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Soochow University

School of Art

China Full Member Institution

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Mission Statement

The School of Art at Soochow University was founded in 1960.In the past 58 years, we have played a leading role in art and design education in China and have been committing to combining design, art, crafts and science together in our education. We balance theoretical and practical in our research and teaching based on the knowledge of social needs. We require rigorous academics.


We stress on research-oriented and problem-oriented high quality teaching. We are dedicated to offer BA, MA, DA programs to students and have a strong desire to lead them to grow into art and design professionals with social responsibility, creativity, innovative perspective and practical competitiveness. We encourage diversity development of students and also regard exploring the potential of each student as our duty.


We hold a positive attitude and a quite open mind to the new trends in scientific and technological innovation in the world, as well as to the new changes in social and cultural life. In this international perspective, we focus on cross-disciplinary and cross-cultural research on diverse areas in art and design. We also devote to inheritance and innovative application of intangible cultural heritage of traditional art and crafts.

International Role

Soochow University was founded in 1900 which was originally named Central University in China. In Chinese history, it was the first modern university and the first university with a master's degree. In 2018, Soochow University is ranked NO.15 among Chinese universities of World University Rankings 2019 by Times Higher Education, UK. At present, it is one of the key comprehensive universities of the Project 211, 2011 Plan and Double First-Class Project in China. It has established partnerships with over 180 universities and institutes abroad. Every year, over 3,000 international students from more than 60 countries and regions are recruited. Moreover, Soochow University has been selected as a member institute in the "20+20 Cooperation Plan of Chinese and African Institutions of Higher Education" launched by the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. In 2011, Soochow University in Laos was founded, which was the first overseas university branch in Chinese history.


The School of Art at Soochow University plays a very active role in participating in the above international cooperation and exchange projects. Furthermore, we focus on the comprehensive cooperation in the bachelor's degree, the master's degree and the doctor's degree programs. We offer abundant options of international exchange programs for the students as well as a large number of workshops, courses cooperation and academic exchanges, such as workshops and courses cooperation with School of Design at Politecnico di Milano Italy and workshops with the El Mundo Spain, etc. We organize international seminars and lectures, such as seminars with the Animator of the Walt Disney Company and DreamWorks Studios USA, the Department of Asian Art of Yale University Art Gallery USA, the Royal Society of Cambridge University UK, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison USA, etc. We attend and lecture in international conferences. We even have exchange programs for our staff. We have recruited four international experts to teach as our staff. We do our best to be consistent with our colleagues in the world.


We have signed the cooperation agreements with overseas universities and academic institutions from United Kingdom, France, Italy, Hungary, United States of America, Canada, Japan, South Korea, Hungary, Taiwan and Hong Kong. We are working to seek more international opportunities for all the best.


In the list of our international partners that we already have and are going to have are University for the Creative Arts (UK), University of Plymouth (UK), University of Southampton (UK), L’ Ecole de design Nantes Atlantique (France), Université de Toulouse (France), Univeristé de Haute-Alsace: Mulhouse (France), Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (France), Galileo Global Education (France), Ukrainian National Academy of Fine Arts and Architecture (Ukrain), University of Western Ontario (Canada), BINUS University (Indonesia), National Taiwan Normal University (Taiwan), National Yunlin University of Science & Technology (Taiwan) and Daegu University (Korea). We are always ready to welcome more partners.

National Role

Our School of Art is one of the initiators to establish design disciplines in China. We are pivotal in promoting the development and reform of Chinese modern design education. We are one of the best art and design schools in China, ranking joint NO.5 among the long list of over 1,900 competitors. Our design discipline is rated as A level in the evaluation result of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China. A few of our staff are the national consultants of the Chinese painted pottery art archaeology, the consultants of aesthetics, the executive council member of the National Education Calligraphy and Painting Association (ECPA) Higher Art Education Society, the member of the National Art Professional Degree Graduate Education Steering Committee, the member of the Fine Arts Professional Steering Committee of the Ministry of Education of the People's Republic of China, the Vice Chairman of the China Fashion Association, the deputy director of the China Artists Association Apparel Arts Council, the member of the Jiangsu Provincial Artists Association Watercolor Art Committee, and the vice chairman of the Suzhou Artists Association.


In the past 58 years, our graduates have earned a very good social reputation. They work in different countries. A large number of them have become outstanding art and design talents, senior executives and industry leaders both domestic and overseas. It is worth mentioning that many of our graduates work as academic leaders, professors, principals, rectors, deans in the famous art and design institutions and the national key universities in China. These institutions and universities include Academy of Arts & Design at Tsinghua University, China Academy of Art, Jiangnan University, Donghua University, Nanjing University of the Arts, Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, Guangzhou Academy of Fine

Arts, Tianjin Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing Institute of Fashion Technology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Sichuan University, Qingdao University, Jilin University, Nanjing Normal University and Hunan Normal University. Meanwhile, our School of Art has collaboration with all these universities mentioned above as partners.


We have also established partnerships with other universities in specialized fields, such as Shanghai University Of Engineering Science, Jiangsu University, Jiangsu Normal University, Xi'an Polytechnic University, Yangzhou University, Nantong University, Qingdao University of Science and Technology, Qufu Normal University, Xuzhou University of Technology and Wenzhou University.


Our School of Art has been actively involved in the collaboration with national and regional associations and institutions, including the State Administration of Cultural Heritage, the Chinese Folk Literature and Art Association, the Suzhou Silk Museum, the Suzhou Arts and Crafts Museum, the Suzhou Brick Sculpture Museum,

Intangible Cultural Heritage Protection and Management Office Suzhou (municipal).


Our School of Art has a strong tradition in partnership with industry. Our partners from industry includes Heilan Group, Jiangsu Sumec Group Co., Ltd., Gold Mantis Construction Decoration Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Longrich Biotechnology Co., Ltd., Jiangsu Golden Sun Textile Technology Co., Ltd., Suzhou Yunfan Embroidery Crafts Co., Ltd., Suzhou Jinda Silk Co., Ltd.

Main Focus

Our main focus is to offer comprehensive research-oriented education to students in BA, MA and DA in design, art and crafts related subjects. We focus on intrinsic connection research on traditional and modern design and theory.


We also focus on four compulsory modules as a connection between research and teaching: design thinking, research methods, design principles and applications, design practice.

Faculties and Departments

Department of Textile Design

Department of Fashion Design

Department of Environmental Art Design

Department of Visual Communication Design

Department of Digital Art

Department of Industrial Design

Department of Fine Arts

Department of Art and Design Theory and History

Bachelor Level Programs

Bachelor level programs – Education (Tab)

Bachelor level programs – list here the available bachelor level or equivalent programs per subject area and the estimated duration of studying, give a full list including the titles of the degrees, for example BA in fine arts, BA in industrial design etc.


BA in Textile Design  4 years

BA in Fashion Design  4 years

BA in Environmental Art Design  4 years

BA in Visual Communication Design  4 years

BA in Digital Art  4 years

BA in Industrial Design  4 years

BA in Fine Arts  4 years

BA in Art and Design Theory and History  4 years

Master Level Programs

MA in Textile Design  3-5 years

MA in Fashion Design  3-5 years

MA in Environmental Art Design  3-5 years

MA in Visual Communication Design  3-5 years

MA in Digital Art  3-5 years

MA in Industrial Design  3-5 years

MA in Fine Arts  3-5 years

MA in Art and Design Theory and History  3-5 years

MFA in Textile Design  3 years

MFA in Fashion Design  3 years

MFA in Environmental Art Design  3 years

MFA in Visual Communication Design  3 years

MFA in Digital Art  3 years

MFA in Industrial Design  3 years

MFA in Fine Arts  3 years

MFA in Art and Design Theory and History  3 years

Research Activity and Main Areas

We have a wealth of diverse research areas. Our research areas consist of six parts.

Part I: research on Chinese traditional art, design, culture, history and theory

Part II: research on cross-cultural art and design history and theory comparison

Part III: research on modern design, including fashion design, textile design, industrial design, information design, service design, digital and interactive design, digital art, graphic and visual communication design, typographic design, inclusive design, branding design, instructional design and environmental art

Part IV: research on Chinese painting

Part V: research on Chinese silk handicraft theory and skills

Part VI: research on inheritance and application of intangible cultural heritage

In doctorate level programs, DA studies are planned individually.

Doctorate Level Programs

DA in Textile Design  3-8 years

DA in Fashion Design  3-8 years

DA in Environmental Art Design  3-8 years

DA in Visual Communication Design  3-8 years

DA in Digital Art  3-8 years

DA in Industrial Design  3-8 years

DA in Fine Arts  3-8 years

DA in Art and Design Theory and History  3-8 years

Subject Areas for Exchange Students

Textile Design

Fashion Design

Environmental Art Design

Visual Communication Design

Digital Art

Industrial Design

Fine Arts

Art and Design Theory and History

Application Deadlines

Application deadlines – Exchange (Tab)

Application deadlines, list here deadlines to apply for an exchange period


June 15th for Autumn semester

December 15th for next Spring semester

Teaching Languages







Semester Dates

Autumn Semester: Oct. 1st – Jan 31st

Spring semester: March 1st – August 31st

Cost of Living Per Month (Studying and Living)

It is normally around 630-900 euros per month for accommodation, including approximate rent, food, public transportation and material expenses.


We do not charge tuition fee for exchange students from universities that have signed the exchange agreements with us.


Bachelor: 931
Master: 326
Doctorate: 25

Exchange Students

Incoming: 3
Outgoing: 21
Others: 8

Teaching Staff

Professors: 50
Lectures: 39
Other permanent teachers: 20
Part-time Teachers: 41

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