Department of Media and Communication Center for Communication Research

Joint PhD Programme with Yonsei University in South Korea

CityU’s College of Liberal Arts and Social Science and Yonsei University’s College of Social Sciences

A Unique PhD Programme Offered by Two Renowned Universities in Asia-Pacific

The Joint PhD Programme (“Dual Degree” as named by Yonsei University) is a full-time PhD programme offered by City University of Hong Kong and Yonsei University. It offers a unique opportunity for aspiring students to purse their PhD studies at two prestigious Universities in East Asia and receive rigorous scholarly training while immersing themselves in the thriving urban cultures of Seoul and Hong Kong. This fully funded programme is aimed at young scholars whose research interest and scholarly aspirations would benefit from the training and experience gained at both institutions and whose interest closely align with the faculty at City University of Hong Kong and Yonsei University.

Programme Duration

Students under the Joint PhD programme will spend 24 months at CityU (out of a 4-year programme) and the remaining study period at Yonsei University (or vice-versa).


Prospective applicants should apply for admission to the Joint PhD Programme according to the regular procedures at both universities (CityU’s deadline for application is December 1st, 2022). The applicants seeking admission to this programme could also be current PhD students at CityU or Yonsei University.

English Proficiency Requirements

Yonsei - The minimum English proficiency requirement for Ph.D. programme is 540 (paper-based test) or 200 (computer-based test) in the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) OR 600 in Test of English Proficiency developed by Seoul National University (TEPS) OR 700 in the Test of English for International Communication (TOEIC) OR 6.5 in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

CityU - A minimum TOEFL* score of 88 (Internet-based test), with a minimum of 21 for Reading, 21 for Listening, 25 for Writing, and 21 for Speaking; OR a minimum IELTS 6.5 for overall band score and for the sub-categories of Writing, Speaking, Listening and Reading.
* TOEFL Paper-based test (before October 2017) and Paper-delivered test (after October 2017) will not be accepted as there is no Speaking component.

Tuition Fee and Financial Assistance

Yonsei - At Yonsei, the rate of studentship offered by different academic departments/supervisors may vary according to their regulations. Yonsei may provide scholarship equivalent to the Yonsei tuition amount based on the budget availability, for up to two semesters. Tuition fee is Approx. KRW 4,854,000 per semester.

CityU - At CityU, student receives a monthly studentship of HK$17,510 (2021/22 rate, subject to annual review) for 24 months (4-year programme). Student is required to pay tuition fee of HK$3,508* for 24 months (4-year programme).
* subject to revision in September each year

Medium of Instruction and Assessment for Courses

Yonsei - English and Korean

CityU - All taught courses are delivered in English. Regular individual supervision by the supervisor will be carried out in a language agreed by both the supervisor and supervisee.


Yonsei and CityU shall jointly appoint a thesis supervisor from each Institution. The thesis supervisors shall undertake to mutually and fully supervise the thesis and act respectively as the student’s research supervisor.

Qualifying Examination

A student who is on this Joint PhD program must pass a Qualifying Examination as stipulated by the agreement between CityU and Yonsei. Detailed information on this arrangement will be available in due course.

Coursework Requirements

Yonsei - 30 credit units (one credit unit is equal to 16 hours of learning)

CityU - 15 credit units and other CityU’s requirements (one credit unit is equal to 13 hours of learning)

Coursework and Credit Transfer

Yonsei - Credit transfer for up to 50% of the programme’s required credit units is allowed.

CityU - Credit transfer for up to 50% of the programme’s required credit units is allowed.
Upon approval by CityU and Yonsei, the credit units earned by students in their programmes may be mutually recognized and accepted by both universities.

Residency Requirement

Yonsei - The minimum required residence period is 3 semesters, including 1 semester for taking courses (regular semester) and 2 semesters for conducting research work (research semesters).

CityU - The required residence period for research degree studies is equivalent to half of the relevant (normal) period of study. To fulfil the requirement, physical residence is required. Participants of this programme are therefore required to stay in CityU physically for a period of 24 months (half of 48 months).

Publication Requirement

Yonsei - While there are no specified rules on publication requirements at Yonsei, individual academic unit may stipulate publication requirement as part of the graduation requirement.

CityU - There are no specified rules on publication requirements at CityU.

Thesis Assessment

The student shall write and defend his/her single thesis prepared in English, and shall include a summary written in English and in Korean. The thesis shall be written, presented and distributed in accordance with the rules and standards as required by both institutions.

Examination Panel

A joint examination panel shall be formed to assess the thesis and conduct the oral examination. The composition of the joint panel shall follow the regulations set forth by both CityU and Yonsei. The panel will have examiners from both CityU and Yonsei, and additional examiners can be invited from the institution at which the examination will take place.

Award of Degree

A student who has satisfied the academic and graduation requirements of both CityU and Yonsei will receive a PhD degree. The student will receive two award certificates, with CityU’s indicating that the PhD degree is awarded for the successful completion of the joint programme with Yonsei.