Ph.D. for Fall 2023

Dr. Corey Xu, Assistant Professor of the Innovation, Policy, and Entrepreneurship (IPE) Thrust of the Society Hub at HKUST(GZ), seeks Ph.D. students with a background of, but not limited to, the following fields:

  • Public Policy
  • Public Administration
  • Public Management
  • Urban Planning
  • Economics
  • Political Science
  • Statistics
  • Computer Science
  • Software Engineering

Disclaimer: The following instructions are provided by Corey Xu for the application to the relevant PhD program in IPE with him being the major supervisor. The instructions do not necessary apply to all programs offered in HKUST. Some of the instructions are not officially provided by HKUST and are subject to change. Please always refer to the official website of HKUST when there is a confusion or conflict of information. Please contact for any questions on the application process.

General Requirement

  • A Master’s or Bachelor’s Degree
    • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.
  • English Requirement
    • Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
      • TOEFL-iBT: 80*
      • TOEFL-pBT: 550
      • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)
      • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5
      • * refers to the total score in one single attempt
    • Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if their first language is English, or they obtained the bachelor’s degree or master’s (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

Application Instruction

  • Step by Step Instruction
  • Notes:
    • Applicants to the Guangzhou program should use the general application platform of the University and choose theds program of interest offered by Guangzhou Campus.

Application Materials

Admission Process

  • Complete online application.
  • One or more rounds of online interviews will be arranged for shortlisted candidates.
  • Successful candidates will receive an offer with limited time to reply.
  • Notes:
    • During the whole application process, candidates are encouraged to contact potential advisors to find a mutual fit.
    • All students in the Guangzhou programs will have a major advisor and a co-advisor.
    • Admission decisions will be made collectively by the thrust search committee, but are largely depending on the mutual selection between the (proposed) major advisor and the candidate.
    • Research proposal is required for PhD applications.


  • Full-time PhD: Dec 15, 2022 (Round 1); Mar 1, 2023 (Round 2).
    • Note: the recruitment for PhD students is rolling. It is possible that positions are filled before the final deadline.

Program Overview


  • HK$42,100 per year (full-time/part-time)
  • Please refer to the FYI Guraduate School guideline.


  • Fully funded by their supervisors.
  • The monthly amount for a PGS is RMB¥15,000, or RMB¥180,000 each year (12-month basis).

Frequently Asked Questions

  • FAQs from HKUST(GZ).
  • FAQs from the Society Hub of HKUST(GZ).
  • Can I apply for both MPhil and PhD programs?
    • Yes. There are no restrictions on how many programs one can apply for. However, it is highly recommended that a candidate thinks through his/her plan prior to application.
  • What are the changes of the MPhil program, comparing with the PhD program?
    • For the Fall 2023 cohort, MPhil students will be admitted to a campus-wide program (IIP), instead of separate programs provided by each thrust. During the first 6 months after the program starts, the MPhil students will work on courses and projects that help them identify the advisors of their interests. Students will subsequently join the chosen thrust’s MPhil program. In short, MPhil applicants no longer need to identify advisors during application. Meanwhile, PhD applicants still need to choose advisors during application.
  • With the new program design, do MPhil students still need to submit a research proposal?
    • No. Applicants to the new MPhil program does not need to submit a research proposal. Ph.D. applicants do need to submit a research proposal.

About HKUST(GZ):

HKUST is a world-class research-intensive university that focuses on science, technology and business as well as humanities and social science. HKUST offers an international campus, and a holistic and interdisciplinary pedagogy to nurture well-rounded graduates with global vision, a strong entrepreneurial spirit and innovative thinking. HKUST achieved outstanding ratings in the Research Assessment Exercise 2020 of Hong Kong’s University Grants Committee, and is ranked as the world’s best young university in Times Higher Education’s Young University Rankings 2020. Its graduates were ranked 26th worldwide and among the best from universities from Asia in Global University Employability Survey 2020.

The development of our new Guangzhou campus creates an exceptional opportunity for the systematic development of cross-disciplinary programs in concert with the disciplinary-oriented efforts on our Hong Kong campus. We envision a Unified System that promotes complementary University campuses while avoiding duplicating programs. The complementary academic structure allows establishment of new intellectual domains to fit the University’s diverse goals, and promotes collaboration and integration between campuses, including facilities and services, policies and mechanisms, and professional standards.

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