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Graduate Divistion of
Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

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M.Phil - Ph.D in Earth & Atmospheric Sciences

Earth and Atmospheric Sciences is a scientific discipline of critical importance for tackling various major challenges of global and regional concerns in the 21st century in relation to the evolution of the Earth system, including global environmental and climate change, exploration of natural and energy resources, hazard reduction, and sustainable development. The Chinese University of Hong Kong offers a graduate programme on Earth & Atmospheric Sciences (EASC) at both M.Phil. and Ph.D. levels. EASC is the only interdisciplinary graduate programme in the region that focuses on critical facets of the basic and applied sciences of the lithosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, cryosphere, and the interactions among them. Research interests of its dynamic faculty span the whole spectrum of Earth system science. The graduate programme aims to educate and mentor outstanding young scientists for careers in academia, government, and the private sector.

Admission Requirements

The MPhil-PhD programme consists of MPhil and PhD streams.

Applicants for the PhD stream should hold, or expect to hold by the time of admission, a Master's degree in Science or Engineering or related disciplines, or a Bachelor's degree in Science or Engineering or related disciplines, normally with Second Class Honours or overall average result of B or above.

Applicants for the MPhil stream should hold, or expect to hold by the time of admission, a Bachelor's degree in Science or Engineering or related disciplines, normally with Second Class Honours or overall average result of B or above.

English Language Proficiency Requirement

  • Submit one of the following original score reports/certificates for assessment:
    • TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based/Home Edition);
    • IELTS (Academic): 6.5 (Test Centre based/Online);
    • GMAT: Band 21 (Verbal);
    • GMAT Focus Edition (Verbal): 78 ; or
  • Possess a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
    • Hong Kong Advanced Level Exam (AS Level);
    • Hong Kong Higher Level Exam;
    • CUHK Matriculation Exam;
    • General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level)/Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level); or
  • Achieve Level 4 or above in the English Language subject of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination; or
  • Have a degree from a university in Hong Kong or taken a degree programme of which the medium of instruction was English; or
  • Have obtained a recognized professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English

China College English Tests (CET-4 or CET-6) are not acceptable.
TOEFL and IELTS are considered valid for two years from the test date; GMAT is considered valid for five years from the test date.

Regular Application Procedures

Applicants can submit application through CUHK's online application system. The applicants should also have the following supporting documents sent to "Division of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Room 303, Mong Man Wai Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, N.T., Hong Kong" by post as early as possible:

  • Updated curriculum vitae;
  • Official transcript of academic records of all tertiary level studies, to be sent directly by the original university/institution to our Division*;
  • Confidential recommendations from three referees, to be sent directly by the referees to our Division by post* or by e-mail to eas@cuhk.edu.hk;
  • Copy of certificates of academic/professional qualifications (e.g., degree and graduation certificates);
  • A certifying letter stating that the medium of instruction of the programme concerned wasEnglish, if applicable;
  • Original of documentary proof of fulfillment of the English Language Proficiency Requirement (TOFEL - Institutional code of CUHK: 0812; Departmental code of EASC: 99);
  • Copy of the HKID card or other identity document as given in the Application Form;
  • Online Verification Report for Higher Education Qualification Certificate issued by the CHESICC (For applicant who obtained degrees from universities in Mainland China)
  • Online payment for the application fee;
  • Applicants of the PhD programme are required to submit a personal statement, indicating clearly the particular study field and research they are interested in, together with a research proposal

* Official transcripts and confidential recommendations, sealed in envelopes by the universities and referees, can also be sent via the applicants together with other supporting documents to our Division.

Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme (HKPFS)

The Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme, established by the Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) in 2009, aims at attracting the best and brightest students from all over the world to pursue their PhD studies in Hong Kong. The Fellowship provides an annual stipend of HK$331,200 (approximately US$42,460) and a conference and research-related travel allowance of HK$13,800 (approximately US$1,760) per year for the awardees for a maximum period of three years. For awardees with a normative study period of four years, CUHK will offer the studentship and conference travel allowance at the same level for the fourth year. The application deadline is 1 December 2023. Please refer to RGC's website (http://www.rgc.edu.hk/hkphd) for further details of the Scheme.

The CUHK Vice-Chancellor HKPFS Scholarship

  • Offers HKPFS awardees a tuition fee waiver for their whole normative study period.
  • Provides an award of HK$40,000 (approx. US$5,130) for lodging in the first year of study and HK$20,000 in the subsequent years within the normative study period
  • The on-campus hostel fee will be waived in the first year of study.
  • Guaranteed on-campus accommodation during the normative period of study to HKPFS awardees who submit timely applications.
  • For HKPFS awardees with a normative study period of four years, CUHK provides stipend and conference travel allowance at HKPFS level for the fourth year.

How to Apply

Applicants applying for admission to PhD programmes of CUHK through the HKPFS are required to comply with the admission requirements of the CUHK. Applicants should submit initial application to the RGC through their online application system (will be open for applications in early September), and will be assigned a Reference Number. Applicants should then submit the full application through CUHK's online application system and quote the RGC Reference Number. Applicants who are not selected for the Fellowship Scheme will be considered for regular application and if admitted, be offered a regular postgraduate studentship during their normative period of studies.

Application Result

Application Deadlines

    • 11:59pm, 1 December 2023 (Hong Kong time, for applicants who apply for PhD programme through the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme.)
  • 31 January 2024 (For applicants who apply for MPhil programme and PhD programme directly with CUHK). Applications submitted after 31 January 2023 may not be considered for financial supports.

All supporting documents must reach our Division before the application deadline. Applicants are advised to submit their applications as soon as possible. Our application review usually starts around 2 December 2023.

Fees & Financial Supports

Annual tuition fee: HKD42,100 (Full-time MPhil-PhD)
Postgraduate studentship for MPhil-PhD students: HKD18,025 per month
or HKD27,600 per month (HKPFS awardees)
Loans available: Yes


Please note that annual tuition fee is waived for local students.

Study Period

Degree Normative Study Period Course
Thesis Research
Full-time Part-time
MPhil 24 months N/A 12 units 6 units each term
PhD * 48 months N/A 12 units 6 units each term during pre-candidacy period and 
12 units each term during post-candidacy period
* 36 months for student with a research MPhil degree or other research master’s degree awarded by Hong Kong UGC-funded institutions.
  • In the final year of study, MPhil-PhD student must submit a thesis to Division and pass an oral examination defending his/her thesis.
  • PhD students must fulfill the candidacy requirement within 24 months from first entry to advance to PhD post-candidacy.

Summer Workshop

Student Summer Workshop organized by the Graduate Division open to all potential applicants to our PhD programme in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, to be admitted in the following year. We welcome undergraduate students in their 3rd/final year of study or master students to apply.

Students will be invited to the beautiful campus of CUHK. Every workshop participants will be interviewed for the PhD admission. The first batch of PhD offers will be made shortly after the workshop.

Please refer to our workshop webpage for more details: 


For general enquiries, please call (852) 3943 9323 or e-mail to eas@cuhk.edu.hk.

For further information concerning online application procedures, please contact Graduate School Office:
Phone: (852) 3943 8976
Fax: (852) 2603 5779
Email: gradschool@cuhk.edu.hk
Leaflet: here