Instructions for Drawing Up Study Plan for COSC Students


Before being accepted to COSC + additional major, you need to draft an individualized study plan to discuss with the COSC coordinator.

  1. This study plan is only meant as a proof of concept for you, to ensure that you understand what you need to take in order to graduate. It is not meant for ARO (who will never see it).
  2. In practice, students are almost never exactly follow their initial study plan. That's fine. The idea is that if you ever have to modify your plan, you will understand the impact of a small modification in one semester to your plan for the remaining semesters.
  3. The format below is designed to make it easy for us to quickly scan through it and identify issues. That's why it has redundancy built in. The formatting should be CLEAR.
    • Please skip lines between sections and, if you use table formatting in excel/word, make sure that the column widths are wide enough to show all data.
    • Also, pay attention to the fact that there is some data that you should explicitly NOT include, e.g., the names of the CC courses and COMP electives that you plan to take. Those are useless for this plan and would only be distracting.
  4. There are issues you should consider when drafting the plan.


The plan should be formatted following the guidelines below:

  • It should be in an Excel, Word or similar file.
  • At the top of the page, you should list your name and which majors you will be taking, e.g., COSC + MATH-GM or QFIN + COSC.
    • List your first major first and additional major(s) after that.
    • This ordering is important because the requirements can be different if the majors are swapped. For example, MATH-GM + COSC and COSC + MATH-GM have different requirements.
  • For each semester, you should list all the courses that you expect to take that semester.
    • Explicitly list the course codes of all of the REQUIRED COURSES (in both majors) that you will be taking that semester.
    • For electives, just list the type of elective, e.g., MATH elective, COSC elective, etc.
      • For COSC electives, just write COSC elective. DO NOT list the specific electives in CS (since we can't guarantee in that you will be able to enroll in them).
    • Don't forget to include common core and LANG courses.
    • For each course, also provide the number of credits
    • Explicitly write the total # of credits you will be taking that semester.
    • Explicitly list the semester that you hope to do exchange (if any) and what courses you hope to take that semester.
  • Below the semester schedule, include a list of all the required and (guessed) elective courses in your non-COSC major(s).
    This includes both courses that you have already taken and courses that you will take. Specifically, provide a list of the Course Codes + Full NAMES + Credits. This will let us identify courses that might be able to be double counted. See the list of possible courses for substitution.
  • Below that include a list of all courses you have taken so far with course codes, full names and credits, identifying whether they satisfy requirements in either or both of your majors.
  • Special Requirement for students doubling with MATH-CS or DSCT
    • If you are in MATH-CS or DSCT and are requesting to add COSC, please also provide a list of 20 credits that you will take in COSC that will not count towards your other major, school requirements, common core requirements or any minor requirements. This is to ensure that you do not fall afoul of the 20- unique credit rule for additional majors.
    • Similarly, if you will be having COSC as your first major and want MATH-CS or DSCT as your 2nd major, provide a list of 20 credits that you will take in MATH-CS or DSCT that will not be used to satisfy any other requirement.
  • Special Requirement for students with extended AI majors
    • Please first see the explanation of how extended majors can combine with double majors
    • If after reading that you still want to enroll in an extended AI major, please also provide a list of the 12 unique credits that you will take that will be single counted for the extended AI requirements, i.e., will not be counted towards your first and second major requirements, school requirements and common core requirements.

The primary issue to consider when drafting a study plan is the HKUST regulation that students who double major must satisfy ALL of the requirements of BOTH majors.

In practice, some courses can be used to satisfy the requirements of both majors (double counting).

A few courses (often basic math ones) explicitly satisfy the requirements of both majors.

Others need special permission for substitution. Even when substitution permission is guaranteed in advance, you must still explicitly complete Form GR-23 (Application for Deviation from Curriculum) to request it to be counted. It can be filed any time after the end of the add-drop period for the semester in which you have registered for the course that is being used for this substitution.


Special issues for double majoring with SBM

  • Many SBM courses are VERY tightly scheduled with minimal flexibility for extra quota in non-standard semesters. When writing your study plan you should try to take your required SBM courses (and in particular the school requirement ones offered in SBM that are NOT offered by your major department) in the semester in which they appear in the standard study pathway for that major.

The following describes some special cases of requirement substitutions that should be taken into account when drafting a study plan. These include:

  1. Language Courses
  2. NON-COMP Courses Counting as COMP Electives
  3. FYPs & Capstone Projects
  4. Linear Algebra for COSC + MATH Double Majors

1. Language Courses

  • Almost all HKUST majors require two 3 credit English Languge courses. For example,
    • COSC requires LANG 2030 and Lang 4030
    • MATH requires LANG 2010 (for the school) and LANG 3021
    • QFIN requires LABU 2040 and LANG 2060
  • We call these the 1st and 2nd LANG courses.
  • You should only take one 1st course and one 2nd course. Which two courses you take you take depends upon various factors (see below).
  • COSC will always permit you to substitute your other major's 1st course for LANG 2030 and your other major's 2nd course for LANG 4030.
  • MATH has permitted substituting LANG 2030 for LANG 2010 and LANG 4030 for LANG 3021.
  • Our default recommendation is that you should follow the language requirement of your first major and ask for the substitution from your second major. This works in most cases but you should confirm this with the UG coordinator of your other major when you declare double majoring.
  • LANG 4030 "assumes" that you are taking an FYP/FYT and have project reports that can be used in LANG 4030. If you are not taking a FYP/FYT (see discussion on FYP/FYT below) you should talk with the LANG 4030 coordinator about what other material you can use in its stead. Alternatively, take the language course of your other major.
  • If your other major does NOT require two 3-credit language courses, e.g., it puts some of the language credits in lab or project courses, please talk with the COSC coordinator about how to do specially do the substitution for LANG 2030 and LANG 4030.

2. NON-COMP Courses Counting as COMP Electives

  • COMP require 18 credits (6 courses) of COMP electives.
  • Up to 9 credits (3 courses) may be COMP-related courses given by a department other than CSE.
  • See a list of possible courses for substitution. This list is not comprehensive. If there is a course not on that list that you think might be acceptable, please ask the COSC coordinator.
  • In order to have such courses count towards your COSC elective requirement, you will need to submit Form GR-23 (Application for Deviation from Curriculum) to the CSE admin office:
    • listing the course,
    • saying that you want it to count as a COMP elective, and
    • stating as justification "Approval of COSC coordinator as a COMP-related course".

3. FYPs & Capstone Projects

  • COSC does NOT require taking a Final Year Project/Thesis (FYP/FYT). Only COMP has that requirement.
  • COSC students MAY take a FYT/FYP.
    If they do, it counts as 6 credits of COMP electives, e.g., 2 courses.
  • School of Science majors such as MATH have a capstone course requirement.
    If you do take a COMP FYP/FYT it MIGHT be possible to have that substitute for your School of Science Capstone:
    • This approval is not automatic. You must ask the UG coordinator of your other major for that permission IN ADVANCE. (The FYP/FYT topic is usually confirmed by CSE in May or your 3rd year. You should ask your other department for approval by email THEN, before you start the FYP/FYT.)
    • Past history is that MATH and MATH-ECON will usually approve this substitution IF your FYP/FYT has reasonable MATH content, which you need to describe to them. They are quite familiar.
    • There have been very few cases of this substitution outside of MATH/MATH-ECON. For other majors you should absolutely not assume in advance that you will receive the approval. This is an issue that you will need to discuss carefully with that other major's UG coordinator.
    • If you are an IRE student: Based on previous cases, IRE students (including MATH-IRE students) MAY NOT use an FYP to substitute for their capstone.
  • All School of Engineering (BEng) majors require a FYP.
    • If you are double majoring with another BEng major you will need to do a FYP for that major.
    • While it is technically possible to do one FYP and have it count jointly as a FYP for both the BEng major and COSC this is quite complicated (see the SENG website) and you should not plan on this working out.

4. Linear Algebra for COSC + MATH Double Majors

  • MATH offers 3 introductory linear algebra courses:
    • MATH 2111 (3 credits): Matrix Algebra and Applications (for BEng students)
    • MATH 2121 (4 credits): Linear Algebra (for MATH majors)
    • MATH 2131 (4 credits): Honors in Linear and Abstract Algebra (for MATH majors)
    All 3 of these courses are exclusions to the other 2.
  • COSC requires students to take any one of the 3 courses above while MATH requires one of MATH 2121/2131.
  • Technically then, COSC + MATH students should take one of one of MATH 2121/2131 to satisfy their requirements. Students starting in the School of Science or those taking linear algebra in year 2, do exactly that.
  • BUT, some COSC + MATH students who started in SENG take MATH 2111 in year 1.
  • In this case, they need to submit Form GR-23 (Application for Deviation from Curriculum) to the MATH department exceptionally requesting to substitute MATH 2111 for MATH 2131.
  • Note: while MATH has approved these requests in the past it is still the responsibility of the student to personally make up the linear algebra material that they missed by taking MATH 2111 (since that is needed in later MATH courses).