The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) opened in October 1991 as a technological university dedicated to the advancement of learning and scholarship, with special emphasis on research, postgraduate education, and close collaboration with business and industry.

The University occupies an impressive 60-hectare site on the northern end of Clear Water Bay Peninsula at Tai Po Tsai. Situated on the slopes along the shore, the campus grounds are terraced to afford buildings on all levels with unobstructed panoramic views of the sea.

The campus has been built in two phases. Phase I was completed in July 1991 and has a capacity of 2,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) undergraduate and postgraduate students. Phase II, bringing capacity to about 7,000 FTE students, was completed in January 1993.

The major source of financial support for the University is the Government of Hong Kong through the University Grants Committee (UGC) and its Research Grants Council (RGC). Student fees, other sources of research support and donations are also significant contributors to the University's budget. Construction of Phases I and II of the campus was assisted by a grant from the Hong Kong Jockey Club of almost $2 billion toward the cost of over $3.2 billion.

The President is the chief executive officer and the three principal branches of the University are Academic Affairs, Administration and Business, and Research and Development, each headed by a Vice-President. Within Academic Affairs are the four schools which comprise the academic heartland of HKUST. Each of the four schools, established since the start of the University, is divided into departments and divisions. The fifth school, the Fok Ying Tung Graduate School located at Nansha in Guangdong Province, was established in 2006. Construction work for the new campus is expected to be completed in the first half of 2009. There are a number of academic service units and research units located administratively within the branch as well. Administration and Business is concerned with the non-academic administrative and financial operation of the University, and Research and Development focuses on research administration and contractual and applied research relevant to Hong Kong's technological and socio-economic development.

Three of the University's schools - Science, Engineering, and Business and Management - provide both undergraduate and postgraduate education. The School of Humanities and Social Science offers postgraduate education and general education for all undergraduates. As the medium of instruction is English, classes aimed at improving English language skills are required of most students. The Fok Ying Tung Graduate School at Nansha will offer postgraduate study opportunities to students from the Mainland and the surrounding region.

To complement the schools and their constituent academic departments, the University has set up interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, the Applied Technology Center, and the Technology Transfer Center to facilitate collaboration among the different schools and partnerships between the University and the public and private sectors.

Academic Faculty

The University recruits worldwide for faculty who have achieved excellence in their fields and are highly respected as both teachers and researchers. These include both established academics and promising younger scholars. More than 85% have experience at the world's leading research universities, either as PhD graduates, or through postdoctoral studies or teaching appointments.

These men and women care about Hong Kong, its people and its future. They have broad intellectual interests, and wish to work collaboratively with colleagues in other fields and interact with professionals in industry, commerce and the public services. Most importantly, they care about their students.


The University seeks highly qualified and motivated young men and women with wide interests who have received a well-rounded secondary education. In addition to having achieved good grades, they should be active participants in diverse activities and possess great potential.

Most undergraduates enter the University at the age of 18 or 19. In pursuing their course of study, they are able to obtain both a good general education and a qualification relevant to their career. Around 10% of the undergraduates are non-local students whereas non-local postgraduates account for approximately half of the total postgraduate population.

The University's goal is to engage its students in a continuous dialogue, to challenge them intellectually, and to encourage them to think on their own and to learn how to learn. Thus the University's graduates will become competent professionals, innovative leaders in their fields, adaptable and versatile generalists, and sensitive, caring citizens.

Undergraduate Programs

Except as noted, the undergraduate programs offered by the University normally require full-time attendance for three academic years and they all lead to honors degrees. The curriculum is founded on a credit-based system and comprises a structured set of courses. Credits are earned semester-by-semester toward the completion of the degree requirements. For graduation, students need to accumulate a total of 100 to 105 credits, as specified for each program.

HKUST believes in total education and the undergraduate programs are structured to strike a compromise between the sharp focus prevalent in traditional Chinese and British universities and the broad characteristics of American universities. In addition to courses in the field of major study and related areas, each undergraduate program must include at least eighteen credits of course work in general education. General education courses are designated to serve at least one of these objectives:

  • introducing students to the ideas, concepts, and modes of thought of disciplines other than those directly related to their major field of study;
  • providing students with an appreciation of a broad area of cultural expression;
  • acquainting students with the impacts of several academic disciplines.

In addition, all undergraduate students, except those exempted for medical or other valid reasons, must complete a one-year non-credit course on health and physical education during their first year of study. This course is designed to encourage students to develop a healthy life style through participation in physical activities.

To strengthen the language training in the curriculum, all undergraduate students are required to take a yearlong English course during their first year of study. The course is tailored to the needs of students in different Schools, and aims to train students to acquire the general skills required for tertiary studies, including listening to lectures, giving presentations, organizing and structuring academic writing, summarizing, paraphrasing and referencing, and understanding different types of writing. Beyond the first year, coursework in English communication at 100-level or above are required to further strengthen the students' skills in English communication.

Postgraduate Programs

The University offers postgraduate programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees and graduate diplomas in all four Schools. The Master of Science (MSc), Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts (MA) are coursework degrees whereas the Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) are research degree programs involving the preparation of a research thesis, in addition to the completion of coursework.

The Academic Year

The academic year of the University begins on 1 September and ends on 31 August of the following year. It includes two semesters and two sessions. Normally, the Fall Semester commences in early September and the Spring Semester begins around early February. Each semester has fourteen weeks for scheduled classes. Immediately following the end of the 14th week there is a short study break followed by a week devoted to examinations. There is a one-week break in the Spring Semester around Easter. The Winter Session is scheduled between the two semesters for special academic programs, research symposia, and other activities. The Summer Session bridges the end of the Spring Semester and the beginning of the following Fall Semester. For most students, attendance for the Winter and Summer sessions is not required.

Important dates for the 2007-08 academic year and provisional dates for the 2008-09 academic year are presented at the end of this Calendar.