BSc in Integrative Systems and Design (ISD)

The Division of Integrative Systems and Design developed its Bachelor of Science (BSc) program in Integrative Systems and Design with the objective to provide a stimulating environment for students to integrate design skills with domain expertise, which currently includes mechanical engineering, electrical and electronics engineering as well as computer science and engineering, in an interdisciplinary environment.   The teaching methodology used by the Division is active learning, which engages students actively in the learning process.  In this process, students increase their focus and attention helping them develop a deep understanding of complex issues related to engineering and design.  A unique feature of this UG program is that this program adopts team-based and project-based learning as the primary method of instruction. Students have to work on project courses thought-out their four years of study. These project courses represent an important component of ISD design-infused curriculum, which provides students opportunities to practice integration of design skills while developing expertise in different engineering disciplines.  

  • Provide education opportunities for students to integrate design skills with domain expertise in an interdisciplinary environment
  • Promote active project-based learning:
    • Encourage students to take ownership of their projects, develop project management and teamwork skills and become independent learners
    • Motivate students to share their skills and knowledge with each other and become good team players and leaders 
    • Empower students to develop into lifelong learners
    • Prepare students to identify and solve problems that are important and impactful to the communities
    • Provide a stimulating academic working environment, which allows students to apply critical thinking skills to innovate new product design solutions
    • Support development of effective communicating skills to share their innovative ideas with each other and present their solutions in various presentations


  • Be capable to identify and formulate problems in a multidisciplinary context with an understanding of science, engineering, technology, business and design issues and constraints
  • Develop innovative problem-solving skills through hands-on learning and application of knowledge of science, engineering and design in integrative systems

  • Integrate knowledge and skills using a team-based, project-based pedagogy to tackle challenging problems considering ethics and societal needs

  • Can effectively communicate in the technical language of engineering and of design

  • Be life-long learners



Every student entering HKUST needs to complete 36 credits of core courses, which provide students with a balanced and broad education.  In the first year, ISD students acquire fundamental design and technical skills, which are the two components they need to integrate to enhance the design of integrative systems in their second-, third- and fourth-year projects. One prominent feature of the ISD curriculum is that students are free to choose advanced technical courses of their interest and the technical role they play in the yearlong project. Beyond our core curriculum, students can participate in many extracurricular activities to enhance their leadership and research skills and cultural competence as well as to acquire first-hand working experience in the industry.  Students with a strong interest in a particular technology area can opt for a double major or minor.

Curriculum and courses details:

For students admitted in 2020/2021

For students admitted in 2021/2022

For students admitted in 2022/2023

For students admitted in 2023/2024

Under the 4-year academic program structure, applicants can be admitted (a) directly in the first year through program-based admission, or (b) to via school-based admission to one of the four Schools (Science, Engineering, Business and Management, Humanities and Social Science) and later choose their major in BSc in Integrative Systems and Design at the end of the first year. 

(1) Application

Applicants applying for admission to the BSc program in Integrative Systems and Design (ISD) are required to submit a "Design and Technology Project experience (DTP)" in addition to the nominal documentations.  

(a) Joint University Programmes Admissions System (JUPAS) applicants

JUPAS candidates applying for admission to the BSc in ISD program (ISDN) are encouraged to upload a Design and Technology Project experience document (DTP), describing school or personal-initiated projects and extracurricular activities and upload the DTP to the online DTP submission systemIt highlights candidates' previous project work detailing the how, why and what of the projects.  JUPAS students may use their Student Learning Profile (SLP) or Other Experiences and Achievements (OEA) in lieu of DTP.  Please note that the submission of DTP, SLP or OEA is mandatory; candidates who fail to submit any one of the three required documents will not be considered for the admission. 

Application Opens

5 October 2023

Application Closes 6 December 2023

DTP Submission Period

5 October 2023 - 29 May 2024

Modification of program choices by students

29 May 2024

DTP Submission Period

(for New Applicants who apply for ISD between

18-20 Jul 2024)

18 - 20 July 2024

JUPAS Offer Announcement

7 August 2024

(b)  Applicants with International/ Post-secondary Qualifications

These applicants are required to submit their applications via the HKUST Online Application System for Undergraduate Programs and upload their DTP under “Required Documents”.  Candidates who fail to submit their DTP by the application deadline will not be considered for the admission.  

Application Opens

25 September 2023

Early Round Application Closes

21 November 2023

Early Round Offer Announcements

Late December 2023

(Applicants who do not receive our offer will be considered in the main round with other applicants)

Main Round Application Closes

9 January 2024

Main Round Offer Announcements

February 2024 and onwards

Late Round Application Closes

Before 30 June 2024

(c)  Mainland JEE applicants

Mainland JEE applicants are required to submit their applications via the HKUST Online Application System for Undergraduate Programs and upload their DTP to “DTP Submission (DTP作品集)” under “Required Documents (上载补充文件)”.  Candidates who fail to submit their DTP by the application deadline will not be considered for the admission.  

Application Opens

3 October 2023

Application Closes

11 June 2024

HKUST Offer Announcements

Later June to Early July 2024


What is Design and Technology Project experience (DTP)?

DTP are purposeful collections of the students’ past design and technology efforts, to tell coherent stories of their problem-solving approach and design process to arrive at the final work. They highlight candidates’ previous project works that describe how, why and what the students worked on in the projects.

It should be up to 3 pages of text in font size of 12 points and 5 pages of diagrams/ photos/ figures, describing their key experience in personal investigative projects, prominent enrichment programs and/ or local/ international competitions (e.g., design, hackathon, robotics, startup camps, etc.). The experience is to be summarized as a design project journey including details from conceptualization, proof-of-concepts to end results.  In addition to textual descriptions, candidates should exhibit skills in visual design or craftsmanship by including drawings, image capture of 3D work, digital work, models, original photographs, and/ or links to short videos (less than 5 minutes).  Applicants are  recommended to prepare a design-centric portfolio independently. Any application found to contain plagiarized work will be rejected de-facto.


(2) Assessments

Applicants to the ISD program are evaluated based on the admission requirements: (a) Public examination results, (b) DTP (DTP, SLP or OEA for JUPAS students) , and (c) Team-based Design Challenge. Shortlisted candidates will be invited for a MANDATORY Team-based Design Challenge.

(a) Public examination results – following the ISD program admission requirements:

(b) DTP – The assessment criteria of DTP include 4 aspects:

  • Inspiration and motivation,

  • Critical thinking,

  • Visual communication skills, and

  • Composition of the portfolio.

(c) Team-based Design Challenge:

An assessment of students’ potential, suitability, and passion for the ISD program. Instead of the traditional Q&A interview format, the design challenge allows the candidates to demonstrate their ability to work through problems in steps. Candidates have a unique opportunity to put their problem-solving and communication skills into action and on display.

Please watch our video for more information about admission.