Covid-19 Admissions FAQ and Intake 2020 Updates

(Last updated: July 13, 2020)

With the evolving COVID-19 situation, we understand that you might have concerns over your application to our MBA Program Intake 2020. HKUST MBA stands by you, and we would like to give you more assurance during this critical period.

[All of our Intake 2020 admitted candidates and prospective candidates are encouraged to visit this page regularly for the latest updates and guidance.]

Please stay healthy and positive.

For candidates who have already been admitted to our Intake 2020:

HKUST MBA Program Commencement for Intake 2020

Amidst the evolving global COVID-19 pandemic situation, the HKUST MBA Programs Intake 2020 will commence as scheduled.


Full-Time MBA Program

Program registration has been scheduled for Thursday, August 6, 2020.

  • Admitted candidates who opt to join the pre-Mandarin class on the HKUST campus are advised to arrive in Hong Kong by July 29, 2020.
  • Admitted candidates who do not need to take the pre-Mandarin class on the HKUST campus are advised to arrive in Hong Kong by August 6, 2020.

*The pre-Mandarin class is tentatively organized to be held in our Clear Water Bay campus. However, subject to the COVID-19 situation, face-to-face classes may be changed to online mode. Arrangement of the pre-Mandarin class have been communicated with admitted candidates.


Part-Time MBA (Weekly Program)

Program registration is scheduled for Saturday, July 18, 2020.

The Intake 2020 Program Commencement Does Not Fit With My Plans. What are my options?

We acknowledge your concerns regarding the COVID-19 situation, and we are doing our utmost to allow flexible arrangements for our Intake 2020.

Given this unique situation, we offer two options to our admitted candidates:

Option 1: Defer Admission

A place will be reserved for you under the Intake 2021 class. There will be no refund of the deposit for offer acceptance if this payment has been made.

Under this option, any scholarships and/or awards granted for admissions under Intake 2020 will be forfeited. Our scholarship committee will re-evaluate each candidate’s profile against those of the candidates in the upcoming Intake 2021 pool to decide the final scholarship amount before the commencement of Intake 2021.

The university also reserves the right to adjust the tuition fee for Intake 2021.

Option 2: Apply for Study Leave

Admitted candidates can apply for study leave of a maximum 1 year upon successful program registration. Application of study leave will be subject to university's approval and requires strong justifications from the concerned candidates. The scholarship/award granted (if any) to the concerned candidates and the tuition fee to be invoiced would be re-evaluated on a case by case basis.

Please be reminded that study leave would delay the graduation timeline. As per the latest university guidelines, such study leave will be reflected in the official transcript to be issued to candidates upon their graduation.

How will the program registration be conducted?

All of the admitted candidates are asked to register in person on the HKUST Clear Water Bay campus on the program registration date.

If candidates foresee difficulty in on-campus program registration due to travel restrictions (e.g. city lockdown), quarantine measures or other special situation arisen from Covid-19, please get in touch with our MBA Program Team.

Should I stay on campus or off campus?

Most of our full-time MBA students stay in an on-campus student dormitory.

Because we have limited on-campus accommodation, admitted Full-time MBA (Intake 2020) candidates who wish to stay on campus during the program are asked to pay their accommodation deposit via the online application portal to secure their room. More details and confirmation regarding on-campus accommodation will be announced later.

Students can also choose to live off campus. For an easy commute to the campus, we recommend that students live in areas near a metro station (e.g., Tsueng Kwan O, Hang Hau) that is approximately 15-minutes’ drive from school.

Our MBA Admissions Team would be happy to share more real estate agency details with you, should you require these.

Note: On-campus accommodation does not apply to candidates of Part-time MBA Program (Weekly Mode)

When should I make my travel arrangements to Hong Kong?

Admitted candidates are recommended to make travel arrangements with reference to the processing status of their student visa (if applicable). Candidates are also advised to keep themselves updated on the latest travel advice in their country or city of residence and purchase air tickets that allow rescheduling.

Test Score Submission – GMAT/GRE, IELTS/TOEFL

We understand that the COVID-19 situation has led to the cancellation and rescheduling of GMAT/GRE and IELTS/TOEFL tests. The GMAT/GRE examination is still required as part of the application process. The IELTS or TOEFL examination is required for international applicants who attended a non–English-speaking undergraduate/postgraduate university*.

Given the current unique situation,

  • HKUST MBA will accept scores from the online version of the GMAT/GRE and IELTS Indicator, TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition examinations, and Duolingo English Test (where available) for admissions under Intake 2020.
  • Preliminary scores of these examinations (both the test center version and the online version) must be sent to our Admissions Team before July 10, 2020 for Part-time MBA Program (Weekly Mode) candidates or before July 30, 2020 for Full-Time MBA Program candidates.

Candidates are strongly encouraged to check for the latest announcements from the concerned test organizations, and to schedule the earliest possible testing date and inform our Admissions Team of the same.

*Please refer to the Admissions Requirement page of the individual program for more details.

Official Documents Submission

Official documents (e.g., university graduation certificate, academic transcript) issued by university registrars and relevant education institutions are required as part of candidates’ applications.

Given the COVID-19 situation, we acknowledge that some candidates are encountering difficulties in connecting with their universities for certificate/transcript issuance. Delays in courier service are also occurring due to city lockdowns.

HKUST MBA has made special arrangements and will accept official documents in two other alternative forms:

  • Notary Public-Certified True Documents

Candidates can present their official documents to a local notary public for certification. The certified true documents should be sent to the HKUST MBA Admissions Team for verification.

  • Original official documents

These documents should be sent directly to the HKUST MBA Admissions Team for verification. Candidates should send the original documents by registered post to minimize the risk of document loss during transit. Candidates can collect the original documents from our MBA Program Office upon their arrival in Hong Kong.

*The HKUST MBA Office and HKUST MBA Admissions Team bear no liability for documents lost during transit.

We ask all candidates to keep our Admissions Team informed of their latest document submission status so that we can best advise and make appropriate arrangements for them.

Student Visa Application

The HKUST MBA Admissions Team can assist all international candidates in arranging their student visa (if needed) for their MBA studies. Under the latest guidance from the Hong Kong Immigration Department, all student visa applicants are asked to send the physical forms and supporting documents to Hong Kong for visa processing. The typical processing time is 6 to 8 weeks.

We understand that some candidates are currently unable to deliver their visa application documents to Hong Kong due to a city lockdown. We encourage international candidates to send us their physical visa form and supporting documents as soon as possible.

Should there be a potential risk of delay in delivering the visa application documents to Hong Kong due to a city lockdown, we will liaise with the Hong Kong Immigration Department to arrange a more flexible visa-application arrangement.


For candidates who are preparing their Intake 2020 application:

What is the application deadline for Intake 2020?

Application for both Full-time MBA Program and Part-time MBA Program (Weekly Mode) is closed. Application for 2021 Intake will open in September/October 2020. More updates will be shared on

My GMAT/GRE or IELTS/TOEFL test score is not ready. What should I do?

The HKUST MBA Admissions Committee will use a holistic approach to review all applications. You are advised to upload all required admissions documents (including the GMAT/GRE or IELTS/TOEFL test scores) to our online application portal before submitting the application.

If you have yet to sit your GMAT/GRE or IELTS/TOEFL test, please indicate your test date on the online application and submit the application before the deadline. The Admissions Committee will exercise discretion in inviting outstanding candidates to proceed to the next phase of assessment while awaiting their test scores.


1. Online/home-testing GMAT/GRE, TOEFL-iBT Special Home Edition, and IELTS Indicator tests will be treated the same as the paper-based test, and will therefore be accepted for admissions for Intake 2020.

2. The Duolingo English Test will also be accepted as a proof of English proficiency for Intake 2020.

3. Preliminary scores of these examinations (both the test center version and online version) must be sent to our Admissions Team before July 10, 2020 for Part-time MBA Program (Weekly Mode) candidates or before July 30, 2020 for Full-Time MBA Program candidates.

In case you are encountering difficulty in obtaining the required admissions documents, please contact our Admissions Team at


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