Southwest Jiaotong University (SWJTU) was founded in 1896 and is one of China’s oldest higher education institutions. Known as the cradle of China’s railway engineers and “the Cornell of the East”, SWJTU is the birthplace of China’s modern education in transportation, mining & metallurgy and civil engineering. Through its history, the university has adopted different names such as “Imperial Chinese Railway College at Shanhaiguan by Beiyang Railway Bureau”, “Tangshan Jiaotong University” and “Tangshan Institute of Railway”.

   Today’s SWJTU is situated in Chengdu, capital of southwest China’s Sichuan province. The city is dubbed as the land of abundance, the homeland of the giant panda and the place of fortune and success. The university has a total area of approximately 333 hectares and has three campuses. They are the Jiuli campus, the Xipu campus and the Emei campus which is located in the Emei Mountain Scenic Area, a famous tourist destination included in the World Heritage List by UNESCO. SWJTU is a premier engineering university and is on the list of China’s first batch of 211 Project universities. It is also a university in the “985 Project Innovation Platform on Rail Transit & Transportation Engineering”. The university focuses on a balanced development of multidisciplinary subjects of engineering, science, business management, finance, arts and law. It is one of China’s top universities with a government ratified Graduate School under the direct administration of the Ministry of Education. The university leads the project to set up the “Rail Transit Safety Collaborative Innovation Center”, which is listed in the national “University Innovation Capability Enhancement Plan”, also known as the “2011 Plan”. The other titles granted by the Ministry of Education include being a member of the first batch of universities to pilot the “Excellent Engineer Education and Training Program” and the “Comprehensive Reform on Professional Degree Graduate Education”.

   SWJTU boasts a well-developed student training system granting bachelors, masters and PhD degrees. It consists of 19 schools with 75 key undergraduate majors, among which 12 are National-level Specialty Majors. The university confers PhD degree to 15 first-level disciplines and master’s degree to 43 first-level disciplines, and it also hosts ten centers for post-doctoral study. The university is home to 12 national-level key disciplines including Locomotives and Vehicle Engineering and has 11 national-level specialty majors and four majors listed in the pilot national comprehensive reform on major construction. The first-level discipline of Traffic Engineering tops the national list among all the universities and other leading majors are Geomatics Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Management Science & Engineering. Among a teaching faculty of 2500, there are four academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, eight academicians of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, seven experts on the One Thousand Talents Scheme, three chief scientists on the National Basic Research Program (also called 973 Program), 13 specially-appointed professors and chair professors of the Cheung Kong Scholars Program of China, one Achievement Award winner of Cheung Kong Scholars Program and 16 winners of National Outstanding Youth Foundation. The university has six innovation research teams at national level recognized by the Ministry of Education. In addition, over 40 academicians from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering work as part-time professors at the university’s invitation. The university has granted honorary professorship to Nobel laureates in economics, Robert A. Mundell and Reinhard Selten, and Nobel Prize winner in physics Douglas Osheroff. Its alumni who graduated resumed college entrance exams in 1976 have taken most seats in the field of rail transportation of both the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Chinese Academy of Engineering.

   SWJTU was founded out of the need to construct China’s railway system and prospers in the process of serving the railway development. It has made great contributions to China’s landmark railway achievements, including the Beijing-Zhangjiakou Railway, the first self-designed and self-built railway of China by a team headed by Zhan Tianyou; the Baoji-Chengdu Railway, the first electrified railway of China; the Chengdu-Kunming Railway which is widely known as one of the world’s toughest railway construction projects with complicated geographic features and the Qinghai-Tibet Railway completed in July 2006. The achievement list also includes the successful development of the first diesel locomotive and electric locomotive after the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949; the first manned high-temperature superconductivity model maglev train in the world; the first heavy-load railway Datong-Qinghuangdao Line and the first successful system debug of China’s first demo line for maglev trains. The university also participates vigorously in the design and construction of all subways in China and construction of key bridges including the famous Hangzhou Bay Bridge and Donghai Bridge, as well as numerous railway projects such as the Beijing-Tianjin intercity rail, Wuhan-Guangzhou Express Railway and Beijing-Shanghai High Speed Railway. SWJTU plays a key role in developing China’s rail transportation undertakings and is the most influential university in the field. It witnesses China’s rail transportation construction from the fledgling stage to maturity and prosperity, and numerous breakthrough achievements in the field originate here. Thus far, the university has formulated three systems in discipline construction, talent training and research to facilitate China’s rail transportation modernization process and serve regional economic development. The university is pushing forward collaborative innovation with social forces and various resources to step up innovation and generate collective wisdom towards China’s rail transportation development. It aims to cultivate high-quality talents with innovative spirit and competitive edge in order to provide technological and personnel support for the rail transportation construction and management and regional economic development in China.

   SWJTU achieves remarkable results in cultivating internationalized talents. It has forged long-term partnerships with 166 universities and institutions across 54 countries and regions including the International Union of Railways, Cornell University, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Technical University Munich. It runs overseas programs in cooperation with the US and France and is a member school of Erasmus Mundus Program and a contract university of programs administered by the China Scholarship Council (CSC). The international and exchange programs benefit students of all kinds. In 2013, a total of 682 international students came to study at SWJTU from 65 countries, among whom 187 won CSC grants and are majored in the discipline of rail transportation. SWJTU has co-established a Confucius Institute with Karlstads University in Sweden and plans to set up a joint school with the University of Leeds in the UK. SWJTU is the first in Sichuan to set up a Confucius institute with a partner university in Europe.

   As one of China’s top universities and the most influential in the discipline of rail transportation, SWJTU values the strategy of propelling development via talent education and recruitment and continues to further its internationalization efforts to popularize cultural education, attract overseas talents and encourage scientific research. The university aims to become a hub to host personnel with prestige and a frontier in academic research, manifesting its spirit of innovation, creativity and pursuit of academic excellence.


Administrative Building Room 425, International Students Office, Xipu Campus Southwest Jiaotong University, High-tech Zone Western Zone, Chengdu, 611756, Sichuan, China


Phone: 0086-28-66366343