At the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), the School of the Gifted Young (SGY) is specially designed for the most talented young students. Proposed by Professor Tsung-Dao Lee, a Nobel Prize laureate, SGY was established in 1978, and has since grown in both size and recognition as the premiere honors program in Chinese academia.
The School admits students through three channels. The first is the “Special Class for the Gifted Young”, made up of students who enter at ages 16 years or younger; the second is the “Pilot Innovation Class”, for students of ages 17 years or younger. Both groups are selected by having applicants take the college entrance examination before the senior year of high school, followed by additional rigorous testing and interviews. SGY also hosts the “Experimental Class for the Sciences”, or, informally, the “00 Class”, which is composed of students who take their college entrance examination at the usual senior year and achieve outstanding scores. Because SGY provides one of the best educational environments in China, admissions are extremely competitive.
Our program is unique in China for offering a wide range of opportunities for students to grow and explore their self-directed interests. In the freshman year, students follow a curriculum emphasizing a solid foundation in mathematics, physics, languages, and computer programming. In the following years, a student can choose any major within USTC, including double-majors. While taking rigorous courses, the students are also actively involved in scientific research, take part in scientific and computing competitions, and do industry internships. SGY students of different ages and majors share dorm rooms together, fostering a unique interdisciplinary environment.
The majority of our graduates (>80% historically) go on to post-graduate studies. Many of our alumni take leadership positions in academia and industry. They are fellows of the APS, AAAS, IEEE, and other learned societies. They are recipients of Breakthrough Prizes, HHMI awards, McArthur Grants, PECASEs and other academic honors. They are leaders in high tech companies such as Microsoft, Baidu, Honor, and others. More examples can be found on our “Alumni” page.