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Renmin University Law School

Renmin University Law School, Beijing

Founded in 1950, Renmin University Law School was the first law school established in the People’s Republic of China. Located in Beijing, it is considered one of the country’s leading law schools and sits at the very heart of legal education and legal reform in China.

With a focus on contemporary and historical issues in Chinese law and policy, Renmin has 12 academic departments, such as Jurisprudence, Chinese Legal History, Civil Law and Commercial Law, Criminal Law, Constitutional Law and Administrative Law, and Intellectual Property Law, and 30 research institutes, including the RUC Center for Disabled Person’s Law & Legal Services and two national research centers sponsored by the Ministry of Education: the Research Center for Criminal Jurisprudence and the Research Center for Civil & Commercial Jurisprudence.

Renmin University Law School plays a strong advisory role on national legislation and judicial practice, with many faculty members participating in the drafting of and amendments to China’s Constitutional Law and other significant laws and acting as advisors to the National People’s Congress Standing Committee and the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

Renmin University Law School produces several publications, including the nation’s leading law journal, the Jurists’ Review, and the internationally-distributed English law journal, Frontiers of Law in China. Renmin University is host to more than 1,000 international students, and is the home of the English Corner, where students and citizens gather each Friday evening to speak and practice English.


Renmin University Law School is located in the Chinese capital of Beijing, the political, economic, and social center of China. Considered the birthplace of Chinese law, Beijing is the seat of such central state organs as the National People’s Congress, the Supreme People’s Court, and the State Council, providing a unique opportunity for studying China’s administrative rules, application of laws, and judicial proceedings. The Law School campus is in close proximity to other top schools, including Peking University, Tsinghua University, and Beijing Foreign Studies University, and is a short 10-minute drive to the former Imperial Gardens (Old Summer Palace) as well as the vast network of lakes, gardens, and palaces known as Summer Palace.

Course Offerings and Credits

Exchange students may enroll in all available law courses offered by Renmin University Law School at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

At present, English course descriptions and syllabi are not available online, and are distributed to students upon arrival. Please contact Lei Chen (Amy) at the Renmin University Law School International Office, for more information.

Renmin Law School semesters are divided into two parts, with courses offered in each of the two or for the full semester. Courses generally meet for four hours per week for eight weeks at the graduate level (half semester), and two hours per week for 16 weeks at the undergraduate level (full semester).

Course loads will vary from student to student. HLS students may receive a total of 10 to 12 ungraded classroom credits in relation to work done through the semester abroad program. Please see Academic Requirements for more information about course requirements and how semester abroad credits are calculated.

Students are evaluated in accordance with their performance in class and the final exam, final paper, or final assignment. The instructor has the discretion to decide how to weight the final exam against other performance factors such as class participation, term assignments, etc. The marking system at Renmin University of China is as follows:
90-100: A (4.0), 86-89: A- (3.7), 83-85: B+ (3.3), 80-83: B (3.0), 76-79: B- (2.7),73-75: C+(2.3), 70-73: C (2.0),66-69: C- (1.7), 63-65: D+ (1.3),60-62: D (1.0),

Language Proficiency

Although most law courses are taught in Chinese, Renmin University Law School offers approximately 20 law courses in English each semester. Students taking classes in Chinese are expected to have a level of Chinese fluency that will enable them to perform well in class and on exams. Prior to study abroad, HLS students may improve their language proficiency and receive credit for foreign language courses at Harvard College in accordance with the HLS cross registration policy. Students may also find it helpful to arrive in China early for language acclimation and/or to take a language training course before law classes begin.

Academic Calendar

The academic year at Renmin University Law School is divided into two semesters, the fall semester typically running from early September to mid-January, and the spring semester from mid-February to the end of June.

Application Process

Students interested in the Renmin University Law School exchange program should follow the Semester Abroad application process described on the Semester Abroad Eligibility and Application page.

The HLS International Legal Studies staff will inform approved students if there are any additional application materials to complete.

The exchange agreement stipulates that Renmin University reserve at least one spot for an HLS JD student each year. HLS may recommend more than one candidate but ultimately selection of the student will be made by Renmin.


Renmin offers international students on-campus accommodation in the International Students Building and International Cultural Exchange Center on a first-come, first-served basis. The rooms are equipped with such amenities as internet, telephone, and air conditioners. The facilities include shared kitchen space, laundry, convenience stores, and study rooms. Students may also choose to live off campus.

Contact Information

For further information, please contact Sara Zucker at (617) 495-9030 / or Andre Barbic at (617) 496-8732 /

Students may also contact Lei Chen (Amy), Project Coordinator, at the Renmin University Law School International Office, at, Professor Rui Guo at, or Alonzo Emery at