Postgraduate Programs 2020/21
Master of Philosophy and Doctor of Philosophy Programs in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Award Title

Master of Philosophy in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences
Doctor of Philosophy in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences

Program Short Name

MPhil(EOAS)
PhD(EOAS)

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 (without a relevant research master’s degree)
Part-time : 6 years

Offering Unit

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences Thrust Area

Function Hub

Program Advisor

Program Director:
Prof Jianping GAN, Chair Professor of Mathematics, and Ocean Science

Enquiry

Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) provides fundamental knowledge that builds up our scientific realization and understanding of the earth system and changing trends. EOAS focuses on interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary studies of interactions among ocean, atmosphere and land in the earth system for the regional sustainable environment and climate change. It covers multidisciplinary study of physical, biogeochemical, earth surface science and hydrology in the watershed and river-basin for the coupled systems of land-sea, air-sea, air-land and land-sea-atmosphere interactions.

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Programs in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences aim to provide rigorous training and research in EOAS that prepare students to face challenges of the changing earth system and sustainable environment under changing climate in both regional and global scales.

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.

A candidate for a PhD degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

On successful completion of the MPhil program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify the core ideas and concepts of the interdisciplinary Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric System (EOAS);
  2. Engage critical thinking skills to carry out investigative research in EOAS;
  3. Apply a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods to analyze and solve problems of the earth system using combined knowledge of EOAS;
  4. Translate effectively fundamental research insights into earth and environmental science practice in relevant academic and engineering fields; and
  5. Communicate effectively solutions to problems using the correct terminology in the respective disciplines and their integrations in EOAS.

 

On successful completion of the PhD program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify and define the complex ideas and concepts of the interdisciplinary Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric System (EOAS);
  2. Recognize the power of abstraction and generalization and carry out original research in EOAS with sound independent judgment;
  3. Apply rigorous, analytical, highly numerical approach to analyze and solve problems of the earth system using combined knowledge of EOAS;
  4. Transform effectively fundamental research insights into earth and environmental science practice in relevant academic and engineering fields; and
  5. Exercise independent and critical communication skills to problems using the correct terminology and principle in the respective disciplines and their integrations in EOAS.
  1. Minimum Credit Requirement

    MPhil: 15 credits 
    PhD: 21 credits 
     

  2. Credit Transfer 

    Students who have taken equivalent courses at HKUST or other recognized universities may be granted credit transfer on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of 3 credits for MPhil students, and 6 credits for PhD students. 
     

  3. Cross-disciplinary Core Courses

2 credits
 

IIMP 6010
IIMP 6020
IIMP 6030
IIMP 6040

 

All students are required to complete either IIMP 6010 or IIMP 6030. Students may complete the remaining courses as part of the credit requirements, as requested by the Program Planning Committee.

 

  1. Hub Core Courses

4 Credits

 

Students are required to complete at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from the Function Hub and at least one Hub core course (2 credits) from other Hubs.

 

  Function Hub Core Course

FUNH 5000

 

  Other Hub Core Courses

INFH 5000
SOCH 5000
SYSH 5000

 

  1. Courses on Domain Knowledge

MPhil: minimum 9 credits of coursework 
PhD: minimum 15 credits of coursework 
 

Under this requirement, each student is required to take one of the required courses, and other electives to form an individualized curriculum relevant to the cross-disciplinary thesis research. To ensure that students will take appropriate courses to equip them with needed domain knowledge, each student has a Program Planning Committee to approve the courses to be taken soonest after program commencement and no later than the end of the first year. Depending on the approved curriculum, individual students may be required to complete additional credits beyond the minimal credit requirements.
 

  Required Course List

Students are required to take one of the required courses listed below.

 

EOAS 5001
ENVR 5310
ENVR 6050
OrOCES 5001

 

  Sample Elective Course List

To meet individual needs, students will be taking courses in different areas, which may include but not limited to courses and areas listed below.

 

EOAS 5002
EOAS 5003
EOAS 5004
CIVL 5430
ENVR 5410
MATH 5350
OCES 5320

 

  1. Additional Foundation Courses

Individual students may be required to take foundation courses to strengthen their academic background and research capacity in related areas, which will be specified by the Program Planning Committee. The credits earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

 

  1. Graduate Teaching Assistant Training
PDEV 6800


All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed.

 

  1. Professional Development Course Requirement
PDEV 6770


Students are required to complete PDEV 6770. The 1 credit earned from PDEV 6770 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.


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 Program Planning Committee.

 

FUNH 6770


Students are required to complete FUNH 6770. The 1 credit earned from FUNH 6770  cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.


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

 

  1. English Language Requirement
LANG 5000

 

Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.
 

LANG 5001
LANG 5002
LANG 5010

 

Students are required to take one of the above three courses. The credit earned cannot be counted toward the credit requirements. Students can be exempted from taking this course with the approval of the Program Planning Committee.
 

  1. Postgraduate Seminar
FUNH 6800

 

  MPhil:

Full-time students must take and pass FUNH 6800 in at least two terms.

PhD:

Full-time students must take and pass FUNH 6800 in at least four terms.

 

  1. PhD Qualifying Examination

PhD students are required to pass a qualifying examination to obtain PhD candidacy following established policy.

 

  1. Thesis Research
EOAS 6990
EOAS 7990

 

  MPhil:

  1. Registration in EOAS 6990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis.

PhD:

  1. Registration in EOAS 7990; and
  2. Presentation and oral defense of the PhD thesis.

 

Last Update: 10 August 2020

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:

  • 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 equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.