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Fields of Study: Humanities, Social Sciences, Science, Engineering

The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) offers a full academic curriculum, stimulating campus life, and easy access to the heart of downtown Hong Kong. Take coursework taught in English in the arts, humanities, business, engineering, math and physical sciences, life sciences, and social sciences. Both in the classroom and in the residential housing, CUHK fosters interaction between local and visiting students with diverse backgrounds and interests.

Unique study opportunities

  • Take courses in areas not offered at all UC campuses, including Cantonese language study, social work, and journalism.
  • Conduct a directed research or independent study project with a CUHK professor.
  • Volunteer in a community service program.
  • Learn in a stimulating and culturally integrated environment alongside students from more than 50 countries.


Language of Instruction: English, Cantonese, Chinese

Chinese Language Study: Optional

Although most courses are taught in English, Cantonese is the primary language of Hong Kong. You will encounter Cantonese in dormitories, on the street, and in tutorials, labs, and studios. Some basic Cantonese will help you interact both in classes and in everyday activities.

Chinese language courses are available from elementary to advanced levels. In addition to Cantonese, you can learn Putonghua (Mandarin). You can take a maximum of two Chinese language courses worth 9 UC quarter units (6 CUHK credits) per term.​

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Five to six courses with a minimum of 21-27 quarter/14-18 semester UC units. UCEAP students typically enroll in ​22.5 UC quarter units as most courses are 3 CUHK credits (4.5 UC quarter units).
  • You may take up to 40% of your total unit load for pass/no pass credit; typically two courses.

Current Program Courses

Undergraduate students at CUHK belong to one of six colleges, which provide accommodations, sports training, and informal learning opportunities. You will be assigned to one of these colleges along with all other exchange students; however, you may take courses from other colleges.

CUHK courses are numbered by year and level:

  • 1000 to 1999: elementary courses; usually assigned lower-division UC credit.
  • 2000 to 2999: intermediate courses; lower or upper division depending on the content. General education courses (noted by a prefix starting with UG) will frequently be lower division. 
  • 3000 to 4999: advanced courses; usually assigned upper-division UC credit.
  • 5000 and above: graduate courses; rarely open to undergraduates. MBA courses are not open to undergraduates.

Course Restrictions

Certain courses or departments have restrictions for exchange (UCEAP) students. See restrictions on the CUHK website below.

Research Courses

In addition to accessing classes in a full range of disciplines, you have the option to develop your own directed research or independent study project with a CUHK professor. Working under the supervision of a CUHK faculty member provides an excellent opportunity to contribute to ongoing research in fields including anthropology, art, economics, international trade and commerce, music, political science, and sociology. To pursue a research project, make arrangements through the Office of Academic Links after you arrive in Hong Kong.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

CUHK believes strongly that students from different cultures can learn from each other and broaden their international opportunities. Throughout the program you’ll be learning alongside top students from all corners of the world. Students who succeed are also able to study independently, do the background reading, and incorporate class work in written papers. Local teaching style emphasizes memorization, so be prepared to repeat lecture material on written quizzes and exams. It is important to attend class regularly, take all course exams, and submit written work as required by each instructor.

Some courses involve fieldwork, practical experience, or lab work. Group projects are common in business administration and other disciplines though they are not typical in the humanities. 

Tip: Lecturers may have heavy accents. Before you finalize enrollment, make sure you can understand the main lecturer in each course.


You will earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework.

Grading at Hong Kong institutions reflects rigorous academic standards. Grading curves are rare, and Hong Kong instructors generally assign grades that are lower than the norm at UC. If you adapt to local practices and expectations, you can earn good grades.

Professors assess academic progress through fieldwork, lab assignments, individual and group projects, quizzes, exams (usually in short answer or essay format), and other criteria relevant to each course. They also consider course attendance and participation. Class participation may be especially important in seminars and in courses that have tutorial sessions.

Language course grades are usually based on periodic quizzes and tests, homework assignments, class performance, and a final oral and written exam. Because the language classes are smaller, they require attendance and special permission for absences. Regular attendance will have a positive impact on your language progress and grade.

Fall grades are usually available from mid-February to early March. Spring grades are usually available from late July to early August.