Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1. What is the difference between the Graduate School and Graduate Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics?

Ans: The Graduate School of CUHK is a unit to undertake the training of postgraduate studies in many master and doctoral degree programmes in CUHK. In the 2014-15 academic year, the Graduate School offers through 59 graduate divisions a total of around 260 programmes leading to higher degrees, postgraduate diploma and certificates. The Graduate Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics is one of graduate divisions under the supervision of the Graduate School. PgD/MSc in Genomics and Bioinformatics are offered by the Graduate Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics, the CUHK-BGI Innovation Institute of Trans-omics.

Q2. If I want to apply for the master programme, which English test should I apply for in order to fulfill the English Language Proficiency Requirement set by the Graduate School?

Ans: Please refer to the FAQ (Admissions) of the Graduate School website. If you have a degree from a university in Hong Kong or an English speaking country, or if you have obtained a recognized professional qualification awarded in Hong Kong or an English speaking country, you have fulfilled the English Language Proficiency Requirement. Otherwise, you may submit an original score report of one of the following tests:

Examinations Minimum Scores
TOEFL* 79 (internet based) / 213 (computer based) / 550 (paper based)
IELTS* (Academic) 6.5
GMAT (Verbal) 21

* TOEFL and IELTS are considered valid for two years from the test date, subject to the submission date of online application.

For TOEFL/GMAT/IELTS, applicants must request the test organization to send the official score report directly to the University (code 0812). Student copy of score report will NOT be accepted. With effect from 2015-16 intakes, the thresholds of examinations will be revised as above-mentioned. CET, PETS and TEM will be removed from the list of English tests accepted as fulfilling the English Proficiency Requirement for admission. In addition, the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) has been added to the acceptable list. Applicants are requested to achieve level 4 or above in the English Language subject in order to satisfy the English requirement.

Q3. Which original documents are required to mail to the Division?

Ans: You are required to mail us your official transcript (not copy one) and official English test report.
For transcript, please submit the original (with the original university chop) and official (with a complete record of courses attended and examination results) transcripts of all tertiary level studies. For non-CUHK qualifications, photocopies will not be accepted. Applicants should first download the “Transcript Submission Covering Sheet” and send it to their universities to apply for transcripts. Transcripts should be returned directly to relevant Divisions in sealed envelope. Certificates and transcripts, which are not in English or Chinese, should be accompanied by an official certified translation in either English or Chinese.

Q4. Which format of confidential recommendation do you prefer?

Ans: We accept the recommendation letters either by delivery or by system (online platform). For details, please click here. Confidential recommendations from 2 referees (not from the applicant) are required. When you recommend 2 referees’ information through the Online System for applicants, they will receive invitation email automatically and submit the recommendation via the online platform. Alternatively, you may download the “Confidential Recommendation” and send a hard copy to each of your referees. Due to the limited quotas, please request referees to return the recommendations in confidence to the Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics as soon as possible either in hard copy or our email at

Q5. What is the mailing address and the contact person?

Ans: For details, please click here.

Q6. Does the Division offer scholarship?

Ans: The Division does not offer the entrance scholarship but we have scholarship for top students (HK$ 5,000-10,000) at the Graduation Party. This is subject to the final decision of the Division. Next, you may also wish to search more information via the Office of Admission and Financial Aid. Please click here.

Q7. Can the MSc programme in part-time study mode be recognized by the Ministry of Education in Mainland?

Ans: Regarding degree authentication, please refer to here for information if needed. As far as we know (as of 27 Jan 2014), the part-time degree cannot be recognized by the Central Government of the PRC and the Ministry of Education (MOE). It is because MOE office in Hong Kong would not be able to authenticate any part-time academic programmes offered by all universities in Hong Kong. Besides, there are special requirements for degree authentication for Beijing and Shanghai residents. If you would like to change the mode of study of MSc in Genomics and Bioinformatics from part-time to full-time during the application period, please refer to the instruction shown in the Graduate School’s website. Please click here.

For more information, please contact the MOE office in Hong Kong. The contact information is shown as follows:

驗證點地址: 香港上環蘇杭街69號棉業大廈25樓2503室
聯繫電話: (852) 25424811
聯 系 人: 顧老師 / 黃老師
辦理時間: 每週二、三(上午9:00-12:00 / 下午13:30-17:00 / 公眾假期除外)

Q8. If I request the delivery of TOEFL certificate from ETS directly, what should I choose under the category of CUHK?

Ans: Please choose “any department not listed” if you could not find the division name. The university code is 0812.

Q9. What is the medium of instruction? Would the programme be suitable for candidates with English only?

Ans: The medium of instruction for all lectures is English. If you would like to request the letter for specifying the medium of instruction for PhD application, please contact the Graduate School for more information.

Q10. What is the aim of the program?

Ans: The aim of this program is to train personnel with knowledge in genomics and bioinformatics, in the hope of advancing the application of genomic and proteomic research in various field particularly clinical medicine. Practically, it will mainly focus on training how to analyze sequencing data rather than training students to operate sequencers. Some of our students are Hong Kong doctors or technicians in government labs. Currently, the programme is recognized as a quotable qualification approved by the Medical Council of Hong Kong.

Q11. Can I stay in HK after graduation?

Ans: Regarding staying in Hong Kong after graduation, you may contact the Graduate School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and the Immigration Department for further enquiries.

Graduates of the full-time MSc programme can contact the Graduate School of the Chinese University of Hong Kong for applying IANG visa for working in Hong Kong after graduation. The Immigration Department requires a certifying letter from CUHK as a support document for application of IANG (Immigration Arrangement for Non-local Graduates) entry permit.

For details, you may wish to click here to get more information from the Hong Kong Immigration Department regarding the employment arrangement for non-local graduates.

Q12. What is the career prospect after graduation?

Ans: Apart from working in hospitals and research institute, graduates of this programme may also work in biotechnology companies and diagnostic laboratories. Lately, there are increasing number of graduates pursuing PhD studies abroad.

Q13. Is this program a research programme?

Ans: Master of Science (MSc) in Genomics and Bioinformatics is a taught programme. Taught programmes (e.g. MA, MBA, MSc, MSSc), focus on coursework.  These programmes usually do not require students to submit a thesis. Research programmes (e.g. MPhil, PhD) focus mainly on research work.  These programmes require applicants to have sound research background.  Students need to submit a thesis and pass the oral defence conducted by the Thesis Assessment Committee to graduate.

Q14. I want to know about the mandatory courses. How many couses will be covered in this Master course? What is meaning of fulfilling 24 credits hours?

Ans: There are 8 core courses, with 3 credits per course. Therefore, you have to complete all core courses and earn 24 credits at the end of the study.

Q15. Can I take courses of other programmes?

Ans: Currently we have no plan to allow students in taking part in courses which are not offered by the Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics.

Q16. I want to know more about research projects (GNBF6010) in the Master programme. Does the research project last for one year? 

Ans: Research project (GNBF6010) is one of core courses. You can earn 3 credits after completing GNBF6010. For full-time MSc programme, though the course officially starts in spring semester/ second term, topic selection will be finished in the first term for full-time students and summer holiday for part-time students. As long as the supervisor confirms you as his/her student, you can start your research.

Each student will select a topic from a list of research topics and supervisors. The division will help the matching process. Each student is required to conduct a research project which topic is related to the genomics and bioinformatics field. Students will be under the supervision of the Division of Genomics and Bioinformatics, CUHK-BGI Innovation Institute of Trans-omics. The grade is depending on the marks from student's research supervisor, research proposal and final report, as well as oral presentation at the end of the study.

Q17. Will the degree certificate show the study mode (FT/PT) of the master programme that I apply?

Ans: No, the certificate only shows the name of the programme that you graduate. The study mode will be shown in the transcript. In the education system of Hong Kong, there is no difference between full-time and part-time MSc in Genomics and Bioinformatics except the study mode. It is because both full-time and part-time students are required to finish same courses to be graduated.

Q18. If I have admitted in part-time MSc degree, could I change it to full-time study mode?

Ans: Regarding the change of study mode, please refer to the section "Administrative Rulings for Change of Study Mode and Conversion Tables" of the Postgraduate Student Handbook shown at the Graduate School website. If you are a non-local student, you also need to consider the visa matter. Once the Graduate Division and the Dean of the Graduate School approves your application of change of study mode, it is also subject to the final decision of Immigration Deapartment. As you may be aware, the visa application materials for part-time and full-time student visa are different, so are the restriction of student visa itself. You need to re-apply the student visa as well. Next, full-time students are not allowed to take up any full-time jobs.

Q19. Can you provide more links relating to the application of master study?

Ans: Hope the following websites is useful to you.

Q20. As a local applicant, can I apply for full-time study and take a full-time job?

Ans: According to the clause 3.5 of the postgraduate student handbook 2017/18, a student registered for a full-time course of study shall not take up any full-time employment, paid or unpaid, during term time within the normative period of study except by permission of the Graduate Council. Students of full-time programmes who wish to take up full-time employment should seek approval from the Graduate Division and Graduate Council by submitting a written application to the Head of the Graduate Division concerned before taking up the employment.

During application period before we recommend your application to the Graduate School for further consideration, you can change the study mode freely or the Division can help you change it. After admitted the MSc programme, as mentioned in the code of practice for taught postgraduate programmes, application for change of study mode would be allowed only within the normative period of study and it must be recommended by the Graduate Division concerned and approved by the Dean of the Graduate School. The remaining normative and maximum periods of study for both full-time students changing to part-time or part-time students changing to full-time are computed based on the principle that time spent in part-time students count with the ratios as full-time equivalents as specified in the conversion tables published in the Postgraduate Student Handbook.