How do you select your courses?

As you choose your courses, you will have a great deal of information available to you through the Student Information System (SIS), through the Common Core website, through your Academic Advisors, through informal student websites, and through senior students. It is very important that you weigh all of this information carefully and create the pathway through the Common Core that will be most useful and exciting for you.


Common Core courses are selected online through the Student Information System (SIS) and places are allotted through a First-Come-First-Served enrollment method during the course selection period in August (Get to your computers early!) and an auto-ballot method during the add/drop period.  It is important to note, however, that selecting a course online does not guarantee a place on the course, as Common Core courses have fixed quotas.

*IMPORTANT: You should ensure that your Common Core course selection does not violate any requirement of the Common Core or of your programme. Otherwise, the system will bar your enrollment, or your enrollment will be subsequently disapproved and dropped by the system.

Course Selection Period (Course approval method: First-Come-First-Served)

During the course selection period in August, your selections of Common Core courses are time-stamped. Pending approval of course enrollment, you are able to check your position in the queue as well as the number of vacancies available in the course. With the exception of the course enrollment priority for students who have declared a Common Core Transdisciplinary Minor (CCTM) during the designed “priority period” (see below), the system will approve your course selection on a first-come-first-served basis. Any enrollments not approved as a result of oversubscription will be placed on a ranked waiting list. The system will perform the enrollment approval process several times a day and you can check and make changes to your course selection online during the course selection period.

After the course selection period closes, all the waiting lists generated during the course selection period will be purged. You will then not be allowed to make any changes to your course selection until the add/drop period.

* IMPORTANT: Courses with enrollments below 20 by the end of the course selection period will be cancelled. This mechanism for discontinuing under-enrolled courses at an early stage is to minimize disruption to your studies after you have started the new academic year. Students enrolled on a discontinued course will be notified of the discontinuation through their HKU email soon after the course selection ends and assistance will be provided to help them enroll on another course of their choice as far as possible before the start of the add/drop period. Be sure to check your email!

Course Enrollment Priority for Common Core Transdisciplinary Minor (CCTM) students: On the first day of the course selection period in August, there will be designated “priority periods” when students of the 2017-18 intake and thereafter who have declared a CCTM will be given priority over others of the same cohort to enroll on the remaining courses that belong to the same thematic cluster. During the period, the first-come-first-served course approval method will still apply to courses that do not belong to the thematic clusters.

» » » Information about enrollment priority in 2022-23 for CCTM students

Add/Drop Period (Course approval method: Auto-Ballot)

When the course selection system re-opens during the add/drop period, all the waiting lists generated during the course selection period will be purged. During the add/drop period, you may select Common Core courses with available places and the system, in order to be fair to students from all years, will approve your new enrollments by auto-ballot, i.e. the system will randomly approve enrollments up to the number of vacancies available when it executes the auto-balloting job, and then disapprove the remaining enrollments.

The first auto-balloting job is executed during the suspension period. The system will perform subsequent auto-balloting jobs 6 times a day at 8 am, 11 am, 2 pm, 5 pm, 8 pm and 11 pm respectively after the suspension period. You can check your course selection status and auto-ballot result online anytime and make changes to your course selection before the add/drop period ends.

Exchange/Visiting students
Subject to availability, exchange/visiting students may take up to 12 credits of Common Core courses from a selective menu and from different AoIs. You should enroll to special sub-classes marked by “X” (e.g. 1AX, 2BX) created for exchange/visiting students only. The selection process is the same as mentioned above.

You are strongly advised to refer to the following documents on the HKU Portal before performing your course selection.