Schwarzman Scholars Program Overview

3 Schwarzman Scholars

History & Purpose: Designed to prepare the next generation of global leaders, Schwarzman Scholars is the first scholarship created to respond to the geopolitical landscape of the 21st Century. The mission of the program is based upon the conviction that, whether in politics, business or science, the success of future leaders around the world will depend upon an understanding of China’s role in global trends. The program was founded in 2014 by Stephen Schwarzman, Chairman and CEO of Blackstone. Learn more from Schwarzman's Webinar.

Award description: The program includes cultural immersion, leadership training, and graduate study on the campus of the newly built Schwarzman College at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. All Schwarzman Scholars share a core curriculum that serves as an anchor for the rest of their studies and builds connections among them as a cohort. Core courses include: Chinese development, politics, and culture; interdisciplinary leadership courses, a global affairs course which introduces governance and ethical issues and discusses current and future challenges in global affairs. Students will earn a master’s degree in global affairs. Schwarzman Scholars also take elective courses in Public Policy, Economics and Business, and International Studies. Each Scholar works individually with their faculty advisors to design an academic plan suited to them. All Scholars also take Mandarin classes. Mandarin instruction is offered at all levels throughout the year. Instructors will include some of Tsinghua’s most accomplished faculty and visiting scholars from other leading institutions, as well as entrepreneurs, policymakers and thought leaders from around the world. Students will also be matched with senior mentors in business, academic, and government communities, participate in a cultural "deep dive," and do an internship.

Funding details: The comprehensive scholarship includes: tuition and fees, room and board; travel to and from Beijing (one round trip); an in-country study tour; required course books and supplies; a Lenovo laptop and smartphone; health insurance; a modest personal stipend.

Eligibility: There are no citizenship or nationality requirements. The program aims to select 40% US candidates; 20% from China, and 40% from the rest of the world. Must be at least 18 years old but not yet 28; have English language proficiency (all courses are taught in English); and an undergraduate degree in any field by the time orientation begins. Scholars will be selected on the basis of not only their academic aptitude and intellectual ability, but also their leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, ability to anticipate and act on emerging trends and opportunities, exemplary character, and desire to understand other cultures, perspectives and positions.

How to apply

Seniors and alumni applicants apply directly to the foundation by the national deadline, and need not submit materials to the Office of Fellowships. All Amherst College candidates are, however, encouraged to seek the support of the Director of Fellowships several months before the application deadline for feedback on essays, advice on seeking recommendations, and interview practice. Endorsements: The Schwarzman Scholars program no longer requires institutional endorsement.

Application materials:
The Schwarzman application includes biographical information, two essays, a resume, and three recommendations. Components are described in detail on the Schwarzman Application page.

For Recommenders

Content: Schwarzman asks all recommenders to address the following questions in their letters:
1. How long have you known the candidate and in what capacity?
2. How does this candidate’s intellectual and academic abilities compare to other students from your institution? Does s/he demonstrate broad interests, sharp insights on complex issues, flexibility of thinking, and curiosity about the world? To the extent that your knowledge of the candidate permits, please provide specific examples.
3. Please describe this candidate’s personal characteristics and experiences that will contribute to her/his potential to take on leadership roles in the future. How does this candidate compare to others who have gone on to leadership positions after studying/working/volunteering with you?

Format and submission: Schwarzman prefers that letters be on insitutional letterhead and signed. Once a candidate has registered you, you will receive an email from the Schwarzman online application system inviting you to upload your letter. The letter may be very brief, and should be less than 500 words. There is no longer an insitituional endorsement process for the Schwarzman, although the Office of Fellowships may request to see your letter if your candidate is a finalist and will be interviewed by Schwarzman.

Foundation website:

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall, 413-542-2536,                                
Mailing address: Office of Fellowships, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002

Amherst College Schwarzman Winners

In its inaugural application year (2015-2016), the Schwarzman Scholars Program awarded three Amherst College students fellowships: Servet Bayimli ‘16; Richard Altieri '15; Carlos Gonzalez '14. Recent winners include Dakota Foster '18, who declined the award to accept the Marshall Scholarship, Mohamed Ramy '18, Pascual Cortes-Monroy Edwards ’17, and Elain Jeon '17 who will begin the program in the fall of 2021.

Students interested in the Schwarzman Scholars Program may also be interested in the Yenching Scholars award, which supports master's programs at Yenching University in Peking, China. Amherst alumns Jacob Colman '18, Juan Gabriel Delgado '16, and Matt DeButts '14 are recent recipients of this award.