Basic Curriculum Structure

All HKU undergraduate curricula have certain common learning experiences: the common core, the language component and the capstone experience. Students of professional curricula concentrates a significant portion of their remaining studies on the “professional core”, while students of non-professional curricula are given large flexibility to design their own combination of majors, minors and electives within and outside their home Faculties.

The general components of a typical four-year undergraduate curriculum

Component Course No. of Credits*
Compulsory Courses Common Core
36 credits
12 credits
6 credits
Specialization Professional Core 108 – 186 credits
Major 72 – 96 credits (144 to 150 for BSc intensive majors)
Minor 36 – 48 credits
Electives Courses within or outside home Faculties Remainder to complete 240 credits
Total no. of Credits 240 credits

*There are considerable new UG programmes with different curriculum designs and structures, such as the BASc 4-year programmes, double degree 5-year programmes and joint-university dual degree 4-year programmes. Check Faculty websites for details.

The Common Core

The Common Core is a series of interdisciplinary organized courses required by all undergraduate curricula. They are organized into four Areas of Inquiry (AoIs): Scientific and Technological Literacy, Humanities, Global Issues, and China: Culture, State and Society. With the exception of double degree programmes, MBBS programme and BASc programmes which require four courses , students are normally required to take six Common Core courses, one from each AoI and not more than two from any AoI.

The Capstone Experience

The Capstone Experience is an integral part of the major programme or the “professional core”. Students are engaged in projects, research, internships or other activities in their senior year to integrate knowledge and skills acquired in their undergraduate studies.

Advanced Standing

Like other universities, HKU has advanced standing arrangements for students admitted with particular academic backgrounds. Advanced standing gives you credit for the work you have completed in a seven-year secondary education, community college, university or other post-secondary educational institution as appropriate. In case of doubt, students should clarify with the Faculty Office upon admission before the start of the first semester.