The MPhil / PhD program is a research-oriented degree program. It is designed to enable students to concentrate in a specialized field, and to provide them the opportunity to do original, fundamental research in that field. The program prepares students for a teaching and/or research career in universities, research institutions, businesses and in the government.

High International Ranking

In the past 6 years (2016-2021), the Economics Department has ranked number one in Hong Kong every year, and from 24 to 29 in the world, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject — Economics & Econometrics.  According to the last Research Assessment Exercise for Hong Kong conducted in 2014, 73 percent of the Department’s research activity was categorized as world leading or internationally excellent, more than any other economics department in Hong Kong.

World Class Economics Faculty

The Department’s distinguished faculty are highly international, hold PhDs from the world’s top universities, and pursue research in all fields of economics. Economics faculty hold editorial positions in leading academic journals including the Journal of Econometrics, Rand Journal of Economics, World Bank Economic Review, Review of International Economics, Journal of International Trade Law and Policy, Annals of Economics and Finance, Journal of Pension Economics and Finance, Pacific Economic Review, and Frontiers of Economics in China.

Business School International Ranking

No.13 in CEOWORLD Magazine’s rankings of the Best Business Schools in the World.
The School’s research ranked No.30 in the world and No.1 in Asia during 2015-2019 according to the University of Texas at Dallas.
The Kellogg-HKUST EMBA program was ranked No.1 in the world in 2020 by the Financial Times. The program has been ranked No.1 in the world ten times from 2007 to 2020.
The Full-Time MBA program is ranked No.19 in the world by the Financial Times (2020).

About The Program

The MPhil/ PhD in Economics program focuses on original research by the student, but also requires course-work. Doctoral students proceed from admission to the program, to candidacy for the degree, and then to defense of the thesis. Each has a thesis supervisor who oversees the student's research. Students obtain candidacy by successful completing of a qualifying examination. A full-time student making good progress is expected to be able to complete the PhD degree in four years. The first two years of the programs will normally be devoted to coursework, leading to the major field examination and a research paper. After that, the student will begin to write the thesis.

Strong Support for Research Training

The MPhil/PhD program gives students the opportunity to gain research experience by serving as research assistants for faculty in their first year. The program provides financial support for students to present their research at international conferences, participate in summer schools or other training programs, conduct preliminary field research, and spend time as visiting students at other globally leading universities. Students work closely with faculty advisors to complete their MPhil thesis in their second year, and on their dissertation research.

Students get detailed feedback from faculty to help them develop their research ideas and refine their analyses.


All MPhil/PhD students are fully funded.

Faculty's Research Interest

The Department's distinguished faculty pursue research in all fields of economics. Read more on our faculty's Research Interests.