Since its founding more than 35 years ago, Shenzhen University has developed a comprehensive education system, offering programs ranging from bachelor's, master's to doctoral degrees. Currently, there are twelve liberal arts schools, including Normal College, School of Humanities, School of Foreign Languages, College of Mass Communication, College of Economics, Law School, College of Management, College Design, School of Marxism, and College of Psychology and Social Sociology, accounting for half of the whole education system. There are eight academic disciplines in liberal arts—philosophy, history, literature, law, education, economics, management and art—covering varied fields and demonstrating an advanced academic system. In addition, there are four first-level disciplines that offer doctoral studies including theoretical economics, Chinese language and literature, communication and psychology.
Shenzhen University has been fostering increased productivity and research output. Currently, there are fourteen research platforms above the municipal level and the scientific research projects have achieved significant results. By 2018, SZU ranked top among the universities in China, with thirty-three research projects funded by the National and Humanities and Social Sciences Fund. In 2018, Shenzhen University has undertaken another three key projects (including one for arts) funded by the National Humanities and Social Sciences Fund. This marked a historical breakthrough for the annual number of key projects, and for the approval of key projects funded by the National Humanities and Social Sciences Fund for eight consecutive years since 2011. The total number of projects has reached thirteen so far, ranking among the top universities in Guangdong province. The publication in SSCI journals in humanities and social sciences has reached a record-breaking high, with a rapidly increasing number of articles in SSCI journals over these years. In 2014-2016, Shenzhen University ranked among the top 50 universities in mainland China for the number of articles in SSCI, with 239 articles at number 42.