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— MPhil-PhD in Economics —

MPhil-PhD Programme in Economics




The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen (CUHK, Shenzhen), is a research-intensive university, established in 2014 through a Mainland - Hong Kong collaboration with staunch support from the Shenzhen Municipal Government. It inherits the fine academic traditions of The Chinese University of Hong Kong and will develop its academic programmes in phases and offer courses in Schools of Science and Engineering, Management and Economics, and Humanities and Social Science. The language of instruction is both English and Chinese, and students who satisfy the prescribed graduation requirements will receive degrees of The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The Ministry of Education has granted CUHK the authority to offer postgraduate programmes up to the PhD level from the date of its establishment. The Senate of CUHK has approved the General Regulations Governing Postgraduate Studies at CUHK, Shenzhen in 2015.

The School of Management and Economics at CUHK-Shenzhen has designed the MPhil-PhD Programme in Economics for students who wish to pursue a higher degree in the area of Economics, with research focus on microeconomic theory, applied microeconomics, financial economics, international economics, industrial organization, behavioural economics, and related domains. An applicant with a research master’s degree should apply for admission to the PhD Stream, while an applicant with a bachelor’s degree can apply for admission to either MPhil or PhD Stream. Students who satisfy prescribed requirements will receive degree of CUHK.

The MPhil-PhD Programme in Economics aims to educate and cultivate research students with a broad foundation in economics and specialized knowledge in selected concentrations. They are expected to become leading academics and researchers in universities, research institutes, government agencies/think tanks, financial institutes, economic consulting firms, and industries.

The School of Management and Economics has established a strong faculty team in the area of economics. Faculty members in all major areas of Economics have been recruited worldwide. Many of them are active researchers recognized internationally and have prior experience in supervising PhD students.

Our target students may have a wide range of backgrounds, but should have a strong interest in economics and generally have completed undergraduate level courses in economics, statistics, and calculus. Applicants with background in science and engineering are also welcome to apply for admission to this programme.

Minimum Entry Requirements

For the PhD Stream, applicants should have

(i)  a Master’s degree from a recognized university; or

(ii)  graduated from a recognized university and obtained a Bachelor’s degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class; or

(iii)  graduated from an honours programme of a recognized university with a Bachelor’s degree, normally achieving an average grade of not lower than “B”; or

(iv)  completed a course of study in a tertiary educational institution and obtained professional or similar qualifications equivalent to an honours degree; and

(v)  fulfilled the 'English Language Proficiency Requirement':
  The applicant should either:

  •    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., 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 CUHK, Shenzhen,  or a recognized university with English as teaching language, or
  •    submit one of the following original score reports/certificates for assessment by the Programme concerned:
                  TOEFL (not lower than 550 paper-based; 213 computer-based; and 79 internet-based)
                  GMAT (Verbal not lower than 21)
                  IELTS (Academic) (not lower than Band 6.5)
  •    have obtained a recognized professional qualification awarded in Hong Kong or an English speaking country.


(vi)  taken the GRE General test or GMAT test (Quantitative, Analytic Writing, Verbal); and

(vii)  good background in mathematics or statistics.

For the MPhil Stream, applicants should have qualification same as the PhD Stream as prior listed, except for condition (i).

For both PhD and MPhil Streams, there will be an interview administered by the Programme.


Duration of Studies



Pre-Candidacy Period1

Normative Period

Maximum Period




24 months

48 months

PhD (entering with a research master’s degree)


24 months2

48 months

72 months

PhD (entering without a research master’s degree)


36 months2,3

60 months

84 months



  1. (1)  Maximum period to pass the candidacy requirement, counted from first entry.
  2. (2)  A student who fails to pass the candidacy requirement within the maximum pre-candidacy period is required to withdraw from PhD study.
  3. (3)  A student without a master’s degree who fails to pass the candidacy requirement within the maximum pre-candidacy period is allowed to switch to MPhil study.


Credit Requirement

Lecture courses offered:

Group A


Review of Quantitative Methods


Microeconomic Theory I


Microeconomic Theory II


Macroeconomic Theory I


Macroeconomic Theory II


Econometrics I


Econometrics II


Group B


Game Theory


Industrial Organization


Market Design


Applied Microeconomics


Monetary Economics


International Trade


International Finance


Applied Econometrics


Behavioral Economics and Finance

(May subject to change.)


For the MPhil Stream:

  1. Lecture courses: Minimum of 30 units are required, with at least 18 units to be selected from Group A and the rest from Group B.
  2. Thesis research courses: Each student must register for Thesis Research courses each term. The minimum number of units per term is 6.
  3. Other courses:
    1. √  Research Seminars
    2. √  Thesis Writing and Defense


For the PhD Stream:

PhD candidates have to complete a minimum number of units of lecture courses and thesis research courses (on a per term basis), during the pre-candidacy and candidacy stage. However, since the study period of the students may vary, the total number of thesis research courses to be taken may also vary, which will affect the total number of units taken by each student for graduation.

For example:

(1)A student with a research master’s degree who pursues PhD study will have completed the following within the normative study period:

Pre-candidacy stage (max. 2 years): Lecture courses 30 units
Thesis research courses 6 units x 4 terms = 24 units
Candidacy stage (2 years): Research courses 12 units x 4 terms = 48 units

The student will therefore complete 102 units for graduation. (2)A student without a research master’s degree who pursues PhD study must take additional math course “ECO6201 Review of Quantitative Methods” (3 units) in the first year of the programme, and will have completed the following within the normative study period:

Pre-candidacy stage (max. 3 years): Lecture courses 33 units
Thesis research courses 6 units x 6 terms =36 units
Candidacy stage (2 years): Research courses 12 units x 4 terms = 48 units

The student will therefore complete 117 units for graduation.


Fees and Financial Aid

The tuition for both M.Phil. and Ph.D. students is RMB95,000 per year. In the academic year 2020-2021, CUHK-Shenzhen may offer various kinds of financial supports to selected applicants:

1.‘Presidential Fellowship’, which will offer: (i) an after-tax stipend of RMB180,000 per year to cover the normative study period, subject to annual review by the Graduate Panel or equivalent body. The student is required to work as a Teaching Assistant (TA) for a total of four semesters (summer counts as one semester) during the fellowship period. (ii) In addition, the student is eligible to receive a tuition subsidy, like any other student.

2.‘PGS Scholarship I’, which carries a full tuition waiver (RMB 95,000). The student may serve as a TA or Research Assistant(RA) to earn monthly after-tax stipends of up to RMB 10,000 per month (12 months).

3.‘PGS Scholarship II’, which carries a half tuition waiver (RMB 47,500). The student’s advisor may cover the other half. The student may serve as a TA or RA to earn monthly after-tax stipends of up to RMB 10,000 per month (12 months).


Each scholarship will be offered for a duration of up to 4 years, subject to annual review. Fellowships and PGS scholarships are available to all applicants. The selection is based on merit and separate application is not necessary.

Application Procedure

Application Deadline for Fall 2020 Admissions: 1 February 2020


Selection process will be on a rolling basis starting 15 November 2019. Early application is strongly recommended.


Applicants should apply online via the online application system ( Applicants are required to pay a non-refundable application fee of RMB300.


Application Materials Checklist:

  1. √  A copy of degree certificate(s)
  2. √  A copy of transcript
  3. √  A copy of TOEFL, IELTS or GMAT score report as evidence of English language proficiency
  4. √  A copy of GRE or GMAT score report
  5. √  Contact details of at least two referees (An email inviting the referees to provide their references for the applicant will be sent automatically by the application system.)
  6. √  Personal Statement (in English)
  7. √  Curriculum Vitae (in English)
  8. √  A writing sample (in English) is encouraged but not required
  9. √  Other supporting documents as deemed appropriate


Contact Us

Telephone: (86) 0755 - 2351 8543, 2351 8518


Office Hours: 8:30-12:00, 13:00-17:30 (Mon-Fri)

Address: TA532-534, 5/F, Teaching A, 2001 Longxiang Road, Longgang District, Shenzhen (Postal code: 518172)