinese Philosophy, Beijing Normal University

International MA Program in Chinese Philosophy: School of Philosophy, Beijing Normal University

The School of Philosophy at Beijing Normal University, one of China’s premier institutes of higher education, offers a two-year Master’s Degree in Chinese Philosophy.

The program offers a comprehensive range of courses in the major traditions of Chinese philosophy, including Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism, as well as an inclusive range of courses in the Chinese philosophies of history, ethics, and politics. Courses emphasize comparative and international perspectives while engaging with the Western and other great traditions of world philosophy.

The program is conducted in English and is offered to students who intend to go on to pursue Ph.D. or other graduate-level international and professional studies in philosophy, comparative philosophy, or Chinese philosophy, as well as in international law, international political studies, and international cultural studies. It is also offered to students who intend to enter the professional work force at any international level with relevance to China.

The International MA Program is fully accredited by Beijing Normal University and the Chinese Ministry of Education.

The program is now accepting applications for admission beginning in Fall 2018.

Aims of the Program

  • To provide English-speaking students from all parts of the world the opportunity to develop a deep understanding of the rich traditions of Chinese philosophy nurtured over the last three thousand years.
  • To direct a rigorous graduate-level academic program in which students develop a solid foundation for pursuing in-depth topics in Chinese philosophy.
  • To encourage personal growth through a close engagement with Chinese philosophy from comparative perspectives.
  • To enhance international philosophical and cultural exchange between China and other nations.

Distinguished Faculty

  • The Core Faculty of the International MA Program includes internationally acclaimed Chinese and Western scholars with the highest levels of academic training.
  • Each year the program invites world-renowned scholars to serve as International Guest Faculty.
  • The program is run in cooperation with the University of California, Berkeley.
  • The School of Philosophy publishes with Brill the only English-language academic journal of philosophy from China with world circulation, Frontiers of Philosophy in China.

Rich Tradition in International Education

  • Students from the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Italy, Malta, Poland, Japan, Korea, Thailand, Malaysia, Nepal, and Mongolia have taken advantage of the School’s unique international standing and academic expertise to pursue higher education in Chinese philosophy.
  • Each year, the School sponsors more than 60 eminent philosophers to deliver lectures in their specialized fields.
  • Since 2015, the School has successfully conducted its Philosophy Summer School to enable young scholars around the world to gain a better understanding of traditional Chinese culture and philosophy.
  • Students of the International MA Program are welcome to attend these sponsored lectures as well as the Philosophy Summer School.

Course Details and Assessment

  • During the first three semesters, students must complete 32 credits of course-work, including the required eight core courses (3 credits each) in addition to electives. With the permission of the program director, students may also take courses offered by other departments at BNU to be counted as elective course credits.
  • By the end of the fourth semester, students are required to submit a master’s thesis. This requirement offers students the opportunity to conduct independent research in a field of Chinese philosophy of their own interest, and it intends to cap the academic experience of studying Chinese philosophy in China.

Course List

Type Course Name
Intro Chinese History and Culture
Core History of Chinese Philosophy I: Pre-Qin to Tang
Core History of Chinese Philosophy II: Song to 20th Century
Core Methodological Issues in the Study of Chinese Philosophy
Core Early Confucianism
Core Early Daoism
Core Neo-Confucianism
Core Modern Chinese Philosophy
Core Comparative Studies with Chinese Philosophy
Elective Seminar of Special Topics on Chinese Philosophy
Elective Selected Topics in Confucian philosophy
Elective Selected Topics in Daoist Philosophy
Elective Selected Topics in Chinese Buddhism
Elective Chinese Political Philosophy
Elective Chinese Philosophy of History
Elective Chinese Ethics

Core Faculty:

  • Chen Xia, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences
  • Cheng Lesong, People’s University of China
  • Jiang Limei, Beijing Normal University
  • Li Shaomeng, Beijing Normal University
  • Liu Xiaogan, Beijing Normal University
  • Thomas Michael, Beijing Normal University
  • Yao Xinzhong, People’s University of China
  • Wen Haiming, People’s University of China

International Guest Faculty 2018-2019:

  • Mark Csikszentmihalyi, University of California, Berkeley
  • Torbjorn Loden, Stockholm University
  • Richard Lynn, University of Toronto
  • Dirk Meyer, University of Oxford

Admission Requirements

  1. Students seeking admission to the MA program must have earned a BA from an accredited university in any relevant discipline or are expecting to receive one before entering the program. Previous study in Chinese philosophy is recommended but not required.
  2. Students must possess high proficiency in English. All non-native English speakers must certify that they have passed a recognized English-language proficiency test, preferably TOEFL (86) or IELTS (6/5.5) from locations where it is offered, although this may vary depending on the students’ home country and particular backgrounds.

Application Procedure

Tuition and Scholarship Opportunities

  • RMB 60,000 (inclusive for the 2-year program).
  • Students are encouraged to apply for various scholarships; please refer to:
  • Students may apply for more than one scholarship. Note that in most cases scholarship applications are due before the program application deadline:
    • Deadline for 2018 Chinese Government Scholarship: March 15, 2018.
    • Deadline for 2018 Beijing Government Scholarship for International Students: April 30, 2018.
    • Deadline for BNU Scholarship for New International Students: April 30, 2018.


International Students Office


Tel. +86(10) 58800307

School of Philosophy


Tel: +86 (10) 58801006

For more information about the School of Philosophy at Beijing Normal University, please (in Chinese).

3 replies on “International MA Program in Chinese Philosophy, Beijing Normal University”

  1. Hello, I am interested in applying for the summer school. I seem to have been having difficulty getting an email through however. I am wondering if you could confirm for me if an application has been received from me.

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