Skip to:

CSP Frequently Asked Questions


(Click here to return to the China Scholars Program main page)

Q: What is the purpose of the China Scholars Program (CSP)?
A: The CSP’s goal is to offer exemplary high school students across the United States with a comprehensive distance-learning course on China, with an emphasis on how the United States and China have influenced and understood each other in recent history. CSP students will explore China from different disciplinary and cultural perspectives with guest lecturers providing a depth of expertise not usually accessible to high school students. We will place contemporary issues in China and between China and the United States in broader historical and cultural contexts, and understanding of both American and Chinese viewpoints.

Q: Who is eligible to apply to the CSP?
A: Any current high school sophomore, junior, or senior in the United States is eligible to apply. Students from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply, and may include those who have exhausted every possible opportunity to learn about China and want more, as well as those who have never had the opportunity to take a course on China but are intellectually curious about it. Many of the participants want to be challenged to a far greater extent than their high schools can provide.

Students who apply to the CSP should be self-motivated, genuinely interested in learning about China, and excited about interacting with other high school students across the United States.

Q: What are the selection criteria?
A: Admission is competitive, based on consideration of academic record, writing and analytical ability, and demonstrated interest in China.

Q: How is the CSP coursework structured?
A: For the Fall 2018 session: From mid-August through December, students participate in an Internet-mediated course that provides a multidisciplinary overview of China.

The course is organized in a series of modules, each lasting 1 to 2 weeks, and each addressing a specific theme, such as “U.S.–China political relations,” “the Chinese-American experience,” or “China’s environmental issues.” For each module, students will:

  • listen to one or more pre-recorded lecture(s) by a leading scholar or expert on the featured topic;
  • complete a series of readings (including some that students may choose from a weekly list, according to their interests);
  • participate in online written discussion with classmates;
  • complete a short writing assignment or quiz; and
  • participate in real-time discussion during weekly or bi-weekly “virtual classroom” (VC) session with the instructor and guest discussant (usually the scholar who recorded the lecture).

In addition, students spend several weeks working on an independent research project on a topic of their choice that is printed in journal format and distributed to all students. Students are also required to lead a presentation on China at their home schools or local communities.

Q: What makes the CSP unique?
A: The college-level instruction provided by scholars from Stanford University and other top-tier colleges and universities is unparalleled in other distance learning courses for high school students. During the VC sessions, students engage in live discourse with Stanford professors, leading scholars from other universities and organizations, and former diplomats, who will challenge students to engage higher-order critical thinking and to consider multiple perspectives. This unique opportunity to learn directly from noted scholars is a distinctive element of the CSP.

The CSP also provides students with a chance to meet like-minded peers with an interest in China, U.S.–China relations, and/or global perspectives. As a student-centered course, a strong emphasis is placed on encouraging students to share and appreciate the diverse perspectives that each student brings to the CSP learning community.

In addition, there may be opportunities to engage online with high school peers in China interested in learning about and potentially studying in the United States.

Q: What are the technology requirements for participating in the RSP?
A: High-speed Internet access, a computer, a computer microphone, and headphones (headset with mic recommended).

Q: How much does it cost to participate in the CSP?
A: The tuition fee is $1500, which includes book(s) and the Stanford Continuing Studies credits. Additionally, students are required to have high-speed Internet access at home in order to access the course content and participate in the VC sessions. At this time, we are unable to offer financial assistance, but hope to be able to do so in the future.

Q: How much time should students expect to dedicate to the CSP?
A: Students typically spend about 6 hours per week on the CSP. See above for coursework requirements. The VC sessions take place on 12 evenings throughout the course (schedule to be determined) at 6:00pm Pacific Time. This is to accommodate all students across the United States, from Hawaii to the East Coast.

Q: Do students need to know the Chinese language to participate in the CSP?
A: Students are not required to know the Chinese language to participate in the CSP.


Share this Page