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Mphil in HKU

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  1. #1

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    Mphil in HKU

    Hi everyone,

    I am in the process of applying to Mphil programme in Li ka Shing Faculty of Medicine...
    I love hong kong and seriously hope can get a position there..
    Do anyone familiar with the selection criteria for Mphil candidate? If I apply for PhD instead, would I stand a higher chance? The competency for a place in HKU must be very vigorously? I am from Malaysia, hold a first class honor.. but i do not have any publication yet...What are the likelihood of international student like me to gain entry there? Do they prefer local applicants instead?

    hope ppl here can helps me out,
    many thanks in advance..^^,


  2. #2

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    So, that would be a PhD in medicine? Or public health or what?

    I know very little about medicine other than that it is one of the most competitive departments. So, please ignore everything I write if you already have more accurate information. But, some points to consider:

    - Research graduate studies programs usually have their application deadline in January, are you applying for August 2010 or 2011?
    - Generally, in science programs it might be easier to get accepted as a PhD student if you have the required credentials (e.g., some sort of final year research project at least). This is because most local students want to do their PhD abroad. Hence, the departments - who dont want to have only non-local research students - allocate the majority of the MPhil positions to local students, while the majority of the PhD positions goes to non-local (usually mainland) students
    - I'd definitively apply to other programs/schools as well. At least the big three (HKU, CUHK, UST (don't know if they offer medicine)) have access to similar resources. Also, at least for a PhD program, the choice of a suitable supervisor is definitively more important than the overall reputation of a university or department.
    - You definitively have better chances if you have some sort of research experience. Doesn't have to be a journal paper, but maybe some study you participated in and whose results you presented at some conference, even if it is only a poster, helps a lot.
    - If you have the time, try to come to HK and talk to a possible supervisor. Schools here get hundreds of applications, many from students who have applied to 40+ schools, and HKU might not be their first choice. It'll help a lot if there is one professor who knows who you are, and that you really want to study in their department.


  3. #3

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    Hi er2,

    Thanks for ur response. Nice to meet u..Where are u study currently? and in which field?

    The degree is awarded as MPhil in science,(Life sciences)...Now, I am attempting the second clearing round for Sept 2010 intake of application, which deadline falls on 31st May.
    Unfortunately i missed the main round which closed on 1 Dec '09
    Actually I had already contacted potential supervisor, and we had an informal telephone interview. and briefly discuss on the potential project title for my study... However, i am still not sure about my chances as i dunno is the supervisor or the admission committee hold the final decision...After all, there might be also many ppls has contacted them as i did..

    Anyway, I agreed with u that for postgraduate study, the supervisor and research team is more important...
    but i think for postgrad in CHKU, they still need me to submit the toefl english test as requirement for application, which i haven't taken yet..
    while HKU allow exemption if my undergrad was did in english medium...
    taken together, i choose to apply for HKU...


  4. #4

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    So, what makes your application stand out?

    Is the university you come from of high international standards, or did you make cum laude or any other special awards? Do you have relevant work experience?


  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by evelynee:
    Thanks for ur response. Nice to meet u..Where are u study currently? and in which field?
    CUHK, Physics
    Quote Originally Posted by evelynee:
    Actually I had already contacted potential supervisor, and we had an informal telephone interview. and briefly discuss on the potential project title for my study... However, i am still not sure about my chances as i dunno is the supervisor or the admission committee hold the final decision...After all, there might be also many ppls has contacted them as i did..
    At CUHK, applications are circulated within the faculty, and then every professor can say "I want this guy/girl as my student". Typically, if a Professor really wants you then he'll get a studentship for you.
    Quote Originally Posted by evelynee:
    but i think for postgrad in CHKU, they still need me to submit the toefl english test as requirement for application, which i haven't taken yet..
    while HKU allow exemption if my undergrad was did in english medium...
    taken together, i choose to apply for HKU...
    That is a rather week reason - you should be able to take it on short notice at least in Singapore, and the score doesn't have to be that great since you'll be competing mainly with mainland students. I do believe you have good chances, but I'd definitively have a backup plan.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo85:
    So, what makes your application stand out?
    Is the university you come from of high international standards, or did you make cum laude or any other special awards? Do you have relevant work experience?
    Now, lets not pretend we're talking about Princeton here While it helps to come from a good school (e.g. better NUS or NTU than a Malaysian university), all schools here are looking to create a slightly more cosmopolitan environment (and are regularly mocked by their own students unions for counting nationals among their "International and non-local" students). The big three here are reasonable good schools, but they do not have the gazillions of international applicants that the good schools in the US and UK enjoy (or suffer from?). And at least for CUHK's Biology and Physics departments I don't know any full time research (ie, MPhil or PhD) student with any form of work experience, they typically all start directly after their graduation.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by er2:
    Now, lets not pretend we're talking about Princeton here While it helps to come from a good school (e.g. better NUS or NTU than a Malaysian university), all schools here are looking to create a slightly more cosmopolitan environment (and are regularly mocked by their own students unions for counting nationals among their "International and non-local" students). The big three here are reasonable good schools, but they do not have the gazillions of international applicants that the good schools in the US and UK enjoy (or suffer from?). And at least for CUHK's Biology and Physics departments I don't know any full time research (ie, MPhil or PhD) student with any form of work experience, they typically all start directly after their graduation.
    I agree, but instead of having to be in the top 10 of 100 you still have to be in the top 10 of 15. But it will still be a tough sale if he comes from a not-that-great school, has an average GPa, hasn't done any research, has no work experience, hasn't done general or specific GRE, no TOEFL scores and hasn't honed his Statement of Purpose.

    I applied to HKU for PHd and to be perfectly honest my application wasn't great, but I had stellar TOEFL score, a journal paper in reviewing, a few irrelevant work experience, my SOP wasn't great, came from more-than-decent Canadian schools with decent grades in both Bachelor and M.Sc and had very good letters of recomendation from my current supervisor and another professor. Nothing exceptional, yet nothing terrible. I haven't got an answer yet.

    While I wouldn't worry about being stellar on all fronts as in the USA, I would still advice him to apply to a Masters if nothing stands out. And to get some good letters of recomendation while working on his SOP. The application process still takes some effort even if its not Princeton.

    To the OP: It may seem like a lot of points, but you probably don't need to do the GRE, nor do research or have relevant work experience to get into a masters. If your bachelor was in english they won't look at the TOEFL. So Statement of Purpose + contact your preferred supervisor + letters of reference. Work on these 3 points and you have good odds of getting in.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by er2:
    That is a rather week reason - you should be able to take it on short notice at least in Singapore, and the score doesn't have to be that great since you'll be competing mainly with mainland students. I do believe you have good chances, but I'd definitively have a backup plan.

    Now, lets not pretend we're talking about Princeton here While it helps to come from a good school (e.g. better NUS or NTU than a Malaysian university), all schools here are looking to create a slightly more cosmopolitan environment (and are regularly mocked by their own students unions for counting nationals among their "International and non-local" students). The big three here are reasonable good schools, but they do not have the gazillions of international applicants that the good schools in the US and UK enjoy (or suffer from?). And at least for CUHK's Biology and Physics departments I don't know any full time research (ie, MPhil or PhD) student with any form of work experience, they typically all start directly after their graduation.
    so u definitely recommend me to take the toefl test even though its not compulsory criteria?

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugo85:
    I agree, but instead of having to be in the top 10 of 100 you still have to be in the top 10 of 15. But it will still be a tough sale if he comes from a not-that-great school, has an average GPa, hasn't done any research, has no work experience, hasn't done general or specific GRE, no TOEFL scores and hasn't honed his Statement of Purpose.

    I applied to HKU for PHd and to be perfectly honest my application wasn't great, but I had stellar TOEFL score, a journal paper in reviewing, a few irrelevant work experience, my SOP wasn't great, came from more-than-decent Canadian schools with decent grades in both Bachelor and M.Sc and had very good letters of recomendation from my current supervisor and another professor. Nothing exceptional, yet nothing terrible. I haven't got an answer yet.

    While I wouldn't worry about being stellar on all fronts as in the USA, I would still advice him to apply to a Masters if nothing stands out. And to get some good letters of recomendation while working on his SOP. The application process still takes some effort even if its not Princeton.

    To the OP: It may seem like a lot of points, but you probably don't need to do the GRE, nor do research or have relevant work experience to get into a masters. If your bachelor was in english they won't look at the TOEFL. So Statement of Purpose + contact your preferred supervisor + letters of reference. Work on these 3 points and you have good odds of getting in.
    hi, nice to meet u too.. do u mind to share where r u from and what department r u applying and in which round? has u contacted a supervisor?
    ..i'm surprise u hasn't got any reply as u has a paper in review, which should be a strong point..
    I am keeping in touch with my potential supervisor for discussing the project.. he seems encouraging, but never spoke a definite desire in taking me in...sigh..
    I has some working experiences in life science field like as nurse and medical lab technologist...
    My honour year project was related to the purposed project title... and now i am currently as research assistant in the most reputable university in malaysia...
    but i hav to admit that the uni that i did my undergrad is not that good, as its a new established private uni...this is what i worried about too.. however, i got reasonably good Gpa, and won book prizes..i hope its helps..
    thanks for ur recommendations... now i'm working on my SOP..wondering what makes a convincing piece of SOP..

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by evelynee:
    hi, nice to meet u too.. do u mind to share where r u from and what department r u applying and in which round? has u contacted a supervisor?
    ..i'm surprise u hasn't got any reply as u has a paper in review, which should be a strong point..
    I am keeping in touch with my potential supervisor for discussing the project.. he seems encouraging, but never spoke a definite desire in taking me in...sigh..
    I has some working experiences in life science field like as nurse and medical lab technologist...
    My honour year project was related to the purposed project title... and now i am currently as research assistant in the most reputable university in malaysia...
    but i hav to admit that the uni that i did my undergrad is not that good, as its a new established private uni...this is what i worried about too.. however, i got reasonably good Gpa, and won book prizes..i hope its helps..
    thanks for ur recommendations... now i'm working on my SOP..wondering what makes a convincing piece of SOP..
    I have a 3.02 GPa from McGill and a 3.72 from Universite de Montreal. Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering and Masters in Industrial Engineering. Applying for PhD in Industrial Engineering.

    I have contacted a potential supervisor and he told me to apply, though that I would have to be selected by the department. Which means he won't particularly make efforts to bring me on board. I am not too surprised that I didn't get an answer yet, my application is rather average and a paper in review means that it hasn't been peer-reviewed yet, so it only shows that you wrote something but not that it's good.

    Though, the hardest part of the application sometimes is getting through the bulk of other applicants to land your application on a professor's desk. And there is a section that asks whether you have contacted a potential advisor, simply saying 'yes' there helps put you ahead of those that didn't.

    You seem to have relevant experience which is a very strong point. I recommend checking out Graduate School Admission, Advice, Discussions, Help and Information - The GradCafe Forums to help with your SOP. 95% of people there are applying for american universities though, which means that they may be far stricter than you need to be, but better to be over than under.

    You may also have to write a Research Proposal, which I can't really advice you about. Check your department's application requirements!

    Best of luck to you!
    Last edited by Hugo85; 21-04-2010 at 03:22 AM.
    evelynee likes this.

  10. #10

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    Hugo 85,
    wishes u best of luck too...
    thanks for the link and comments shared here^^,


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