Graduation & Degrees

You are responsible for ensuring that you fulfill the course and credit requirements for your program in the time allowed. If you wish to graduate, you are required to indicate your intention of graduation via the Student Center in SIS. Failure to apply on time may result in a delay in graduation.

The Academic Registry will track your graduation status based on the application for graduation. Your school/department may also monitor your progress and warn you if a problem appears.

Your program will be completed when you have met all the program requirements. After reviews by your major department and school board, or AIS, your graduation will be approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies under authority delegated by the University Senate.

Your degree will be conferred on the date designated by the Senate. You will be awarded at Congregation, which is the formal graduation ceremony. Attendance is not compulsory.

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Duration of Study

You are expected to complete your degree program in the number of years allotted for the program, excluding any period of approved leave from study. The normative duration of study under the 4-year curriculum is 4 years. You may extend your studies for one additional academic year with the approval of your dean or the dean’s designee. The related application form can be downloaded here.

If you have fulfilled the requirements for graduation, you may register as an associate student to register for additional undergraduate courses. You must have your program of study approved by your dean or the dean’s designee.

Students who extend their studies are subject to all University regulations and are entitled to normal student services, except for student housing.

Beyond the normative duration of study, if approval is not granted to extend the duration of study, you cannot continue to be registered at the University and is considered to have withdrawn from the University.

Graduation Requirements

Under the 4-year curriculum, to meet your graduation requirements and be awarded a degree, you must have:

  • Earned at least 120 credits through approved courses or credit transfer
  • Fulfilled the requirements of the University Common Core Program
  • Fulfilled the University English Language Requirement
  • Fulfilled the University Legal Education Requirement [For students admitted in 2022-23 intake or after only]
  • Fulfilled any requirements set by your school or AIS
  • Fulfilled at least one major program requirement, or school requirement for a general degree under the school

You should check the graduation requirements for your program in the Program Catalog. The catalog is updated annually.

If you were granted transfer credits, you will need a minimum of two years’ full-time study and 60 credits at HKUST for a 4-year degree.

The minimum number of HKUST credits required for graduation from a major, minor or the University Common Core may also be specified.

You may use no more than 6 credits earned from courses offered in self-paced online delivery mode to satisfy your graduation requirements. This 6-credit limit does not apply to credits obtained through the credit transfer procedures of the University.

Additional Major Programs

To graduate with an additional major, students admitted in 2015-16 or after must take all the requirements specified for that major, within which you must complete at least 20 single-counted credits. These 20 credits cannot be used to fulfill any other requirements for graduation except for the 120-credit degree requirement.

Minor programs

To graduate with a minor, you must register in the minor program and fulfill the requirements of the minor program in addition to those of your degree program.

Application for Graduation

As a student studying for a 4-year degree, if you wish to graduate in a specific term, you need to submit an application via the Student Center of SIS according to the schedule set by Academic Registry. Before submitting the application, you should check your completion of program requirements through the advisement report in SIS and discussion with your advisers/departments. More details are available on the Application for Graduation website.

Graduation Check

After the close of the application period, Academic Registry conducts a two-stage graduation check for each potential graduate against the graduation requirements for their program. If a student has also enrolled in an additional major, an extended major, and/or a minor program, a further check is done against the major program’s requirements, extended major program’s requirements, and/or minor program's requirements.

Applicants for graduation will be notified the results by email at the stage of preliminary check and final check. If you are found short of any graduation requirement, you will be denied from graduation automatically and you should approach your advisor or department immediately. You should submit a new application for graduation if you wish to graduate in the subsequent terms.

Preliminary Check

Any approved variations from the requirements are taken into consideration. The check is based on the assumption that potential graduates will pass all their courses in the term.

Academic Registry forwards the cases of any students who may not meet their program or minor program requirements to the departments concerned.

The schools/departments review each problem case and determine with the Academic Registry whether the shortfall in the graduation requirements can be resolved.

Final Check

When the grades are reported for the last term of potential graduates, Academic Registry calculates the students' major cumulative grade average (MCGA) and performs a final graduation check.

Degree Classification & Approval

All undergraduate programs lead to bachelor’s honors degrees in Science (BSc), Engineering (BEng) or Business Administration (BBA). Dual degree programs lead to award of two degrees.

Your degree classification will be based on a two-tier system: your major cumulative grade average (MCGA) and overall cumulative grade average (CGA). You have to meet the minimum MCGA and the minimum overall CGA for the relevant band to graduate with a particular honor classification.

{For students admitted in the 2023-24 intake or after

In computing the MCGA and the overall CGA, all courses taken are weighted equally. When a course is failed and repeated, only the course grade awarded at the latest attempt will count toward the CGA and the overall CGA. F grades would be excluded from the MCGA.}

[For students admitted in the 2022-23 intake or before

In computing the MCGA and the overall CGA, all courses taken are weighted equally. While F grades would be excluded from the MCGA, no graded courses can be excluded in computing the overall CGA.]

To graduate with additional major(s), your MCGA is the union of the requirements of all your majors including your first major’s corresponding school requirements, if applicable. Even a course is used to satisfy multiple majors, the course will only be counted once in computing your MCGA.

You can withdraw from one of the majors if you wish in order to achieve a higher honors classification for your single major.

Approval Process

When the graduation list is confirmed and your MCGA or GGA has been calculated, your dean will be informed and requested to recommend your graduation and the classifications of your award.

If you have completed studies under more than one school, the deans of the schools will confirm on the recommendation.

Awards are classified as follows:

  • First Class Honors
  • Second Class Honors, Division I
  • Second Class Honors, Division II
  • Third Class Honors
  • Pass

Benchmark MCGA and overall CGA bands for each classification and the University policy for degree classification will be taken into account in classifying your awards.

Recommendations for graduation and classification of awards are made by the deans to the Committee on Undergraduate Studies, which is empowered to confirm students’ graduation and classification on behalf of the Senate.

Congregation & Awards for Achievement

Starting from 2022/23 academic year, degrees will be conferred in absentia at scheduled sessions below:

  1. 31 January
  2. 31 March
  3. 31 May
  4. 31 July
  5. 15 October

You will automatically have your degrees conferred at the immediate next session of the degree conferral that follows the Committee on Undergraduate Studies (CUS) meeting in which your graduation is confirmed (e.g. students who receive CUS approval to graduate in January will have their degrees conferred on 31 January).

The Congregation ceremony will only be held once each year, normally in November/December. All graduates with degrees conferred in the academic year concerned will be invited to the ceremony. Details of the ceremony which are normally announced in September/October can be found at http://congregation.ust.hk/.

Attendance at the November Congregation is not compulsory. 

If you attend Congregation, you must wear academic regalia that consists of a dark blue academic gown, hood, and cap, with trim in your school color. Online rental service will be available.

Academic Achievement Medal

The Academic Achievement Medal is awarded to outstanding graduates in the year of graduation.

To be considered for the award, you must have no course failures during your study at HKUST and an overall cumulative grade average (CGA) of at least 3.9, which must include at least 60 credits obtained at HKUST.

Potential recipients are selected by the Academic Registry based on their overall CGA. The final list is approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies.

The medal is presented at Congregation and recorded on the recipient's transcript.

Degree Certification

You will receive a degree diploma upon completion of your program. If you complete a dual degree program you will receive two-degree diplomas.

Your diploma will show the following in Chinese and English:

  • Your name, as shown on your Hong Kong Identity Card, with your surname capitalized and appearing first, followed by a comma and your given names
  • The title of your degree with major program, but without the option nor the title of your minor program, if any
  • The honors classification of your degree, if any
  • The date of the Congregation when your degree was conferred

Your diploma will bear an embossed red seal and the signatures of the University Chancellor and the President.

If you cannot collect your award diploma and transcript in person, an alternative collection arrangement can be made via the related application.

Award Certification Letter

The Academic Registry will send you an award certification letter after you have completed your program and have been approved for graduation by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies.

The letter will certify that you fulfilled the degree requirements for your program by a specified date. The date is the last day of the term in which you fulfilled your degree requirements.

The letter will show the title of the degree to be awarded, the class of honors, if any, your program option and the title of your minor program, if any. The letter will also show the date your graduation was approved and when the Congregation will be held.

To order additional copies of your award certification letter, complete and submit the related application form.

Pages In this Guide
1
Who Does What

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is supported by the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China.

2
Academic Programs & Registration

HKUST believes in total education. Our credit-based undergraduate programs combine the advantages of the sharp program focus of traditional Chinese and British universities and the broad approach characteristic of American universities.

Our educational philosophy and your personal development require that you be exposed to fields outside your major area of study. The undergraduate curriculum is designed to ensure that you get this exposure.

Under the 4-year curriculum, programs usually consist of eight regular terms of full-time study. All programs lead to honors degrees.

Most programs are administered by academic departments/divisions. Joint programs involve two or more departments and are administered by a unit set up for that purpose.

3
Courses & Enrollment

You are responsible for your own studies. It is important for you to plan ahead to ensure that you can complete the study within the permitted duration of study.

4
Academic Integrity

Academic integrity and honesty are key values at HKUST.

5
Classes & Attendance

The University does not have a policy on minimum class attendance. Instructors may take attendance into consideration when assigning grades, provided this is made clear to the students during the discussion of grading.

The academic year begins on 1 September and ends on the following 31 August. A year consists of four terms – Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.

The Fall and Spring terms are the regular terms. Each has 13 weeks of classes, followed by a short study break and an examination period. Almost all formal instruction takes place in the regular terms.

Normally, the Fall term begins in early September and ends in late December, while the Spring term begins in early February and ends in late May. The Summer term usually runs from late June to mid-August.

The Summer and Winter terms may include regular courses, short credit-bearing skills courses, intensive language courses, workshops, lecture series, mini-conferences and other activities.

Most undergraduates are not required to take courses during the Winter and Summer terms.

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Assessment & Progress

Grades are assigned for all courses. Your instructors will discuss the course content, structure, activities and grading scheme with the class at the start of each course.

Typically, the course grade is based on student performance throughout the term and on the final examination. Instructors may consider factors such as class attendance, tardiness and classroom behavior in assigning grades, provided this is made clear to the students during the discussion of grading.

Final examinations are held after the end of classes. There is normally a short study break before the start of the examination period.

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Graduation & Degrees

You are responsible for ensuring that you fulfill the course and credit requirements for your program in the time allowed. If you wish to graduate, you are required to indicate your intention of graduation via the Student Center in SIS. Failure to apply on time may result in a delay in graduation.

The Academic Registry will track your graduation status based on the application for graduation. Your school/department may also monitor your progress and warn you if a problem appears.

Your program will be completed when you have met all the program requirements. After reviews by your major department and school board, or AIS, your graduation will be approved by the Committee on Undergraduate Studies under authority delegated by the University Senate.

Your degree will be conferred on the date designated by the Senate. You will be awarded at Congregation, which is the formal graduation ceremony. Attendance is not compulsory.

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