Application Procedures

The application process starts every September on a rolling basis. The Programmes will announce the admission requirements before the application starts. Please observe the application procedures and submit your application as earliest as possible.

1. Online Application

Apply via the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS) website, select CUHK as 1st choice and obtain application number. Quote the HKPFS+ application number, apply online via CUHK website, and pay the application fee. For regular applications not applying through HKPFS, please apply online via CUHK website only and pay the application fee.

2. Send Material

[H] Hard copy materials:
If a hard copy is required, it should reach the following address by the end of the application period:

Office of Research and MPhil-PhD Programmes
Room 1503, 15/F, Cheng Yu Tung Building
12 Chak Cheung Street
Shatin, N. T., Hong Kong
+852 3943 8609

There may be postal/ courier service delay due to the pandemic, please spare extra time for mailing application materials.

[S] Soft copy materials:
If only a soft copy is required, it should be uploaded to the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes by the end of the application period. No additional hard copy is needed. Please do not send materials via email.

3. Add referees

Input referees’ contact information on the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes for the system sending an invitation.

4. Check status

Application status can be checked on the Online Application System for Admission to Postgraduate Programmes. To check the receipt of supporting documents, please email and quote the application number.

Important Notes

  • An admission interview may be required.
  • Please mark your programme applied and application number on the materials.
  • To send a TOEFL/GMAT/GRE score report, only an institution code is required. Any department code would direct the score report to the Office of Research and MPhil-PhD Programmes.
  • A separate set of materials should be submitted for each application.
  • All supporting documents should either be uploaded to the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes or be mailed to the Office of Research and MPhil-PhD Programmes by the end of the application period. Please do not send supporting documents via email.
  • Documents uploaded to the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes should be a clear scanned copy of the entire document. An incomplete copy may be regarded as invalid.
  • Wrong addresses and missing or invalid documents may cause a delay in the admission process. Late submissions would not be entertained.
  • Additional information or materials may be required during the selection or admission process.
  • All documents submitted will not be returned. If the application is unsuccessful, all documents will be destroyed.

Application period for 2021 Admissions
From 1 September 2020 to 4 January 2021
on a rolling basis

The Programmes will admit suitable candidates anytime within or after the application period.

HKPFS Application Deadlines
By 12:00 noon, 1 December 2020 (HKT) on HKPFS system
By 5:00 p.m., 1 December 2020 (HKT) on CUHK system

Admission Requirements

General Admission Requirements

Applicants should have:

  • A master’s degree from a recognised university; or
  • Graduated from a recognised university and obtained a bachelor’s degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class; or
  • Graduated from an honours programme of a recognised university with a bachelor’s degree, normally achieving an average grade of not lower than “B”; or
  • Completed a course of study in a tertiary educational institution and obtained professional or similar qualifications equivalent to an honours degree.

What to Submit
[S] Copies of university certificates of graduation, examination certificates and proof of other qualifications; and

[H] Official transcripts (with a complete record of courses attended and examination results) and grading schemes of all tertiary level studies (be sent directly in a sealed envelope with university stamp from the issuing university); and [S] A Chinese copy of the Online Verification Report of Qualification Certificate (教育部學歷證書電子註冊備案表) issued by the CHESICC (學信網) (for applicants who obtained degrees from universities in Mainland China only).


English Language Requirements

To fulfil the University’s minimum English language requirements for admission to postgraduate programmes, applicants should have:

  • Obtained a degree from a university in Hong Kong* or taken a degree programme of which the medium of instruction was English; or
  • Achieved scores in the following English Language tests as indicated (HKPFS only accepts score report of TOEFL or IELTS (Academic)):
    – TOEFL#: 550 (Paper-based) / 79 (Internet-based);
    – IELTS# (Academic): 6.5;
    – GMAT^ (Verbal): Band 21; or
  • Obtained a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
    – Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (AS Level);
    – Hong Kong Higher Level Examination;
    – CUHK Matriculation Examination;
    – General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level)/Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level); or
  • Achieved Level 4 or above in the English Language subject of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination; or
  • Obtained a recognised professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English.

What to Submit
[S] A copy of graduation certificate issued by a university in Hong Kong; or

[S] A certifying letter issued by the Registry of the university confirming the medium of instruction of your degree programme was English; or [H] Original valid official score report of TOEFL (institution code: B022)/IELTS (Academic) (address: same as the address for mailing hard copy materials)/GMAT (Verbal) (institution code: R9H-0W-04) sent directly from the test organization (HKPFS only accepts score report of TOEFL or IELTS (Academic)); or [S] Certification of Results of the English Language subject in Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (AS Level), or Hong Kong Higher Level Examination, or Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination provided by Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority; or [H] Certified true copy of Statement of Results/report of the English Language subject in General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-level or AS-level/CUHK Matriculation Examination; or [H] Certified true copy of certificate of a recognized professional qualification for which the examination was conducted in English.


  • I have sent my GMAT/GRE/TOEFL/IELTS score report to you, did you receive it?

    Please make sure you provide the correct institution code/address when requesting the organisation concerned. You may refer to Admissions for the institution codes and address. A wrong institution code/address may result in documents going missing or not being delivered. If this happens, please send another copy to us on or before the deadline. If the institution code/address is correct, please send an email to, stating your application number to check if we have received your report.

Additional Requirements/ Materials

The applicants should:

  • Take GMAT^, GMAT Online Exam^,  GRE^ or GRE Test At Home^;
  • Provide recommendation/reference from two referees; and
  • Be committed to research and/or tertiary education.

What to Submit
[H] An official copy of score report directly mailed by the GMAC (institution code: R9H-0W-04) or the ETS (institution code: 7488); and

[S] Online recommendation forms submitted by the referees via the Online Confidential Recommendation System; or [H] Confidential recommendation forms downloadable on the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes sealed in an envelope with the referee’s signature; and [S] A preliminary research proposal to indicate the applicants’ general area of research interest, any specific research topics of interest to the applicant and the language that they will use to write the thesis; and [S] A statement of purpose to state the applicants’ objective in pursuing the programme of study, their career aspirations, and any other reasons for their application; and [S] A copy of previously written work, such as a thesis, research project report or published article (if any) to demonstrate applicants’ research potential and capability; and [S] A copy of HKID card or other identity documents as given in the application form.


  • What is the minimum requirement for GRE/GMAT score?

    There is no minimum requirement for the GRE/GMAT score. The Selection Panel will consider your application as a complete profile. Therefore, please submit all the required application materials for our consideration.


+ Applicants who are not selected for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme will be considered as regular applications automatically. No additional submission is needed.

* This is based on the understanding that English is the medium of instruction of degree programmes offered by universities in Hong Kong. Moreover, graduates from universities in Hong Kong should have fulfilled the English language requirements of the institution concerned when they were admitted to the degree programmes. The CUHK Graduate School may request applicants to provide additional supporting documents to prove their English proficiency.

# TOEFL and IELTS results are considered valid for two years from the test date. TOEFL result should be in the same attempt for fulfilling the requirement.

^ GMAT and GRE results are considered valid for five years from the test date. GMAT result is not accepted for proof of English Language proficiency for HKPFS applicants.

Ready to Kick Start Your Research Journey?

Contact us to find out more about CUHK MPhil-PhD Programmes.