Shandong University is one of the initiative universities of modern Chinese higher education. Its main body, Shandong Imperial College (Shandong Da Xue Tang) established in 1901, was the second national university in China, only after the Imperial University of Peking. Moreover, it was the first university to be established and run in accordance with a chartered constitution. Shandong University comprises 8 campuses in three different cities (Jinan, Qingdao and Weihai), covering an area of over 533 hectares. The university currently has 4 affiliated hospitals, 3 non-subordinate affiliated hospitals and 11 teaching hospitals. It also has a teaching and administrative staff of 10,200 (including those at the Weihai Campus and the 3 affiliated hospitals included). Its full-time student population totals up to 60,000, of which 41,437 are undergraduates, 16,607 are postgraduates and 1,813 are international students. It also has an excellent faculty team of 1,107 professors, including 907 Ph.D. supervisors.

In keeping with its status as a comprehensive university, Shandong University has one of the largest ranges of academic disciplines in China. It has at present 13 general disciplines for undergraduate and graduate education, namely philosophy, economics, law, education, literature, history, science, engineering, agriculture, medicine, military science, management, and fine arts. It has 40 first-level doctoral degree programs, 55 first-level master degree programs, 28 professional doctoral and master degree programs, 116 undergraduate programs, 38 mobile post-doctoral research stations, forming a complete, unique, and strong system for talent cultivation. Shandong University attaches great importance to thecoordinated development of various disciplines, boasting 2 national key first-level disciplines (including 8 second-level disciplines), 14 national key second-level disciplines, 3 key national second-level disciplines (incubating), and 70 provincial key disciplines, covering the 4 disciplinary fields of liberal arts, science, engineering, and medicine.

The growth of the university over the years has seen SDU rise to the forefront of many fields in China. In the 1930s and 1950s, when Shandong University was located in Qingdao, it was the home to many nationally famous scholars who paved the way for great success especially in the fields of literature and history.  Up to this day, Shandong University is well-known for its strong liberal arts programs, and published the highly reputable academic journal Literature, History & Philosophy. These two periods also laid a good foundation for the university in natural sciences, enabling it to find itself among the noted institutions in China. Since the merger at the end of the last century, the university’s newly-developed disciplines of financial mathematics, crystal materials, condensed matter physics, colloid and surface chemistry, micro-biology, machinery, material science, cardiovascular functional recovery, new drug manufacturing, and classical Chinese philosophy have all risen to the first-class level within the country, and some are even known abroad.

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