Highly Ranked Globally
The Chinese University of Hong Kong ranks 8th in Asia and 46th in the world in the field of Economics and Econometrics (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016).
Over decades, the CUHK Department of Economics has nurtured many distinguished alumni, who have contributed in different sectors of the community. They include Mr. Vincent Cheng, the first Chinese Chairman of HSBC; Mr. Kwok Kwok Chuen, former Principal Economist at HKSAR Government.
The Department of Economics is renowned for its strength in research in the Chinese economy, economic theory and labour economics.
All successful full-time Ph.D. applicants will be offered teaching assistantships. Assistantship holders are required to assist in teaching or research work. In recent years, the monthly stipend is about HK$15,600.
Path from M.Phil.
The M.Phil. and Ph.D. programmes are articulated, which means that subject to the approval of the Division upon student's request, the student can transfer from the M.Phil. programme into the Ph.D. programme.
More information on the programme can be found in the programme brochure.
Applicants should submit applications through the online admission system from September 2016.
- 1st Dec, 2016
Qualification for Admissions
- have a Master’s degree from a recognized university; or
have graduated from a recognized university and obtained a Bachelor's degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class or with an average grade of not lower than “B”;
- fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement as stipulated by the Graduate School before being considered for admission. To satisfy this requirement, applicants should
- possess a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
- Hong Kong Advanced Level Exam (AS Level);
- Hong Kong Higher Level Exam;
- CUHK Matriculation Exam;
- General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level)/ Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level); or
- achieve Level 4 or above in the English Language subject of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination; or
- have a degree from a university in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country; or
- have obtained a recognized professional qualification awarded in Hong Kong or an English-speaking country; or
- submit one of the following ORIGINAL score reports/ certificates for assessment:
- TOEFL (normally not lower than 550 paper-based; 213 computer-based; and 79 internet-based) [Institution code: 0812; departmental code: 84];
- IELTS (Academic) (normally not lower than Band 6.5);
- GMAT (Verbal, normally not lower than 21) [GMAT code: R9H-T1-55].
- possess a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
* TOEFL and IELTS are considered valid for two years from the test date.
Additional requirement for Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme applicants:
* As requested by Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC), applicants with qualifications from non-English speaking countries are required to provide the English test result of either TOEFL or IELTS for RGC’s consideration.
- provide favourable recommendations from academic referees;
- submit the ORIGINAL GRE General Test score report [Institution code: 3153; departmental code: 1801];
No specific requirement for GRE scores. Those without the GRE score may still be considered, but they will be at a disadvantage. GMAT score report could not be used to replace the submission of GRE score report);
- furnish proof of their research capability in the form of a research proposal of about five pages (Special consideration will be given to applicants' academic publications).
- should possess a Master's degree in Economics or related disciplines, and with a good background in Mathematics or Statistics (Those with a Bachelor's degree can also apply, but HAVE TO demonstrate excellent research potential);
- are normally interviewed in person.
Supporting Documents Required
Applicants should submit, by post or in person before the application deadline, the following supporting documents, together with a photocopy of the completed application form. Please quote on the submission the “Application No.” generated for the application.
Address: Room 928, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Attn.: PhD in Economics)
- Official Transcripts from the University attended by the applicant*;
- A copy of Degree Certificates (if applicable);
- Original score report showing the applicant has fulfilled the Graduate School's English Language Proficiency Requirement (if applicable)^;
- Confidential Recommendations from two referees#;
- Application Fee Receipt (not necessary for credit card payment through online application);
- A copy of Identity Card or Passport;
- Original GRE score report;
- A research proposal of about five pages.
For non-CUHK qualifications: Photocopies will not be accepted. The original official transcript must reach our office directly from the University, or in sealed envelopes and send by the applicants with other supporting documents to our office.
For CUHK qualifications (Bachelor’s or higher degrees): Photocopies of official transcript issued by CUHK are accepted.
For TOEFL/GMAT/IELTS, applicants must request the test organization to send the official score report directly to the Graduate School. Student copy of score report will NOT be accepted.
|#||Hard copy of Confidential Recommendations must reach our office directly from the referees, or in sealed envelopes and send by the applicant with other supporting documents to our office before the application deadline. The referees can also choose to submit the Confidential Recommendations via internet.|
Duration of study
The usual period of completion is 3 years for full-time students who possess an M.Phil. degree. As for students who do not possess an M.Phil. degree, the normative study period is 4 years.
The "candidacy requirement" composes of three major parts, namely, coursework requirement, candidacy examination, and thesis proposal (and oral defence). Students must complete and fulfill all three parts within the "maximum period for fulfilling candidacy requirements". Details of the requirement are listed below:
I. Coursework Requirement
a. Lecture courses
Students are required to complete a minimum of 21 units of courses for graduation.
|i. Required courses|
|First Year of Attendance||12 units|
|ECON5011, 5021, 5101 and 5121|
|ii. Elective courses|
|First Year of Attendance||9 units|
|ECON5110, 5130, 5140, 5150, 5160, 5170, 5310, 5410, 5420, 5430, 5440, 5450, 5460, 5470, 5480, 5490, 6010, 6320, 6810, 6820 and 6830|
|Subject to the approval of the Division Head, up to 3 units of these 9 units can be taken from the Economics undergraduate courses or other related courses at the University.|
For students who possess research Master degrees, the minimum number of units is 15 units, including 12 units of required courses, and 3 units of elective course.
For students who do not possess research Master degrees, the minimum number of units is 21 units, including 12 units of required courses, and 9 units of elective courses.
b. Thesis research courses
Each student must register for the following Thesis research course every term.
- Full-time students: ECON8006
- Part-time and continuing students: ECON8003
II. Candidacy Examination
Advancement to Ph.D. candidature is conditional upon the passing of a Qualifying Examination. The examination consists of Microeconomic Theory and Macroeconomic Theory. The examination will be arranged one to two times every year. Students can have two attempts. If a student fails in the first attempt, he/she may try the second time within three months. Students who fail in both attempts will be discontinued from study upon consideration of the Graduate Panel.
III. Thesis Proposal and Oral Defence
Within half year after passing the qualifying examination, the student must submit a thesis proposal and pass an oral defence of the proposal.
IV. Other Requirement
GPA Requirement: Apart from achieving the minimum grade C- for each individual course in order to graduate, Ph.D. students are also required to achieve a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.7 (B-) every year throughout the entire period of study. Students failing this may be put on academic probation or even discontinued from study or transferred to the M.Phil. stream upon consideration of the Graduate Panel. Please refer to Clause 13.0 “Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies” of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage: http://www.gs.cuhk.edu.hk on details of academic probation.
Students in the full-time and part-time Ph.D. programmes attend the same classes scheduled on weekdays during day time, and they have to fulfill the same requirements, except that part-time students enroll in fewer courses each term and take a longer time to finish.
I. Course Requirement
Each student must register for Thesis research course every term.
Full-time students: ECON8012
Part-time students: ECON8006
Continuing students: ECON8003
II. Other Requirements
a. IT Proficiency Test (Applicable to students admitted in 2011-12 and before. Please refer to "Student IT Competence".)
b. Students are required to present a pre-graduation seminar on his/her research during his/her planned year of graduation. The seminar is open to the public.
c. To attend seminars organized by the Department of Economics.
d. Students must fulfill the Term Assessment Requirement of the Graduate School. For details, please refer to Clause 13.0 "Unsatisfactory Performance and Discontinuation of Studies" of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies which can be accessed from the Graduate School Homepage.
e. Complete an Improving Postgraduate Learning (IPL) module on "Observing Intellectual Property and Copyright Law during Research". This will be an online module and relevant information can be accessed from the website: http://www.cuhk.edu.hk/clear/prodev/ipl.html
Job placement highlights
- Capital University of Economics and Business
- Hunan University
- Nankai University
- National University of Singapore
- Renmin University of China
- Shanghai University of Finance and Economics
- Shanghai University of International Business and Economics
- Sichuan University
- Tsinghua University
- University of Macau
- Zhejiang University
- Zhongnan University of Economics and Law
The department organizes various events throughout the year, ranging from academic seminars and conferences to student events.
The Department of Economics has dedicated computer laboratory for students' use. Students can also take advantage of the computer rooms, library terminals and Wi-Fi access available throughout campus. More information can be found on this map.
Full-time research postgraduate students can apply for on-campus accommodation from the Postgraduate Halls (PGH). As demand is greater than the total number of hostel spaces, hall accommodation is not guaranteed. Please visit the PGH website at www.pgh.cuhk.edu.hk for up-to-date information, including hostel fees, application period and procedures.
Other information on university facilities and services can be found in the Graduate School Brochure.
Room 928, Esther Lee Building, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (Attn.: PhD in Economics)