Curriculum Requirements

Adherence to the Curriculum

Each student enrolled in a specific program is subject to the requirements of the department and the University. All postgraduate students must adhere to the curriculum of the year of entry throughout their program of study.
Students should ensure that they understand the curriculum requirements of their program and plan ahead to complete their program within the permitted duration of study. In case of deviations from School/departmental/program requirements, approval must be obtained from the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Deviations from University requirements must be approved by the HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School.
Departments should, as far as possible, deliver the curriculum advertised unless due to special circumstances, changes to the original curriculum are necessary or advantageous.
Detailed curriculum requirements for students admitted in different academic years are published in the Postgraduate Program Catalog.

Thesis Research

Research postgraduate (RPg) programs focus on original research by the students. In addition to coursework requirements, RPg students will undertake thesis research under the direction of their thesis supervisors.
Further guidelines on thesis research are provided in the section “Guidelines on Thesis Research” of this Handbook.

PhD Qualifying Examination

Students enrolled in PhD programs are required to pass a qualifying examination within a stipulated period in order to obtain PhD candidacy. The qualifying examination may be conducted through the oral or written mode, or both. Those who fail the qualifying examination after two attempts are not allowed to continue with their doctoral studies. Individual programs may have stipulations concerning the timeframe that students should take the qualifying examination and when the qualifying examination should be retaken in the case of failure in the first attempt.