COMP 4900 Academic and Professional Development (Spring 2024)

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Coordinator: Dr. Kenneth Leung

This course is for academic and professional development of students in the programs offered by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Activities may include seminars, workshops, advising and sharing sessions, interaction with faculty and teaching staff, and discussion with student peers or alumni. Graded P/PP/F. COMP 4900 is a required course for both the COMP and COSC curricula, but with different requirements for COMP and COSC.

  • Develop relationships with faculty members and staff;
  • Examine the value of and assume ownership of his/her education;
  • Become self-directed in planning and accomplishing short and long-term academic goal;
  • Identify short and long-term career and personal plans and aspirations and work towards these by establishing realistic development plans.

You are registered to COMP 4900 during your whole stay in CSE. Its grade for each term is PP (Permitted to Proceed). The P (Pass) grade will be given at the final term before you graduate.

Failure of fulfiling the above requirement in any term may lead to an "F" grade in COMP 4900 for that term, and be permanently recorded in your transcript. Please be reminded that it is a required course and an "F" grade will affect your graduation according to university policy.

First term in CSE (e.g. Year 2 Fall)

Course requirements:

Attend welcome meeting with your faculty advisor for COMP students. No compulsory welcome meeting for COSC students;


Attend the department UG orientation (first Wed in Sep) for both COMP/COSC students, and one additional seminar for COMP students.

Course grade:

PP (Permission to Proceed) grade will be assigned upon successful fulfilment of course requirements.


If the advisor is free to join the orientation dinner, you will meet with your advisor in the UG orientation dinner to fulfill the requirement of meeting with your faculty advisor.

If the advisor is not free to join the orientation dinner, you have to meet with the advisor in another time slot to be initiated by your advisor in a context of social gathering. In this case, meeting will be arranged from Oct to Dec depending on the schedule of your faculty advisor.

If for any reason your faculty advisor is unable to arrange the meeting, the meeting requirement will be alleviated.

In the very rare case that you miss the UG orientation, you will need to attend one makeup seminar offered during the term.

All in-between terms in CSE

Course requirements:

For COMP Students:

  • Attend 2 seminars each term.
  • Attend advising meeting with your faculty advisor.

For COSC Students:

  • Attend 1 seminar each term.

Course grade:

PP (Permission to Proceed) grade will be assigned upon successful fulfilment of course requirement.


For COMP Students: Your respective faculty advisor will schedule an advising meeting from Oct to Dec in the Fall semester and from Mar to May in the Spring semester.

The seminar attendances are not cumulative among different semesters.

All ENGG 2010 seminars/workshops (not necessarily IT-related) offered in a particular term can be automatically double counted towards one required seminar of COMP 4900 of that term, only if you are officially registered to ENGG 2010. E2I will hand over the attendance record to us at the end of the term. Please send inquiries of ENGG 2010 seminar to E2I.

You can also attend DSCT seminars to fulfil COMP 4900 requirement. You should submit a reflection report to COMP 4900 Canvas.

Last term in CSE

Last term is Spring/Summer (for majority students)

Course requirements:

For COMP Students:

  • Attend 1 seminar.
  • Attend advising meeting with your faculty advisor.

For COSC Students:

  • Attend 1 seminar.

Fill a compulsory graduation survey (it's a department survey, NOT HKUST UG Exit survey. The survey is usually sent out in mid-May.)

Course grade:

P grade will be assigned upon successful fulfilment of course requirement to facilitate your graduation.

(For students who graduate in Summer, PP grade will be assigned in Spring, and an automatic P grade will be assigned in Summer.)

Last term is Fall

Course requirements:

Spring term is still your in-between term.

For COMP Students:

  • Attend 1 seminar.
  • Attend advising meeting with your faculty advisor.

For COSC Students:

  • Attend 1 seminar.

Course grade:

P grade will be assigned upon successful fulfilment of course requirement to facilitate your graduation.

Term with "study leave" You will not be able to register for any courses at HKUST, including COMP 4900.

Check your faculty advisor and his/her contact (login with your CSD username/password):

You are always welcomed to attend any seminars you feel interested. You only need to submit reflection report when using the seminar to fulfil seminar attendance requirement.

Further clarifications of the COMP 4900 course requirements due to the various study programs taken by students:

  • DE students: You usually join the department in Fall term. Regardless your year status (e.g. Year 2 or 3), we will still treat the term as your first term CSE. You will need to meet the faculty academic advisor, attend the department UG orientation and one seminar.
  • Program transfer to COMP/COSC: Usually the program transfer which is approved in the middle of a term will be effective next term. You will be registered to COMP 4900 then. Since you are a seasoned student, that term will be treated as in-between term.
  • Double major with COMP as 2nd major: You may use "Academic and Profession Development" course(s) offered by 1st major to fulfil COMP 4900 requirement, subject to approval. Apply for deviation from curriculum with GR-23 form and send to CSE admin office. Check more details in FAQ.

Seminars organized under COMP 4900 are scheduled on Wednesday 6pm - 7pm. The attendance of a seminar is valid when you

  • Arrive the seminar venue before 6:10pm and take attendance with the TA who is in charge (for F2F seminars)
  • (For seminars which require reflection report) Submit a reflection report in time and get a Pass grade. Deadline of reflection report submission is within one week of the seminar (e.g. next Wed 11:55pm). Minimum length of the report is 200 words.

You can upload your reflection report and check your COMP 4900 seminar attendance in Canvas.

Here is the reflection report template, and some sample reflection reports for your reference.

CSE Information Seminars

To facilitate your study, the department offers information seminars, including department UG orientation (compulsory for Year 2 students), Final Year Project (FYP), job hunting, internship and exchange, IT job markets, CV writing training, etc.

No reflection report is required for information seminar.

Only target student group can obtain seminar attendance via information seminars. Your attendance will be voided if you are not eligible.

List of CSE information seminars:

Date Time (HKT) Venue Event Target group Speaker
28 Feb 2024 (Wed) 6-7pm LTD COMP 1991 (Industrial Experience) & COMP 4910 (Co-op Program) Information Seminar UG taking COMP 1991 / planning to take COMP 4910 Dr. Kenneth Leung
Internship & Co-op Coordinator
17 Apr 2024 (Wed) 6-7pm LTD 2024-25 FYP/FYT Information Seminar UG planning to take CSE FYP/FYT in 2024-25 Prof. James Kwok
FYP/FYT Coordinator

CSE Talk Series to General CSE UG students

Interesting general talks by our CSE professors, alumni, or students to share their research, profession or experience with fellow students. List of CSE UG talks:

Date Time (HKT) Venue Event Target group Speaker
21 Feb 2024 (Wed) 6-7pm LTD ChatGPT and AI Transformation All CSE UG Speaker from FDM Group
06 Mar 2024 (Wed) 6-7pm LTD Quick Overview on CV and Cover Letter Writing All CSE UG Ms. Grace Siu, Career Center
10 Apr 2024 (Wed) 6-7pm LTD Adaptive and Effective Fuzzing in a Data-Driven Approach All CSE UG Dr. Dongdong She, CSE

Q1. Is the seminar attendance cumulative?

No. For example, taking one seminar is Fall term and three other seminars in Spring term will not fulfil the two seminars per term requirement in Fall term.

Q2. Can ENGG 2010 seminars be double-counted in COMP 4900?

If you are officially registered to ENGG 2010 in a particular term, any ENGG 2010 seminar (not constrained to IT related seminars) you attended in that term can be double-counted to one required seminar of COMP 4900. Note a valid attendance in ENGG 2010 includes "sit-in the seminar" and "submit the reflection report and obtain a passing grade". E2I will hand over the attendance record to us at the end of the term so you will not see the attendance in COMP 4900 Canvas timely.

Q3. Do I need to fulfil COMP 4900 requirement when I am on exchange?

If you are in "leave" academic status, you will not register any HKUST courses including COMP 4900.

Q4. What happens if I fail COMP 4900 in one term?

Your COMP 4900 grade for that term will be F, and it is shown permanently in your transcript. COMP 4900 will still be pre-enrolled to you in following terms. If you fulfil the requirements, you will eventually get a P grade for COMP 4900 upon your graduation.

Be aware that double failure of COMP 4900 will put you in potential dismissal case.

Q5. I am busy on Wed 6pm - 7pm for other commitment, can I be exempted for the seminar attendance requirements?

You are officially registered in COMP 4900 so we would assume you are available during the time slot.

Q6. I cannot find my attendance of a particular seminar on COMP 4900 Canvas but I did go there and register with TA.

Attendance is taken by scanning the barcode in the back of your student ID card. If you change your student ID card in the middle of the term, barcode changes too and we might not be able to recognize you.

Another reason might be you fail the reflection report. Pass requirement of reflection report can be found in reflection report template.

Q7. Is there any makeup seminar near the end of the term?

No. Please check seminar schedule of COMP 4900/ENGG 2010 and plan ahead.

Q8. I applied to transfer to CSE in the middle of the term, what is the COMP 4900 requirement for me?

Normally, the transfer, if approved, will not be effected until the following term. COMP 4900 will be registered to you in the following term. However, since you are a seasoned student, the requirement is to attend two seminars each term. That is, there is no compulsory requirement on department UG orientation.

Q9. Do I need to take COMP 4900 if COMP/COSC is my second major?

If your first major program offers similar "Academic and Professional Development" courses, normally you can use those courses to fulfil the COMP 4900 requirement in COMP/COSC program. You need to submit Form GR-23 (Application for Deviation from Curriculum) together with curriculum document of your cohort of admission and unofficial transcript to CSE Admin Office. We will review the application case-by-case.

Otherwise, you have to take COMP 4900.

Dr. Kenneth Leung () is the COMP 4900 coordinator for Spring 2024.

COMP 4900 Archive