Frequently-Asked Questions (FAQ)

[For your reference only. Please refer the Graduate School website for the latest update.]

Q1. What is the difference between the Graduate School and Graduate Division of Biomedical Sciences?

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 2020-21 academic year, the Graduate School offers through 59 graduate divisions a total of around 127 TPg programmes leading to postgraduate certificates, diploma master's and doctoral degrees. The Graduate Division of Biomedical Sciences is one of graduate divisions under the supervision of the Graduate School. MSc in Genomics and Bioinformatics are offered by the Graduate Division of Biomedical Sciences, the Faculty of Medicine.

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.

To fulfill the University's minimum English language requirements for admission to postgraduate programmes, applicants should have:

  1. obtained a degree from a university in Hong Kong1 or taken a degree programme of which the medium of instruction was English; or
  2. achieved scores in the following English Language tests2 as indicated:
    1. TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based);
    2. IELTS (Academic): 6.5;
    3. GMAT: Band 21 (Verbal); or
  3. obtained a pass grade in English in one of the following examinations:
    1. Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (AS Level);
    2. Hong Kong Higher Level Examination;
    3. CUHK Matriculation Examination;
    4. General Certificate of Education Examination (GCE) Advanced Level (A-Level)/Advanced Subsidiary Level (AS-Level); or
  4. achieved Level 4 or above in the English Language subject of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) Examination; or
  5. obtained a recognized professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English.


  1. This is based on the understanding that English is the medium of instruction of degree programmes offered by universities in Hong Kong. Moreover, graduates from universities in Hong Kong should have fulfilled the English language requirements of the institution concerned when they were admitted to the degree programmes. The CUHK Graduate School may request applicants to provide additional supporting documents to prove their English proficiency.
  2. TOEFL and IELTS are considered valid for two years from the test date. GMAT is considered valid for five years from the test date.

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

Ans: Starting from the 2021-22 intake, scanned copies of the latest official academic transcripts with official chop from the Registry or Office responsible for handling student records is accepted for issuing the admission offers. However, documents printed from the system or any other documents without a proper letterhead and an official chop will NOT be accepted. Besides, there should be explanatory notes printed / attached to the transcript indicating the grading scheme of the University.

Admitted students are required to mail us your original copies of official transcript (not copy one) and English test report for verification by the condition's fulfillment deadline. Otherwise, they will not be allowed to register and commence studies at the University.

For details of documents required, please refer to the webpage Admission [Documents Required].

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.

Applicants are required to invite TWO referees to complete the Confidential Recommendations Report. After you have successfully submitted the application, you can input information of the TWO referees through the Online Application System for Postgraduate Programmes. The University will send invitations for confidential recommendations to the referees.

They can submit the recommendations via the online platform and we shall receive the recommendation next day. 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 as soon as possible either in hard copy with sealed envelope or via the programme email at (using their email indicated in the reference letter).

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

Ans: For details, please click here.

Q6. Does the Programme offer scholarship?

Ans: The programme does not offer the entrance scholarship, but we have scholarship for top students (HK$ 5,000-10,000) upon the completion of MSc studies according to their academic performance in terms of cGPA. This is subject to the final decision of the Graduate 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:

852-2542 4811
852-2815 9393
地址: 香港上環蘇杭街69號25樓01至03室

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 (Division of Biomedical Sciences). 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 during the study, you may request the certifying letter via online application in the Graduate School website.

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.

In general, upon your fulfillment of the graduation requirements of the programme and Graduate Division’s endorsement of your graduation (step 4 of the graduation process), you may apply for IANG visa. You may apply for a certifying letter from the Graduate School via its website to prove that you have already fulfilled the graduation requirements of the programme and will be recommended for award of the degree at a late date. It normally takes 5 working days to process your application of certifying letter.

You will then submit this certifying letter to the Immigration Department of HKSAR together with the IANG visa application form and other supporting documents as stipulated by the Immigration Department of HKSAR. 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 universities, hospitals and research institutes, graduates 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: The 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 courses 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 to take part in courses which are not offered by the Programme.

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

Ans: Students are required to conduct a research project on a current topic in genomics and bioinformatics under the supervisors in the Chinese University of Hong Kong. This course will give students an insight into how research is carried out in the fields of bioinformatics and omics analysis with selected research techniques and data analysis approaches. It will give students the opportunity to develop and enhance their analytical and organizational skills through hands-on research and the opportunity to develop their ability to work independently. This course will also provide practice in the writing of project reports and the presentation of scientific findings.

Research project titles proposed by affiliated research supervisors will be sent to students during the summer. Students will match up with the research supervisors. Students may start their individual projects as soon as they find the supervisor (normally in July for part-time students and October for full-time students).

To fulfill the requirement of this course, students must meet with the research supervisor on a regular basis, submit a research proposal, give an oral presentation and submit a final report in journal article format.

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 Administrative Rulings for Change of Study Mode and Conversion Tables of the Postgraduate Student Handbook. 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 Department. Please note that the visa application materials for part-time and full-time student visa are different, so are the restriction of student visa itself. If the visa period cannot cover the whole study period, you will need to re-apply the student visa as well. Please also be reminded that full-time students are not allowed to take up any full-time jobs.

During the application period before we recommend your application to the Graduate School for further consideration, you can change the study mode via the online application platform. After admitted the MSc programme, application for the 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. Continuing students are not allowed to change their study mode.

Applications must be made not later than course registration of an academic year, or, in any subsequent term, before the close of the add/drop period for the term. Late application would not be accepted or would have to take effect from the next term. Students will pay the fees of the new study mode. However, if the change takes effect after the commencement of a term (for which exceptional approved is required), student will pay the tuition fee of the new status in the following term. Tuition fee would not be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

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.

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

Ans: Please find the links below for your information.

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

Ans: According to Clause 3.5 of the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies of the postgraduate student handbook, a student registered for a full-time programmes of studies shall not take up any full-time employment, paid or unpaid, during term time except prior 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 Division Head concerned before taking up the employment.