Yale and China: An overview

Yale University enjoys the distinction of having the deepest relationship with China of any university in the United States with ties dating back to 1835. Yung Wing became the first person from China to earn a degree from an American university when he graduated from Yale College in 1854.

Yale and China’s collaborations and programs stand as examples of how global universities are educating leaders and advancing the frontiers of knowledge, not simply for their own countries, but also for the entire world.

This unique relationship has grown dramatically stronger over the years through joint educational and research projects, student and faculty exchange programs, and an ever-increasing number of Chinese students and scholars at Yale. These student exchanges have developed cross-cultural understanding, and joint research has led to groundbreaking discoveries.

The Yale Alumni network thrives with over 1,300 alumni living in China. There are regional Yale Alumni Clubs in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Shenzhen.

Yale operates joint research centers and collaborations at Fudan University, Tsinghua University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University. Research collaborations are conducted in the fields of climate science, health policy, immunology, sociology, and urban development, among others.

Yale also has developed and continues to develop dual degree programs and other academic exchanges in partnership with key Chinese universities. These include:

Yale provides a range of opportunities for students from China to take classes with Yale students including summer courses and formal exchange programs. During the summer, Yale offers special programs on campus for students from five Chinese universities. In addition, selected undergraduates from Hong Kong University can attend Yale during the academic year through the Yale Visiting International Student Program (Y-VISP), an honors program designed for undergraduate students from partner institutions.

The China Scholarship Council–Yale World Scholars Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences started in 2006 recruits top graduates from nine premier institutions in China for enrollment in Yale’s renowned Program in Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS). The CSC-Yale World Scholars Program in Public Health was founded in 2017 to recruit students for study at the Yale School of Public Health. Both programs bring graduates from leading universities in China to Yale for graduate studies in order to train leaders who can contribute significantly to research in China.

Hundreds of Yale students travel to China each year to participate in study abroad programs or conduct independent research. There are a number of programs for Yale students in China including: the Richard U. Light Fellowship, which funds Yale students for intensive language study in China; the Yale International Internship Program, which provides undergraduates with summer internship placements in China and other countries; the Fox International Fellowship program, which is a direct two-way student exchange partnership with Fudan University, and; the Council on East Asian Studies Field Research Grants, which provide funding for Yale graduate students in the Arts and Sciences to conduct research in China.