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

Depending on your major and interests, you can choose one of two academic tracks in this program.

In the physics track, you can earn a year of calculus-based physics in just 8 weeks. The program requires complete focus and is intense but worth it.

In the regular program, you can access a variety of English-taught courses HKUST offers to incoming international students in business and management, engineering, sciences, humanities, and the social sciences.

Unique study opportunities

  • Learn alongside students from all over the world in courses offered exclusively to exchange students.
  • Explore fascinating topics like Western fashion, China in film, tech and innovation, or robot design.
  • Access physics courses that are typically impacted at the University of California.


Language of Instruction: English

Chinese Language Study: Optional

Chinese language study is optional during the regular program but unavailable in the physics track.

Courses and credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program, take a full-time course of study:

  • Physics track: Two courses and two labs for a total of 12 quarter/8 semester UC units. Each course with lab is worth 6 quarter/4 semester UC units. You’ll be required to pass the first 4-week course and lab to to stay for the second half of the program. Additional courses and credit are not available.
  • Regular program: Two or three courses for a total of 9-13.5 quarter/6-9 semester UC units.
  • Financial Aid students: See your Financial Aid Office. You may need to take 13.5 quarter/9 semester UC units for UC summer funding.

UC quarter units are calculated by multiplying HKUST credits by 1.5. Most courses are 3 HKUST credits (4.5 UC quarter units). Some lab courses are 1 HKUST credit.​​

Current Program Courses

Physics Track

The physics track is divided into two, four-week sessions with one course and lab each session. The courses and labs include:

Session 1

  • PHYS 1112 General Physics with Calculus
  • PHYS 1113 General Physics Laboratory

Session 2

  • PHYS 1114 General Physics II
  • PHYS 1115 General Physics II Laboratory

See the HKUST Physics course sheet below for full descriptions and learning outcomes.

Regular Program

In the regular program, you’ll choose from a list of around 30 courses to accommodate your UC major and general requirements.

The course list on the HKUST website changes each year. Before departure, you’ll submit an initial study plan based on the tentative list and finalize it later.

Catalogs and resources

Academic culture

Some courses involve fieldwork, practical experience, or lab work. Students who succeed in this environment are 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.


You will earn 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.

Grades are typically available in mid-October.