Postgraduate Programs 2017/18
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Chemistry
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Chemistry
Doctor of Philosophy in Chemistry

Program Short Name

MPhil(CHEM)
PhD(CHEM)

Mode of Study

Both full- and part-time

Normative Program Duration

MPhil

Full-time: 2 years
Part-time: 4 years
 

PhD

Full-time: 3 years (with a relevant research master’s degree), 4 years (with a bachelor’s degree only)
Part-time: 6 years

Program Advisor

PG Programs Coordinator:
Prof Hongkai WU, Professor of Chemistry

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) Program aims to train students to conduct independent research in Chemistry. A candidate for an MPhil degree is expected to demonstrate knowledge in the discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making a contribution to the field.
 

Through the execution and completion of a substantial research project, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Program seeks to prepare students to become mature, independent scientists who are capable of the design, initiation and execution of their own original research in academic or industrial environment. It requires the application of considerable depth and breadth of scholarship, and there must be substantial discovery of new science.

The programs are offered by the Department of Chemistry, with the following research foci and state-of-the-art facilities, training students to conduct independent research and to equip them to be mature and independent scientists.
 

Research Foci

  • Analytical/ Environmental Chemistry: Method development and applications for environmental and bioanalytical chemistry, and atmospheric chemistry.

  • Chemical Biology: Protein organization in metabolism, signal transduction.

  • Material Sciences: Nanomaterials, biomaterials, polymeric and organic electronic materials, and energy materials.

  • Molecular Dynamics and Structure of Complex Systems: Laser-based spectroscopy, dynamics of biomolecular and supramolecular systems, computational chemistry (protein/ RNA folding).

  • Synthetic Chemistry: Synthetic methodology, organometallic chemistry and catalysis.
     

The department has international links with major chemical industries and has played a key role in setting up university-wide collaborations involving universities, research institutions and companies in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Japan, Europe and the US.
 

Facilities

The Department is well equipped with modern laboratories and state-of-the-art instrumentation. Equipment includes FT-NMR and spectrometers, one mass spectrometer equipped with a GC-TOF module and a MALDI Micro module, one triple-quadrupole MS/MS system, an ion-trap MSn system, X-ray diffractometers, a Bruker FT-IR / FT-Raman system, a UV-Vis fluorimeter, GC / MS, HPLC.
 

Relevant central University facilities include the Materials Characterization and Preparation Facility, the Nanoelectronics Fabrication Facility and Environmental Central Facility, all offering a wide range of advanced instruments.
 

Computer facilities for postgraduate students include molecular graphic/ modeling, quantum mechanics and molecular dynamics computations.

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

 

1. General Admission Requirements of the University
  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;

  • 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.

2. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:
 

Proficiency Test Minimum Scores
TOEFL-iBT 80
TOEFL-pBT 550
IELTS (Academic Module) Overall score: 6.0 and All sub-scores: 5.5


Applicants don't need to present TOEFL or IELTS score if

  • their first language is English, or

  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil/PhD: 12 credits
 

  1. Credit Transfer

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates in Chemistry will be granted credit transfer and no further coursework is required. Credit transfer may be granted on a case-by-case basis to students who obtained master’s degree from other universities.

 

  1. Required Courses

Students are required to complete a total of 12 credits of approved coursework.
 

MPhil students with a first degree in an area other than that of their postgraduate program may be required to take additional courses.
 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement

CHEM 6771
PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete CHEM 6771 and PDEV 6770. The credits earned from CHEM 6771 and PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates in Chemistry and have completed CHEM 6770 Professional Development in Science (Chemistry) before may be exempted from taking CHEM 6771, subject to prior approval of the Department Head and PG Coordinator.
 

PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from taking PDEV 6770, subject to prior approval of the School.
 

  1. English Language Requirement

LANG 5010


Students are required to complete LANG 5010 in the first year of study. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5010 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements. PhD students who are HKUST MPhil graduates may be considered for exemption from this requirement.
 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar

CHEM 6000


Students must register in CHEM 6000 in all but one regular term of full-time enrollment. PhD students are required to present a seminar based on literature unrelated to the student’s doctoral research.
 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to:

  1. Pass a qualifying examination; and

  2. Defend an original research proposal before a departmental committee.

 

  1. Thesis Research

CHEM 6990
CHEM 7990


MPhil:

  1. Registration in CHEM 6990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in CHEM 7990; and

  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017

  1. Molecular Medicine Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Molecular Medicine concentration are required to:
 

  1. Take LIFS 6660 and at least one other course from the following course list as part of the 12 credits of required coursework:
     

CHEM 5160
LIFS 4380
LIFS 4760
LIFS 5260
LIFS 6660


PhD students who have obtained an HKUST MPhil degree in Chemistry, Biochemistry or Biology but have not taken any of the above courses are required to take LIFS 6660 and at least one of the above courses.
 

  1. Conduct research in the area of molecular medicine.

 

  1. Nano Science and Technology Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Nano Science and Technology concentration are required to:
 

  1. Take at least one NANO course as part of the 12 credits of required coursework.

    PhD students who have obtained an HKUST MPhil degree in Chemistry but have not taken any NANO courses are required to take at least one.
     

  2. Conduct research in nano area.
     

  1. Scientific Computation Concentration

In addition to the existing program requirements, students who opt for the Scientific Computation concentration are required to:
 

  1. MPhil:
    Complete a minimum of 7 credits from the following course lists.
    PhD:
    Complete a minimum of 10 credits from the following course lists.

    The credits earned under the concentration will be counted toward the total credit requirements of the programs.

    Core Courses
    MPhil: at least 3 credits
    PhD: at least 6 credits

    All students must take MATH 6915, which can be repeated for up to 2 credits.
     

COMP 5112
CIVL 5390
orMECH 5930
CSIC 5001
CSIC 5011
CSIC 5031
MATH 5311
MATH 6915


Elective Courses

CHEM 5210
CHEM 5220
COMP 5212
COMP 5213
COMP 5331
COMP 5421
CSIC 5190
ELEC 5810
ELEC 5140
MATH 5350
MATH 5360
MATH 5411
MATH 5431
MECH 5230
MECH 5280
PHYS 5410

 

  1. Give a one-hour seminar on computation related research within their first four regular terms of study.
     

  2. Conduct research in the area of scientific computation.

 

Last update: 10 July 2017