English Language Requirement
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English is essentially the medium of instruction at the University. In order to ensure RPg students have the English oral and aural skills for effective postgraduate studies and classroom teaching, before the start of their first term of study at HKUST, all new full-time RPg students are required to take a spoken English test, the English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA).

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Professional Development Course
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All RPg students (both full-time and part-time) are required to take two Professional Development Courses (PDCs) as part of their program requirements.

  1. University-level PDC (PDEV 6770 Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students) to equip students with a comprehensive set of essential transferable skills to enhance their personal growth and career development:

    For RPg students admitted before Spring 2021/22:
    • 3 hours of training on Professional Conduct; and
    • A minimum of 12 hours of elective activities/workshops at the University level under the designated themes.

    For RPg students admitted in Spring 2021/22 and thereafter:
    • 3 hours of online modules on Professional Conduct to be completed in the first year of studies; and
    • 12 hours of activities covering 1 hour of mandatory training on prevention of sexual harassment and various electives under the designated themes.
  2. Discipline-specific PDC to prepare students to excel in their future career: Please refer to the Postgraduate Program Catalog for the specific program curriculum.

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Training for Graduate Teaching Assistants
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The work of graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) is an integral part of the training for all full-time RPg students to prepare them for teaching-related work they need to undertake. To strengthen students’ competence in teaching, all full-time RPg students admitted in 2019/20 and thereafter are required to complete PDEV 6800 Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

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Annual Progress Report
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To facilitate thesis supervisors to advise students on their research progress, all RPg students are required to submit a written review of their study progress and their study plan by the end of June every year. The progress report will be reviewed by members of the Thesis Supervision Committee and the PG Coordinator of the department, and necessary action may be taken to address issues of concern.

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Research Output Reporting
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Research Output System (ROS) records and manages research outputs and activities of the HKUST community, which include faculty members, researchers, staff and students.

As student publication/award information will be reviewed with the RPg annual progress reports, RPg students will have to confirm that their lists of publications and awards are up-to-date before submitting their progress reports. RPg students will also be requested to update their lists of publications and awards when they submit their final thesis copies to their Department/Program Office.

For enquires or suggestions on ROS, please email to

Thesis Research
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Pursuing a research degree is a significant undertaking. The following provides RPg students with policy and procedural guidelines on thesis research.

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination
  2. Guide on Thesis Supervision
  3. Guidelines on Thesis Preparation
  4. Guidelines on Thesis Examination Committees (MPhil / PhD)
  5. Guidelines on Procedures for Scheduling Thesis Examinations (MPhil / PhD)
  6. Guidelines on Conducting MPhil and PhD Thesis Examinations
  7. Thesis Defenses and Seminars
  8. Guidelines on Hybrid Thesis Examination Arrangement

Enquiries can be directed to the Department/Program Office.