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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Chemical Pathology



What will I learn?

Chemical Pathology focuses on the study of molecular, biochemical and immunological changes that occur as part of a disease process. The Department of Chemical Pathology has academic interests in several fields of study as listed below.

The Department is well funded and supported by the most competitive level of research funding in Hong Kong, namely the UGC Areas of Excellence programme and the RGC Theme-based Research Scheme. The Department is well equipped with state-of-the-art research equipment, including next-generation sequencers, digital polymerase chain reaction platforms, and flow cytometers, as well as bioinformatics and stem cell research facilities. The Department has a world-leading programme in plasma DNA-based molecular diagnostics, especially for non-invasive prenatal testing and cancer detection.

The programme is research-oriented and will involve a series of investigations with original study design, experimentation and data interpretation. Part of the programme involves the delivery of seminar presentations. Each student has an opportunity to participate in one international conference during the course of study. Students will be required to submit a written research thesis and pass an oral examination for graduation.

Fields of Specialization

- Plasma Nucleic Acids and Molecular Medicine
- Diagnostic Applications of Next-generation DNA Sequencing
- Allergic Diseases
- Inborn Errors of Metabolism
- Bioinformatics
- Stem Cell and Regeneration

Which department am I in?

Faculty of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (For students with a research master’s degree: Normative period - 36 months (maximum 84 months); students without a research master’s: Normative period - 48 months (maximum 84 months).)

Tuition fees
HK$42,100.00 (4,38,907) per year
Start date

Expected September 2023


The Chinese University of Hong Kong


Sha Tin, Hong Kong, New Territories

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Applicants must have a Master's degree holder from a recognized university; or graduated from a recognized university and obtained a Bachelor's degree, normally with honours not lower than Second Class; or 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 completed a course of study in a tertiary educational institution and obtained professional or similar qualifications equivalent to an honours degree. English Language Requirements: TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based); IELTS (Academic): 6.5; GMAT (Verbal): Band 21.

For international students

Applicants must satisfy one of the following:

  • a Master's degree from a recognized university; or
  • a Bachelor's degree, normally with Second Class Honours in the upper division or above, and have been registered in a course of study for a Master's degree at this University for at least one year and have demonstrated research ability; or
  • been registered in a course of study for a doctoral degree at a recognized university for at least one year, and have been approved for admission by the Graduate Council; or
  • obtained the degrees of MBChB, or equivalent, or under special circumstances, the degree of Bachelor, for admission to programmes of the Faculty of Medicine.

In addition to the general requirements of the Graduate School, applicants should preferably have a Master’s degree in a field related to Life Sciences or the degree of MBChB or equivalent. Holders of a Master’s degree in Computer Science, Statistics or related fields may also be considered.

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

obtained a degree from a university in Hong Kong or taken a degree programme of which the medium of instruction was English; or

achieved scores in the following English Language tests2 as indicated:

  • TOEFL: 550 (Paper-based)/79 (Internet-based);
  • IELTS (Academic): 6.5;
  • GMAT (Verbal): Band 21; or

obtained a pass grade in other English language requirements equivalent to HKDSE or

obtained a recognized professional qualification, provided that the examination was conducted in English.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.


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