How to Apply for Doctoral Programs
Source:Admissions Office for International Students | Author:Intellectual Property Research Institute,Xiamen University | Published time: 2021-01-01 | 932 Views | Share:

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 20,277 in bachelor’s degree programs, 16,562 in master’s degree programs and 4,297 in doctoral degree programs, with 1,208 international students in degree programs. 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 240 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 15 Confucius Institutes in 12 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, 2021), 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 (  ) for more information. Those who are not officially recognized as foreign citizens will have their qualification for enrolment revoked.

2. Applicants should hold a masters degree or above.


II. Application Timeline: February 1 – April 27, 2021. Late applications will not be considered. 


III. Application Procedures

Applicants should apply online and pay the application fee at .

Applicants are expected to keep their phones on and check their online application account and email regularly as XMU’s Admissions Office may 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 registration.

2. Bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates or a Certificate of Expected Graduation, bearing the stamp of the university.

(1) Bachelor’s and master’s degree certificates should be certified by the educational authorities of the issuing country, or via the online service system ( operated by the Overseas Education Service Center of China’s Ministry of Education.

(2) Graduating students of master’s degree programs should provide a Certificate of Expected Graduation. They should obtain their master’s degree certificate before their entry to XMU in September 2021.

(3) No certification is required for degree certificates obtained in the Chinese Mainland (excluding Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan).

(4) The originals of the degree certificates and certification documents should be made available for verification upon enrolment at XMU.

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.

(3) The results report of internationally accepted or standardized tests, e.g., GRE/GMAT/LSAT. XMU's DI Code for GRE is 4692.

4. Study or research plan

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.

Applicants for School of Economics, Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics, or Gregory and Paula Chow Center for Economics Research  please refer to【Writing Guidance】SOP.pdf.

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 (academic) 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, 2021.

To avoid bad influences 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 before their arrival in China.

8. CV, completed in Chinese or English.

9. Foreigner Physical Examination Form ( completed in Chinese or English, bearing the stamp of the hospital. Physical examination results are valid for 6 months.

10. Financial Support Guarantee Statement ( 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 the applicant himself/herself or his/her family can act as a 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. Non-criminal record report. The applicant shall submit a valid certificate of Non-Criminal Record issuedby the local public security authority, usually issued within 6 months prior to the submission date of the application.

12Other supporting documents, such as abstracts of published papers, academic activities, merit or 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

For the doctoral programs on offer for 2021 entry (including the contact information of coordinators at schools or colleges), please visit

1. Chinese-medium Programs:

The vast majority of the doctoral programs are taught in Chinese.

2. English-medium Programs

 XMU has a team of high-caliber professors, many of whom hold doctorates from overseas universities and are able to advise doctoral students in English.



Academic Programs

School   of Economics

Western   Economics

Wang   Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics

Finance, Quantitative Economics, Statistics

Gregory   and   Paula Chow Center for Economics Research

Western   Economics, Quantitative Economics

School   of Management

Technology   Economics and Management

School   of Law

International   Law, Law of the Sea

Intellectual Property Research Institute

Intellectual Property Law

College   of Foreign Languages and Cultures

English   Language and Literature, Linguistics and Applied Linguistics in Foreign   Languages

College   of Physical Science and Technology

Condensed   Matter Physics

School   of Aerospace Engineering

Mechatronic   Engineering

School   of Electronic Science and Engineering

Optoelectronic   Engineering, Physical Electronics, Electromagnetic Field and Microwave   Technology, Microelectronics and Solid-state Electronics, Circuit and System

School   of Mathematical Sciences

Computational   Mathematics, Fundamental Mathematics, Applied Mathematics

College   of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

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

School   of Life Sciences

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

College   of the Environment and Ecology

Environmental   Science, Environmental Engineering, Ecology, Environmental Management

Coastal and Ocean Management Institute

Marine   Affairs

College   of Ocean and Earth Sciences

Physical   Oceanography, Marine Biology, Marine Chemistry, Marine Geology, Marine Physics,   Marine Biotechnology

School   of Informatics

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

Research   School for Southeast Asian Studies

World   Economy

Institute   of Education

Higher   Education

School   of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Chemical   Biology

Institute   for Financial and Accounting Studies

Accounting,   Finance


VI. Admission and Selection

1. Verification of qualification

There will be a comprehensive review of the applicant’s foreign identity, highest degree diploma, academic performance, language proficiency, research plan, recommendations and academic activities.

2.  Interview assessment

For those applicants who pass the verification of qualification, the related college or school will take a video interview assessment (via Skype) in mid- to late May, focuses on the students' language communication skills, academic abilities, overall merit, etc. Please refer to related college or school’s phone or email notification for the interview procedure.

The admission decision will be based on the verification of the applicant’s qualification and interview assessment results, as well as their program choices.

The outcome of application will be published on the application system of the Admissions Office in mid-June. Admission Notices and Student Visa Application Forms for successful applicants will be mailed out starting in July 2021. 


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

1. Length of program: 4 years.

2. Maximum duration of study (including suspension and retainment of student status): 8 years

Doctoral students will be permitted to graduate and awarded a graduation certificate by XMU after they have earned all the credits required, completed all mandatory courses prescribed in the academic scheme, passed the graduation (degree) dissertation defense, and satisfied the moral, intellectual and physical requirements for graduation within the duration of study prescribed by XMU. Those who have also satisfied the requirements for degree conferral will be conferred a doctoral degree by XMU.

VIII. Application FeeRMB 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. Study Expenses

1. Accommodation

(1) Doctoral students admitted to the following schools, colleges and institutes will reside on Xiang’an campus: School of Aerospace Engineering, College of Ocean and Earth Sciences, College of the Environment and Ecology, Coastal and Ocean Management Institute, College of Energy, School of Electronic Science and Engineering (National Demonstrative Microelectronics School), School of Life Sciences, School of Medicine, School of Public Health, and School of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Some of the doctoral students of the College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (National Engineering Laboratory for Green Chemical Productions of Alcohols-Ethers-Esters, and Engineering Research Center of Electrochemical Technology, Ministry of Education) and the Pen-Tung Sah Institute of Micro-Nano Science and Technology, as well as doctoral students of Tan Kah Kee Innovation Laboratory, will also reside on Xiang’an campus. Doctoral students of all other schools, colleges and institutes will reside on Siming campus.

(2) International student apartments are available on Siming and Xiang’an campuses. The apartments on Siming campus each have a twin room, while the apartments on Xiang’an campus are in suites, with each suite consisting of four twin rooms. Each room is equipped with beds, desks and chairs, wardrobes, an air conditioner, a water heater, a bathroom (suites have a different bathroom arrangement), and Internet access (for a fee). Communal self-service washers and dryers and other equipment are available.

(3) Due to the limited availability of on-campus accommodation, priority will be given to students who are recipients of scholarships that include subsidies for on-campus accommodation. Any surplus accommodation will be allotted to students who are recipients of scholarships with no subsidies for accommodation and to self-funded students. The accommodation fees range from RMB 30 to RMB 70 per person per day on Siming campus, and from RMB 1,600 to RMB 4,000 per academic year per person on Xiang’an campus. Please refer to the updated notice for the year.  

(4) International students on Siming campus who receive no subsidies for accommodation should apply for on-campus accommodation every academic year, which means that their on-campus accommodation will expire at the end of the current academic year and should reapply for on-campus accommodation for the next academic year. All international students on Xiang’an campus should apply for on-campus accommodation every academic year, which means that their on-campus accommodation will expire at the end of the current academic year and should reapply for on-campus accommodation for the next academic year.

(5) International students with on-campus accommodation are expected to pay for their water and electricity consumption. For rates and charges as well as payment methods, please refer to the Enrollment Instructions for New Students. For enquiries, call +86 (0)592 2180501 (Siming campus), or +86 (0)592 2886252 (Xiang’an campus).

(6) Students who fail to secure on-campus accommodation are expected to arrange for their own off-campus accommodation before their arrival. The monthly rental of an apartment room near the Siming campus is around RMB 2,500. 

(7) Recipients of Chinese Government Scholarships or Confucius Institute Scholarships that cover on-campus accommodation expenses (excluding the Professional Development Program for Chinese Language Teachers in South Asian Countries for MTCSOL) can apply for an accommodation subsidy if they give up free on-campus accommodation and choose to live off campus. Please refer to the updated notice for the year. For enquiries, call + 86 (0)592 2183606.

2. Living Cost: Around RMB 1000-1500 per month.

3. Medical Insurance: For the safety of international students in China, according to the regulations of the Chinese Ministry of Education and Xiamen University, international students are required to purchase medical insurance for an annual fee of RMB 800. Please refer to the enrolment instructions for detailed information of medical insurance.


XI. Scholarships

Detailed information is available in the “Scholarships” section at .

1. Chinese Government Scholarships (Agency No. 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.

In addition to the online application on the XMU Admissions Office (, eligible applicants are also required to log in the application system of the China Scholarship Council (

(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 1 – April 15.

(2) 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 – April 15.

(3) 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 or American countries to study in China for a master's or doctoral degree in oceanography or other related fields. Applicants whose professional career is related to oceanography will be given preference. Applications can be submitted directly to XMU’s Admissions Office. Application period: February 1 – April 15.

(4) 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 from January to April. Applicants may refer to the above authorities for application deadlines. 

(5) ASEAN-China Young Leaders Scholarship Program (ACYLS)

ACYLS is a dedicated project for ASEAN nationals, in particular young and promising professionals with work experience in ASEAN Member States AMS. ACYLS will support nationals from AMS to study for master’s or PhD degrees, undertake short-term research programs, and attend training courses in the PRC. Applicants can apply through the ASEAN-China Cooperation Fund (ACCF) in their home countries from January to April.    

For more information, please visit the website of XMU's Admissions Office and the CSC website at

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”. 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 period: through February 20, 2021.

3. Xiamen Tan Kah Kee 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 undergraduate, master and PhD programs in Xiamen. Application period: February 1 – April 15. 

4. Xiamen University Scholarship for New International Students 

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: February1 – April 15.

5. Fujian Provincial Government Scholarship for International Students

The Scholarship is open to international students who wish to study in degree programs in Fujian Province. It is available only for one academic year and amounts to RMB 30,000 for undergraduates, RMB 40,000 for master’s students and RMB 50,000 for doctoral students. The University will select the best candidates from the pool of students who have passed the annual review. The shortlisted students will be recommended for the renewal of the scholarship in the subsequent year. Application period: February 1 – April 15. 

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 scholarship recipients will be assessed on an annual basis in accordance with the relevant scholarship regulations and only those meeting the required standards will have their scholarship renewed for the subsequent year. Those who fail in the review will no longer be eligible for the scholarship. 


XII. Monitoring, complaints and action for misconduct

1. Under the guidance of the University’s Student Recruitment Leadership Group, XMU’s international student 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.

2. Applicants are responsible for the truthfulness and accuracy of the information and documents they have submitted. New students’ admission qualifications will be rechecked upon their entry to XMU. Failure to meet the admission regulations for international students or any falsification or misrepresentation will result in disqualification of enrollment in accordance with the regulations of the educational authorities and the University.


XIII. Contact information


XMU Admissions Office (International Students Recruitment)

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

Email:          Website: 


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

Tel: +86 (0)592 2183606                 Fax: +86 (0) 592 2186589

Email:                  Website: 


HSK Test – Xiamen University Test Centre

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



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