Welcome to the Interdisciplinary Programs Office (IPO) at HKUST!


IPO was formed in 2008 to encourage cross-disciplinary collaboration in education and research. Since then it has grown fast and become an education center to train a new generation of professionals who can work well across disciplinary lines, an incubator to support the development of new interdisciplinary programs, and a research powerhouse in environment, sustainability, public policy and emerging interdisciplinary areas.  


IPO has made many new initiatives in interdisciplinary education. We are the first in the Great China area to offer Individualized Interdisciplinary Major (IIM), and also MPhil and PhD in Individualized Interdisciplinary Program (IIP). IIM and IIP allow students to create their own bachelor and research postgraduate degree programs that best suit their own intellectual interests and passion. We are the first in Hong Kong to launch the Dual Degree Program in Technology & Management which provides high-flying students an opportunity to gain two degrees in five years: Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Science (BSc), and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA).  We are also the first in Hong Kong to introduce a novel academic framework “Major + X” as a new degree option for undergraduates to excel in an extended major of an emerging hot topic such as Artificial Intelligence or Digital Media and Creative Arts, in addition to a traditional major program. 


Other programs include BSc in Environmental Management & Technology (EVMT), BSc in Sustainable and Green Finance (SGFN, jointly offered by The Division of Environment and Sustainability and The School of Business and Management), MSc/PGD in Environmental Science and Management (EVSM), Master of Public Policy (MPP), Master of Public Management (MPM),  MPhil/PhD in Environmental Science, Policy and Management (ESPM), MPhil / PhD in Atmospheric Environmental Science (AES) and MPhil/ PhD in Public Policy (PP), which have strong interdisciplinary components and are highly relevant to our modern world, are offered by our world-class faculty members under IPO.  These exciting programs have attracted talented students from all over the world. As of September 2021, our 607 undergraduates come from 24 different countries while our 428 graduate students comprise 29 nationalities.


IPO provides a nurturing environment for faculty members from different backgrounds working together for cutting-edge interdisciplinary research. The majority of our regular faculties have joint appointments with other departments/divisions like Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering, Chemistry, Economy, Civil Engineering, and Social Science.  The faculties are clustered into three academically significant and socially impactful divisions. The Division of Environment and Sustainability aims to address issues like climate change, pollution, and demand pressures on key natural through research, education and knowledge transfer.  The Division of Public Policy addresses policy challenges related to science and technology innovations, population ageing, and sustainability by conducting evidence-based research supported by HKUST’s strengths in science and technology. The newly established Division of Emerging Interdisciplinary Areas focuses on fostering the agile development of new education programs and facilitating incubation of new and emerging interdisciplinary research areas. 


IPO is young, dynamic, and distinctive.  We are living in a world where technology is evolving in a rapid pace and grand challenges facing humans today need solutions beyond individual disciplines.  IPO will explore new pedagogy to develop students’ core competencies of fusing knowledge and know-how from different fields to bring multiple perspectives to the task of changing the world for the better. New research clusters will be formed to tackle the challenging and multi-faceted issues of today in an interdisciplinary way.  IPO is also playing an important role in supporting the strategic plan of HKUST, especially the new campus at Guangzhou, Mainland China.   As the Director of IPO, I encourage you to join us in breaking traditional academic boundaries and broadening our reach through partnerships within the community, industry, academia in Hong Kong and beyond.




Prof. Huamin QU
Director, Interdisciplinary Programs Office

Prof. Huamin QU