Every academic year is divided into three semesters: spring, autumn and summer. The two eighteen-week semesters in spring and autumn are for courses, while the eleven-week summer semester consists of a six-week vacation and a five-week practical trainings or internship abroad.

Tsinghua University offers undergraduate students a "liberal education of breadth": the four-year degree programs normally requires 170 credits, including 140 from courses and 30 from practical trainings. The curriculum is designed to include 35 credits from courses on humanities and social sciences, 35 from those on natural sciences, and 70 from basic and major-related courses. In the first two years, students are encouraged to adopt a general approach to humanities, social sciences and natural sciences and design their own study plans by choosing optional courses according to their interest and personal schedule.