MPhil (IS)

The Master of Philosophy (MPhil) degree programs in Information Systems (IS) is a research-oriented degree that aims to prepare students for a research and teaching career in universities, research institutes, governmental or business organizations.

The program has a technology management perspective with a focus on economic modeling and behavioral research into the management, design, use, and socio-economic impact of information technology on individuals, organizations, and societies. Students intending to do a PhD degree in IS at HKUST should consider entering the MPhil (IS) program to acquire the training necessary for a PhD degree.

Program Requirements

Introductory Quantitative Requirement

Unless students have clearly demonstrated sufficient knowledge in the area, students entering the MPhil program are required to take the following two mathematics-oriented courses in the first regular term of study. The credits earned from these two courses cannot be counted toward the degree requirements.

Course CodeCourse TitleCredits
ECON 5100   Mathematics for Business and Economics 3
ISOM 5540 Introduction to Probability 3

Course Requirement

Students are required to take at least 34 credits in the sequence suggested below. Students may need to take additional courses related to their research topics, as requested by their thesis supervisors.

Required Courses (14 credits)

Year One
Fall Term
  • ECON 5130 Microeconomic Analysis (4 credits); or
  • ECON 5210 Microeconomic Theory I (4 credits); or
  • ECON 5300 Econometrics (4 credits)
  • LANG 5002 Postgraduate English for Business and Social Science Studies (1 credit)
Year One
Spring Term
  • ISOM 5020 Information and Technology Management (2 credits); or
  • ISOM 5100 Information Strategy and Management (2 credits)
  • ISOM 5550 Statistical Methods for Business and Economics I (3 credits) 
Year One
Summer Term
  • ISOM 5400 Information Systems Research Methodologies (4 credits)

Elective Courses (a total of at least 20 credits in two years)

Year One
Fall Term
  • Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Coordinator *
Year One
Spring Term
  • ECON 5130 Microeconomic Analysis (4 credits); or
  • ECON 5210 Microeconomic Theory I (4 credits); or
  • ECON 5300 Econometrics (4 credits)
  • Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Coordinator *
Year Two
Fall Term
  • Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Coordinator *
Year Two
Spring Term
  • ISOM 5535 High Dimensional Statistics with Business Applications (2 credits)
  • Research courses approved by the MPhil/PhD Coordinator * 
Year Two
Summer Term
  • ISOM 7000 IS Doctoral Seminar # (1-4 credits)

* Students need to select postgradute level courses offered by but not limited to the following programs; Information Systems, Management, Economics, Finance, Marketing, or Operations Management programs.

# The course can be repeated for credits.

Graduate Teaching Assistant Training

All full-time RPg students are required to complete PDEV 6800 Introduction to Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. The course is composed of a 10-hour training offered by the Center for Education Innovation (CEI), and session(s) of instructional delivery to be assigned by the respective departments. Upon satisfactory completion of the training conducted by CEI, MPhil students are required to give at least one 30-minute session of instructional delivery in front of a group of students for one term. PhD students are required to give at least one such session each in two different terms. The instructional delivery will be formally assessed.  

RPg Professional Development Requirement

Students are required to complete and pass PDEV 6770 Professional Development for Research Postgraduate Students and SBMT 6780 Professional Development in Ethics, Innovation and Technology for Research Postgraduate Students.  PhD students who are HKUST MPhil(IS) graduates and have completed PDEV 6770 and SBMT 6780 or other professional development courses offered by the University before may be exempted from this requirement, subject to prior approval of the School.  The 1 credit earned from each of these two courses cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

English Language Requirement

Full-time RPg students are required to take an English Language Proficiency Assessment (ELPA) Speaking Test administered by the Center for Language Education before the start of their first term of study. Students whose ELPA Speaking Test score is below Level 4, or who failed to take the test in their first term of study, are required to take LANG 5000 Foundation in Listening & Speaking for Postgraduate Students until they pass the course by attaining at least Level 4 in the ELPA Speaking Test before graduation. The 1 credit earned from LANG 5000 cannot be counted toward the credit requirements.

Thesis Requirement

Registration in ISOM 6990 MPhil Thesis Research; and presentation and oral defense of the MPhil thesis