Research Postgraduate Programs at Beijing Normal University (2015)
First-Level Discipline: Systems Science (Code: 0711)
With grant rights to Master’s degree and PhD degree
1.1 Master’s degree candidate
The school cultivates candidates to be interdisciplinary all-round new force and the training emphasizes on both theory and practice. The candidates trained here should have systemic thoughts, creation awareness and competency; have solid fundamentals and master the basic concepts, methodology and tools of Systems Science; know the current research and the direction of development of Systems Science. They should have professional ability of practice, worldwide vision, rigorous and pragmatic attitude, scientific performance, good moral character and social responsibility. The graduates will possess fundamental qualities to conduct scientific research on theories of Systems Science and its applications as well as conduct teaching tasks, and possess basic qualities being interdisciplinary personnel. Graduates can undertake technical, research or management work of the whole systemic analyses, statistics, models and the establishment of policies for companies of high and new technology, financial enterprises, public institutions and governments.
1.2 PhD candidates
The school cultivates candidates to be interdisciplinary all-round new force and the training emphasizes on the combination of theory and practice. The candidates trained here should have systemic thoughts, creation awareness and competency; lay a solid and comprehensive fundamentals and master the mathematical methodology and theories that can be employed to study complex systems; have a deep understanding of qualities, characteristics and theories of a certain field; have a good command of mathematical and computational tools in doing intensive research on structures, qualities and evolutions of complex systems. They should have independent ability of doing research, worldwide vision, rigorous and pragmatic attitude, scientific performance, good moral character as well as social responsibility. Graduates should be eligible academic leaders and project leaders; have competency of independently undertaking as well as completing significant research projects. Moreover, they should have capability of undertaking teaching tasks in colleges, universities and advanced research, as well as undertaking technical and management work in companies of high and new technology, financial enterprises, public institutions and governments.
2. Research areas
Below Systems Science, the first-level discipline, there are three second-level disciplines, including System Theory, System Analysis and Integration, and Modeling and Control of Complex Systems.
3. Duration of Schooling
3.1 Master’s degree candidates
Flexible educational system is available for Master’s degree candidates, which usually covers two to three years. Master’s degree candidates can graduate after schooling of two years or two and a half years when they get the required credits, pass all the exams, meet the research requirements proposed by Branch of Degree Committee and pass the thesis defense.
3.2 PhD candidates
The duration of schooling for normal PhD candidates is three years and graduates should meet the research requirements proposed by Branch of Degree Committee. The duration for directional, state-planned contractual as well as on-job PhD candidates can be four years, and for PhD candidates of successive master-doctor program or PhD candidates with Bachelor’s degree five years. The maximum schooling should not exceed six years for all kinds of PhD candidates.
4. The Curriculum and Credit Requirements
4.1 Master’s degree candidates (minimum requirement for graduation: 35 credits)
4.2 PhD candidates (minimum requirement for graduation: 20 credits)
4.3 PhD candidates with Bachelor’s degree (minimum requirement for graduation: 45 credits)
PhD candidates with Bachelor’s degree are required to complete all courses of Master’s degree and PhD degree (with exemption from courses of Politics and Foreign Language in the stage of PhD), and complete all compulsory practice of PhD study (with exemption from Compulsory Practice – Practical Activities and Mid-term Assessment – of Master stage).
4.4 Successive master-doctor candidates (minimum requirement for graduation: 35+20 credits)
Successive master-doctor candidates are required to get the required credits both for Master’s degree and PhD degree, with a minimum of 35 credits within two years for Master’s stage and 20 credits for PhD stage.
4.5 Postgraduate candidates from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan
Requirement for the total credits is the same as that for ordinary candidates; however, candidates from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan are exempted from the course of Politics.
4.6 Overseas postgraduate candidates
Overseas postgraduate candidates are exempted from courses of Politics and Foreign Language, and are required to attend the course of China Panorama. The minimum credits requirement for Master’s degree candidates is 32 and for PhD candidates is 20.
Notice: Faculty advisors should instruct postgraduate candidates to take courses according to their academic background and academic plan. Candidates that do not have a diploma from Beijing Normal University and cross-disciplinary candidates are required to take relative supplementary courses and prerequisite courses.
5. Training Methods and Activities
5.1 Requirements for Master’s degree candidates in practical activities (demonstrations, experiments)
Master’s degree candidates are required to read literatures proposed by supervisor(s), participate in research activities organized by supervisor(s) with a minimum of three hours per week, and report the progress of literature reading and research in seminars organized by the school and supervisor(s).
Practice of Master’s degree candidates includes social practice, teaching practice or research practice. Each is acceptable. The minimum workload is thirty days and candidates can complete the task either by himself /herself or together with others. It is suggested to arrange social practice or teaching practice in the summer holiday of the first year or the third term. The workload of the teaching practice should be no less than one-term tutorship with two credits. Research practice includes experiments at the laboratory or other specific research tasks.
5.2 Requirements for mid-term assessment of Master’s degree candidates
Course learning for Master’s degree candidates should be completed within the first three terms and the mid-term assessment is held in the third term. The mid-term assessment covers scores of study, classical and frontier literature reading, academic ethnics, research proposal and so on. Candidates can start to write their thesis after passing the assessment. The result of the mid-term assessment will also serve as an important basis for the selection of successive master-doctor candidates.
5.3 Research activities of PhD candidates
PhD candidates are required to read literatures proposed by supervisor(s), participate in research activities organized by supervisor(s) with a minimum of three hours per week, and report the progress of literature reading and research in seminars organized by the school and supervisor(s). Additionally, they should write an academic report of the field currently studied, which will be graded and granted with credits by the supervisor and be submitted to Branch of Degree Committee.
5.4 Requirements for international experiences of PhD candidates
PhD candidates are required to read and summarize international frontier literatures of the currently-studied field of the discipline, and participate in international interactive activities no less than three times or academic activities outside mainland China for one time (including exchange visits and international conferences).
5.5 Requirements for mid-term assessment of PhD candidates
Course learning for PhD candidates is to be completed within the first year, and thesis proposal and mid-term assessment are held in the third term. Three to five professors from the same field or relative subjects attend the meeting for thesis proposal, and decide whether the candidate pass the examination of the thesis proposal and mid-term assessment. The one who fails to pass can have a second chance within three to six months.
6. Academic Thesis and Thesis Defense
It is with reference to Fundamental Requirements for PhD Degree and Master’s Degree approved by the State Council of China and Regulations of Degree Grants at Beijing Normal University.
7. Responsibilities of Supervisors
Academic plan: to establish study plan and research training plan on the basis of students’ existing knowledge structure and research interests.
Research ability: to form good academic atmosphere to train students’ skills of discussion and critical thinking ability; to provide students with opportunities of participating in research projects, to train students to conduct academic research with financial support; to supervise students to complete thesis and academic papers.
Cooperative interaction: to guide students to participate in related academic conferences and familiarize them with frontier problems of the related research fields; to provide them with opportunities to interact and communicate with other scholars.
Academic thesis: to instruct students to choose a research topic for their theses, supervise them in the process of writing the theses, and support them with related professional techniques.