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Maintaining Registration

Program registration involves payment of tuition and other prescribed fees, and completion of the registration process. Failure to maintain registration in the program in any regular term will result in automatic withdrawal from the program and the University, unless a formal approval of Leave from Study has been obtained from the student’s Department. Moreover, students must be officially registered in their programs in the regular term when they are being considered for graduation from the programs concerned.


Double Registration

Unless prior permission from the Academic Registrar is obtained, students are not permitted to concurrently register for another program at this University or at another tertiary institution. If students are found to be registered elsewhere without seeking prior approval, they will normally be required to discontinue their study at this University.

The restriction against double registration is not applicable to students of the University who have been approved to register on Cross-campus Study status at HKUST(GZ), or vice versa. 

Students who wish to apply for simultaneous registration should submit an “Application for Double Registration” (form RR-29) to the Academic Registry together with appropriate documentary evidence. Students will be notified of the result of the application in writing.


Late Registration

Non-local postgraduate students admitted to the University in a particular academic year must complete registration in their programs by the end of the add/drop period in the Fall or Spring Term. Under special circumstances, students may apply in writing to the Academic Registry via the Department for late program registration for the term concerned.


Mode of Study

Most postgraduate programs are available in both full-time and part-time modes of study. Unless otherwise specified, the taught programs leading to doctoral and master’s degrees, postgraduate diplomas and postgraduate certificates are suitable for students interested in part-time study.

Postgraduate students may apply to their Department, prior to the beginning of any regular term, for transfer from full-time to part-time status or from part-time to full-time status. When such a transfer is allowed, the remaining program requirements will be determined.

Full-time students in taught programs are expected to be in attendance during those terms for which their programs are scheduled. For part-time students, attendance shall be as above except on a part-time basis as defined by the requirements of their programs of study.


Normative Period of Study

The normative period of study for the full-time taught master’s programs is one or one-and-a-half years as specified by individual programs. For part-time taught master’s programs, students may expect to take twice the time of full-time students. The normative period of study for the part-time DBA program is four years.

The normative period of study for part-time postgraduate diploma programs is one year and a half, whereas that for the part-time postgraduate certificate programs is one year. For the full-time postgraduate diploma programs, the normative period of study is half a year to one year.

The maximum time allowed for degree completion is five years for a master’s degree and eight years for a doctoral degree. The maximum period of study for a postgraduate diploma program is three years whereas that for a postgraduate certificate is two.

Time limits for part-time study are the same as for full-time study. The time limits are in effect whether or not the student is in continuous registration. That is, period of approved Leave from Study, and suspension period are also counted toward the maximum time allowed for program completion.


Leave from Study

Students are discouraged from interrupting their program of study. In exceptional circumstances with sufficient justification, students may apply for Leave from Study for one regular term, subject to approval of the Department. Applications for Leave from Study for two consecutive regular terms or more require the approval of the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Applications for Leave from Study for more than two consecutive regular terms will normally not be considered. Any exception to this rule requires provision of detailed justifications and relevant supporting documents (e.g. a study plan on resumption of study showing that the student can complete the program within the maximum period allowed) for the special approval of the Dean or the Dean’s designee.

The approved period of Leave from Study will be counted toward the time limit for completion of the program being pursued.

To apply for Leave from Study, students should submit an “Application for Leave from Study (PG)” (form RR-8a) together with the appropriate supporting documents to the Department for approval before the start of the proposed leave period.


Off-campus Study Status

Students under formal dual-degree programs may register on the “Off-campus Study” status at HKUST during the terms when they are pursuing dual-degree study at the host institutions.

Students with the “Off-campus Study” status will remain officially registered in their programs. They are allowed to register for or audit course(s), and may be considered for graduation from the programs concerned. They are not required to pay tuition fee at HKUST, not entitled to University student accommodation, and not eligible to receive any forms of financial assistance.

The off-campus study period should normally commence at the beginning of a term. For off-campus study commencing in the middle of a term, tuition fee paid for that term is not refundable or transferable. The period will be officially recorded on student’s academic transcript, and will count toward the maximum time allowed for program completion.

Students who wish to apply for the “Off-campus Study” status should approach the home School/Department prior to the commencement of the term when the “Off-campus Study” status will take effect.


Cross-campus Study Status

Students who are officially assigned by their Departments to enroll in course(s) or conduct study-related research across campuses are eligible to apply for registering on the “Cross-campus Study” status. 

Registration should normally be on a term basis, with two months (half-term) as the minimum duration. Application for extension of one more term to a maximum total duration of one year may also be considered. Students should have normally completed no less than one year of study in the current program prior to their planned cross-campus study.

Students participating in cross-campus study shall be officially registered at the home campus as active students, and the period of physical cross-campus study will be recorded on their academic transcripts. The period of cross-campus study, not more than one year in principle, will count toward the maximum time allowed for program completion.  

For inbound students under the “Cross-campus Study” status, they are required to officially register in at least one course at the host campus to maintain their program registration, in accordance with the requirements stipulated in the Academic Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies (section 5.1). During the cross-campus study period at the host campus, students are not allowed to take up “Off-campus Study” involving a third educational institution or organization.

All courses taken with the course grades assigned by the host campus must be recorded and reflected on the students’ academic transcripts of the home campus and counted toward their grade average calculations, as appropriate. The credit transfer restrictions of the University and individual programs will not be applicable to courses taken under cross-campus study. 

Students on the “Cross-campus Study” status shall pay tuition fees only to the home campus, with their host tuition being waived. 

Students who wish to apply for the “Cross-campus Study” status should approach the home School/Department prior to the commencement of the term when the “Cross-campus Study” status will take effect.


Changes of Registration

A student may change from one program of study to another with the permission of the Department to which the student wishes to transfer. If a transfer is approved, that Department will determine which credits from the student's former program apply to the new program. Normally, the transfer will not be effected until the following regular term. Students who wish to transfer to another program of study in the middle of a term should obtain the prior approval of the Department and the Dean or the Dean’s designee. Unless there are extenuating circumstances, requests for program transfers to be effected in the middle of a term are not supported.

For students who have transferred from one program of study to another, the maximum time for program completion will be counted from the first day of registration at the University.

To apply for program transfer, students are required to submit an “Application for Program Transfer/Change of Academic Load (PG)” (form RR-6a) to the receiving Department for consideration.


Registration Beyond Program Completion

Students who have completed their program requirements are not allowed to continue their registration for the same program of study in subsequent regular terms.


Withdrawal from the University

Students who withdraw, or are required to withdraw, from the University must complete clearance procedures as specified by the Academic Registrar. Only students who have completed the clearance procedures for withdrawal will be entitled to receive refund of caution money and a free copy of the transcript of studies.

To apply for withdrawal and refund of caution money, students should complete and return the “Notification of Withdrawal of Study” (form RR-12) to the Academic Registry.