Peking University - School of Transnational Law

Peking University - School of Transnational Law


Peking University, or “Bei-da,” as it is known in Chinese, is China’s first and most renowned comprehensive research university, commonly regarded as one of the leading universities in the world.  The Times of Higher Education has named Peking University the number 1 university in China, the number 1 university in all BRICs nations, the number 4 university in all of Asia, and the 42nd most academically renowned university in the world.


The University, founded in 1898 as the Imperial University of Peking, is regarded as a symbol of modern Chinese education.  It has developed into a comprehensive university offering courses in the natural sciences, engineering sciences, humanities, social sciences, and medicine.  With its proud tradition of academic freedom, PKU boasts an outstanding faculty, including 53 members of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), 7 members of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), and 14 members of the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS).



The application system for the 2016-2017 academic year is now closed. We encourage you to apply for the 2017-2018 academic year starting in November.


Applicants ordinarily should have a first degree in law (e.g., J.D., J.M., or LL.B.) or otherwise be licensed to practice law in their home jurisdiction.


Applicants whose first language is not English or who did not have a postsecondary education entirely conducted in the English language must must provide evidence of English proficiency.The Program requires a minimum score of 92 in TOEFL IBT, or 6.5 in IELTS with 7.0 in IELTS writing.


Application Procedures

International Students

Please apply by submitting your complete application via mail by March 31. We recommend using a trackable delivery method that gives you confirmation of receipt. Please also email our program office to notify us that you have sent your application.

Also, please apply for our program online at by refering to the Instruction for Online Application.

Students from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan

Please send your application materials via email to, and mail the hard copies to our admission office before February 28.

Mailing Address

PKU STL Admissions, Room B103

Peking University School of Transnational Law

University Town, Nanshan District Shenzhen 518055, China

Application Checklist

Applicants must submit the materials listed below. Applications will only be reviewed after all materials are received. All documents should be written in English. If the documents are not in English, they must be accompanied by a notarized English translation.


  1. Peking University School of Transnational Law Application Form.
  2. Personal statement: Submit a personal statement explaining the reasons you are pursuing an LL.M. degree and how the degree will help you advance your plans and goals. (700 to 1000 words)
  3. Academic Records: Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions, and official degree certificates (original or notarized documents with English translations if documents are not in English).
  4. Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  5. Letters of Recommendation: At least two signed letters of recommendation from professors, employers, or others familiar with your academic and professional qualifications. (original)
  6. Proof of English Competency: One photocopy of results of TOEFL or IELTS examination (unless you are a native English speaker or you have a degree from a postsecondary institution entirely conducted in the English language).
  7. Copy of passport, or identification card.


Please note: all the Application Materials must be received before the March 31 deadline.

Application Fee

Amount: 800 RMB. Please note that the fee is waived for 2016. Applicants for 2016 admission do not need to pay the fee.

Deadline for Application

The deadline for application is March 31, 2016. All application materials should reach the program office before the deadline.

Admission Decisions

The Admissions Committee will make decisions according to the applicants’ materials after approved by Peking University. STL uses a rolling admissions process. We review applications throughout the admissions season as they are completed and then notify applicants of the decision; some applications are held until the committee has reviewed the entire applicant pool after the March 31 application deadline. Official admission letter will be sent out by June.

Student Services

Campus life at Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL) is always full of interesting and educational activities. We believe that our academic programs are greatly enhanced by activities and interactions outside the classroom.


To help our students make the most of their time at STL, our Office of Student Affairs sponsors a variety of initiatives and programs dedicated to student wellness and empowerment.  These programs facilitate the holistic development of students, both in competence and character. To support these efforts,  a multitude of academic societies and student interest groups flourish on campus, catering to the diverse personal and professional interests of students.

Housing and Other Facilities

Please check the Accommodations, Transportation and other related information here.



The aim of counseling is to help students explore and understand themselves better so that they can become more self-directing and self-actualizing individuals. This service promotes student growth along a broad spectrum and works with students on issues including but not limited to:

  • Self-understanding
  • Self-image
  • Interpersonal relationships
  • Family issues
  • Emotion management
  • Study problems
  • Adjustment to university life
  • Peer or dating issues
  • Career exploration, etc.


** All personal information would be kept confidential **


In case of emergency when there is imminent risk to the safety of the student or other people, please callcampus security or the police for immediate assistance and then contact the Office of Student Affairs.

Forms & Resources

Health Insurance

Peking University as well as its Shenzhen Graduate School has established a series of insurance programs, ranging from students free health insurance to local social insurance.


Peking University College Students Free Health Insurance

Available for students whose personal archives have been transferred to PKU and normally require students to submit related materials twice a year (in May and December) for processing in Beijing. For more information click here.

People’s Insurance Company of China (PICC) Accident Insurance

This insurance is advocated by Shenzhen municipal government. Issued by PICC, students are recommended to participate in this insurance with a payable amount of 5 RMB. Correspondingly, the highest amount of claim can be reached to 10,000 RMB or even more. For more information, click here.

People’s Insurance Company of China Major Medical Insurance

This insurance is designed for Shenzhen Graduate School students in case there’s any serious injury or disease happening during the period of studies or vacations. All students are recommended for a participation of this insurance with a payable amount of 80 RMB. Regarding the guidance for Reimbursement of the Major Medical Insurance, please contact the Office of Student Affairs.

College Students Medical Insurance in Shenzhen

Regarding the explanations and reimbursement principles for this insurance, please check the following links for more information:


Policies and Procedures


Student Organizations


Founded in November 2012, Peking University Intellectual Property Association (IPA) is a practical and non-profit students’ association supported by both Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School and Peking University School of Transnational Law (STL). IPA is STL’s first academic association and provides a great platform for communication for IP professionals and students who are interested in this field. IPA has built sound relationships with large and medium-size enterprises from Guangdong and Hong Kong, as well as local government and law firms. IPA is honored to have Prof. Francis Snyder and Prof. Wei Zhi as Faculty Supervisors. IPA has formed an Advisory Committee consisting of distinguished IP lawyers and PKU alumni, who have played a vital role in the development of IPA.



SWL is born with the mission to promote the interests of STL students, both women and men, and also strives to exert a positive influence on campus for all students. As a career-oriented organization, SWL works on a bilingual basis, and explores ways for members to practice their soft skills through well-designed projects and high standards of work.


SWL projects for this year will include:


  • Academics & Internship Experience Exchanging Meeting;
  • Visit Courts in Shenzhen and Hongkong;
  • Visit Huawei Corporation;
  • One Day in a Law Firm;
  • Mentor-Mentee Program (1L-2L);
  • Challenge Cup of Chinese Environmental Law (Directed by Prof. Jin Zining);
  • Party with Exchange Student;
  • Penal Discussion with Lawyers;
  • Journalism workshop;
  • Photo & Writing Contest
  • Team Building Activity


Public Interest Law Foundation (PILF)

Established in the winter of 2013, PILF is dedicated to facilitating access for STL students to engage in public interest work, while in law school and after graduation, in all capacities. PILF promotes its goals by fundraising and sponsoring public interest events to educate STL students about the rewarding career possibilities in public interest law.

LL.M Program

Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) is unique in China and unique in the​ ​world. STL’s Master of Law​s (“LL.M.”) program is rich in courses emphasizing transnational law and​ ​practice, Chinese law and legal traditions, and cutting-edge courses designed to equip STL​ ​graduates of all nationalities for leadership in the 21st century. ​ LL.M. graduates will gain deep knowledge and understanding of Chinese and Western law and legal traditions as well as the practical skills necessary for cross-cultural success. ​ LL.M. graduates from PKU STL will go on to distinguished careers in private sector, public sector, public interest legal work, and​ ​legal academia around the world.


Like the LL.M. programs offered by the best U.S. law schools, PKU STL’s LL.M. program for foreign students will consist of one year of full-time study. The curriculum will be designed to emphasize skills and knowledge for the 21st Century: (i) transnational law and practice; (ii) cross-cultural competence; and (iii) the professional responsibilities of lawyers in these contexts. Specialized offerings in Chinese legal history and law will enable students to acquire a deep understanding of the cultural traditions and modern developments of China today.


LL.M. graduates will emerge from the program as lawyers uniquely equipped for leadership in today’s inter-connected world, with deep knowledge and understanding of Chinese and Western law and legal traditions and with the practical skills necessary for cross-cultural success. The curriculum is the most diverse and extensive English-language coursework in China with more than 70 English-language courses covering a wide range of subjects, from international and comparative law to American law to Chinese law; courses cover complex transnational business transactions and dispute resolution, and as well as China law, legal system and legal history. Mandarin language courses focusing on language needed in legal practice are also available. LL.M. graduates from PKU STL will go on to distinguished careers in private sector, public sector, public interest legal work, and legal academia around the world.


To earn the LL.M. degree, candidates must:


  •  have been in residence for at least three full academic quarters;
  •  earn a minimum of 36 credits (approximately 12 courses, one of which includes a substantial research paper/thesis on a topic of their choice); and
  •  have completed their studies with a minimum grade point average of 80 or better.

Study Abroad

Study abroad programs are a core part of the academic experience at STL. By graduation, close to 40 percent of our students will have experienced study abroad. Employers routinely cite study abroad experience as distinguishing characteristics of STL graduates.


The programs provide opportunities for students to spend a semester or summer at an elite overseas partner institution, deepening their study of foreign law, building international peer networks, and gaining language and cross-cultural skills that will equip them for transnational legal practice. Students return home with a broader comparative perspective on their legal studies and an enduring connection to their host country.


Since 2011, more than 80 students have gone abroad through STL exchange programs. Our current exchange partners are: Bucerius Law School (Germany), Center for Transnational Legal Studies (UK), EBS Law School (Germany), University of Lausanne (Switzerland), Fundação Getulio Vargas Law School of Sao Paulo (Brazil), Maastricht University (Netherlands), Tel Aviv University (Israel), Aix–MarseilleUniversity (France), University of Miami (USA), University of Indiana (USA), and University of Iowa (USA).


Typically, study abroad takes place during a student’s 3L year, and selections are made early in the Spring semester of the student’s 2L year. Study abroad terms last one semester. For more information, students should consult OIP’s General Guidelines for Study Abroad, which contains policies on applications, transfer credit, and specific details about each exchange partner.

Moot Court

Each year, close to 25 students represent STL overseas at international moot court competitions. The competitions provide intense training in legal writing and oral advocacy, helping to augment skills already acquired in our Transnational Legal Practice program. Faculty coaches work closely with each moot court team to guide learning while the law school provides financial support for travel. Students are placed on teams at the beginning of each academic year through a highly selective tryout process involving personal statements, an oral evaluation involving a hypothetical case, and a thorough review of grades.


STL’s moot court program has garnered acclaim as students achieve successful results. For the second year in a row, STL Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court team bested 32 other Chinese schools to win the championship of the 12th annual CIETAC Cup in Beijing. Many students have also been recognized individually with awards for outstanding performance, including accolades for Best Oralists and Best Briefs.


STL currently sponsors teams to attend the following competitions:


  • ELSA WTO Moot Court (Geneva)
  • International Criminal Court Moot Competition (Hague)
  • Jessup International Law Moot Court (Washington, D.C.)
  • Law Without Walls (Miami)
  • Red Cross International Humanitarian Law Moot Court (Hong Kong)
  • Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot Court (Vienna)

About School of Transnational Law

Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”), part of PKU’s Shenzhen Graduate School, is the only law school in the world that combines an American-style Juris Doctor degree (J.D.) with a China law Juris Master degree (J.M.).  STL provides an academically rigorous, bilingual four-year program of legal education that prepares students for the mixture of common law, civil law, and Chinese legal traditions increasingly characteristic of the global economy.


China’s State Council authorized the creation of China’s first common law Juris Doctor curriculum in 2007.  The following year, Peking University’s new School of Transnational Law admitted its first students.  The University appointed Jeffrey Lehman, a former president of Cornell University and dean of the University of Michigan Law School, as STL’s Founding Dean.  STL’s current dean, Philip McConnaughay, was Founding Dean of Penn State University’s Schools of Law and International Affairs, a former professor of law at the University of Illinois, and a former partner of the leading international law firm, Morrison & Foerster.


Although STL is still young, with only four graduating classes to date, it already has captured the attention of the world’s leading law firms, companies, government offices, NGOs and universities.  Post-graduate placement of STL graduates is nearly 100 percent.  STL graduates now work with leading law firms such as Fangda Partners, King & Wood Mallesons, Junhe, Kirkland & Ellis, Shearman & Sterling, Paul Weiss, Simpson Thatcher, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, DLA Piper, Morrison & Foerster, and others; with leading companies such as Huawei Technologies, Tencent, Baidu, Walmart China, Ping An, General Electric, and others; and with leading government offices and nonprofit organizations such as the Qianhai Equity Exchange, the Supreme People’s Court, the South China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission, the United Nations Refugee Agency, CIETAC and others.  STL graduates pursuing academic careers have been accepted into advanced degree programs at such elite universities as Harvard, Yale, Science Po, College of Europe and others.


China’s best and brightest students are vying for admission to STL.  In order to be eligible for admission, PRC students must either (i) earn exemption from China’s national graduate school entrance exam by virtue of being one of the top few graduates of one of China’s top-tier universities, or (ii) meet or exceed the Peking University “cut score” on the national graduate school entrance exam, which is the highest cut score in China.  STL applicants also must take the LSAT exam, and submit to a rigorous in-person English-language interview by STL faculty before being offered admission.


The achievements of STL students already are gaining attention worldwide.  In 2013, STL’s Jessup International Law Moot Court Team was China National Champion.   STL’s 2014 and 2015 Vis International Arbitration Moot Teams were China National Champions, winning all expense paid trips to the Vis International competition in Vienna, Austria.  STL students established and now edit the Peking University Transnational Law Review, an English language journal with worldwide readership.  In 2014, STL students established China’s first Public Interest Law Foundation, known commonly as “PILF.”


STL continues to advance on this exciting trajectory.

History of STL

The deep and mutually reinforcing relationship between economic modernization and legal modernization was a fundamental predicate of the vision of China advanced by Deng Xiaoping at the time of his ascendancy to leadership in 1978 and again at the time of his visit to Shenzhen in 1992. The work of economic historian and Nobel Laureate Douglass North supports Deng’s vision: “How effectively agreements are enforced is the single most important determinant of economic performance.”


Today’s leaders, too, understand the mutual dependency of economic and legal modernization, especially in the context of a new generation economy built upon knowledge and technological innovation. As Guangdong Provincial Party Secretary Hu Chunhua observed during his August 29, 2014 visit to Shenzhen and Qianhai, “We must learn from advanced ideas and rules in the world, thereby we can strive for innovation in policy, institutions, finance, land management, commercial adjudication, and management of international arbitration tribunals. We must strive to create a commercial environment of marketization, institutionalization, and internationalization.” Mayor Xu Qing has expressed similar sentiments on numerous occasions: e.g., “The earlier a city improves its legal environment, the more likely it is to secure a competitive advantage.”


China’s State Council agreed with Chancellor Hai and authorized Peking University to create a law curriculum in Shenzhen offering for the first time in China -– and for the first time anywhere in the world — an American-style Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree, taught in English, alongside a China law Juris Master (J.M.) degree, taught in Chinese. The following year, Peking University’s new School of Transnational Law (“STL”) admitted its first students. The University appointed Jeffrey Lehman, a former president of Cornell University and dean of the University of Michigan Law School, as STL’s Founding Dean.


As described below, STL’s growing resident faculty today rivals those of the best law schools in the world. No institution of higher education in China has done more to engage high-level experts from abroad. The collaborations between STL faculty and their international counterparts are helping to make Shenzhen the hub of a worldwide network of elite legal scholars and institutions. The research output of STL scholarship is influencing policy discussions in Shenzhen, China and abroad. STL’s library promises to serve as a resource for legal research and services equipped for the global engagements of Shenzhen’s strategic industries of importance.

Dean's Message

In 2007, the State Council of The People’s Republic of China authorized Peking University, one of the world’s great research universities, to undertake a bold and forward-looking experiment in legal education: the creation of a post-graduate law school offering both a common law Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree and a Chinese Juris Master (J.M.) degree. The next year saw the establishment of Peking University’s School of Transnational Law (“STL”) on PKU’s stunning new graduate campus in Shenzhen, China.


Today, the verdict on STL’s cutting-edge program is clear: STL graduates are highly sought after for positions with leading multinational law firms and corporations, leading Chinese law firms and corporations, major SOEs, and leading international NGOs. Top students from around the world compete for admission, and STL’s multinational faculty includes world-renowned scholars from China, the U.S., the E.U., and elsewhere.


The reason for the success of STL graduates and the demand for a PKU STL degree is that the J.D. portion of STL’s program provides students with far more than simply knowledge of the content of different areas of American, U.K. and E.U. law. STL’s J.D. curriculum provides students with the skills that make for great lawyers and great judges and great leaders of any nationality: rigorous analytical thinking, the ability to see all sides of an issue, the ability to solve complex problems creatively, and the ability to persuade. STL students acquire these skills from three years of serious case study during which they are repeatedly challenged, day after day, by the deeply interactive Socratic method of instruction, pursuant to which professors question students intensely about the legal cases and principles they study.


We look forward to welcoming you to the STL community if you feel capable and ready to experience our rigorous program and join this elite group. Importantly, although our educational program is demanding, our community is friendly, with accessible professors and students who value a mutually supportive community.


Philip J. McConnaughay

Dean, Peking University School of Transnational Law

Vice Chancellor, Peking University Shenzhen Graduate Campus

New Signature Building

Peking University Shenzhen Graduate School (PKUSZ), which is primarily focused on full-time graduate education, is an integral part of PKU’s mission as a world-class university. PKUSZ’s goal is to build a world-class international campus of PKU in Shenzhen while adhering to the academic principles of New Frontiers, Interdisciplinary Studies, Applied Research and International Standards.


STL’s new signature building, currently in the final stages of construction, will serve as the gateway to Peking University’s Shenzhen Graduate Campus (“PKUSZ”).  It is situated immediately between the beautifully restored Dashahe River Parkway, on one side, and the PKUSZ campus central plaza, on the other.  The 8,900 square meter building was designed by Kohn Pederson Fox Associates (“KPF”), one of the world’s premier architectural firms, in cooperation with Shenzhen-based Huasen Architectural & Engineering Consultants Ltd.


The building’s triangular shape and unique exterior curtain wall, striking for its embedded geometric pattern, encase an interior atrium tiered to create three highly functional gathering spaces:  a grand ground-level event space, lounge and socializing spaces amid plateaus on the upper-levels of a massive four-story staircase, and study and research areas beneath the staircase.


The building includes one 100-person classroom that can be converted into a high-tech moot courtroom; three additional 100-person classrooms; an on-site law library equipped with the latest in digital research platforms; four 60-person classrooms; four 20-person classrooms; several intimate seminar rooms; legal clinic and student organizations suites; outdoor terraces and reading gardens; highly functional faculty and administrative offices; and abundant student study space.  Many classrooms will be equipped with advanced audiovisual telecommunications technology that will enable interactive engagement between STL students, faculty and visitors and other students, educators, and leaders elsewhere in China and throughout the world.


“STL’s new building will be a signature work of architecture reflective of the forward-looking educational program of the law school.  It offers an ideal setting for students and faculty to engage in the serious study of law, and for the law school to host scholars and authorities from around the world in support of its mission.  The building clearly conveys the importance and value of the profession of law and of Peking University School of Transnational Law,” said STL Dean Philip McConnaughay.

Financial Information

Tuition and Costs

The tuition fee for the STL LL.M. program is 176,000 RMB. STL is committed to making the program accessible for qualified candidates and there are a limited number of international fellowships available. Applicants are also encouraged to consider scholarships for which they are qualified.



STL is committed to making the program accessible for qualified candidates and there are a limited number of international fellowships and partial tuition scholarships and other financial awards available to successful applicants. Applicants are also encouraged to consider scholarships for which they are qualified.

Scholarships from the Chinese Government

Scholarships from the Chinese government are also available to international students. For more information, visit the following websites:

Law Firm Scholarships

The Han Kun Youth Legal Scholarship

Additional scholarships based on citizenship or residence



India, J.N. Tata Endowment for the Higher Education of Indians

Japan, CWAJ

Japan, World Bank Joint Japan Graduate Scholarship Program,,contentMDK:20276784~menuPK:552350~pagePK:64168445~piPK:64168309~theSitePK:551644,00.html

Australia and New Zealand

Australia, The Commemorative Fellowships

New Zealand, Ethel Benjamin Scholarship

New Zealand, The Yvonne Smith scholarship


Norway, Norwegian State Education Fund

Middle East

Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah Foreign Scholarship Program

Summer Honors Program

Still wondering if lawyering is for you? Why not start here and then decide.


At STL, we


  • reach out to the most promising undergraduate students in and outside China through the highly selective STL Summer Honors Program (SHP).
  • target students who have been or will be designated by their university as exempt from the national qualifying exam for graduate law study.
  • host a small group of elite students to a 10-day program for an intensive introduction to J.D. legal education, spending time in Shenzhen and Hong Kong immersed in an intense academic and social experience with faculty and their fellow students to learn about the J.D. education and to test their interest in the legal profession.


At SHP, you will


  • overcome academic and cultural challenges that not only enrich your perspectives but also motivate your potential
  • enjoy a magical time with students who hold different backgrounds and share the same beliefs
  • experience an inspiring journey with faculty who give you insight as well as enlighten your critical thinking


Click here for registration

Peking University Transnational Law Review

Peking University Transnational Law Review (“Law Review”) is a journal focused on publishing legal scholarship and other articles on Chinese, U.S., international and transnational law, as well as articles involving comparative law issues. The Law Review, founded in 2011, is published in English twice a year, in spring and autumn. It is published independently by students of Peking University School of Transnational Law (“STL”) in Shenzhen, China.


The Law Review is a student-organized and student-edited journal. The Law Review’s editors are working to promote the Law Review to become a globally well-known law review and we are looking for authors with their manuscripts. The Law Review seeks to become an important tool for those who are researching and working on Chinese law, U.S. law, as well as international law, transnational law and comparative law. We are not only focused on publishing scholar’s papers, but also Book Reviews, Speech Serials, Case Notes and Legal Updates.


Currently, we have published four issues. These issues are accessible through our website and a number of databases such as HeinOnline, Lexis China, Chinalawinfo (the most widely used legal database in China) and Cujas library (Université Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne & Université Panthéon-Assas). By our editors’ great efforts, the hard copies of the issues are placed at the UNCITRAL Law Library (Vienna), Lillian Goldman Law Library of Yale Law School, WilmerHale LLP Park Lane (London), Kirkland & Ellis LLP (Shanghai), Kobre & Kim LLP (Hong Kong), K&L Gates LLP (Beijing), King & Wood Mallesons, Jun He and Fangda Partners. In the near future, the Law Review will also be available and accessible on Westlaw, LexisNexis, CNKI (the most popular academic database in China) and other databases.



We welcome submissions from professors, practitioners and law school students worldwide for publication in two issues annually―spring and autumn. We accept manuscripts throughout the year. Please see Letter to Author.

Visit Us

STL is located in Shenzhen in Guangdong Province’s Pearl River Delta, a region that boasts China’s fastest-growing economy. Within Shenzhen, we are situated in the picturesque neighborhood of University Town in the Nanshan District of Shenzhen.


Fronted by Tanglang Mountain and shaded by countless varieties of trees native to Guangdong Province, our campus is set amidst a beautiful landscape of tropical foliage. We are roughly 20 minutes away from downtown Shenzhen with its glittering central business district and modern Civic Center. Geographically and economically, Shenzhen is also closely integrated with Hong Kong, with which it shares a border.


Extensive public transportation options links the two cities – from downtown, one may visit Hong Kong via bus, metro, and ferry. With a combined GDP of more than $650 billion, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong region is one of the largest metropolitan areas in the world.