March, 4

PLA Naval Submarine Academy: A Guide for Aspiring Submariners

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The PLA Naval Submarine Academy is a place where you can pursue your dream of becoming a submarine in the People’s Liberation Army Navy. You should think about applying if this is your goal. This prestigious institution is the cradle of China’s submarine force and the only one of its kind in the country. It offers a rigorous and comprehensive education that prepares cadets for the challenges and opportunities of serving in the underwater domain.

This article will give you an overview of the history, admission, tuition, ranking, programs, campus life, athletics, notable alumni, and frequently asked questions of the PLA Naval Submarine Academy. Read on to find out more about this unique and elite school.

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History of PLA Naval Submarine Academy

The PLA Naval Submarine Academy was founded in 1953, shortly after the establishment of the PLAN. It was originally located in Lushun, Liaoning Province, and was known as the PLA Naval Submarine School. It was the first school in China to train submarine personnel, and it played a vital role in developing China’s submarine force. In 1960, the school moved to Qingdao, Shandong Province, and changed its name to the PLA Naval Submarine Academy. In 1985, it became a national key university, and in 1998, it was incorporated into the Harbin Engineering University as a subordinate college. In 2004, it regained its independent status as a military academy, and in 2017, it celebrated its 60th anniversary in Qingdao.

How to Get Admission Into PLA Naval Submarine Academy

Admission to the PLA Naval Submarine Academy is highly competitive and selective. Only the best and brightest candidates are accepted, and the process involves several steps and requirements. First, applicants must be Chinese citizens who are loyal to the Communist Party of China and the motherland. They must also be physically and mentally healthy and have no criminal record or bad conduct. Second, applicants must have a high school diploma or equivalent, and pass the national college entrance examination (gaokao) with excellent scores. Third, applicants must pass a series of physical, psychological, and medical tests, as well as interviews and background checks. Fourth, applicants must obtain a nomination from a local military recruitment office, which is based on their academic performance, moral character, and leadership potential. Fifth, applicants must pass a final examination and interview conducted by the academy, and be approved by the PLAN headquarters. The admission rate is estimated to be around 1%, making it one of the most difficult schools to get into in China.

Tuition Fees

As a military academy, the PLA Naval Submarine Academy does not charge tuition fees to its cadets. Instead, cadets receive a monthly stipend from the government, which covers their living expenses, books, uniforms, and other necessities. Cadets also enjoy free accommodation, food, medical care, and transportation on campus. However, cadets are expected to sign a contract with the PLAN, which obliges them to serve in the submarine force for at least 10 years after graduation. Cadets who fail to complete their studies or service are required to pay back the stipend and other costs.

Current Ranking of PLA Naval Submarine Academy

The PLA Naval Submarine Academy is widely regarded as one of the top military academies in China, and one of the best naval engineering schools in the world. It is ranked among the top 10 engineering universities in China by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and among the top 50 engineering universities in the world by the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The Ministry of Education, the Engineering Accreditation Commission, and the International Association of Maritime Universities also accredit it. The academy has won numerous awards and honors for its academic excellence, scientific research, and social service, including the National May 1st Labor Medal, the National Advanced Unit of Science and Technology, and the National Civilized Unit.

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Academic Programs

The PLA Naval Submarine Academy offers a variety of academic programs that cover the fields of naval engineering, submarine engineering, marine engineering, naval architecture, ocean engineering, and related disciplines. The academy has four undergraduate programs, eight master’s programs, and six doctoral programs, as well as several postdoctoral research stations and professional training courses. The academy has a faculty of over 500 professors, researchers, and instructors, many of whom are experts and leaders in their fields. The academy also has a library of over 600,000 books and journals, and a network of over 100 laboratories and research centers, equipped with advanced facilities and instruments. The academy has established academic exchanges and cooperation with over 40 universities and institutions from more than 20 countries and regions, such as the United States, Russia, Germany, France, Japan, and South Korea.

Campus Life at PLA Naval Submarine Academy

Campus life at the PLA Naval Submarine Academy is both challenging and rewarding. Cadets are expected to follow a strict schedule and discipline and adhere to the core values of loyalty, honesty, courage, and dedication. Cadets have to wake up at 6:00 a.m., attend morning exercises, flag-raising ceremonies, classes, military training, and self-study sessions, until 10:00 p.m., when they have to go to bed. Cadets must also wear uniforms, salute, and always obey orders. Cadets have to undergo intensive and rigorous training in submarine operations, tactics, maintenance, and survival, both on land and at sea. Cadets have to learn how to operate and control various types of submarines, such as nuclear-powered, ballistic missile, attack, and conventional submarines. Cadets also have to learn how to cope with the harsh and dangerous environment of the underwater world, such as high pressure, low temperature, limited space, noise, isolation, and emergencies.

However, campus life at the PLA Naval Submarine Academy is not all work and no play. Cadets also have opportunities to enjoy various extracurricular activities, such as sports, clubs, festivals, and competitions. Cadets can participate in sports such as basketball, soccer, volleyball, table tennis, badminton, and swimming, and join clubs such as music, art, literature, photography, and chess. Cadets can also celebrate festivals such as the Spring Festival, the Mid-Autumn Festival, the National Day, and the Navy Day, and compete in contests such as the Submarine Knowledge Competition, the Submarine Skills Competition, and the Submarine Innovation Competition. Cadets can also visit local attractions such as the Qingdao Beer Museum, the Qingdao Olympic Sailing Center, the Qingdao Underwater World, and the Laoshan Mountain.


The PLA Naval Submarine Academy has a strong tradition and reputation in athletics, especially in water sports. The academy has a sports department, which organizes and supervises various sports activities and events on campus. The academy has several sports facilities, such as a gymnasium, a stadium, a swimming pool, a shooting range, and a sailing base. The academy also has several sports teams, such as the basketball team, the soccer team, the volleyball team, the table tennis team, and the sailing team. The academy participates in various sports competitions, such as the National University Games, the National Military Games, the International Military Games, and the International Sailing Regatta. The academy has won many medals and trophies in these competitions, and has produced many outstanding athletes, such as Wang Wei, a gold medalist in sailing at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, and Li Zhi, a silver medalist in sailing at the 2012 London Olympics.

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Notable Alumni

The PLA Naval Submarine Academy has a long and illustrious history of producing notable alumni, who have made significant contributions to the development and defense of China’s submarine force, as well as the advancement and innovation of naval engineering. Some of the most notable alumni are:

  • Liu Huaqing: He was the commander of the PLAN from 1982 to 1988, and the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1989 to 1997. He is considered the father of China’s modern navy, and the architect of China’s maritime strategy. He was the first Chinese admiral to visit the United States, and the first Chinese naval officer to receive the Order of Military Merit from Russia. He was also a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the highest decision-making body in China.
  • Zhang Wannian: He was the commander of the PLAN from 1988 to 1992, and the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1995 to 2003. He is credited with leading the modernization and expansion of China’s submarine force, and enhancing its combat readiness and deterrence capability. He was also a member of the Politburo, the second-highest decision-making body in China.
  • Wu Shengli: He was the commander of the PLAN from 2006 to 2017, and the vice chairman of the Central Military Commission from 2012 to 2017. He is recognized as the longest-serving naval chief in China’s history, and the driving force behind China’s naval transformation and power projection. He oversaw the commissioning of China’s first aircraft carrier, the Liaoning, and the development of China’s second and third aircraft carriers. He also supervised the construction of China’s first overseas naval base in Djibouti, and the deployment of China’s naval forces in the Gulf of Aden, the Mediterranean Sea, and the South China Sea.
  • Sun Jianguo: He was the deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission from 2015 to 2017, and the president of the PLA Naval Submarine Academy from 2017 to 2019. He is regarded as one of the most influential and respected naval officers in China.
  • Sun Jianguo: He was the deputy chief of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission from 2015 to 2017, and the president of the PLA Naval Submarine Academy from 2017 to 2019. He is regarded as one of the most influential and respected naval officers in China, and a leading expert on naval strategy and diplomacy. He represented China in various international forums and dialogues, such as the Shangri-La Dialogue, the Xiangshan Forum, and the International Seapower Symposium. He also played a key role in promoting China’s maritime cooperation and security initiatives, such as the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and the China-Africa Cooperation Forum.
  • Li Yanming: He is the current commander of the PLAN, and the youngest naval chief in China’s history. He assumed the post in 2017, at the age of 52. He is known for his innovation and vision, and his efforts to enhance China’s naval capabilities and modernization. He has overseen the development and testing of China’s first domestically built aircraft carrier, the Shandong, and the launch of China’s first Type 075 amphibious assault ship. He has also directed deploying China’s naval forces in the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the common questions that people may have about the PLA Naval Submarine Academy, and their answers:

  • Q: How many cadets are enrolled in the academy?
  • A: The academy has about 3,000 cadets, divided into four grades and 12 departments. Each grade has about 750 cadets, and each department has about 250 cadets.
  • Q: How long is the study period at the academy?
  • A: The study period at the academy is four years for undergraduate programs, and two to three years for master’s and doctoral programs. Cadets who complete their studies are awarded bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degrees, as well as naval officer commissions.
  • Q: What are the career prospects for graduates of the academy?
  • A: Graduates of the academy have a bright and promising career in the PLAN, especially in the submarine force. Graduates can serve as submarine officers, engineers, instructors, researchers, or managers, in various positions and ranks, depending on their performance and potential. Graduates can also pursue further studies or work in civilian sectors, such as academia, industry, or government, if they wish.
  • Q: What are the benefits and challenges of being a submariner?
  • A: Being a submariner is a noble and rewarding profession, but also a demanding and risky one. Submariners enjoy the benefits of serving the country, protecting the sovereignty, and exploring the ocean. Submariners also enjoy receiving high-quality education, training, and compensation. Submariners also enjoy the benefits of being part of a close-knit and elite community, with a strong sense of camaraderie and pride. However, submariners also face the challenges of living and working in a confined and hostile environment, with limited resources and communication. Submariners also face the challenges of coping with physical, mental, and emotional stress, as well as potential threats and accidents. Submariners also face the challenges of balancing their personal and professional lives, and maintaining their family and social ties.


The PLA Naval Submarine Academy is a remarkable and respected institution that trains and educates China’s submarine force’s future leaders and innovators. It is a place where cadets can learn and grow, both academically and militarily, and develop their skills and character. It is also a place where cadets can experience and enjoy, both on campus and off campus, and enrich their lives and culture. It is a place where cadets can fulfill and surpass, both their dreams and expectations, and contribute to their nation and humanity. If you are interested in joining the PLA Naval Submarine Academy, you can visit their official website, or contact their admission office, for more information and guidance. We hope this article has given you a glimpse of what it is like to be a cadet at the PLA Naval Submarine Academy, and inspired you to pursue your passion and ambition. Thank you for reading.

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