Abstract Experimental tests and numerical analyses were conducted to study the behavior of the blind bolted end plate joint with concrete-filled square hollow section columns to steel beam. A detailed description of the experimental program and the main results of the tests were presented. Four full-scale subassemblages representing interior or exterior beam-to-column joints were tested under monotonic loading. The failure modes, moment–rotation relation curves and connection classification of the joints were evaluated. The test specimens exhibited favorable strength and stiffness, and larger deformation capacities. Then, finite element analysis (FEA) modeling of the tested specimens was developed, and the results obtained from the FEA modeling were verified against those from the test results. Parametric studies were conducted to investigate the influence of axial load level, steel ratio, slenderness ratio of column, and bolt pretension force etc. on the moment capacity and rotational stiffness of composite joints. The feasibility of connecting an end plate to the steel beam using an alternative method to improve the joint behavior has been explored by the FEA studies. The experimental studies and numerical analyses enable improvement to the design of the typed connections to be used in moment-resisting composite frame structures.