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Humanities & Social Sciences

Over the centuries, Peking University has distinguished itself especially for its humanities and social sciences disciplines. Specifically, these traditional disciplines--Chinese, history, philosophy, economics and law, to name a few—not only have stayed at the very top among the universities in China, but also earned prestige around the globe. In recent years, the humanities and social sciences disciplines of Peking University, with an aspiration for “nothing but the best” in original research, have accelerated their advance, both in cutting-edge research and in its application toward meeting the demands of the public.


Currently, Peking University has 21 schools and departments in the humanities and social sciences, with 7 first-level national key disciplines, 6 second-level national key disciplines and 237 research centers. Its teaching faculty is over 1,200 strong, with over 400 full professors, 500 associate professors, 16 senior national professors, 30 Changjiang professors, 18 members of the Social Sciences Committee of the Ministry of Education, 23 professors with the title Cross-Century Outstanding Talent awarded by the Ministry of Education, and 97 professors with the title New Century Outstanding Talent awarded by the Ministry of Education.



21 schools and departments


1.    Department of Chinese Language and Literature

Comparative Literature

Contemporary Literature

Classical Chinese

Chinese Classical Literature

Classical Philology

Folk Literature

Theory of Literature and Art

Modern Chinese

Modern Chinese Literature

Chinese Linguistics

2. Department of History

Ancient Chinese History

Ancient World History

Modern and Contemporary Chinese History

Modern and Contemporary European and American History

Modern and Contemporary Asian, African, and Latin American History

World History

Specialized History

Ethnic History

3. Department of Philosophy

Marxist Philosophy

Chinese Philosophy

Foreign Philosophy




Buddhism and Taoism

Christianity and Religious Studies

Philosophy of Science

4. School of Archaeology and Museology


Cultural Heritage Studies


Relics Conservation

5. School of Foreign Languages

Department of English

Department of Oriental Languages

Department of Japanese

Department of Arabic

Department of Spanish

Department of French

Department of German

Department of Russian

6. Department of Sociology

Urban and Rural Development

Environment and Development

Family and Social Studies

Ethnic Sociology and Demography

Demography and Environment


Social Work

Sociological Methodology

Sociological Theory

Applied Sociology

7. School of Government

Department of Political Science

Department of Public Administration

Department of Public Policy

Department of Public Economics

Department of Urban and Regional Management

Department of Political Economy

8. School of International Studies (SIS)

Department of International Politics

Department of Diplomacy

Department of International Political Economy

9. School of Economics

Department of Economics

Department of Public Finance

Department of International Economics and Trade

Department of Risk Management and Insurance

Department of Finance

Department of Environment, Resource and Development Economics

10. Guanghua School of Management

Department of Management Science and Engineering

Department of Accounting

Department of Finance

Department of Business Statistics and Econometrics

Department of Marketing

Department of Health Economics and Management

Department of Information Systems and Logistics Management

Department of Applied Economics

Department of Strategic Management

Department of Organization Management

11. School of Arts

Department of Movie & Television

Department of Fine Arts

Department of Musicology

Department of Art studies

12. School of Journalism and Communication

Department of Journalism

Department of Communication

Department of Advertising

Department of New Media and Internet Communication

13. Graduate School of Education

Department of Education and Human Development

Department of Economics and Administration of Education

Department of Educational Technology

14. Department of Information Management

Library Science

Information Management and Information Systems

Information Analysis and Information Consultancy

15. School of National Development

Chinese Economics

Health Problems of the Elderly People

Law and Economics

Energy Security and National Development

Human Resources and National Policy

16. Institute of Population Research


Political Economy

Population Resources

Environmental Economics


17. School of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

18. School of Marxism

Fundamental Theories of Marxism

Marxism in China

Scientific Socialism

Political Economy

Political Education

19. Law School


Constitutional and Administrative Law

Civil Law

Economic Law

Criminal Law

International Law

20. Department of Physical Education

Chinese Martial Art

Sports and Health

Women Sports

21. Opera Research Institute


To implement the “Action Plan for Education in the 21st Century,” the Ministry of Education (MOE) initiated a project to build key research centers of humanities and social sciences at universities in 1999, with a view to building some internationally prestigious national key research centers as the nation’s “think-tanks,” “information bases,” and “talent banks.” Once approved by MOE, these institutes will be jointly funded by MOE and by the universities where they are based. There are 13 centers based at Peking University, constituting nearly 10 percent of the total, more than any other university in China. These centers at Peking University undertook 303 key research projects.


Lists of these national key research centers:

Research Center for Chinese Classical Texts

Research Center for theoretical system of socialism with Chinese characteristics

Center for Chinese Linguistics

Institute for Education Economics

Institute for Foreign Philosophy

Research Center for Chinese Society and Development

Institute for Political Development and Government Administration

Research Center for Chinese Ancient History

Research Center for Oriental Literature

Research Center for Aesthetics and Fine Arts

Research Center for Constitutional and Administrative Law

China Center for Economy Research


Research Institutes


Peking University’s institutes of the humanities and social sciences in varied fields of research, instituted through integration of resources both within and outside the university, are affiliated with different schools or departments of the university. By 2013, the schools and departments of the humanities and Social Sciences had formed 237 ad-hoc collaboration research teams, including these for politics, economics, cultural studies, science, environment, ethnology, and diplomacy. They have come to serve as one of the prime driving forces behind research, education, fund-raising, discipline-building, international exchanges, and social services for Peking University. 


Research Projects


Peking University, always committed to its tradition for the humanities and social sciences disciplines to “accept nothing less than top-class work at Peking University,” not only fosters a passion for fundamental research, but also encourages trans-disciplinary cooperation across the boundaries between different schools and departments to address the most daring research projects. Peking University has undertaken many humanities and social sciences research projects sponsored by the national government and worked closely with government and non-government organizations and business firms for various programs. In the past three years, Peking University has undertaken a total of 277 research projects funded by the National Humanities and Social Sciences Fund and Ministry of Education, of which 33 are key projects. In 2012, funds received for the humanities and social sciences research reached to more than RMB 200 million yuan, no doubt an indication of strong momentum for the humanities and social sciences disciplines at Peking University to go forward into a new future.


Academic Publications


From 2001 to 2013, Peking University recorded a total of more than 35,000 publications by its faculty in the humanities and social sciences. Over 150 books published have received funding from the Beijing Social Sciences Publication Fund for Theoretical Works. Also, Peking University has received many important awards, including 183 Distinction Awards for Outstanding Research in the Humanities and Social Sciences for Universities of China and 177 Distinction Awards of Beijing for Outstanding Research in Philosophy and Social Sciences.  


Serving the Community


Public service is one of the prime contributions universities around the world are committed to providing. Noted for its tradition of “Unity of Knowledge and Conduct,” Peking University, while never turning aside from its pursuit of knowledge, continues to apply new knowledge toward improving social reality. Services provided by Peking University in the humanities and social sciences fields take varied forms, from undertaking research projects from government organizations and other institutions and participating in government decision-making, backed by its intellectual resources, to offering training programs of varying levels of sophistication to meet the needs of the public.


As statistics show, Peking University undertakes annually about 500 humanities and social sciences research projects, which allow researchers to go beyond fundamental research toward meeting actual demands of life and to serve their community.


Academic Exchanges


Academic Exchanges at Peking University take varied forms, covering a broad range of academic events. Specifically, these exchanges include symposiums, research collaboration, and academic exchange visits. From 2001 to 2013, Peking University sponsored nearly 1,500 symposiums, including over 600 international symposiums. Since 2004, Peking University, with support from Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies, has continued to host the annual international symposium “Beijing Forum,” a conference on the theme “The Harmony of Civilization and Prosperity for All,” with participants from all over the world engaging the views of one another, particularly the views of the Chinese scholars, to address the most complex issues. This Forum, convened four times already, has generated a positive impact around the world.