Undergraduate FAQ
Are there any specific requirements for admissions to the School of Science?

Please refer to Admissions Requirements.

For more details of admissions to HKUST, please refer to https://join.hkust.edu.hk.

What are the differences among Science (Group A) program, Science (Group B) program and IRE program?

The School of Science has divided the Science Program (JS5100) into two new program choices – Science (Group A) program (JS5102) and Science (Group B) program (JS5103). The two Science programs are designed to cater to the academic needs and aspirations of students. Science (Group A) program is tailor-made for those students who are interested in the fields of Physical Science. Science (Group B) program is more suitable for those students who are interested in the fields of Chemistry and Life Science.


IRE is a pioneer study track tailor-made for students with particular interest in pursuing a research career in Science or broadening their exposure to research during their undergraduate studies. It offers students an early opportunity to nurture their research abilities in addition to discipline-specific knowledge in regular Science programs.


The IRE program has a similar curriculum structure as the Science (Group A) and Science (Group B) programs. But students admitted to the IRE program can enjoy a FREE choice among six major programs offered by the School: Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Biotechnology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Ocean Science and Technology, and Physics.


It further distinguishes itself from regular Science programs by providing students with:

  1. Participation in advanced research projects under the supervision of world-class professors

  2. Opportunities to meet with Nobel Laureates and renowned scientists

  3. Individualized Research Guidance and Mentoring from experienced faculty members

  4. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP)

  5. Exchange opportunity in renowned foreign universities / research institutes

  • Summer research internship opportunity in foreign universities and institutions

  • Scholarship support for overseas learning trips

What are the differences between Science (Group A) program and Science (Group A) with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence program?

Science (Group A) program (JS5101) is for the students who wish to spend more time exploring their interests in the field of physical science. Upon completion of the first year of study, they can opt to major in one of the major programs for Science (Group A) or the three programs with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence.


Students who have developed clear interests in both physical science and artificial intelligence may apply for Science (Group A) with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence (JS5181). They can opt to major in either one of Mathematics/Physics/Ocean Science and Technology with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence upon completion of the first year of study.

How will extra elective(s) be considered?

Extra electives will be used as additional supporting information, such as a tiebreaker.

Will it be advantageous to take more HKDSE elective subjects than required?

In admissions score calculation, since the School will consider 5 subjects for IRE, Science (Group A), Science (Group A) with an Extended Major in Artificial Intelligence, and Science (Group B) Programs, and 6 subjects for Biotechnology and Business and Mathematics and Economics Programs, additional subject(s) will be considered as a tie‐breaker or a bonus in admissions score calculation. 

Is there any guaranteed choice of major upon admissions?

Students in the IRE program have free choice among six science major programs. Students in the Science programs who have 1 science subject at Level 5** are guaranteed entry to the corresponding science program.

What is the major consideration for selecting and admitting students?

Students' academic performance is the most important factor for consideration. Students who demonstrate exceptional abilities and performance in other areas will also be considered favorably, e.g. students who are the Hong Kong Team members or medalists of International Physics/Mathematics Olympiad Competitions. 


For JUPAS students, we will consider an applicant’s overall profile and will take the following factors into account:

  • Subject performance;

  • Other Experiences and Achievements (OEA);

  • Additional electives;

  • Interview performance (if any);

  • Student Learning Profile (SLP);

  • A 500 word personal statement;

  • School Reference Report (academic performance, personal and general abilities)

For JUPAS students, how important are the OEA (Other Experiences & Achievements), SRR (School Reference Report), SPN (School Principal Nomination) and SLP (Student Learning Profile)? How will they be evaluated and used for selection?

OEA, SRR, SPN and SLP will be taken into account and will constitute a certain percentage of weighting in the assessment. Achievements under the OEA such as awards obtained in international competitions may be useful. Students having these awards may be considered for granting conditional offers. The University will consider OEA information, mainly for Band A students.

What would be considered a good personal statement (500 words, part of the JUPAS application)?

In general, we try to learn more about the applicant as a person e.g. on personality, aspirations, and motivation/suitability for the program applied. A good essay should tell a story and have a clear focus, reveal passion and expose personality, show creativity and independent thinking so that after reading, the reader would form a unique impression about the applicant. 

How will the School of Science consider the nominations under the SPN (School Principal's Nomination) scheme?

Band A applicants who are nominated under the SPN scheme will be considered seriously. They may be given bonus points or conditional offers if they meet HKUST and the School of Science's minimum entrance requirements.

What happens if students are getting the same HKDSE score? What will be used to evaluate them?

We will look at the students' HKDSE results together with other information including their band choice, interview performance, OEA, SRR, SLP to constitute a full picture of the students for assessment.

I am taking HKDSE and other (such as IB, SAT, GCEAL) examinations. Which admissions route should I follow – JUPAS or non-JUPAS?

Students with full HKDSE and another full qualifications (such as IB, SAT, GCEAL) can apply via either the JUPAS or non-JUPAS route, but not both.

Undergraduate Admissions for 2024 Intake