HKUST School of Science
Quick Links
Academic Programs
About the School
Academic Units
Academic Programs
Honors, Awards and Success Stories
News and Events
Contact Us
Useful Links
Academic Programs - Undergraduate
  Educational Goals Academic Programs Office of Academic Advising and Support Scholarships
        Enrichment Programs – Science for Success
4-year Curriculum
Program Overview
Why choose the science program at HKUST
Admission Requirements
Program Overview
Program Choices
Science Program (JS5100)
The Science program is designed to suit students from diverse education backgrounds and to cater the needs and aspirations of individual students. Most science major programs offer different study tracks and options, and provide opportunity for double majors and minors.

Major Programs:
  • BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB)
  • BSc in Biological Science (BISC)
  • BSc in Biotechnology (BIOT)
  • BSc in Biotechnology and Business (BIBU)
  • BSc in Chemistry (CHEM)
  • BSc in Data Science and Technology (DSCT)
  • BSc in Environmental Science (ENVS)
  • BSc in Mathematics (MATH)
  • BSc in Mathematics and Economics (MAEC)
  • BSc in Physics (PHYS)


International Research Enrichment (IRE) Program (JS5101)

The IRE program is an independent and separate program choice. It 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 emphasizes curiosity and grit, which are essential attributes to a successful career in scientific research. As an “Elite Program”, it offers outstanding science students an early opportunity to nurture their research abilities and solidify their discipline-specific knowledge in regular Science programs.

IRE students will enjoy:

  • Free choice among six major programs:
    - Biochemistry and Cell Biology
    - Biotechnology
    - Chemistry
    - Environmental Science
    - Mathematics
    - Physics
  • Opportunities to participate in advanced research projects under the supervision of world-class professors;
  • Opportunities to meet with Nobel Laureates and renowned scientists from around the world through involvement in the activities of the Institute for Advanced Study at HKUST;
  • Exchange opportunity in a renowned foreign university including University of California, Berkeley; Columbia University; Northwestern University; ETH Zurich, Switzerland; University of British Columbia, etc.;
  • Summer research internship opportunity in foreign universities/national laboratories such as: Cambridge; Chicago; Johns Hopkins; CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research), Switzerland; CNRS (French National Center for Scientific Research), France, etc.;
  • Scholarship support for overseas learning trips.

To be admitted to the IRE Program, applicants must fulfill the HKUST’s general admission requirements and School of Science’s specific requirements, and must pass the IRE admission interview.

  Read IRE Leaflet


Joint School Programs (jointly offered by the School of Science and the School of Business and Management)
Biotechnology and Business (JS5811)
  The new BIBU Program is jointly offered by the School of Science and the School of Business and Management. It offers students a broad-based learning experience that encompasses essential life science and biotechnology knowledge, as well as complementary business know-how, including accounting, finance, economics, marketing, operations management, etc. It also aims to enhance students’ creative and critical thinking abilities while helping them develop a global outlook on biotechnology development and applications, thereby laying a solid foundation of knowledge and skills to develop, manage, and market biotechnology initiatives.

The goal of the program is to nurture competent students to become industry professionals who possess both technical knowledge and a business mind. Ideal candidates will be students who are technically competent, interested in biotechnology applications, as well as eager to develop a managerial or leadership career in the biotechnology or life science-related industries.

Students can apply for the BIBU program through the direct choice in JUPAS, or apply for transfer from the regular Science program (JS5100) of the School of Science or any Business School programs of the School of Business and Management into BIBU after their first year of study. Students interested in BIBU are encouraged to include both Science program (JS5100) and Business program (JS5300) in their program choices.
  Career Prospects:
  The holistic BIBU experience prepares students to excel in any career path they aspire to. Potential employers include multinational pharmaceutical companies, vendors of biotechnology products/services, consulting firms focusing on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, and many more. A wide range of career opportunities are available in both private and public sectors.

  Read BIBU Leaflet

Visit BIBU Website


Mathematics and Economics (JS5813)
  The MAEC program is jointly offered by the School of Science and the School of Business and Management. The program provides students with solid training in the fundamental theories of both mathematics and economics. The curriculum equips students with quantitative reasoning skills, conceptual understanding and the ability to effectively communicate in mathematics and in the language of economics and social sciences. This interdisciplinary degree is suited to students who seek the option of taking a quantitatively oriented job in the finance industry or who intend to pursue postgraduate study in applied mathematics, economics, business or related areas such as operations research or management science.

The complexity and technical aspects of contemporary economic problems exhibit strong synergy between mathematics and economics. The program offers an advantage to students who would otherwise major in mathematics or economics alone. We aim to provide sequences of advanced mathematics and economics courses that equip students with a strong quantitative background in economics and related areas in management and finance, thus preparing them for a successful career in the banking and finance industry or further studies in graduate school.

Students can apply for the MAEC program through the direct choice in JUPAS, or apply for transfer into MAEC from the regular Science program or any Business School programs at HKUST after their first year of study. Students interested in MAEC are encouraged to include both Science (JS5100) and Business and Management (JS5300) in their program choices.
  Career Prospects:
  • Graduates with an interdisciplinary degree are increasingly valued by employers, and tend to have more diverse career options than those majoring in Mathematics or Economics alone.
  • Career opportunities in the banking and finance industry in Hong Kong are promising for those who are capable of applying mathematical tools to understand the financial markets and make economic forecasts. Our MAEC graduates have joined top-ranking financial institutions and multinational firms such as Bank of America, JP Morgan and KPMG.
  • MAEC graduates are equipped with sufficient background for entry into advanced/ professional degree programs in economics, financial mathematics, statistics, and other business-related fields. Recent graduates have been admitted into PhD/Master's programs at prestigious universities such as Oxford, Stanford and Yale.  

  Read MAEC Leaflet

Visit MAEC Website


Program Structure

4-Year School-based Admission

Our 4-year curriculum enables students to have a broader knowledge base and more flexibility in their studies. Students admitted to the School of Science can opt to declare major in any program in the School of Science, as well as the Joint School and Interdisciplinary Programs.

Year 1

Students will enroll in science foundation courses according to their interests and background, as well as courses in other areas to fulfill the University Common Core requirement.

Year 2-4

Students will declare a major program in their second year. They may also consider declaring a minor program in order to add a secondary area of focus to their major.

120 Credits

Minimum credit requirement for graduation

4 Years

Normative period of study

Our aim is to provide a diverse learning experience for students. Lectures, laboratory courses, Capstone projects and language courses tailor-made for science students are integrated into the 4-year curriculum to ensure that students have a solid foundation and adequate exposure to a range of science disciplines.
Along with the desired study path, students will have ample opportunities to enjoy a slew of co-curricular programs and enrichment activities aimed at widening exposure and fostering personal development.
For detail program curriculum, please visit:
Major Programs
The School of Science offers the following major programs:
BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (BCB)

Students will study how biomolecules, which are the fundamental building blocks of all living organisms, work harmoniously in cell-free experimental systems (Biochemistry) and also within cells (Cell Biology). The early curriculum is broad-based and teaches students the fundamental concepts and principles of Biochemistry and Cell Biology. This will enable students to explore and develop their own interests in various aspects of modern molecular life sciences. As they progress through the program, they will take more advanced and specialized elective courses. BCB students will also have the option of engaging in intensive practical training and research opportunities.

Career Prospects:
BCB graduates will have a broad range of career options. Some will be well-prepared for postgraduate research studies and future employment opportunities in academic, medical and biotechnology research. Besides, BCB graduates will also be fully equipped to pursue other vocational careers in private and government sectors requiring a life science background, including healthcare, biotechnology and education. With recent advances in technology and societal expectations driving an expansion in career and employment opportunities, life science is truly at exciting times.


BSc in Biological Science (BISC)

This versatile program aims to provide students with a broad coverage and a basic understanding of major principles, concepts and technologies of organismal and systems biology, including animal, plant, evolutionary and environmental biology. The flexibility of this major facilitates students in undertaking more elective courses offered by other academic departments such as Engineering, Social Sciences, Humanities and Business.

Career Prospects:
The emphasis of this program is to equip students with a broad scope of general biological knowledge, which provides students with comprehensive training in transferable skills as well as opportunities in independent learning required for all career paths. Our Biological Science students are armed with strong skills in acquisition of scientific enquiry and critical thinking and the majority of graduates accept jobs requiring interdisciplinary knowledge. Moreover, students will be equipped with strong problem solving skills and analytical skills throughout their science training. A wide range of career options will be available to our Biological Science graduates.


BSc in Biotechnology (BIOT)

This program focuses on basic and advanced biotechnological elements related to research, development and manufacturing of biotechnology products, including medicines, cosmetics, agricultural goods, food and healthcare devices. It provides students with theoretical and practical knowledge of the latest biotechnological developments, with particular focus on the applied aspects of life sciences. The curriculum also requires basic understanding of concepts across various biological spectra including biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology and genetics.

Career Prospects:
The BIOT major equips students with various basic and specific biotechnological elements to meet the growing demand in the markets of pharmaceutical, agricultural, business and education. The underlying objective of the major is to serve as a biotechnology powerhouse to provide the manpower market with fresh impetus so as to move this emerging industry forward. Career opportunities are amply available in both the private and government sectors.


BSc in Biotechnology and Business (BIBU)

The BIBU program is the Joint School Program offered by the School of Science and the School of Business and Management, students can apply for the BIBU program through:

  1. the direct choice in JUPAS or direct entry; OR
  2. apply for transfer from the Science Program to the BIBU program after their first year of study

For more program information, please refer to
Joint School Programs > Biotechnology and Business


BSc in Chemistry (CHEM)

Students will study all aspects of chemistry and related disciplines. General areas covered include analytical chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, and physical chemistry. Specialized areas include environmental chemistry, medicinal chemistry, biological chemistry, polymer chemistry, and materials chemistry including nanostructures, advanced instrumentation, advanced computational and theoretical chemistry.

The program offers four options:
  • Biomolecular Chemistry Option
  • Environmental and Analytical Chemistry Option
  • Materials Chemistry Option
  • Pure Chemistry Option

Career Prospects:
Our graduates have gone on to become chemists or technicians in government laboratories or private accredited laboratories, school teachers, environmental consultants, chemical engineers, Chinese medicine researchers, pharmacists, marketing representatives for lab equipment suppliers and computer companies, scientific patent officers, script writers, reporters for science journals or magazines, as well as postgraduates that pursue higher degrees in both local and overseas universities.


BSc in Data Science and Technology (DSCT)

The Data Science and Technology program is offered as a Joint School Program with the School of Science and the School of Engineering. Students can apply for the Data Science and Technology program through apply for transfer from the Science Program or the Engineering Program to the DSCT program after their first year of study.

The Data Science and Technology program (DSCT) is offered as a joint program between the Department of Mathematics in the School of Science and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering of HKUST.

We are living in a world full of data. There are challenges and opportunities for a new generation of scientists to interpret and utilize the massive datasets with advanced strategies and technologies. The newly developed Data Science and Technology program will equip students with various mathematical tools, data analytical skills and IT technologies to make sense of data obtained from various sources. The DSCT program is designed for students from the School of Science or the School of Engineering through School-Based Admission route after they have finished the first year of study and completed the major pre-requisite courses to apply. Through the four-year’s training, students are expected to be familiar with the basic knowledge of data analytics, programming skills and mathematical modeling. Students will be provided industry experience to apply their knowledge to real life applications. This program provides students rigorous training not only on the mathematical and computational background but also on hands-on data analytical skills that give them a solid foundation for their future career.

Career Prospects:
A lot of data specialist/scientist positions are created every day in various business and industry sectors to make use of the massive datasets collected there. Graduates of data science and technology is of high demand in today’s job market, and most of them will be employed in those sectors such as IT, engineering, and finance. There will be other career opportunities such as management and sales etc.


BSc in Environmental Science (ENVS)

The environment is an integrated and interactive system that encompasses a complex array of physical, biological and chemical components and processes. Environmental science is a multi-disciplinary subject that aims to understand the functioning and interrelationship of these components and processes. Rapid economic and urban development has been threatening the capacity of the environment to sustain the human population. Environmental Science provides the essential knowledge to resolve the problems.

The Environmental Science (ENVS) undergraduate (UG) program provides students with solid training in the relevant areas of study with a special focus on ecosystems. The program offers a flexible and multidisciplinary curriculum for students to meet their study and career goals.

Career Prospects:
The ENVS program equips students to thrive in government agencies (Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Environmental Protection Department), environmental consultancies (environmental impact assessments, natural resource management), environmental laboratories, environmental related NGOs, public education (teachers, conservation groups, ecotourism) and academic research.


BSc in Mathematics (MATH)
Mathematics permeates almost every discipline of science and technology. It is not only a tool for understanding the abstract models of real world phenomena while solving practical problems, but it is also the language of commerce, engineering and other sciences such as biology, physics and computing. Students choosing the Mathematics program will be able to select a track of study from our diverse Mathematics program.
There are six tracks under the Mathematics program:
  • Applied Mathematics Track
  • Computer Science Track
  • Mathematics and Physics Track
  • Pure Mathematics Track
  • Pure Mathematics (Advanced) Track
  • Statistics and Financial Mathematics Track

Career Prospects:
On average about a quarter of MATH graduates pursue further studies, a majority of whom have enrolled in institutions abroad. Another quarter of graduates choose careers in teaching. The remaining graduates are employed in various businesses and service sectors, including but not limited to administration and management, computer programming, accounting, insurance, marketing sales, purchasing, banking and finance, and academia.


BSc in Mathematics and Economics (MAEC)

The MAEC program is offered as a Joint School Program with the School of Business and Management, students can apply for the MAEC program through:

  1. the direct choice in JUPAS or direct entry; OR
  2. apply for transfer from the Science Program or any Business School Programs to the MAEC program after their first year of study.

For more program information, please refer to
Joint School Programs > Mathematics and Economics


BSc in Physics (PHYS)

Physics covers everything from the tiniest elementary particle to the ultimate fate of the universe, and provides the foundation for all of modern science and engineering. By choosing the Physics program, students will have the opportunity to learn about exciting topics ranging from quantum physics and nanotechnology to quarks, black holes and superconductivity.

The program offers three options:
  • Applied Physics Option
  • Physics and Mathematics Option
  • Honors Physics Option

Career Prospects:
Students can pursue further study or work in the fields of teaching, research, technical sales, forensic science, medical industry, commerce, banking, etc. Since students are rigorously trained in analytical and problem solving skills, a wide variety of job opportunities await them. Career opportunities are amply available in both the government as well as private sectors.


Minor Program

Students can enjoy different types of learning experiences by enrolling in various minor programs within or outside the School of Science.

Offered By Programs

School of Science Actuarial Mathematics
Astrophysics and Cosmology
Biological Physics
Biological Science
Environmental Science
School of Engineering Aeronautical Engineering
Big Data Technology
Environmental Sustainability and Management
Information Technology
Sustainable Energy Engineering
Technology Management
School of Business and Management Business
School of Science,
School of Engineering and
School of Business and Management
School of Humanities and Social Science China Studies
Social Science
Availability of the above minor programs is subject to change.

Academic Programs

School of Science | Striving to be the LEADING School of Science in Asia l Life Science, Chemistry, Mathematics, Physics
© 2011 School of Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. All Rights Reserved.