PhD Degree

PhD degree

In order to qualify for a PhD degree, a student must successfully complete 18CH of course work (graduate level) in addition to the 24CH of course work at the MPhil level and must successfully complete his PhD thesis.


The minimum grade in courses directly related to the research work must be B and the Cumulative GPA in all the course work shall not be less than 3.00.


The thesis work shall be carried out under the supervision of at least two HEC approved supervisors. One of the supervisors shall be from KUST.


It is also mandatory for the PhD students to pass (no grade awarded) two non-credit courses.


Synopsis of the research and thesis for the PhD degree must be approved by the Advanced Studies and Research Board (ASRB) of KUST. Before presenting any research synopsis to the ASRB for final approval, the synopsis is discussed in the Board of Faculty of the concerned Faculty and any recommendations made are taken care of.


The student must qualify (minimum 60% marks) a comprehensive examination, set by the respective Departmental Academic Committee at KUST, before the submission of his thesis. This exam contains 50% questions from the area of specialization 50% are set from the general field of the degree. A student can avail a maximum of two chances only for the comprehensive examination.


A PhD student (admitted before January 11, 2010) is further required to have passed International GRE (subject) examination before the submission of PhD thesis with a minimum percentile score given as under:


a). 45% Percentile Score: Valid until December 31, 2010

b). 50% Percentile Score: Valid until December 31, 2011

c). 60% Percentile Score: Valid admission thereafter


In case where International GRE (Subject) is not offered in a discipline relevant to the student major field of research, he/ she will have to qualify the GRE (Subject) test conducted by NTS with at least 60% cumulative score.


If the test is not available in the NTS subject list then a university committee comprising of at lest 3 PhD faculty members and approved by the HEC will conduct the test at par with GRE (Subject) test and qualifying score for this will be 70%.


Thesis must be evaluated by two referees (experts in the field; having PhD degree in the major subject and active in research in the field relevant to the area of research presented in the thesis) from outside Pakistan and one local expert (from outside KUST) in the field. The two referees from outside Pakistan are selected by the office of the concerned Dean from a list of experts to be provided by the respective HoD. This list consists of five (5) experts in the field from technologically advanced countries. The local expert is also selected by the Deans office from a list of two Pakistani researchers in the field provided by the HoD. The Deans office contacts the experts for their consent with a request that the report be submitted within one month after the receipt of the thesis. On receiving their consent the concerned Dean shall submit a list of experts to the Controller of Examinations for further process. When the reports of the experts are received to the CoE Office, the concerned HoD and research supervisor shall be informed accordingly. At least one of the reports from the overseas expert must be favourable in order to proceed further. After the completion of examination full report must be forwarded to the respective supervisor for sharing with the concerned scholars.


In case of unfavourable comments from both the experts from overseas, the case will be referred back to the HoD for further work and/or revision as deemed fit.


On receipt of favourable comments, the Deans office contacts the expert from Pakistan for a possible date for defence. The defence date is intimated to the concerned HoD for onward transmission to the research supervisors and the student concerned.


The thesis must be defended in front of a panel and evaluated by the external examiner (local expert from outside KUST) and internal examiner (KUST or affiliated colleges). PhD thesis and the final defence is only Pass/Fail and no letter grade is awarded. However, a thesis will be considered for the Best Thesis Award on the basis of the total impact factor of the number of publications resulted directly from the thesis work. The results (pass or fail and recommendations for award, if any) are sent to the concerned Dean through the respective HoD for approval and transmission to the CoEs office for declaration and/or publishing the results. A copy of results is sent to the Director Academic office.


In order to qualify for a PhD degree from KUST, the student must have contributed (as a sole author or co-author) to at least one article, related to his thesis work, published (or accepted for publication with acceptance letter from the editor/subeditor of the journal) in an international ISI indexed journal and acceptable to the Higher Education Commission.


It is also mandatory for a PhD student to have presented at least one research seminar to his group and have presented his PhD research work in at least one national/international conference in order to qualify candidacy for the PhD degree from KUST. It is the responsibility of the concerned HoD to keep a record all such activities and intimate the office of the respective Dean accordingly.

Conversion to PhD from MPHIL

An MPhil student at KUST with a CGPA of 3.00 on the scale of 4.00 and desirous of converting his MPhil work into a programme leading to a PhD degree from KUST is required to:


  1. Get a fresh approval of the synopsis and thesis work from the ASRB of KUST.
  2. Write a 30-50 pages report on the research work already undertaken and submit it to his PhD supervisor.
  3. Appear before a panel of two experts (having PhD degree in the major subject and active in research in a field relevant to the area of research of the student), one must be an expert from outside KUST and the other may be from outside the students research group. These experts are selected by the concernred Dean from a list of three experts provided by the respective HoD.


On the recommendations of the examiners and the PhD thesis supervisor, the concerned HoD submits the case to the office of the respective Deans for approval. On approval, the student is admitted to the PhD programme and the office of the CoE is intimated accordingly with information to the research supervisors and the respective HoD. The student is formally informed by the CoEs office.


The student will have to complete the rest of the requirements as set out in section 8.3.2 above for a PhD degree, including qualifying a comprehensive examination with 60% marks and a valid acceptable subject GRE score.

MPhil Degree

Graduate (MS, MPhil, PhD) degree

MS/MPhil degree

To earn MS/MPhil degree, one must earn 24CH of graduate-level course work (comprising 6CH of Compulsory and 18CH of Elective courses) plus a 6 CH of research project (pass/fail) for all technical (science /engineering) degrees. The minimum grade for courses related to the research work is B and the minimum cumulative GPA for graduation is 3.00/4.00. The research work shall be carried out under the supervision of at least two qualified (minimum MS/MPhil or equivalent) faculty members or research staff from a university or an R&D organisation. One of the supervisors must be from KUST.


For non-technical (English, Humanities and Social Sciences) degrees, with the approval of the Advanced Studies and Research Board (ASRB) of KUST, the 6CH of research project may be replaced with 6CH of course work provided no research facilities are available and provided the student does not want to pursue a PhD degree at KUST.


For a student studying for an MS/ MPhil degree, synopsis of the research and thesis must be approved by the ASRB of KUST by the end of the first academic year. Before presenting any research synopsis to the ASRB for final approval, research title and outlines of the research project/ thesis are discussed in the Board of Faculty of the concerned Faculty and the recommendation will be submitted to the Graduate Programmes Committee. The Graduate Programmes Committee shall recommend suitable cases to the ASRB for grant of approval.


The research work in MS/MPhil will have to be presented in the form of a report or thesis. Two spiral bound copies shall be submitted to the office of the concerned Dean for evaluation purposes. Once evaluation is completed, three hard bound copies (according to the specified format) and one pdf file of the final corrected version of the report/thesis shall be submitted to the office of the concerned Dean. (One copy for the main library of KUST, one for the departmental library, and one for HEC). The final corrected version must include a single page certificate of approval signed by the supervisor and the two examiners (see below).


The project report/thesis shall be formally defended in front of a panel. The panel consists of an external examiner, internal examiner, faculty members (may include supervisor) and graduate students of the respective department. The evaluation or grading of the research work carried out by the student is, however, done by the examiners only. The results (No letter grade, pass or fail only) are sent to the concerned Dean through the respective HoD for approval and transmission to the CoEs office for declaration and/or publishing of the results.


The external examiner shall be an expert in the field from an academic/research organisation outside KUST. The concerned HoD, in consultation with the thesis supervisor recommends a list of three experts in the field for the external examiner, an internal examiner, and a possible date for the formal defence to the Dean of the respective Faculty. The Deans office appoints an external examiner from amongst the list, approves the internal examiner, and notifies these to the HoD and the Controller of Examinations along with the possible date for the formal defence, with a copy to Director Finance (KUST) for taking care of the financial aspects in terms of examiners remuneration, TA/DA, etc. The Controller of Examinations sends a request to the external examiner and internal examiner accordingly. Once confirmed, the CoEs office informs the concerned Dean, the respective HoD, and the student concerned. In case of the non-availability of the external examiner from among the recommended list, the Dean would request the concerned HoD for submission of a revised list of external examiners and the procedure is repeated.


It is also mandatory for an MS/MPhil student to have presented at least one research seminar to his group and have contributed to at least one presentation in a national/ international conference related to his research discipline in order to qualify candidacy for MS/MPhil degree. Any accepted / published paper of the scholar in the field during the degree program will be considered at par with Presentation in National / International conference. The Presentations in National/ International conference could also be done through Video Conferencing. It is the responsibility of the concerned HoD to keep a record of all such activities and to intimate the office of the respective Dean accordingly. The concerned HoD must submit a formal report in this regard while requesting for the arrangement of the external examiner.

Bachelor Degree

Undergraduate (BS, BBA) degree


To earn a bachelor's degree (BS, BBA), one must successfully complete 126 to 136 Credit Hours (the minimum to maximum range varies from discipline to discipline) of course-work with minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.00. These courses are grouped into Major, Minor and Multidisciplinary, Non-Credit (pass/fail) and in most cases a Final Year Design Project. The maximum number of CH assigned to a group may vary from Discipline to Discipline.


Major courses

These courses are directly related to the main theme of the students degree programme and usually carry the code of the students registered discipline. These courses make the core and elective courses of the students degree programme. The Dean of the respective Faculty may approve a course either from the minor discipline or a subject directly related to the major as a replacement/an alternative for a major course with the recommendation of the Head of the Department of the students major. The minimum requirement of Major courses is 60CH.


Minor courses

These courses are outside the prescribed major but are offered either by the same faculty or outside the faculty but relevant to the major theme of the major degree programme. Some of these minors are defined while some are left open for the students to make a choice.Most of these minor courses are offered during the first two years of the BS degree programme and hence are mostly the basic core courses. Such courses aim at providing breadth in students studies, and widening his awareness in the allied fields that impinge on the area of his specialisation. The Advisor- Studies of a student plays a vital role in selection of the minor courses. The minimum requirement is 21CH.


Multidisciplinary courses

All students are required to successfully complete some courses in English language, Islamic and Pakistan Studies, information technology, social sciences and management sciences. They are meant to inculcate in the students an awareness of our history & culture, to help them cultivate aesthetic and moral dimensions of their personalities, and to equip them with modern communicational and managerial skills. The minimum requirement is 18CH.


Non-Credit and Optional (Pass/Fail) courses

In some disciplines, it is mandatory for a student to attend a course (in entirety) offered by the same department or any other department of the university in order to be eligible for the degree. The total number of academic hours per week for such a course varies from 2 to 4. The exact number is announced by the instructor concerned. In these courses, a grade of S (satisfactory completion) or U (unsatisfactory completion) is awarded and has no bearings on the GPA. In case of a U grade in a course, it is not mandatory to repeat the same course. The advisor may suggest a different course to his advisee in order to complete the degree requirement.


In addition, an undergraduate student may also register for a course as an optional non-credit course (with the approval of his advisor) that will appear on the transcript but will have no bearings on the GPA. A total of two courses may be allowed in an undergraduate degree programme. In such cases, S or U grades are awarded. A grade of U in these cases could not be repeated and no alternative choice could be offered.



In some disciplines, for examples Management Sciences and Engineering, the respective Board of Studies has made it compulsory for the students to complete an 8-12 weeks internship in a firm/industry/bank/organization and submit a report about the internship (5-10 pages) about the internship. This report shall include a brief introduction about the firm/organization and the work undertaken. A satisfactory certificate from the CEO/Regional Executive/Branch manager of the organization about the work carried out by the student at the firm/organization is mandatory. The Departmental Academic Committee evaluates the report and the certificate from the organization and awards Satisfactory Completion or otherwise as deemed fit.


Senior Design Project

The undergraduate students may opt and apply to the respective HoD to do a project in their final year instead of two elective courses of 3 credit hours each. The respective departmental Academic Committee, based on the students performance in earlier courses, rejects or accepts an application. Normally, a CGPA of 2.50/4.00 is required to apply for a project. In case of some disciplines, for example engineering, this project shall be considered as compulsory and every student has to do a project irrespective of their cumulative GPA. These departments/institutes require the approval of the respective Board of Studies and must inform the CoE and Director Academic offices accordingly.


Each academic department notifies a list of undergraduate projects available each year. Before the display, the feasibility of all these projects is evaluated by the Departmental Academic Committee. The students may also be encouraged to come up with their own ideas about a senior design project and submit a proposal to the course advisor. If the Departmental Academic Committee finds the project submitted by a student feasible, due credit has to be given to the student by putting his/her name as the principal proposer. Such projects, however, would still require full supervision of a faculty member at KUST.


The undergraduate BS students, at the end of their 6th semester of studies at KUST, should consult their faculty advisors for selection of the project. Students are encouraged to undertake projects that are of interest to industry or other public/private sector organisations. Departmental Academic Committee evaluates


The senior design project is assigned a total of 6CH, 3CH in one semester and 3CH in the next semester. In the first 3CH, a grade of I is awarded till the completion of the second part. Both the parts get the same grade at the completion. 50% weight is allocated to the first part and 50% weight is allocated to the second part so that the work-load is equally distributed over the two semesters. Every project is evaluated twice in a semester by the respective Departmental Academic Committee. Three of the members must be active in research, for example have either offered a project to the students or have completed an R&D project during the last three years. A letter grade is awarded by common consensus. A member of the committee, however, cannot evaluate his/her own project-students and must not participate in the award of his own students.

The committee shall use the following percentage for evaluating a project: background studies (20%), planning and initiation (20%), project work (40%), results and presentation (20%). Evaluation and final grading of an undergraduate project is done by the respective Departmental Academic Committee.

The student must complete his project and present the report (& submit it in a bounded form to the Project Supervisor) before the final examination of the final semester of the degree programme. In case of inability to complete the project by the set deadline (before the start of the final examination and announced by the respective department/institute), the respective departmental academic committee shall submit a report to the Chairman/Director/HoD. With due consideration of the report, the respective HoD/Director makes recommendations to the Dean of the concerned Faculty for approval. This process must be completed before the end of the final examination and CoE office must be informed accordingly so that the declaration of the final result is not delayed.


Every effort shall be made that a student selects and starts his/her project along with the rest of his/her batch-mates. In case, a student lags behind his class-mates due to poor academic performance, health reasons, etc, the project will be delayed. In such cases, result of the rest of the class shall not be delayed and the students of such projects shall be awarded an I grade in both the semesters. It is the responsibility of the student to get his project complete within the renewed deadline.

In case a project meets a dead-end, the project could either be replaced by another project or replaced by two courses. In such cases, approval of the concerned Dean would be required.

There is no need for the approval of these synopses by the Advance Studies and Research Board but all such projects should be approved by the Departmental Academic Committee before the start of the project.


UNDERgraduate (Pharm-D) degree

KUST offers a five years programme leading to the degree of Pharm-D. For the contents of the degree program (credit hours, number of courses etc), please consult the latest prospectus and flyers of the Institute of Pharmacy.

Master Degree

NDERgraduate (MSc/MA/MBA/MCS) degree


KUST offers two-year master degree programmes in several subjects/disciplines for candidates holding a 2-year conventional bachelor degree leading to MSc/MA/MBA/MCS. To earn this degree from KUST, a student must successfully complete 60-66CH of course work spanning normally over 4 semesters. These 60-66CH include compulsory and electives/optional courses from the major field and some disciplines have a component of English and/or multidisciplinary courses. An MSc/MA student may also opt for a 3CH of project in the 4thsemester in place of an elective course provided his CGPA is not less than 2.50/4.00. In some disciplines, however, the final semester project will be made compulsory for every student through the Board of Studies with the approval of the Academic Council. In such cases, it is notified to students well before the final examination of their 3rd semester courses. These projects do not need the approval of the ASRB but must be approved by the Departmental Academic Committee (DAC) before displaying on the notice board.


It is mandatory for the project students to submit a 30-50 pages formal project report, to be submitted in duplicate through the Project Supervisor to the respective HoD. Based on the submitted report and a final oral /presentation in person in front of the audience that must include members of the DAC , the project is evaluated at the end of the semester and is graded (letter grade) by the DAC. The award list of the project is signed by the convenor of the DAC and countersigned by the respective HoD.


UNDERgraduate (MEd, MEd Professional) degree

KUST also offers a 1-year Master of Education (MEd) and a 2-Year Master of Education (MEd Professional) programmes administered by the Institute of Education and Research (IER). In both these degree programmes, there is an emphasis on practical skills along with all the theoretical back ground courses, and hence project work is mandatory. The first semester of the 1-Year MEd comprises a minimum of 15 credit hours of course work and the load in the second semester is a minimum of 15CH (course work and research project). The research work is presented in the form of a report (thesis). The minimum requirement for the completion of the 2-Year MEd (Professional) is 48 credit hours that include six (06) credit hours of practice teaching and six (06) credit hours of Research work in the final semester. The Project in both these cases is evaluated as was done in section 8.3 Undergraduate MSc/MA degree above.

Degree Requirements

Every student at KUST is required to follow a plan set out by his Advisor Studies in order to complete all the requirements(as outlined below)set out for a degree programme of his choice within the specified duration. It is the responsibility of the concerned HoD to certify the completion of the degree requirement of respective students and provide a list of the students who complete degree requirement to the CoE office and Director Academic. The respective department will also issue Provisional Certificate to the student at the completion of the degree program.

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