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The Joint PhD program aims to train students in originalresearch in marine environmental science, and independent and innovativethinking that is essential for a successful research career. In particular, thecollaborative effort provides students with opportunities to benefit fromthe research excellence shared between HKUST and Shenzhen University(SZU), as well as to cultivate outstanding science and technologytalents to build a sustainable economy in China.

Upon successful completion of the program, students willreceive a certificate from SZU and a degree certificate from HKUST, with aspecial note to indicate that the degree was conferred through a joint program.


Program Duration

The intended duration of the program is normally 4 years.Each student is required to spend a minimum of 2 years at each university.



The curriculum is divided into two parts, one part at SZU and another at HKUST. Students arerequired to complete both parts for graduation.

HKUST Curriculum

Students must fulfill the designed program requirements,which include at least 12 credits of courses at HKUST and all the degreerequirements of PhD degree program at HKUST. Please refer to http://oces.ust.hk/programs-pg-szu-hkust-joint-phd-mes for more information.



Two supervisors―one from SZU and one from HKUST―will beassigned to each student.


Study Plan

• Developed by a three-person group: The two co-supervisors and the student;

• Stipulates the graduation requirements of both universities, including thecurriculum and the research topic;

• Includes the period of attendance at each university, arrangement of thequalifying examination, a brief description of the thesis research, courses tobe taken at each university, credit transfer arrangement; and

• Must be endorsed by the co-supervisors of SZU and HKUST before commencement ofthe study. Subsequent changes made to the study plan must be endorsed inwriting by the relevant departments of both universities.


Medium of Instruction

All coursework, qualifying examination, thesis work, andthesis examination will be conducted in English.


Progress Assessment and Quality Assurance

The academic progress of students will be monitored by aThesis Supervision Committee consisting of a minimum of 3 faculty members fromboth universities, including the 2 co-supervisors of the student and 1 facultymember from HKUST. Each student is required to submit an annual progress reportat the end of each academic year for assessment by the Thesis SupervisionCommittee. A thesis in English together with an abstract in Chinese should besubmitted after the completion of thesis research. An oral defense in Englishin front of a Thesis Examination Committee will be required.

Studentship and Scholarship

a. Studentship

Students will be awarded the studentship from SZU, theamount of which is equivalent to the postgraduate studentship for other HKUSTresearch postgraduates during their residency in HKUST.

b. First-class Scholarship
Students may be awarded this Scholarship from SZU during their residency inSZU.

Studentship and scholarship may be suspended if a studentfails in his/her interim or annual examination or has not made good progress inthesis work. Students who withdraw from the program of study without justifiablereasons will be required to fully refund the scholarship received during theirresidency in SZU.



Due to limited student accommodation at HKUST, studentsare required to arrange their own accommodation outside HKUST campus.


Intellectual Property

Published papers based on a student’s research workduring the Joint PhD Program study should carry the names of both institutions.The first affiliation of the papers should be determined by the co-supervisorsof the student. Ownership of Intellectual property created by students in theJoint PhD Program will be governed by the policy on ownership of intellectualproperty of the institution at which the student is in residence at the timethe intellectual property is created.

In other situations where the demarcation of intellectualproperty rights cannot be clearly defined, an agreement should be reachedbetween the co-supervisors and the student concerned before the studentgraduates.

(Please also refer to: http://oces.ust.hk/programs-pg-szu-hkust-joint-phd-mes for more information)

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