In 1978, following the suggestion of Nobel Laureate Tsung-Dao Lee, and with the support of Deng Xiaoping
and other national leaders, the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) established a
“youth class” to recruit young students of exceptional academic ability, but who had not yet completed
their regular secondary education, to enter college early. The goal is to train outstanding talents in
the fields of science and technology, and expand the boundaries of youth education.
After more than 40 years of continuous growth and development, the USTC School of the Gifted Young (SGY)
is fulfilling the need for training high-level talents in science and technology. Our flexible and
innovate teaching approach encourages change, exploration, and refinement in educational practices. The
School is now recognized as a premiere honors program in China.
Prof. Tsung-Dao Lee（4th from right）visited USTC in 1984 and met with SGY
An inscription from Tsung-Dao Lee, encouraging students to be innovative and
Our innovative curriculum emphasizes social responsibility alongside academic excellence, it places a
premium on building a solid foundation in mathematics and physics, it caters to individual student
needs, fuses theory and practice, and maintains a global outlook.
As our students are younger than traditional college freshman, when they turn 18, we hold a special
“coming of age” ceremony, where the students engage in volunteer work, and participate in group
activities designed to reaffirm one’s commitment to the broader society, and promote a transition to
responsible adult citizenry.
SGY students have developed a culture of volunteerism, enhanced and passed down from one class to the
next. For example, during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic, many SGY students volunteered to participate in
neighborhood virus eradication and mitigation work.
Students Zhibo Sheng (left) and Zhengzheng Yang (right) sanitizing a
Student Fan Bu tutors middle schoolers in rural Taijiang County, Guizhou
The School supports team building and recreational activities, ensuring the overall health and
well-being of talent trainees. Counselors at SGY play a special role in listening to students’ voices,
guiding class activities, providing a bridge between school and home learning environments, and helping
students to realize their full potential.
Counselor Lei Dai (Right) poses with graduation student Zheng Dong
Counselor Rong Lan (front right) and students during a class outing
Courses and Curriculum
The University attaches great importance to the education of SGY students. Since the School’s
establishment, we have benefitted from a selection of best teachers in the University. In order to
further promote open sharing of educational resources, in November 2020, the School officially launched
“School of the Gifted Young Premiere Courses” on Bilibili channel (a popular website akin to Youtube in
The School has always adhered to the student-oriented education principle, finding ways to support and
encourage each student’s personalized development. A highly unique (among Chinese universities) feature
of our program is the free choice we offer our students to alter their major at multiple points in their
four years at USTC:
- Freshmen and Sophormore: Students can choose any major offered by the University;
- Junior: Students can adjust their major within their chosen discipline;
- Senior: Students can adjust their specialization within their chosen major.
In 2016, SGY created a special “Interdisciplinary Talent Class”. After a competitive selection process,
students admitted to this five-year program can choose any two disciplines and create a personalized
interdisciplinary curriculum that fuses the two disciplines.
USTC President and Academician Xinhe Bao (right) attended the opening
Analysis” Premiere Course, taught by famed instructor Prof. Yi Cheng (Left).
University Provost Prof. Congzhao Zhou awarding the graduation diploma to Yisha
student of the
inaugural “Interdisciplinary Talent Class.”
Fusing Theory and Practice
With “Fusing theory and practice” as our motto, the School guides students to engage in scientific
research as soon as possible. Not only does this help students connect classroom learning with problem
solving, but also helps them discover where their academic interests lie.
SGY students can make full use of the core facilities and teaching centers in all departments of the
University. They participate in various competitions and innovative entrepreneurship training programs,
enter laboratories to engage in research, and participate in academic conferences. The "SGY Forum"
brings master lecturers from academia and industries to give talks and meet with our students.
In 2020, the USTC team won the International University Supercomputing
(ISC20). Team members
Zidan Liu (third from left), Yexuan Huang (second from left) and Bowen Zhang (third from
students. Center front is the team coach Prof. Hong An.
Professor Chaoyang Lu lecturing on the “Jiuzhang” quantum computer at a SGY
This work was
published in the journal Science in 2020 with SGY alumnus Yuhao Deng as the lead author of
The School in the past 40 years has developed and currently enjoys a strong reputation in the
international education community. Fully aware of the importance of global perspective in the
undergraduate training process, we strive to develop an active exchange program through overseas
exchange grants, leveraging of our international alumni network, and relying on the generous support
from faculty members abroad.
We welcome and appreciate individual faculty members who are interested in hosting exchange students
from SGY. Please contact our International Cooperation Office .
Prof. Yulin Chen ‘95 of Oxford University (center back row) established an
Oxford and USTC.
Qianying Wu ‘16 went to the University of Pennsylvania for a summer
spent the fall semester of her junior year at the City University of Hong Kong, and spent
her junior year at UC Berkeley doing summer research.
SGY students of different ages, grades, and majors live together throughout their undergraduate years,
forming a unique community of mutual learning, exchange and cooperation, and melding of ideas. The
School encourages literary and artistic hobbies outside of traditional academics, athletics and physical
SGY students actively participates in student organizations, creating popular activities, including
exchange and cooperation with sister colleges at USTC and elsewhere.
SGY Chung Ying Student Residential Center (Photo by Student Jing Liang)
Team SGY won the 2019 “Eagle Cup” in the University Soccer Tournament
Student Jing Fang conducting the University Folk Orchestra in a New Year’s
Annual “Youth Tour” activity organized by SGY students
SGY alumni are not only active in scientific research, education, enterprise and other fields, but also
generously contribute to the development of the School. In 2018, Ms. Melissa Dongmin Ma ‘89 donated RMB
100 million to set up the "USTC Rose Development Fund", focusing on enhancing SGY student training and
the strengthening of USTC’s academic disciplines. Under the support of the Rose Fund, the School set up
special scholarships and planned the "Read 10,000 books, travel 10,000 miles" Rose Tour project.
Ms. Melissa Ma ’85 (left) and Vice President Yi Jiang attending the
Students visiting Microsoft Research Lab – Asia in Beijing during a
Rose Tour in 2021