Program Curriculum

The curriculum requirement for MPhil and the PhD program is more or less the same expect the thesis requirement and requirement on language and SBMT courses.


Required Courses and Minimum Credit Requirement

MPhil: 23 credits (with 3 field courses) 

PhD: 36 credits   (max credit transfer: 32 credits)

1. Introductory Quantitative Requirement (credits not counted towards program requirement) and Professional Development courses

  • ECON 5100  Mathematics for Business and Economics
  • ISOM 5540  Introduction to Probability
  • PDEV 6770   Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students

2. Required courses including

  • Economics - Micro- and Macro-economic theory I and II, (ECON 5210, 5220; 5250, 5260) econometrics (ECON5300)
  • Statistics   - ISOM 5550  Statistical Methods for Business and Economics I
  • Language  - LANG 5002  (for PhD students only)

3. Field courses : 3 x Economics field courses 

4. MPhil Theory/Qualifying Examinations (Micro and Macro-economics, in June right after the 1st year of study; and Aug for second attempt)

  • Students admitted without an HKUST MPhil degree in Economics will take the qualifying examination in the Summer of the first year of PhD study. They will take the same qualifying examination as the HKUST MPhil students. 
  • MPhil Students who fail the qualifying examination in the two attempts may continue their MPhil study, but are not allowed to proceed to the PhD program.  PhD students who fail the qualifying examination after two attempts in the first year of their PhD study are required to withdraw from the PhD Program.

5. Research Paper Requirement

  • PhD students are required to submit an approved research paper by the Summer of the second year of PhD study.

6. Thesis Research

  • ECON 6990  MPhil Thesis Research
  • ECON 7990  PhD Thesis Research


Program Intended Learning Objectives

1Students will have up-to-date and in-depth knowledge of their areas of specialization.

  • Demonstrate a sound grasp of the literature in their specialization bypassing rigorous qualifying exams.
  • Able to integrate the literature in their area of specialization.
  • Able to apply their specialized knowledge to solve related business problems.

2.  Students will have a broad understanding of contemporary business and organizational issues.

  • Demonstrate a broad based knowledge of core business functions.
  • Able to integrate functional knowledge to solve business problems.

3.  Students will be equipped with rigorous, ethical research methodology needed to conduct high quality research in their area of specialization.

  • Able to conduct research ethically with respect to data collection and dissemination
  • Able to apply appropriate statistical methodology for data analysis in academic research.
  • Able to apply appropriate economic methods for optimization.
  • Able to apply appropriate behavioral research methods to solve problems in organizations. 

4.  Students will be able to conduct original research and create new knowledge in their area of specialization.

  • Able to complete high quality research independently.
  • Able to publish at least one original paper in refereed journals or conferences.

5. Students will be able to communicate the results of their research clearly in both writing and oral presentation

  • Able to present their research results clearly and convincingly in seminars.
  • Able to write research papers suitable for publications in refereed journals.

6. Students will be able to teach college-level courses in their areas of specialization

  • Able to teach independent courses or lead lab/tutorial sessions effectively.
  • Able to present their discipline knowledge clearly to layman.