A student pursuing MS/MPhil or Equivalent Degree at the University shall successfully earn a minimum of 30 credit hours to be considered eligible for MS/MPhil degree. While for PhD this limit is 24 credit hours. A PhD student is also required to successfully complete 06 credit hours of non credit courses.

Except some fields of humanities and social sciences where a student has the option to choose between research and course work, all students of MS/MPhil must undertake research work of 6 credit hours as part of the 30 credit hours requirements under the regulations. However, KUST doesn’t offer admission into its PhD without thesis at MS/MPhil level. Therefore, these MS/MPhil graduates who have not done thesis at the MS/MPhil level will not be allowed to enter into PhD studies at the University.  

The research work is graded pass/fail and the 06 credit hours assigned to research are not counted in the calculations of grade point average. The 06 credit hours of non credit hours for PhD students are only satisfactory / non satisfactory completion and or not counted towards the GPA calculation.

The option of allowing 06 credit of course work in place of research work is decided by the respective Departmental Graduate Committee (DGC) comprise of the following:

  1. HoD - Convener

  2. All Professors and Associate Professors - Member

  3. 02 Assistant Professors to be nominated by the concerned Dean- Member

  4. One Assistant Professor to be nominated by HoD- Secretary

The minimum number of members shall be 05. in case where the total number as per above less than 05, then on the recommendations of  HoD, the Vice Chancellor or concerned Dean if so empowered by the Vice Chancellor shall appoint the deficient No. of  member(s) from outside the University.

The DGC shall be the main recommending body in matters pertaining to graduate studies such as offering courses, facilitating graduate research work, etc. The tenure for the members other than ex-officio shall be 03 years.  

MS/MPhil Degree

  • Course Requirements:

An MS/MPhil student shall successfully earn a minimum of 24 credit hours of course work with minimum CGPA 2.5/4.00 to be allowed to embark on MS/MPhil research.  The Minimum grade to earn credit for graduate course is “C”. These courses are classified as core (compulsory), Specialization, and electives courses

  • Core (Compulsory) Courses: 

The minimum of core (Compulsory) course requirement varies from discipline to discipline as set from time to time by HEC, but in no case less than 06 credit hours. The minimum pass grade in these courses is “C”. The core nature of these courses is approved by Academic Council on the recommendations of Board of Studies through respective Board of Faculty.

  • Specialization Courses:

An MS/ MPhil student is required to develop deeper understanding of a specialized field compared to other fields in his subject. The HoD approves the specialization nature of these courses for a student on the recommendations of the Departmental Graduate Committee.

The MS/MPhil students shall earn a minimum of 09 credit hours of specialize course work with a minimum of B Grade in every course.

For those cases where an MPhil/MS student is allowed to opt for course work in place of the research work, an additional 06 credit hours of specialization courses shall be successfully completed with a minimum of B Grade in every course to compensate for the 06 credit of research work,

  • Elective Courses

In consultation with supervisor(s), an MPhil/MS student shall successfully earn a minimum 09 credit hours courses related to his main subject but not necessarily to the sub field of specialization. The passing grade in these courses shall be “C”. Out of these 09 credit hours the student can take 06 credit hours from 400 level courses provided deemed fit by the HoD.

  • Semester Course Load

The normal course load during a regular semester for MS/MPhil student is 12 credit hours. An MPhil/MS student shall not be allowed to register more than 01 graduate course during the summer semester.  

  • Probation

An MS/ MPhil student who secures less than 2.5 /4.00 is placed on probation for the next semester. To clear the probation the student must secure a minimum of  CGPA of 2.5/4.00 at the end of probation semester. Only one probation is allowed in the entire MS/MPhil studies.

  • Academic Expulsion

An MS/MPhil student who fails to secure a minimum CGPA 2.5/4.00 at the end of probation semester shall be academically ceased and expelled from the graduate programme of the subject.

  • Selection of Topic and Supervisor(s)

At the successful completion of course work with a minimum GPA of 2.5/4.00 an MS/MPhil student (except the case where the option of 06 credit hours of course work can be exercised) shall come up with a proposal for undertaking research work on a topic of choice.

The student shall discuss the proposal with faculty members in his department/institute/ center, keeping in view their research interest, for guidance and supervision. The student and the faculty member must also keep in view the limit of number of scholars a researcher can supervise as per the directives of the HEC.

After discussion with faculty the student shall formally request the HoD for undertaking the particular project along with the willingness of the supervisors. The University prefers to have a minimum of 02 supervisors for a graduate project. The HoD takes the case to the DGC. The DGC shall evaluate the project and shall justify the number of supervisors to be involved in a particular graduate project.

  • Change of Topic and Supervisor

In unavoidable circumstances, the student, Department or university may change the topic of the approved synopsis and/or Supervisors subject to approval from ASRB on the recommendations of the DGC. The recommendations of the DGC shall be forwarded to ASRB with the approval of the Dean Concerned. ASRB shall review and analyze each such on case to case basis. The decision of the ASRB shall be final and binding on all concerned. 

  • Synopsis

An MS/MPhil student who successfully completes his course work with minimum CGPA of 2.5 shall submit his research proposal to the office of the HoD through proposed supervisor(s). The proposed supervisor shall also submit similarity index report generated through Tunintin using his own account.

The research proposal shall be submitted in form of synopsis employing the approved format, though the supervisors to the office of the HoD for the consideration of the DGC. The HoD shall forward the synopsis on the recommendations of DGC to the office of the Director Academics through the concerned Dean for the approval of the ASRB.

The ASRB may approve or suggest amendments or reject the synopsis. The Office of the Director Academics, after approval of the minutes of the meeting of ASRB by the competent authority shall forward comments of the ASRB to the respective HOD for compliance.

The research work on the project can only be allowed to start when approved by the ASRB in order to be considered for the graduate degree.

  • Presentation

An MS/ MPhil student shall make a presentation about his research work to his department before the submission of his thesis to the University.

The Student must also participate and present his research work in a regional/national/international conference/workshop/school/congress. Instead of this presentation, the student may opt to contribute to a paper published in a journal recognized for the subject by HEC.

Participation of scholar in these activities or authorship as the case may be shall be certified by the HoD and a record of all these activities shall be kept by the office of HoD with copies to be submitted to office of the Director Academics  and COE. The office of HoD has to ensure that the work presented (oral or poster or paper) is related to the research work undertaken and not before the approval of the synopsis. In case of journal article acceptance letter from the Editorial Board shall suffice. 

  • Research Work and Report / Thesis

The following procedure will be used to complete this task:

 

  1. The student shall report his research work in formally complied form, employing the approved format to the University authorities.

  2. The compiled report shall be submitted to the office of the HoD through his supervisor.

  3. The report/thesis shall include a single page certificate from the supervisor duly counter signed by HoD confirming the originality of the research work reported.

  4. The HoD shall send the report to the DGC for checking the relevance to the approved synopsis and review its quality. The DGC may recommend additional research work and changes in the report to improve its quality.

  5. If the DGC finds the work relevant and worth of the degree, the HoD shall forward the report in hard and soft to QEC of the University for ascertaining the similarity index using the tools available. In case of any issue with the similarity index as per the HEC guidelines, the report will be referred back and repeat the above steps until the issue is resolved.

  6. Student should submit 04 ring bound/Spiral bound copies as well as a soft copy to the HoD. The HoD within a week will send the report along with possible reviewers from the approved list to submission to CoE through office of the concerned Dean.

  • Reviewers, Evaluation and Viva & Result of MS/MPhil Thesis:

The following procedure will be used to complete this task.

            A. Reviewers & Examiners:

The HoD will send a list of possible reviewers & examiners to the CoE through the Dean, the following steps will be mandatory before sending the list of reviewers & examiners.

  1. The HoD shall forward a list of 05 possible reviewers including examiners to the office of the Dean at the time of forwarding the thesis in sealed envelope to review thesis report and conduct viva voce from the students as per prescribed regulations.

  2. All reviewers & examiners shall be active researchers working in a subject related to the field. The activeness and relevance shall be ascertained from the list of publications of the reviewers during the last five years.

  3. The Vice Chancellor or the Dean (as the case may be) appoints 02 reviewers (01 external & 01 internal). The approved list of reviewers and examiners are forwarded to the COE along with the copies of the Thesis (both in hard and soft).

  4. The CoE shall first approach the reviewers for consent. In case of dissent or delay in response for more than 15 days, the CoE shall approach the Dean office for appointing other reviewers & examiners. Once the consent is received the CoE office shall send the copies of thesis (both in soft and hard) to them with a request to furnish a formal signed report within a period of one month.

    B. Evaluation of the thesis

  1. On receiving the comments of the reviewers, the COE office shall forward the reports to the office of the Dean for further action.

  2. With both reports positive and no additional work/drastic amendments suggested by the reviewers, the Dean office shall communicate to the Office of CoE to contact viva voce examination, provided other formalities are completed.

  3. In case of 02 negative reports from reviewers, the office of the HoD shall be informed that research work was found not worthy of the degree and hence the student shall be informed accordingly.

  4. In case of one negative report or additional work/drastic amendments suggested by the reviewers, the case is referred back to HoD for doing the needful and repeat the whole process.

    C. Viva and final result of the thesis:

  1. The thesis shall also be evaluated for the purpose of the final defense by examiners. The already appointed reviewers/ examiners will conduct defense of the Scholar.

  2. The reviewer who had reviewed thesis will act as examiner also.

     

  3. The CoE office first approaches the examiners for possible date of the oral examination.

     

  4. The University prefers to exam be conducted on campus but in extreme cases with the approval of the Vice Chancellor, the viva examination can be conducted outside campus as well as through video conferencing.

     

  5. After receiving the consent, the CoE office shall send the copies of thesis to the examiners with a request to communicate a feasible date, time and venue for examination.

     

  6. The oral examination can be conducted through Video conferencing with prior approval of the concerned Dean.

     

  7. The HoD shall submit the results of the examination, duly signed by the both the examiners and counter signed by HoD, to the office of CoE through the concerned Dean.

    D. Notification and Finalization of the Thesis:

  1. After the successful completion of the above process and other all other requirements the scholar must submit 03 copies of the revised/corrected version of the Thesis/ Report in hard bound as per the approved design of the University to the office of the HoD for onward submission to the COE, Central Library of University and the Departmental Library.

  2. A softcopy should also be submitted to be placed on the KUST Research Database (KRD).

 

PhD Degree:

In order to qualify for a PhD degree, a student must complete 18 credit hours of course work with a minimum CGPA of 3.0.  These 18 credit hour course work shall include 09 credit hours of courses relevant to the specialization field to be recommended by the DGC and approved by the HoD for the PhD student. The minimum passing grade for these specialized courses is “B” and for the rest of the courses is “C”. In addition the student must also satisfactorily complete 06 credit hours of non credit courses (Satisfactory/Non-Satisfactory).

  • Probation

A  PhD student who fails to secure minimum SGPA of 3.00 at end of a semester is placed on probation for the next semester. In order to clear the probation, the student must secure a minimum CGPA 3.00 at the end of the semester. Failing this the student shall be academically expelled from the University and shall not be allowed to readmit in the same subject in the University.

  • Semester Course Load

The normal course load during a regular semester for PhD student is 09 credit hours. A PhD student shall not be allowed to register more than 01 graduate course during the summer semester.

  • Presentation

A PhD Scholar shall make a presentation about his research work while submitting his synopsis to the GDC of his department.

After approval from the GDC, the student shall present his proposed research to the ASRB while considering his synopsis.

During the course of the research work it is mandatory for the scholar to present his PhD research at least once to the department.

The Student must also present his research work in a regional/national/international conference/workshop/school/congress.

Participation of scholar in these activates or authorship as the case may be shall be certified by the HoD and a record of all these activities shall be kept by the office of HoD with copies to be submitted to office of the Director Academics  and COE. The office of HoD has to ensure that the work presented (oral or poster or paper) is related to the research work undertaken and not before the approval of the synopsis. In case of journal article acceptance letter from the Editorial Board shall suffice. 

 

  • Journal Publication

Before the submission of PhD thesis, a scholar must have contributed as a sole author or as a co-author to at least one article, related to his research work presented in the dissertation, published or accepted for publication (with acceptance letter from the Editor / Sub-editor of the journal) in international ISI indexed journal and or acceptable to the HEC.

  • Selection of Supervisor(s) and Topic

               

At the time of admission every candidate submits a sketch of proposed PhD research for a discussion with the available faculty in the university. At the successful admission interview, the candidate is offered a position of PhD studentship under the supervision of a faculty member.

In consultation with the supervisor the DGC may recommend to HoD involvement of additional supervisor(s) for the smooth conduct of the PhD research. A consent letter(s) from the additional supervisor(s) shall be obtained in due course of time.

After securing admission the student is assigned to the supervisor who plans the course requirements and guide the student in going through relevant literature of the field that would help the student in deciding the final topic of research.  The synopsis for the research shall be as per regulations described in this document.

  • Change of Topic and Supervisor

In unavoidable circumstances, the student, Department or university may change the topic of the approved synopsis and/or Supervisors subject to approval from ASRB on the recommendations of the DGC. The recommendations of the DGC shall be forwarded to ASRB with the approval of the Dean Concerned. ASRB shall review and analyze each such on case to case basis. The decision of the ASRB shall be final and binding on all concerned.   

  • Comprehensive Examination, Proposal and Thesis Defense

In order to maintain a high quality of Ph.D. programme, the University has designed three levels of examinations which are compulsory for the scholars to qualify for Ph.D. Degree.

            I:  Level-I: Comprehensive Examination

 The procedure of the Comprehensive Examination is as follows:

a.  At the completion of his coursework of 18 credit hours, a PhD student at the University is expected to have a grasp over the broader subject of his degree as well as an in-depth knowledge about his field of specialization. A PhD student at KUST is, therefore, required to pass (minimum 60%) a graduate level Comprehensive Examination set by the Comprehensive Examination Committee comprising of the following for this purpose as a part of the requirements set for the PhD degree:

    1. Head of the Department- Convener
    2. Supervisors- Member
    3. Three faculty (Experienced  faculty members related to the subject, other than supervisors, to be appointed by the Dean)-Members

Note: In case of Chairperson is supervisor of the student; the committee shall be headed by the Dean or next senior most faculty member in the committee. The Convener of the committee will be responsible to conduct examination and keep all records. The quorum of the committee shall be 3 of the composition of the committee.

b.  The scholar will apply for the Comprehensive Examination on the prescribed form. The Head of teaching Department will arrange comprehensive examination within three weeks after receipt of application with the consultation of Dean.

 

c.  The HoD shall be responsible to keep all records pertaining to the comprehensive examination. The complete results (Pass / Fail) shall be sent to the office of the concerned Dean for approval and onward submission to the office of the COE and KCMS for keeping record and updating the scholar statutes. The office of the COE shall notify the results of comprehensive Examinations with a copy to all concerned including the student and his supervisor.

d.   If a student is not satisfied from his/ her evaluation of Comprehensive Examination Committee, he/she will have the right to appeal to the Department Committee recommended by the Head of Department and approved by the concerned Dean for re-totaling/rechecking or appeal against the decision of the committee. In case the student is still not satisfied with the decision of Department Committee then he/she can apply to the University Appellate Committee (Semester System)

 

e.  A student can avail maximum three attempts to pass the comprehensive examination. If fails to qualify the comprehensive Examination in three attempts, the Student will be academically ceased from the PhD program. When passed, the status of the student is changed to a PhD scholar and he/she is formally allowed to embark upon PhD research on the topic of his synopsis.

f.  Without having passed the Comprehensive Examination, the Institute/Department/Centre shall not process his PhD synopsis. To facilitate the PhD students, the Comprehensive Exam may be held once a semester for the particular scholar.

g.  Format and Composition of the Comprehensive Examination Paper: PhD comprehensive examination shall be subjective in nature (short and long questions) and the duration for the exam shall be 3 to 4 hours. The paper of comprehensive examination shall consist of the following two parts

  1. Field of Specialization 60%

  2. General Subject of the Degree Program 40%

Note: Supervisor will only be allowed to set 30% of the specialization part of the comprehensive examination paper. The rest of the paper(s) will be set by committee members

 

           II: Level – II: Research Synopsis:

  • A PhD student who has successfully completed his course work with minimum CGPA of 3.0 and has passed his comprehensive examination as described in these regulations shall submit his research proposal to the office of the HoD through his supervisor(s) along with similarity index report issued by the Directorate of QEC of the University. A scholar will be considered admitted to candidacy once he/she has passed the PhD comprehensive examination, and defended his synopsis. The following procedure will be adopted for the synopsis defense:

     

  • The research proposal shall be submitted in form of synopsis employing the approved format, though the supervisors to the office of the HoD for the consideration of the DGC. The HoD shall forward the synopsis on the recommendations of DGC to the office of the Director Academics through the concerned Dean for the approval of the ASRB.

     

  • The ASRB may approve or suggest amendments or reject the synopsis. The Office of the Director Academics, after approval of the minutes of the meeting of ASRB by the competent authority shall forward comments of the ASRB to the respective HOD for compliance.

     

  • In case the candidate successfully defends his Synopsis an approval from the ASRB will be issued to him/her.

     

  • In case the candidate is unable to defend his Synopsis in front of the ASRB, he/she will be asked to revise the Synopsis according to the directions of ASRB.

     

  • The research work on the project can only be allowed to start when approved by the ASRB in order to be considered for the PhD degree.

 

          III: Level-III: PhD Thesis Evaluation and Examination

The research work shall be undertaken with full honesty/integrity and with optimal utilization of available resources under the guidance of the supervisor(s).  The authenticity and uniqueness of the reported research shall be the joint responsibility of the scholar and the supervisors.

A PhD Student shall report his research work in formally complied form as per the university approved format. This report shall be submitted to the office of the HoD through his supervisor. The PhD duration will be counted to the date the scholar submitted the thesis to the HoD for checking its relevance to the approved synopsis by the DGC.  The DGC may recommend the Thesis as it is or may suggest further lab work/ practical work to complete the objectives of approved synopsis.

The thesis shall include a single page certificate from the supervisor duly counter signed by HoD confirming the originality of the research work reported.

The HoD forwards the thesis to the DGC for consideration. If the DGC finds the work relevant and worth of the degree, the HoD shall forward the report in hard and soft to QEC of the University for ascertaining the similarity index using the tools available. The QEC after calculating the similarity shall forward a formal report to the office of HoD for further processing. If the QEC reports similarity index is more than the standard set by HEC, the HoD shall refer back the case to supervisor for amendments and lowering the similarity index to the acceptable level. With a similarity index in acceptable range, the scholar shall be asked to make the QEC report part of the Thesis and submit 05 ring bound/ Spiral bound copies as well as a soft copy to the HoD for onward submission to COE through office of the concerned Dean. The HoD shall include a list of possible reviewers and examiners and forward the case to the concerned Dean. A summary of the PhD thesis along with publications (if any) may be placed before the Advanced Studies and Research Board (ASRB) by the Dean for formal approval. After the approval of thesis the following procedure will be followed to complete the level III examination of the PhD degree.

A. PhD Thesis/ Report Evaluation and Examination:

The thesis is evaluated by reviewers and examiners using the following parameters that shall be communicated by the CoE at the time of sending thesis to the reviewers and examiners:

 

  1. Relevance to the Field

  2. Originality of the Work

  3. Timeliness of the Work/ Topic

  4. Importance of the Work to the Field

  5. Scope of the Work for a PhD Degree

Along with details comments, the reviewers and examiners shall also be requested to make a clear statement with regard to the overall suitability of the thesis for the award of PhD degree or otherwise.                                    

 

B. Review of the Thesis by Reviewers  

A PhD thesis shall be reviewed by a minimum of three reviewers holding an earned PhD (or Equivalent) degree and are active researchers in a field related to the title of the thesis. The activeness of the reviewers may be ascertained from the list of publication of the reviewers to be furnished by the HoD while recommending the reviewers to the office of the Dean.  Amongst the three reviewers, two (02) of the reviewers must be from academically/technologically advanced countries as per the HEC approved list for the subject and the third reviewer may be from within Pakistan but shall not be affiliated with University or its constituent/ affiliated college/ institutions.

The HoD shall furnish a list of five (05) experts from outside Pakistan and three (03) experts within Pakistan who are not affiliated with the University. The HoD shall also furnish a list of their publications during the last five years. These reviewers are appointed by the Vice Chancellor (or Dean with formally notified delegated authority by the Vice Chancellor) on the recommendations of the concerned Dean from a list of reviewers furnished by the respective HoD.    

The Dean shall forward the approved list of reviewers to the HoD for seeking consent and submission of review reports within a period of one month of the receipt of thesis. In case of dissent or delay in response for more than 30 days, the HoD office shall approach the Dean office for appointing other reviewers by providing a list of reviewers afresh. Once the consent is received, the HoD office through the office of the concerned Dean shall forward the case along with the copies of thesis (both in soft and hard) to be sent to the CoE. The CoE office shall communicate with the reviewers regarding the evaluation of the thesis and submission of formal review report (remarks/comments) duly signed by the reviewers in a printable form acceptable to HEC within a month time. On receiving the comments of the reviewers, the COE office shall forward the reports to the office of the Dean for further action.

The possible outcome and appropriate actions after the completion of the review process would be:

  • With both reports positive and no additional work/drastic amendments suggested by the reviewers, the Dean office shall communicate to the Office of COE to contact the examiners for consent to evaluate and examine the scholar provided other formalities are completed.

  • In case of one negative report or additional work/drastic amendments suggested by the reviewers, the case is referred back to HoD for doing the needful. After amendments by the scholar, the HoD shall forward fresh copies (soft and hard) of the thesis submitted by the student to the office of Dean for onward submission of COE. The Dean office shall forward the Thesis to COE office for onward submission to the examiners.

  • In case of both reports are negative from reviewers, the office of the HoD shall be informed that research work was found not worthy of the degree and hence the student shall be informed accordingly.

    C.  Public Defense of the Thesis by the Board

In addition to the review of the thesis by reviewers, the Thesis shall also be evaluated for the purpose of final defense by the board of examiners mentioned below. All three examiners shall be active researchers working in a subject related to the field. Two of the examiners (External) shall be affiliated to an institution other than the University/Affiliated institutions/constituent institutions. The Third Examiner (Internal) may be affiliated to the University. The COE will communicate with examiners for possible evaluation and oral examination. After receiving the consent, the COE office shall send the copies of thesis to the examiners with a request to communicate a feasible date, time and venue for examination. In case of dissent or delay in response for more than 30 days, the COE shall approach the Dean office for appointing other examiners.

The University prefers the exam to be conducted on campus but in extreme cases with the approval of the Vice Chancellor, the viva examination can be conducted outside campus as well as through video conferencing.

The following board of examiners under the supervision of the Dean will conduct the public defense where the committee consists three examiners as mentioned above.

  1. Dean concerned (Convener)

  2. 02 Experts in the field from outside KUST (External Examiners)

  3. An Expert in the Field from within KUST or its constituent / affiliated institutions (Internal Examiner)

 

The Dean will supervise the whole activity and process of the defense. Final verdict regarding the thesis will be made after the mutual consent of three examiners. The HoD shall notify the venue and date and time of the Public Defense by widely circulating both in and outside (constituent/ affiliated colleges/ institutions) the University. The final verdict of the Board of Examiners shall be made public at the conclusion of the PhD Defense.

 

D. Internal and External Examiners/ Experts 

The Internal and External examiners are appointed by the Vice Chancellor on the recommendations of the Dean from a list of experts in the field furnished by the HoD. The experts shall have an earned PhD or equivalent Degree in the subject and must be active in research in a field related to the thesis. The activeness of the researchers in the field may be ascertained from the list of publications of the expert during the last five years. The Vice Chancellor may delegate his powers to the concerned Dean for appointing the examiners. In many cases the national reviewer is appointed as the external examiner. The appointment of reviewers and examiners for PhD Thesis/Report/ Viva Voce shall be for a period of 02 months, extendable to further such period by the competent authority if needed. 

  • Notification and Finalization:

After the successful completion of above requirements the scholar must submit 03 copies of the revised/corrected version of the Thesis/ Report in hard bound as per the approved design of the University to the office of the HoD for onward submission to the COE, Central Library of University and the Departmental Library. The office of COE shall forward hard bound copy along with pdf file and duly filled prescribed form to HEC for country directory. A softcopy should also be submitted to be placed on the KUST Research Database (KRD).