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.

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