China | International Credentials Equivalencies

Minimum GPA
B Plus GPA
*Grading System 1: 85/100; **Grading System 2: 83/100
Instruction Languages
Mandarin, Cantonese
Bachelors Equiv.
Bachelor`s Degree, requiring a minimum of 4 years of study
Masters Equiv.
Master`s Degree (with thesis) 2-3 years
Grad Sample
Master's Degree (with thesis) 2-3 years Doctoral Degree - 3 years beyond Master's plus thesis
First Degree Sample
Bachelor's Degree - 4 years
Grading System

A- Equivalent: *Grading System 1: 90/100; **Grading System 2: 85/100

There is no standardised grading system used by all Chinese universities. Many institutions use a percentage scale with a minimum pass mark of 60%.

(SGS EQUIVALENCIES: B = 80% | B+ = 85% | A- = 90%)
90-100% A
80-89% B
70-79% C
60-69% D-Pass
0-59% Fail
Pass/fail indicators usually given for courses without final exam

(SGS EQUIVALENCIES: B = 80% | B+ = 83% | A- = 85%)
85-100% A
76-84% B
60-75% C
0-59% Fail

(SGS EQUIVALENCIES: B = 80% | B+ = 85% | A- = 90%)
90-100% A
75-89% B
60-74% C
0-59% F

Recognized Universities

Many universities have been renamed or newly merged since 2000. Please contact SGS Student Services if you have any question on the name change of a university.

(Approximately 100 universities of the 1000+ universities receive priority in the allocation of funds and are designated as “National Key Universities”. Key Universities accept only the best applicants who have been selected through rigorous national entrance examinations.)

Anhui University
Anhui Normal University
Beihang University
Beijing Broadcasting Institute
Beijing Foreign Studies University
Beijing Forestry University
Beijing Institute of Technology
Beijing Jiaotong University
Beijing Language and Culture University
Beijing Normal University
Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Beijing University of Chinese Medicine
Beijing University of Posts & Telecommunications
Beijing University of Technology
Capital Normal University
Capital University of Economics and Business
Central Conservatory of Music
Central South University
Central University of Finance and Economics
Central University for Nationalities
Chang’an University
China Agricultural University
China Pharmaceutical University
China University of Geosciences
China University of Mining & Technology
China University of Political Science and Law
Chongqing University
Dalian Maritime University
Dalian University of Technology
Donbei University of Finance and Economics
Donghua University
East China Normal University
East China University of Science & Technology
Fudan University
Fuzhou University
Guangdong University of Foreign Studies
Guangdong University of Technology
Guangxi University
Harbin Institute of Technology
Heibei University
Hebei Normal University
Hebei University of Technology
Hefei University of Technology
Hohai University
Huazhong Agricultural University
Huazhong Normal University
Huazhong University of Science & Technology
Hunan Normal University
Hunan University
Inner Mongolia University
Jilin University
Jinan University
Lanzhou University
Liaoning University
Nanchang University
Nanjing Normal University
Nanjing University
Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics
Nanjing University of Post and Telecommunication
Nanjing University of Science and Technology
Nankai University
National University of Defense Technology
North China Electric Power University
Northeast Agricultural University
Northeast Normal University
Northeastern University
Northwest University
Northwest Normal University
Northwestern Polytechnical University
Ocean University of China
Peking University
Qingdao University
Renmin University of China
Shandong Normal University
Shandong University
Shanghai International Studies University
Shanghai Institute of Foreign Trade
Shanghai Jiaotong University
Shanghai Second Medical University
Shanghai University
Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
Shanxi University
Shenzhen University
Sichuan Agricultural University
Sichuan International Studies University
Sichuan University
Soochow University
South China Agricultural University
South China Normal University
South China University of Technology
Southeast University
Southern Yangtze University
Southwest Jiaotong University
Southwest University of Finance and Economics
Sun Yat Sen University
Taiyuan University of Technology
Tianjin Medical University
Tianjin University
Tianjin University of Finance and Economics
Tongji University
Tsinghua University
University of Electronic Science and Technology
University of International Business and Economics
University of Petroleum (East China)
University of Science & Technology of China
Wuhan University
Wuhan University of Technology
Xiamen University
Xi-an Jiaotong University
Xidian University
Xinjiang University
Yanbian University
Yunnan University
Zhejiang University
Zhengzhou University

Notes for China

***Please note grading scale of Peking University is different. Please see the Grading System section for more information.

During the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), all schools were closed. During this period, only diplomas were awarded. In 1982, universities were authorized to grant degrees. It is, therefore important to verify whether applicants indeed received a degree.
There are many Junior Colleges in China that offer 2 or 3 year non-degree tertiary programs. These programs are not acceptable for admission. If clarification is required contact SGS Student Services.

Degree Certificate Format:

Since January 1, 2008, the People’s Republic of China has started to issue a new format of degree certificate. It applies to all certificates including bachelor, master and doctor’s degrees. Some of the changes include:
– The booklet is replaced by an A4 – size single page
– The certificates no longer provide information on place of birth and duration of study
– The doctor’s degree is pink, the master’s degree is light blue and the bachelor’s degree is light green
– All certificates feature the Chinese national emblem and a colour photo of the degree holder

NOTE: High marks are not unusual and many students gain marks in the 80s and 90s. Some universities do not award a Bachelor Degree unless the student has achieved marks higher than a pass of 60. For example, a Bachelor Degree may only be awarded if the student achieves marks of:
80 or more for half their subjects, and
75 or more for two-thirds of their subjects, and
A grade of A/B, or a mark of 80 or more, in the graduation

Passing a foreign language examination is sometimes a degree requirement.

In cases where the student does not meet the graduation requirements for a Bachelor Degree they may be issued with a Certificate of Graduation.

Checklist for Assessing and Verifying Documents:

You may wish to verify documents with the institution of origin prior to admission. Reference letters are normally mailed to units by the applicant. It is recommended that units verify their origin. There are cases of fraudulent documents being presented to institutions which makes it difficult to assess documents received in support of applicants from China. The following is a summary of things to consider when you are assessing documents and some useful contacts for verifying documents. Although verifying documents can be time-consuming it is important that you do so whenever you have a major concern about a transcript, degree certificate or reference letter.

1) You should always receive documents in BOTH Chinese and English – often a student will only submit a translation that is done by the institution attended, but you should ask that the student submit the original Chinese document as well. All Chinese institutions will have a Chinese document and many of the larger institutions will also issue English translations. You should compare the grades, student ID numbers, signatures, seals, name of institution from both sets of documents.

There are two different certificates in most cases; graduation certificate and degree certificate. The graduation certificate (Zhuanke or Benke) is given when the required coursework is completed. The degree certificate, on the other hand, is awarded when all other requirements such as foreign language requirements, a thesis requirement, etc. are met in addition to the coursework required for the program. When reviewing credentials for admission, both documents should be requested, if not presented.

2) A Degree Certificate will NEVER be issued with a combination of both English and Chinese on the same page. It is issued in Chinese only with the national logo of the People`s Republic of China. The Degree Certificate is the document which confirms the degree. You should always ask applicants to present the Degree Certificate. Look for the Chinese characters (学位证书) on the Degree Certificate.

Bachelor`s Degree Certificate 学士学位证书
Master`s Degree Certificate 硕士学位证书
Doctoral Degree Certificate 博士学位证书

3) Between 1985 and 1991 most institutions issued only one booklet containing the Graduation Certificate. Since 1992, Chinese institutions issued two booklets to students who have graduated with a degree. Therefore, students who have graduated after 1992 should have a graduate certificate and a degree certificate.

The Certificate of Completion is usually issued to students who have attended a one or two-year program or who have completed a four-year program but with grades that are too low to grant a degree. The Certificate of Completion does NOT confirm the granting of the degree.

4) Larger than normal seals should be questioned. State seals are the largest seal, and most institutions use the regular smaller sized seal of about 1 to 1 1/2 inches.

5) Seals should be in Chinese, not English.

6) Seals should be crisp, clear and easy to read. Seals that are blurred and indistinct may have been purchased to forge documents.

7) Seals are normally placed in the bottom right hand corner of a transcript.

8) Most transcripts, issued prior to 1990, may be hand-written – computerized transcripts prior to 1990 may be forgeries.

9) Do not accept copies of documents notarized by someone as being copies of the original – even if done by an embassy. You have no way of knowing if the person who notarized the copy knew how to verify that the document was an original.

10) Documents should be received directly from the institution, or if received sealed, through the applicant, you should check the envelope and seals carefully. If there is doubt, verify the documents.

11) Verifying documents with Chinese institutions is becoming more difficult because many institutions will not do so without a fee. Don’t use fax numbers, email addresses or addresses provided by an applicant to verify documents. The applicant may have an inside contact who will just give you the same incorrect information as the applicant. Try to write directly to the Academic Affairs Office, a Chair of a department, or perhaps a contact name from a Website. If an email address is not given, you can often email the webmaster and ask for the email address that you need. A sample of a verification letter in English and Chinese is available in the Appendix of the Admissions Manual. If you need assistance, please contact SGS and we will follow up to obtain the proper contacts.

12) You should never find a transcript where ONLY letter grades are given. Many transcripts will use a combination of letters and number grades and many will use number grades only. Verify transcripts that use only letter grades.

13) Verify transcripts which show ALL grades in the 90% range.

Last Update: August 31, 2020

Last Updated: September 11, 2018

Last modified: August 31, 2020