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Established in 1911, Tsinghua University is one of the most famous universities of China, as well as an well-known institute of high education and advanced research of China. By the end of 2009, Tsinghua had 15 schools, 55 departments and a faculty of 7,062, including 1,232 professors, 1,727 associate professors and 2,829 lecturers; among them, 37 were member of China Academy of Science and 34 were member of China Academy of Engineering. Meanwhile, it had 35,369 students, including 1,765 international students; among them, 14,285 were undergraduate (including 886 international ones), 14,090 were graduate (including 886 international ones), and 6,994 were doctorate (including 125 international ones).


As one of Tsinghua University’s 15 schools, Tsinghua University’s School of Architecture (referred to as Tsinghua SA or the School hereafter) was transformed in 1988 from the former Department of Architecture which was established by Prof. LIANG Sicheng in October 1946. Currently, it is composed of four departments, nine research institutes, three professional practical sites, and three ministerial laboratories. In addition, the Institute of Architectural & Urban Studies, the Center for Human Settlements, and the Research Center of Building Energy-Saving affiliated to Tsinghua University are also located at School of Architecture.


Since the institutions of accreditation on undergraduate and graduate programs of architectural design and graduate programs of urban planning were implemented in China respectively in 1992, 1995 and 1998, Tsinghua SA has passed all the accreditations with the remark of excellent. And in the National Assessment on Architecture carried out by China Degree & Graduate Development Center in 2003, Tsinghua SA ranked No. 1 among China’s schools of architecture and took the leading position again in 2008 in the second national assessment.


Currently, Tsinghua SA has a faculty of 107, including 36 professors, 50 associate professors and 21 lecturers. Among them, four are member of China Academy of Science or/and China Academy of Technology, and four are from overseas. 85, or 80%, of the faculty have a doctoral degree and 67, or 63%, have an either academic or professional experience of at least 6 months abroad. The faculty team of high quality in terms of knowledge, passion, competence, and innovation becomes a fundamental guarantee to the high quality of education. 

 Since its establishment in 1946, Tsinghua SA has insisted on the goal of cultivating professional leaders of architecture and gradually confirmed its development strategy of being based on the Sciences of Human Settlements, paying due attention to the requirements of China’s construction and development and the challenges of academic frontiers, and combining education with research and practice. In the past decades, the School has finished over a hundred research projects commissioned by the government of various levels, as well as international collaborative research projects, which cover the fields of regional study, urban and rural study, urban planning and design, housing, architectural design and theory, architectural history and historic preservation, landscape planning & design, tourism planning and natural preservation, ecological planning and green architecture, built environment simulation and building energy-saving, computer aided design GIS and remote sensing, and so on. 


Tsinghua SA has a high reputation both at home and abroad with thanks to its high quality of education and research. Every year, it can attract the best graduates of high school all over China through the National College Entry Examination. At the end of 2009, there were 977 registered students of architecture at Tsinghua SA, including 47 international students. Among them, 432 were undergraduate student (including 18 international one), 382 were graduate student (including 22 international one), and 158 were doctorate student (including 7 international ones). 


In its history of more than 60 years, Tsinghua SA had more than 5,000 graduates in total, and most of them have played and are playing the role of professional leadership in the field of architecture both at home and abroad.


Currently, the finance of Tsinghua SA comes mainly from financial allocation, tuition revenue, research revenue and donation; which kept an annual average of 75 million yuna RMB in the past years.


The education of architecture at Tsinghua SA is deeply rooted into China’s cause of construction with the goals of advancing the knowledge of architecture and cultivating the professional leaders of architecture. The School’s objectives are:

To formulate well-thought-out development strategies. Currently, they can be concluded into three principles, that is being based on the Sciences of Human Settlements, paying due attention to the requirements of China’s construction and development and the challenges of academic frontiers, and combining education with research and practice. 

To maintain a faculty team with international perspective. In the past decade, many efforts have been made to foster and recruit faculty members of international importance, so as to ensure the School’s high quality of education.  

To attract talented applicants. The School has been a high attraction to top applicants since its establishment and further efforts will be made to explore new the approaches of cultivating the talents of architecture. 

To cultivate high-quality graduates. Up to now, many of the School’s graduates have proved to be competent professional leaders with high capacities of innovation, competition, communication and collaboration. 

To keep advanced educational systems. The School has tried to maintain its leadership amongst Chinese schools of architecture in the field of architectural education by introducing bi-lingual teaching and creating advanced programs with Chinese characteristics centered on 6-year curriculums.  

To ensure an efficient management. The School has strived to improve its administration to enhance high-quality services, and to refine its faculty evaluation institution to form a competitive mechanism. 

To produce plentiful research achievements. Aiming at theoretical and methodological creations in architecture, the School has developed the Sciences of Human Settlements which is a modern school of architectural education full of Chinese characters. 

To provide remarkable social services. Since its foundation more than 60 years ago, the School has been closely involved in the great practice of China’s construction, playing an important role in many projects of national importance. It has also been very active in the academic field of architecture of the world. 

To achieve high international reputations:The School has tried to raise its reputation in the world by way of enhancing international collaborations and exchanges, enrolling more foreign students, etc.

To create a unique college culture:The School has been distinguished for a long time by its unique college culture of an eminent tradition of academic pursuit, an unrelenting spirit of innovation, an open atmosphere of academia, and a strong sense of responsibility.


A History of Architectural Education in China 

The history of architectural education in China, at least in the modern sense, is only 87 years long. After the founding of the People's Republic of China, architectural education embarked on a path shaped to fit the needs of the country’s development. There had been more than 10 schools of architecture before the onset of the Cultural Revolution. It wasn’t until the Reform and Opening Up in the 1980s that architectural education really began to blossom in China, with the number of universities with a department of architecture rising to 220 by the year 2009.  

With the increase in the number of schools of architecture, architectural education in China has moved towards greater standardization. China has established a comprehensive architectural education system as well as an accreditation system, consisting of programs for college students, undergraduates, postgraduates, and doctoral candidates, and having the capacity to matriculate foreign students and provide for postdoctoral research. Currently, architectural education in China offers majors in architectural history and theory, architectural design, urban planning and design, building science and technology, landscape planning and design and cultural heritage building conservation. The system countrywide produces around 20,000 graduates per year. 

Currently, four schools of architecture including Tsinghua SA are qualified as China’s Key School of Architecture by the Ministry of Education and Tsinghua SA ranks No. 1 among them. And 13 schools including Tsinghua SA are qualified for doctoral programs. 

Since China initiated the national accreditation on architectural education in 1992, 41 schools of architecture including Tsinghua SA have passed the accreditation till the end of 2009. 

In 2008, Tsinghua SA, as the Presiding Organization of China’s Accreditation Committee on Architectural Programs in Higher Education, participated in the delegation organized by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development who drafted and signed the Canberra Agreement on Architectural Education. 

The history of architectural education at Tsinghua University, illustrates, to a major extent, the development of modern architectural education in China. Tsinghua SA has had a central role in the field since its inception and will continue to stand at the forefront as the discipline evolves.  

A History of Tsinghua SA 

Tsinghua SA was established in 1946 and more than 5,000 students have graduated from it since then on, becoming the professional leaders in the field of architecture both at home and abroad. Its history of more than 60 years can be broken into two phases according to the evolution of its academic guidelines, i.e. Prof. LIANG Sicheng’s Theory of Physical Environment for the first 30 years and Prof. WU Liangyong’s theory of Sciences of Human Settlements for the second 30 years. Guided by the pre-eminent theories and thinkers of each era, Tsinghua SA has always been at the forefront of architectural education in China. 

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