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Admission Requirements

To qualify for admission to the University, applicants must meet (i) the University admission requirements; (ii) the admission requirements of the program they are applying for; and (iii) the English language admission requirement.

University and program admission requirements are minimum requirements for admission. Meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission. Applicants who possess other qualifications equivalent to the University requirements for admission may submit applications for consideration on the basis of individual merit.

Details of the admission requirements of the University and individual programs are available here.


Admissions Process

Applications for admission to postgraduate programs in Fall Term of the year are normally invited from September in the previous year. Interested persons are strongly advised to apply well before the application closing dates. Application deadlines for individual programs may vary and should be checked prior to submitting an application. 

Selected applicants may be invited for an admission interview. Successful applicants will receive an offer of admission from the HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School, and may be required to satisfy specified conditions. Applicants receiving an offer will be expected to accept or decline by a specified date.

Detailed application procedures are available here.


Non-local Applicants

The University welcomes applications from non-local students who are seeking admission at the postgraduate level.

Students holding one of the documents listed below are considered as non-local students, including visiting and inbound exchange students. A non-local applicant is not allowed to pursue part-time research postgraduate studies (MPhil/PhD) in Hong Kong.

  1. Student visa/ entry permit; or
  2. Visa under the Immigration Arrangements for Non-local Graduates (IANG); or
  3. Dependent visa/ entry permit, who were 18 years old or above when they were issued with such visa/ entry permit by the Director of Immigration.

(i) Student Visa or Entry Permit

Most non-local students are required to obtain a student visa (or entry permit for students from the Mainland of China, Macao and Taiwan) for studying in Hong Kong. Students from the Mainland of China must apply for an entry permit via HKUST. For students from Taiwan, Macao or an overseas country, it is the simplest and most straightforward to apply for a student visa/entry permit via HKUST. Students who are unsure whether they need a student visa/entry permit or not should check with the Hong Kong Immigration Department (Tel: 2824 6111; Email:

Detailed application procedures for student visas/entry permits are available here.

(ii) Costs of Study

In addition to tuition fees, costs associated with staying and living in Hong Kong include accommodation, medical and living expenses. Non-local students should carefully consider the financial aspects of their study in Hong Kong before coming to Hong Kong. More information about the cost of living in Hong Kong can be found here.

(iii) Employment During Study

Non-local students should note that, while the Hong Kong Immigration Department has relaxed its employment restrictions, full-time MPhil and PhD students should not take up any employment outside their research studies. They may only apply to take up on-campus part-time work, summer work and study-related internship, subject to rules and conditions specified by the Immigration Department and the University. For details, please refer to the “Study Commitment” section of this Handbook.


Deferred Admission

Under special circumstances, students may apply in writing to the HKUST Fok Ying Tung Graduate School for deferred admission to a subsequent regular term. Requests will be considered on an individual basis by the relevant School/Department, who will notify the applicant of the outcome. All approvals for deferred admission are valid for not more than two consecutive regular terms, after which re-application for admission to the University must be made.



Students who have withdrawn from the University may apply for admission into any program of study by following the regular admissions procedure. However, those who are required to withdraw from the University due to academic reasons or failure to meet the prescribed conditions set for re-enrollment at the end of an academic leave may not apply for re-admission into the same program of study.

For re-admitted students, course grades and credits taken within five years prior to re-admission and not used to earn any academic qualification at the University or elsewhere may be used to fulfill requirements of the new program of study, subject to approval of the Department.