The Top 10 Universities in China

When planning your education abroad, it's always worth checking the ranking of universities or majors. If you are planning to attend some courses or work on your degrees in China, the following information might be some help.

Top 10 University Rankings in China

The China Alumni Association has published their annual report on Chinese university rankings in 2015, including ones in Hongkong, Macao and Taiwan. These are general rankings based on the overall reputation of the institution. These are the top 10:

  1. Peking University
  2. Tsinghua University
  3. Fudan University
  4. Wuhan University
  5. Renmin University of China
  6. Zhejiang University
  7. Shanghai Jiaotong University
  8. Nanjing University
  9. University of Science and Technology of China
  10. National University of Defence Technology

In China, there are also qualifying numbers for universities that reach a certain standard. Those numbers are "985" and "211". "985" Universities, are top schools and there are only 39 "985" Universities.The title “985” originates from a speech delivered by former president Jiang Zemin in May of 1998 for Peking University’s 100th Anniversary. After the speech, the Chinese government launched the “Project 985” which evaluated universities’ all-round strength.

Before "Project 985", the Chinese government had launched "Project 211" from 1991 to 1992 to find the top 100 Universities and to help Universities make improvements to face 21st century challenges. Technically all "985" Universities are "211" Universities but not vice versa.

Top Majors by University

The above rankings are just overall rankings, and might not mean they're the best in a specific major. The following are the top majors from different universities in China.

Peking University

  • Science
  • Medical Science
  • Law
  • History
  • Literature

Tsinghua University

  • Management
  • Engineering

Fudan University

  • Journalism
  • Literature

Renmin University of China

  • Economy 
  • Philosophy

Wuhan University

  • Hydraulic and Hydroelectric Engineering

Beijing Normal University

  • Education

China Agricultural University

  • Agriculture

Top Universities for Chinese Language Degrees

If you are planning to seek a Chinese language degree in mainland China, you will notice that the best choices are not all the top ten or "985"  Universities. Since many good language degree programs come from Universities that specialize in language training, their quality might not be reflected in the overall rankings. Here are the Universities that have the best reputations in Chinese language


  • Beijing Language and Culture University
  • Beijing Foreign Studies University
  • Peking University
  • Beijing Normal University
  • Tsinghua University
  • Central University for Nationalities


  • East China Normal University
  • Fudan University
  • Shanghai International Studies University
  • Shanghai Jiaotong University


  • Zhongshan University


  • Nankai University


  • Xiamen University


  • Sichuan University


  • Shandong University

If you have any other questions, leave a comment here, and I’d be happy to give more suggestions.

Maria writes columns for the GoEast Blog on studying Chinese and Chinese language. She completed her MA atBeijing Foreign Studies University and has over 6 years experience teaching Mandarin. She founded GoEast together with Wang Rong in 2010.