Minor Program in Environmental Sustainability and Management

The Program

This minor program will be comprised of a collection of courses covering various issues in environmental sustainability and management. The domain of coverage of the minor program includes air-, hydro-, and geo- environment. At present, the main focuses of the program are placed on sustainability and management of (1) air quality; (2) surface and ground water resources; and (3) water and solid waste treatment and utilization. Climate change and its effects on natural hazards and environment are also an important element of the program. It is anticipated that the future scope of the program curriculum will be expanded to cover natural resources and land use; coastal marine environment due to wastewater disposal; and construction of mega-cities & livability.


As environmental concerns are becoming increasingly important in Hong Kong and Mainland China, an improved knowledge and awareness of environmental sustainability issues is becoming a necessity for professionals, managers as well as policy makers in all disciplines. The program is designed for students from all Schools of HKUST. Through this program, we hope to provide students with fundamental and in-depth understanding of environmental sustainability and management that can certainly benefit them in their future career development and well-being of our living environments.

Program Entrance Requirements

Any undergraduate students with a CGA of 2.15 or above may enroll in this minor program. A background in basic chemistry would be beneficial to students' study but not essential for admission. Typically, students need three regular terms to finish this minor program. Students must declare their intention to enroll in the minor program no earlier than the second regular term of their first year of study but no later than the last day of the add/drop period in the second regular term of their penultimate year of study. Special approval should be obtained from the program coordinator for declaration made later than the enrollment window. Students who wish to withdraw from the minor program should apply before the last day of add/drop period in the last regular term of their study.


The program curriculum is available online (here).

Course Requirements

The Minor Program in Environmental Sustainability and Management requires a minimum of 18 credits to be taken from the following courses:

  Required courses Credit(s)

(1)    CIVL 1140


(1)    CENG 1700

Environmental Quality Control and Improvement


Introduction to Environmental Engineering




(1)    CIVL 4430 Environmental Impact Assessment


Elective courses

Elective types   Minimum number of courses Minimum total credits
(2) ENGG Environmental Sustainability and Management Elective 4 12



1. Students are recommended to take CIVL 1140 or CENG 1700 first to obtain the basic knowledge of this area prior to taking CIVL 4430.
2. Students should take 4 courses (12 credits) from the following list:
CIVL 2510/CENG 2220/MECH 2210, CIVL 1170, CIVL 3420, CIVL 4460, CIVL 4470, CIVL 4520, CENG 3210, CENG 4140, CENG 4710, MECH 4350, LIFS 1030, PHYS 1003.

No more than one course within the same course groups of CIVL 2510/CENG 2220/MECH 2210 can be counted towards the elective requirement.

For credit transfer, students can transfer a maximum total of 6 credits to the Minor Program.

For students admitted in 2012-13 and after, at least 9 credits out of the total credits required by the minor program should be single-counted within the minor and are not used to fulfill any other requirements for graduation except the 120-credit degree requirement. For those admitted prior to 2012-13, the minimum number of single-counted credits would be 6.

To graduate with a minor in Environmental Sustainability and Management, the students must have enrolled in the minor program and complete all of its requirements, as well as all the requirements of their major program of study; and attain an average grade point of at least 2.15 in course taken within the minor program.

Career Prospects

The trend of needing greater appreciation of environmental issues at all business corporations, industries, and governments will generate high demand for people with good understanding of these issues. This is particularly important for the Mainland China, where fast economic growth is coupled with rapid environment deterioration and low level of environmental efficiencies. Students whom graduate with this minor or take some of the courses offered in this program will have wider career opportunities, and are expected to be taking leadership in dealing with issues related to the environment sustainability and management.