PhD in Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences


Program Description

Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences (EOAS) provides fundamental knowledge that builds up our scientific realization and understanding of the earth system and changing trends. EOAS focuses on interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary studies of interactions among ocean, atmosphere, and land in the earth system for the regional sustainable environment and climate change. It covers multidisciplinary study of physical, biogeochemical, earth surface science, and hydrology in the watershed and river-basin for the coupled systems of land-sea, air-sea, air-land, and land-sea-atmosphere interactions.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Program in Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences aims to provide rigorous training and research in EOAS that prepare students to face challenges of the changing earth system and the sustainable environment under changing climate in both regional and global scales.

A candidate for a Ph.D. degree is expected to demonstrate mastery of knowledge in the chosen discipline and to synthesize and create new knowledge, making an original and substantial contribution to the discipline.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Ph.D. program, graduates will be able to:

  1. Identify and define the complex ideas and concepts of the interdisciplinary Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric System (EOAS);
  2. Recognize the power of abstraction and generalization and carry out original research in EOAS with sound independent judgment;
  3. Apply rigorous, analytical, highly numerical approach to analyze and solve problems of the earth system using the combined knowledge of EOAS;
  4. Transform effectively fundamental research insights into the earth and environmental science practice in relevant academic and engineering fields; and
  5. Exercise independent and critical communication skills to problems using the correct terminology and principle in the respective disciplines and their integrations in EOAS.

Admission requirements

To qualify for admission, applicants must meet all of the following requirements. Admission is selective and meeting these minimum requirements does not guarantee admission.

i. General Admission Requirements of the University

  • Applicants seeking admission to a master's degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree from a recognized institution, or an approved equivalent qualification;
  • Applicants seeking admission to a doctoral degree program should have obtained a bachelor’s degree with a proven record of outstanding performance from a recognized institution; or presented evidence of satisfactory work at the postgraduate level on a full-time basis for at least one year, or on a part-time basis for at least two years.

ii. English Language Admission Requirements

Applicants have to fulfill English Language requirements with one of the following proficiency attainments:

  • TOEFL-iBT: 80*
  • TOEFL-pBT: 550
  • TOEFL-Revised paper-delivered test: 60 (total scores for Reading, Listening and Writing sections)
  • IELTS (Academic Module): Overall score: 6.5 and All sub-score: 5.5

* refers to the total score in one single attempt

Applicants are not required to present TOEFL or IELTS score if:

  • their first language is English, or
  • they obtained the bachelor's degree (or equivalent) from an institution where the medium of instruction was English.

This program is for HKUST(Guangzhou) Pilot Scheme Admission.

For more program information, please refer to

Last updated Dec 2020

About the School

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Ti ... Read More

Located at the Clear Water Bay of Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) is a research-focused institution that ranks first among top young universities in the world (Times Higher Education Young University Rankings, 2020). With an international outlook and global reputation, the university aims to be a leading university, both locally and internationally, through excellence in teaching and research. With the unprecedented demand for high-end talent in support of the development of Hong Kong and the world, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (Guangzhou) (HKUST(GZ)) will be set up in Nansha, south of Guangzhou, to synergize with its Clear Water Bay (CWB) counterpart, nurturing talents and facilitating collaboration amongst Hong Kong, the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA) and beyond on education, research and knowledge transfer. Read less