Postgraduate Student Early Recruiting (Fall 2025 Intake)

Registration for CSE PG Early Application

The Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is recruiting MPhil and PhD students to start in Fall 2025. We are looking for outstanding undergraduate students as well as graduate students with a Master's degree in Computer Science and related areas.

According to the latest QS World University Rankings, CSE department is ranked 1st in Hong Kong in the Subject of Computer Science and Information Systems. Our department has produced pioneering work in several areas, including but not limited to, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, data and knowledge management, human-computer interaction, networking and computer systems, software engineering and programming languages, theoretical computer science, and vision and graphics.

Our department consists of over 50 faculty members, about 80 MPhil students and 400 PhD students. The MPhil study takes two years, and the PhD study four to five years. Many of our postgraduate alumni work at major IT companies such as Baidu, Facebook, Google, Huawei, IBM, Microsoft, and Tencent, and a significant number of our PhD graduates pursue their careers at research institutes and universities all over the world. If interested, please check out the departmental web page on where do our PhD graduates go.

Postgraduate students have sufficient scholarship support during their study at HKUST. The amount of scholarship is around HKD220,320 (USD28,200) per person per year. The annual tuition of a postgraduate student is HKD42,100 (USD5,300).

Furthermore, the Hong Kong government selects incoming PhD students to award the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (HKPF) each year. The amount of the HKPF is around HKD27,600 per month, plus a travel allowance of HKD13,800 each year. In addition, HKUST gives each awardee a one-time reward of HKD40,000. In the past, our department was awarded 8 to 12 HKPFs every year.

Our postgraduate admissions require applicants to have good academic records in their areas of study and to have obtained a Bachelor's degree by the time of their HKUST enrollment. Applicants also need to satisfy the University's English Language Requirements.

We recruit postgraduate students in two phases. The first phase is early recruiting, targeted at excellent MPhil and PhD applicants through short interviews. To apply, you can fill out the preliminary application form at the departmental early recruiting website. We will process these online applications and shortlist candidates to invite for online or in-person interviews. This year, the early admission interviews will start in September 2024. Applicants will be notified their interview results one to two weeks after their interviews.

After the early recruiting phase, applicants can still send regular application packages to the HKUST Postgraduate Admissions.

Finally, we encourage exceptional PhD applicants (top 10% in class, average grade higher than 85/100, excellent English) to contact us to inquire about the HKPF applications. Please find relevant information at the HKUST's HKPFS webpage.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact .


Q1. I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS yet. Can I still apply in this early recruitment session?

Yes, you are eligible to apply. However, if you are admitted, you will need to meet the University's English Language Requirements before enrollment.

Q2. When is the deadline for early admission application?

The deadline for early admission application is Aug 24, 2024.

Q3. When will I get the offer?

The first batch of offers will be sent around late Sep / early Oct, and thereafter, offers will continue to be sent out as soon as decisions are made, typically with the support from a prospective advisor. Offers will also be made to exceptional applicants on an ongoing basis, with some early offers being issued to exceptional students on an individual basis over the summer.

Q4. I have not received an offer in the first batch, should I contact individual faculty members?

Mass emails to the faculty are unlikely to be effective (they receive many such emails). All your application materials will be made available to the faculty, so there is no need to send them again. Thus, if you would like to contact individual faculty members, please try to differentiate your email from hundreds of others: Why are you interested in his/her research? What qualities of yours make you a good student of his/hers? If you have read one of his/her papers, do you have some comments and further ideas?

Read more about General Admission FAQ.

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