First Year Study

Undergraduate Curriculum

HKU’s 4-year undergraduate curriculum structure provides flexibility for you to design your own combination of disciplinary majors, minors and electives under proper academic advising to pursue your own academic interests, and enables you to engage in diverse learning experiences, such as overseas exchange programme, internships, real-life projects, etc. The distinctive features of the 4-year undergraduate curriculum can be viewed at

Component Courses No. of Credits* % of Total

No. of Credits

Compulsory Courses Common Core 36 credits 22.5%
English 12 credits
Chinese 6 credits
Specialisation Major 72 – 96 credits 30% – 40%
Minor 36 – 48 credits 15% – 20%
Electives Electives for all Students Remainder to complete 240 credits 17.5% -32.5%
Total No. of Required Credits ** 240 credits 100%

* 6 credits = 120 – 180 student workload hours
** Students are allowed to take additional credits of up to 6 credits per semester and graduate with a total of 288 credits

For more information on the curriculum structure, regulations and selection of major(s) and minor(s), please refer to the website of Academic Advising Office.

Towards the end or after your first year at the University, you may consider going abroad for exchange studies and/or engage in experiential learning required by your course(s). You are therefore encouraged to visit the website of the International Affairs Office to learn more about its support services to HKU’s incoming and outgoing exchange students, the exchange opportunities, partner institutions, eligibility and application procedures etc. so that you can plan ahead for your studies. You can also find useful information on non-academic support such as visa and financial assistance on the website of CEDARS-Campus Life.
You are welcome to visit the Gallant Ho Experiential Learning Centre website to find out more about the learning projects at your Faculty and other cross-disciplinary learning opportunities.

Academic Advising

At HKU, academic advising helps you understand the aims of university education, the culture and ethos of learning, the available educational options and the paths that can be taken so that you can draw your own roadmaps to achieve your goals and monitor your own progress. Academic advising enables you to have greater satisfaction with your academic experience, better self-understanding and a sense of success in the achievement of personal and academic goals.

All first-year undergraduates will be assigned to a Faculty Academic Adviser upon registration. You are required to meet with your Faculty Academic Adviser once every semester in your first year of study to discuss different academic issues.

You can find out more from the website of Academic Advising Office.

Language Requirement and Pre-requisites

You are advised to pay attention in completing the language and pre-requisite course(s) required by your Faculty in your first year of study.

Some Faculties require students to complete certain introductory course(s) in their first year to facilitate smooth progression to senior years and better understanding of the subject in question. At the programme level, majors and minors may also require students to complete certain pre-requisite(s) in the first year, the failing of which may affect their taking of senior courses and declaration of the relevant major or minor. Please check with your Faculty for the details of the courses.

Common Core Curriculum

The HKU Common Core Curriculum is the centrepiece of our undergraduate curriculum. It stimulates students’ intellectual curiosity to explore issues of profound significance to humankind through four Areas of Inquiry (AoIs): Scientific and Technological Literacy, Humanities, Global Issues, and China: Culture, State and Society. Common Core courses are interdisciplinary in nature and are taught by professoriate staff from all Faculties. Students are normally required to take six Common Core courses, one from each AoI and not more than two from any AoI, with not more than 24 credits in one year. Please pay special attention to the non-permissible combinations of courses and individual faculty requirements. For details, please visit the Common Core website and/or consult your home Faculty Office.

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