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 LiteratureContemporary Literature
Classical ChineseChinese Classical Literature
Classical PhilologyFolk Literature
Theory of Literature and ArtModern Chinese
Modern Chinese LiteratureChinese Linguistics

2. Department of History

Ancient Chinese HistoryAncient World History
Modern and Contemporary Chinese HistoryModern and Contemporary European and American History
Modern and Contemporary Asian, African, and Latin American HistoryWorld History
Specialized HistoryEthnic History

3.Department of Philosophy

Marxist PhilosophyChinese Philosophy
Foreign PhilosophyLogic
Buddhism and TaoismChristianity and Religious Studies
Philosophy of Science

4. School of Archaeology and Museology

ArchaeologyCultural Heritage Studies
ArchaeometryRelics Conservation

5. School of Foreign Languages

Department of EnglishDepartment of Oriental Languages
Department of JapaneseDepartment of Arabic
Department of SpanishDepartment of French
Department of GermanDepartment of Russian

6.  Department of Sociology

Urban and Rural DevelopmentEnvironment and Development
Family and Social StudiesEthnic Sociology and Demography
Demography and EnvironmentAnthropology
Social WorkSociological Methodology
Sociological TheoryApplied Sociology

7.  School of Government

Department of Political ScienceDepartment of Public Administration
Department of Public PolicyDepartment of Public Economics
Department of Urban and Regional ManagementDepartment of Political Economy

8.  School of International Studies (SIS)

Department of International PoliticsDepartment of Diplomacy
Department of International Political Economy

9.  School of Economics

Department of EconomicsDepartment of Public Finance
Department of International Economics and TradeDepartment of Risk Management and Insurance
Department of FinanceDepartment of Environment, Resource and Development Economics

10.  Guanghua School of Management

Department of Management Science and EngineeringDepartment of Accounting
Department of FinanceDepartment of Business Statistics and Econometrics
Department of MarketingDepartment of Health Economics and Management
Department of Information Systems and Logistics ManagementDepartment of Applied Economics
Department of Strategic ManagementDepartment of Organization Management

11.  School of Arts

Department of Movie & TelevisionDepartment of Fine Arts
Department of MusicologyDepartment of Art studies

12.  School of Journalism and Communication

Department of JournalismDepartment of Communication
Department of AdvertisingDepartment 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 EconomicsHealth Problems of the Elderly People
Law and EconomicsEnergy Security and National Development
Human Resources and National Policy

16.  Institute of Population Research

DemographyPolitical Economy
Population ResourcesEnvironmental Economics

17.  School of Teaching Chinese as a Second Language

18.  School of Marxism

Fundamental Theories of MarxismMarxism in China
Scientific SocialismPolitical Economy
Political Education

19.  Law School

JurisprudenceConstitutional and Administrative Law
Civil LawEconomic Law
Criminal LawInternational 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.