Doctoral students

Application Guidelines for the 2018 Doctoral Programs

Date: 2018-03-04 Views:5684

Application Guidelines for the 2018 Doctoral Programs

Xiamen University (XMU), established in 1921 by renowned patriotic overseas Chinese leader Mr. Tan Kah Kee, is the first Chinese university founded by an overseas Chinese. The University is a comprehensive institution of higher education directly affiliated with China’s Ministry of Education, and it has recently been chosen for inclusion in the Chinese Government’s Program of Building World-Class Universities and World-Class Disciplines. 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 19,782 in bachelor’s programs and 19,619 in master’s and doctoral programs. Close to 3,500 international students from over 130 countries and regions are studying at XMU. They 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, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan and engaged in substantive cooperation with 50 of the world’s top 200 universities. Moreover, the University has operated 16 Confucius Institutes and 44 Confucius Classroom 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. We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the University.

1.  Eligibility

(1) Applicants must be non-Chinese citizens under the age of 50 at the time of applying, be in good health, and possess a valid passport.

Note: For foreign citizens of Chinese origin, only after being officially recognized by the Exit and Entry Administration Bureau as foreign citizens can they make registration and apply for a Residence Permit in China. Please refer to the Instructions on Citizenship Certification for more information.

(2) Applicants should hold a master's degree.

2.  Application time: February 1 - June 1, 2018

3.  Application procedures

(1) Online applicationApplicants should first make online application at

Note: Online application is mandatory. Paper-based applications with no online signing-up will not be considered.

(2) Submission of application documents

Applicants should mail the application form generated automatically upon successful online application and other required application documents to XMU’s Admissions Office and hard copies should reach the Office by June 1, 2018. When mailing application documents from Chinese mainland, EMS mailing service is highly recommended as to ensure timely and efficient delivery of your package. (Postal address: Admissions Office of Xiamen University, Fujian Province, China 361005; Tel: +86-0592-2184792)

Note: Late applications will not be considered. Applicants are expected to keep their phones on and check their email and online application system account regularly as XMU’s Admissions Office will contact them when necessary.

★ Application procedures

4.  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 then printed out after successful online application.

(2) Master's and Bachelor’s degree certificate (notarized copy in English or Chinese). Applicants who are currently studying at university should provide a master’s study certificate and a Bachelor’s degree certificate. Certificates in languages other than Chinese or English must be accompanied by notarized translations in Chinese or English.

Note: Applicants who have provided a study certificate should submit a notarized copy of their master’s degree to the XMU's Admissions Office before the specified registration date (Mid-September 2018); failure to do so will result in disqualification of enrollment.

(3) Academic transcripts relating to master's and bachelor’s study. Transcripts in languages other than Chinese or English must be accompanied by notarized translation in Chinese or English.

(4) Study or research plan (minimum 1,000 words) in Chinese or English.

Note 1: When applicants intend to apply for more than one program, study plans tailored to each program should be submitted all at once.

Note 2: Applicants for entry to the School of Economics or the Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics should fill in the attached form. Please click here to download.

(5) Two Letters of Recommendation signed by professors or associate professors, completed in Chinese or English. 

(6) A photocopy of Chinese (HSK) or English Proficiency Certificate or medium-of-instruction certificate.

(7) A photocopy of your valid personal passport with a minimum of one year before its expiration.  

Note: Among foreign citizens of Chinese origin, those who were residents of Chinese mainland before their emigration should submit a scan copy of their Residence Cancellation Certificate and Certificate of Naturalization; those who were residents of Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan should submit a photocopy of their old identification certificate. 

(8) CV.

(9) A photocopy of Foreigner Physical Examination Form (click to download)completed in Chinese or English. (The original is to be retained by the applicant.)

(10) A Statement of Financial Support (click to download)certifying that the applicant has sufficient funds to cover his or her tuition, accommodation and living expenses. It should be accompanied by an employment certificate or income certificate and a photocopy of the financial sponsor’s valid passport. Applicants for scholarships are not exempt from this requirement.

(11) If applicants have published papers, the abstracts should be submitted in online application and enclosed during submission of their hard-copy documents.

Note: Applicants are expected to submit a complete set of application materials via the online application system, arrange them in the above mentioned sequence and mail them to the Admissions Office. Applicants will be held responsible for the authenticity of their document. Incomplete or forged application materials will be rejected. No application materials will be returned, regardless of the outcome of the application.

5.  Academic programs

(1) Chinese-medium doctoral programs

Most doctoral programmes at XMU are taught in Chinese. Detailed information about the academic programmes is available at

★Chinese proficiency requirements

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. Students who have taken courses mostly in Chinese during their master’s degree studies are exempt from the HSK certificate requirement, provided that they can produce proof of language of instruction used in their master’s degree studies.

Note: For those whose Chinese proficiency level have not met the above requirements and wish to take remedial Chinese courses before their major studies, they are expected to have obtained the new HSK certificate of band 4 for programs in the humanities, economics, management, law, arts and traditional Chinese medicine, or band 3 for programs in sciences, engineering and medicine.

(2) English-medium doctoral programs

XMU has a team of highly qualified professors, many of whom have obtained doctorates from overseas universities. They are able to instruct international students in English. Currently XMU offers over 40 doctoral programs in English.  

Colleges (Click to visit its website)


College of Humanities

Chinese History, Anthropology

School of Economics

Western Economics

Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics

Finance, Quantitative Economics

School of Management

Technical Economics and Management (Specialty: Energy Management and Policy), Management Science and Engineering ( Note: If the number of admitted students in this program is less than five, the University will advise applicants to change their program choice.)

Institute for Financial and Accounting Studies

Accounting, Finance

School of Law

International Law

South China Sea Institute

Law of the Sea

Intellectual Property Research Institute

Intellectual Property Law

College of Foreign Languages and Cultures

English Language and Literature,Foreign Linguistics & Applied Linguistics

College of Physical Science and Technology

Condensed Matter Physics

School of Aerospace Engineering

Mechatronic Engineering

School of Mathematical Sciences

Computational Mathematics

College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

Analytical Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Inorganic Chemistry, Organic Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry and Physics, Chemical Biology, Energy Chemistry, Chemical Engineering

School of Information Science and Technology

Computer Science and Technology,  Communication and Information System,  Signal and Information Processing

College of Electronic Science and Technology

Electronic Science and Technology

School of Life Sciences

Zoology, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Hydrobiology, Cell Biology, Genetics

College of the Environment and Ecology

Environmental Science, Environmental Management, Environmental Engineering, Ecology

Coastal and Ocean Management Institute

Marine Affairs

School of International Relations/Research School for Southeast Asian Studies

World Economy, World History

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chemical Biology

Institute of Education

Higher Education


1. If the number of students admitted to the Doctor of Management Science and Technology offered by the School of Management is less than five, the University will advise applicants to change their program choice.

★English proficiency requirements:

Applicants should present a TOEFL certificate with a score of 80 or above, or an IELTS certificate with a score of 6.0 or above, or other certificate of English proficiency from an accredited test. Native English speakers and applicants who took courses mostly in English during their master’s degree studies are exempt from this requirement, but a medium-of-instruction certificate should be furnished.

6.  Acceptance

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 performance, 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 admission on the application system of the Admissions Office two months after receiving a complete set of documents. Admitted students’ Admission Notice and Student Visa Application Form will be sent out in batches starting in June 2018. Applicants can log into the online application system to view the result of their application and delivery information of the admission package.

7.  Length of programme, duration of study and conferral of degree

Length of doctoral programmes: 4 years;

Duration of study: 4-8 years; Doctoral candidates can apply for early graduation when they meet the requirements.

Conferral of degree: Students will be conferred a doctoral degree and awarded graduation certificate after they have fulfilled the credit point requirement, completed their graduation thesis and successfully defended their thesis within the prescribed time frame.

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

9.  Tuition per academic year in RMB (excluding cost of course materials)

▲ Chinese-medium doctoral programs
Humanities: RMB 30,000 per year, RMB 90,000 in total.
Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Economics, Management, Law and Arts: RMB 34,000 per year, RMB 102,000 in total.

▲ English-medium doctoral programs
Humanities: RMB 42,000 per year, RMB 126,000 in total;
Sciences, Engineering, Medicine, Economics, Management, Law and Arts: RMB 55,000 per year, RMB 165,000 in total.


①Despite the fact that the length of doctoral programs has been extended to four years, doctoral students only pay tuition for a total of three years, not four years. 
②Tuition fees are subject to change without prior notice upon approval by price regulators.

10.  Living expenses

(1) Accommodation fee (utility charges not included)

Siming Campus:The overseas student apartment buildings on the Siming Campus are set in picturesque surroundings and enjoy a view of the sea and fresh air. Newly admitted students on Siming campus should apply online for on-campus accommodation. Detailed information about on-campus accommodation application will be available in the Enrolment Instruction for New Students 2018.

Off- Siming-campus accommodation: Students who fail to secure on-campus accommodation are expected to make arrangements for their off-campus accommodation on their own before their arrival. Living off-campus provides greater opportunities to interact with the locals and to learn about the local community and culture. Students can choose to rent off-campus apartments and the monthly rental is around RMB 2,000 per room.

Xiang’an Campus: Students of the School of Life Sciences, Medical School, School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, School of Public Health, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, College of Environment and Ecology, Coastal and Ocean Management Institute, College of Energy, School of Aerospace Engineering and Overseas Education College are accommodated on Xiang’an campus. The student apartments are equipped with a comprehensive range of amenities, with all rooms containing a private bathroom, a telephone, an air conditioner, Internet access points, a water heater, a safe, etc. Dormitories for international students are double rooms with the accommodation fee of RMB 2,400-4,000 per person per year.

(2) Living expenses: Around RMB 750 per month.

(3) Student insurance: RMB 600 per year.

11. Scholarships

 Chinese Government Scholarships:

The Chinese government provides full or partial scholarships to international students. Full scholarships cover tuition, accommodation, monthly living allowance, healthcare and 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 between February 1 to April 10th 2018.

2. Sino-US Cultural Exchange Scholarship (full scholarship): American students who wish to pursue their bachelor's or postgraduate degree education can apply directly to XMU’s Admissions Office between February 1 and April 15 each year.

3. Chinese Government 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 mater'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 time: February 1 to April 15 each year.

4. Chinese Government Scholarships -Bilateral Program (full or partial scholarships): Candidates of all categories can apply for this scholarship. They can apply through the educational office of Chinese embassy or consulate in their country between January and April each year. 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:

5. MOFCOM Scholarship (full scholarships): 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.

Xiamen University Institutional Code: 10384For more information, please visit the website of XMU's Admissions Office and the CSC website at

 Confucius China Studies Plan- Ph.D. Fellowships (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 and choose Xiamen University as the host university. Application time: through Feb. each year.

 Fujian Provincial Government Scholarships for International Students (partial scholarship)

To promote international exchange and cooperation between Fujian Province and the rest of the world, Fujian Provincial Government has set up this scholarship in 2012 to finance international students’ studies in Fujian in an undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program. The scholarship will cover tuition and accommodation fee only for one academic year. Applicants can apply directly to XMU’s Admissions Office. Application time: February 1 to May 10 each year.

 Tan Kah Kee Scholarships (full scholarship)

The Tan Kah Kee Scholarships have been set up by Xiamen Tan Kah Kee Education Foundation in 2018 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 in a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree program in Xiamen. The scholarships are full scholarship, covering the recipients’ tuition, accommodation and insurance expenses, and living allowances. Application time: February to May. Please refer to the specific guidelines for more information.

Xiamen University Scholarship for New International Students (partial scholarship)

XMU offers scholarships to doctoral, master’s and undergraduate candidates. Scholarship awardees will have their tuition covered (a maximum of 4 years for doctoral programmes, 2 or 3 years for master's programmes, 4 or 5 years for undergraduate programmes). Moreover, XMU provides monthly living allowances for outstanding master’s or doctoral candidates in accordance with the standards of Chinese Government Scholarships. Application time: February to April 30 each year.

Notes: ①Details on scholarships are available at:

②The awardees' academic performance will be assessed each year and only those meeting the required standard will have their scholarship renewed for the following year.

12.  Contact information

★ XMU Admissions Office (International Students Recruitment)
Tel: +86 (0) 592 2184792, 2188375        Fax: +86 (0) 592 2180256
Email:            Website:
Address: Admissions Office of Xiamen University, Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian Province, P. R. China 361005

★ XMU Overseas Students Affairs Office (International Students Registration and Management)

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

★ HSK Test –Xiamen University Test Centre
Tel: +86 (0) 592 2187478         Fax: +86 (0) 592 2093346

For more information on the HSK test, please visit 

* In case of the discrepancy in English and Chinese, the English version of application guidelines is provided for reference and general guide ONLY. All information is subject to XMU official documents written in Chinese to the contrary.