Applying (The Right Way) to NYU Shanghai

Applying to NYU Shanghai is a great choice — let’s make sure you do it the right way!

nyu bobcat smiling emoji
photo of campus building

Wait, is there a wrong way to apply?

Well, kind of, but that makes it sound way scarier than it really is. There are two admissions processes, and you just need to be sure you use the right one. Determining which process is right for you is as simple as confirming your citizenship.

In general terms, Chinese citizens (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) must apply through the Chinese application process, and citizens of other countries must apply through the international application process.

Simple enough, right?

 

Yeah, I’m following. So how do I apply if I’m a Chinese citizen?

If you’re a Chinese citizen (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), you’ll follow the Chinese admissions process, which means you must take the Gaokao (College Entrance Examination).

 

Pro-tip: Check out our Chinese Admissions FAQs

Okay, but what if I’m not a Chinese citizen?

If you’re a citizen of a country other than China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), you’ll apply using the Common Application. (Check out our step-by-step guide to applying via the Common App!)

Seems straightforward enough.

Yep! One more thing, though…

Uh-oh.

Oh, calm down.

What's the catch?

No catch — just a note for non-Chinese applicants with Chinese heritage. If that’s you, you must confirm that you’re not a Chinese citizen under Chinese law to be eligible for the international admissions process.

 

How do I know if that’s me?

Even if you were born outside of China or have otherwise gained foreign citizenship (for example, through immigration), China may still consider you a Chinese citizen if:

  • You were born in China
  • You were  previously a Chinese citizen
  • You hold any documents (such as a Hukou or Chinese travel document, among others) that would confer Chinese citizenship status
  • Your parents are or were Chinese citizens

To be eligible for the international admissions process in that case, you’ll have to confirm that you’re not a Chinese citizen under Chinese law by providing any proof required by Chinese authorities (such as confirmation of the cancellation of your Chinese citizenship and/or other Chinese Hukou/travel document or other Chinese personal documentation). You’ll also need to meet the 4-4-2 Policy. Otherwise, you’ll have to apply using the process for Chinese citizens.

Okay but what's the 4-4-2 Policy?

Great question! This is a Chinese government policy, not ours — but we’ll do our best to explain it.

If you’re a non-Chinese citizen from birth but one or both of your parents held Chinese citizenship (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) at the time of your birth, you have to satisfy both of these requirements to be eligible for the international admissions process:

  1. You must have held a valid foreign passport or certificate of nationality for at least four years at the time you submit your application to NYU Shanghai.
  2. During the most recent four years (through April 30 of the year you intend to enroll at NYU Shanghai — e.g., April 30, 2023, for Autumn 2023 applicants), you must have lived outside of China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) for at least two years. (If you’ve stayed out of China for nine months or more in a given year, that’s equivalent to one year.)

If you’ve acquired non-Chinese citizenship through an immigration process, you have to satisfy all three of these requirements to be eligible for the international admissions process:

  1. You must have held a valid foreign passport or certificate of nationality for at least four years at the time you submit your application to NYU Shanghai.
  2. You must provide documentation of cancellation or rescission of your Chinese citizenship.
  3. During the most recent four years (through April 30 of the year you intend to enroll at NYU Shanghai — e.g., April 30, 2023, for Autumn 2023 applicants), you must have lived outside of China (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan) for at least two years. (If you’ve stayed out of China for nine months or more in a given year, that’s equivalent to one year.)

Can I get a TL;DR here?

You bet.

If you’re a Chinese citizen (including Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan), apply through the Chinese application process.

If you’re a non-Chinese applicant with Chinese heritage, you might have some extra steps to determine which process is right for you.

If you’re not a Chinese citizen,  apply through the international application process.

If you have any questions, ask admissions — give us a call at 212–998–4500 or email [email protected]. However you apply, we can’t wait to see your application!