Graduate (MS,MPhil, Ph.D.) Degree

30 October 2018
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1.  MS/MPhil degree

To earn MS/MPhil degree, one must earn 24CH coursework (comprising 6CH of Compulsory and 18CH of Elective courses) plus

a 6 CH of a research project (pass/fail) for all technical (science /engineering) degrees. The 6 credit hours of research work will be counted towards the total Credit Hours of the programmes but will not b counted towards the calculation of CGPA. A graduate student may opt 02 of the elective courses from the 400 level courses. The minimum grade for courses related to the research work is B and the minimum cumulative GPA for graduation is 2.5/4.00. 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 organization. One of the supervisors must be Ph.D. degree holder.

The scholar's supervision strength under a faculty member and approved that a faculty member may supervise 08 MPhil Scholars and 05 Ph.D. Scholar as a supervisor-I and as a supervisor-II the ratio will be 1:3. 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 coursework provided no research facilities are available and provided the student does not want to pursue a Ph.D. degree at KUST.

A graduate student who is either on probation or having a cumulative GPA less than 2.50 (in case of MPhil) or 3.00 (in case of PhD) shall not be allowed to register for the research work/ thesis. The Research synopses/cases of MPhil & PhD scholars shall be routed through Departmental Graduate Committee to ASRB. A Departmental Graduate Committee shall be consisting of five subject experts with the approval of Vice Chancellor which shall scrutinize the Research cases and for further submission to the ASRB, the committee may hire the services of faculty members from outside the department who are active and relevant to research areas . 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 Departmental Graduate Committee and the recommendation will be made 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 COE through concerned Dean for evaluation purposes. Once evaluation is completed, three hardbound 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 synopsis must be attached with thesis for the consideration of Department Graduate Committee before sending to the examiners for evaluation. The MS/ M. Phil duration will be counted to the date the scholar submitted the thesis to the graduate committee and the graduate committee approves the thesis without further lab work/ practical work. The concerned HoD and Supervisor will ensure that thesis is written according to the approved synopsis. 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 defense to the Dean of the respective Faculty. The Dean's office appoints an external examiner from amongst the list, approves the internal examiner, and notifies these to the HoD and the Controller of Examinations with a copy to Treasurer (KUST) for taking care of the financial aspects in terms of examiners' remuneration, TA/DA, etc. 

The final corrected version must include a single page certificate of approval signed by the supervisor and the two examiners. 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 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 CoE's office for declaration and/or publishing of the results. The external examiner shall be an expert in the field from an academic/research organization outside KUST. The Controller of Examinations sends a request to the external examiner and internal examiner accordingly. Once confirmed, the CoE's 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/her group and have contributed to at least one presentation in a national/ international conference related to his/her research discipline in order to qualify candidacy for MS/MPhil degree. Any accepted/ published paper of the scholar in the relevant field during the degree program will be considered to suffice the requirement of a presentation in National / International conference. The Presentations in National/ International conference may also be allowed through Video Conferencing with prior approval from the concerned Dean. The MPhil/PhD Examinations/ Defense/ Viva Voce can be conducted through Video Conferencing as per approved Standard Operating Procedures.

The Viva Voce Examination will be conducted for the graduate scholars in minimum 05 working days and maximum 02 months after approval by the Competent Authority. 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.


2.  Ph.D. Degree

  • In order to qualify for a Ph.D. degree, a student must successfully complete 18CrHr of coursework in addition to the 24CrHr of coursework at the M.Phil level and must successfully complete his/her Ph.D. thesis.
  • The Ph.D. Thesis shall be placed before the Department Graduate Committee prior to submission to the External /Internal Examiners
  • It is also mandatory for the Ph.D. students to pass (no grade awarded) two non-credit courses. The minimum grade in courses directly related to the research work must be "B" and the Cumulative GPA in all the coursework shall not be less than 3.00.
  • The students must have contributed as a sole author to at least one article related to his/her research work presented in the dissertation, published in an international ISI indexed journal or HEC approved Journals.
  • The student must have presented at least one research seminar to his/her group and have presented his/her PhD research work in at least one national /international conference.
  • The thesis work shall be carried out under the supervision of at least two approved supervisors. One of the supervisors shall be from KUST. Synopsis of the research and thesis for the Ph.D. 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 synopses are discussed in the Department Graduate Committee and the respective Head of the Department countersigns and forward the recommendations to the ASRB for grant of approval.

2.1  Comprehensive Examination and Defense

The office of Chairperson of the concerned Department shall be responsible for matters related to Ph.D. examinations. However, the HoD office has to keep the concerned Dean Office, Controller of Examinations and Vice Chancellor offices informed. 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.

Level-I:              Comprehensive Examination

  • At the completion of his/her coursework of 18 credit hours, a Ph.D. student at the Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST) is expected to have a grasp over the broader subject of his/her degree as well as an in-depth knowledge about his/her field of specialization. A Ph.D. student at KUST is, therefore, required to pass (minimum 60%) a graduate level Comprehensive Examination set by the Institute/Department/Centre for this purpose as a part of the requirements set for the Ph.D. degree.
  • 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.
  • 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)
  • 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 Ph.D. program. When passed, the status of the student is changed to a Ph.D. scholar and he/she is formally allowed to embark upon Ph.D. research on the topic of his/her synopsis.
  • Without having passed the Comprehensive Examination, the Institute/Department/Centre shall not process his/her Ph.D. synopsis. To facilitate the Ph.D. students, the Comprehensive Exam may be held once a semester for the particular scholar.


Comprehensive Examination Committee (CEC)

1.  Comprehensive Examination will be set and check by the Comprehensive Examination Committee. In case of the Dean as supervisor/ absence for more than two          weeks, the Vice Chancellor will approve the Committee. The Committee shall be comprised of the following members 

  • Dean of the relevant Faculty – Convener
  • Head of Department – Secretary
  • Supervisor – Member
  • External Examiner (from approved list of examiners) – Member
  • Internal Examiner from the faculty of relevant Department- Member

2.  The Vice Chancellor will approve the nominations of internal & external examiners on mutual recommendations of the concerned Dean and Head of Department.


In case of Chairperson or Dean as supervisor; the committee shall be headed by the 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. 

After compilation of result, the recommended results will be submitted to the KCMS. The Controller of Examinations (CoE) will declare and notify the results (PASS OR FAIL) to all concerned. The office of the  respective  HoD  officially  will inform  the  student  with  a  copy  to  the  student  file  kept  in  the Department/Institute/Centre and his/her supervisor(s).

Format and Composition of the Comprehensive Examination Paper

Every student registered for a Ph.D. degree at the Kohat University of Science and Technology must pass (minimum 60 % marks) a graduate level examination with the following format and composition:

  • Field of Specialization 60 %
  • General Subject of the Degree Program 40 %
  • Subjective (Short Question with 5 Marks and Long Question with 10 marks)

The Examination will be conducted in two parts:

  • Part-I will comprise 60 % core area of research.
  • Part-II will comprise 40% General Subject of the Degree Program
  • 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 the Internal & external examiners

Level – II:          Research Synopsis Defense:

After successful completion of the comprehensive examination, the scholar shall submit a Synopsis on the research topic and receive approval from the ASRB. A scholar will be considered admitted to candidacy once  he/she  has  passed  the  Ph.D.  comprehensive  examination,  and  defended  his/her  synopsis.  The following procedure will be adopted for the synopsis defense: 

  1. The Scholar should work closely under the supervision of his/her supervisor(s) to prepare a quality Synopsis. The Scholar must follow the ASRB approved format. The Synopsis will be submitted to the Graduate Committee.
  2. The Committee will analyze the Synopsis and verify that scholar has followed proper format, research methodology and investigation of the core issues in the light of the latest research literature.
  3. After the Committee is satisfied, the Synopsis will be sent to ASRB for consideration.
  4. In case the candidate successfully defends his/her Synopsis an approval from the ASRB will be issued to him/her
  5. In case the candidate is unable to defend his/her Synopsis in front of the ASRB, he/she will be asked to revise the Synopsis according to the directions of ASRB.

Level-III: Ph.D. Thesis Evaluation and Examination

The thesis must be written on the ASRB approved topic. The thesis will be prepared according to the format and guidelines. The KUST aims to produce high-quality PhDs; therefore, a comprehensive procedure has been designed for the final thesis defense to ensure that the required quality has been achieved. The procedure is as follows: 

Submission of Thesis:

  • At the completion of research work and other requirements set for Ph.D. Program, the Ph.D. scholar is required to submit a compiled thesis of his/her research to the supervisor-1 both in hard and soft form. The supervisory committee will certify the major achievements and quality of the research work.
  • The supervisor will forward the thesis to the concerned HoD. The HoD will forward thesis along with the certificate to Department Graduate Committee for evaluation. After the written recommendations of the Department Graduate Committee, the HoD will forward thesis to the Directorate of Quality Enhancement Cell (QEC) for Similarity Index (SI).
  • The Plagiarism Test must be conducted on the thesis before it is sent to the next level of examination. It is the responsibility of the supervisors and Chairperson to conduct the above test with the consultation of the Department Graduate Committee.
  • If the SI is above the maximum accepted level (as approved by the Academic Council of KUST), the thesis will be sent back to the concerned HoD with a copy of the SI certificate to the office of the concerned Dean. If the SI is equal to or less than the maximum SI, the Directorate of QEC append the SI certificate, duly signed by the Director QEC, with the thesis and will forward it to the office of the concerned HoD.
  • The HoD will check that all the requirements are met. In case of shortcomings, the thesis will be referred back to the concerned supervisor for necessary actions with clear instructions. When found complete and appropriate, the office of the HoD will ask for 04 copies of the thesis submitted to the Controller of Examinations for forwarding a copy each to the reviewers and the Examiners.
  • A Ph.D. thesis shall be evaluated by four (04) reviewers holding earned doctoral degree and active researchers in a field related to the title of the thesis. The reviewers are categorized as International and National while the Examiners are categorized as External and Internal. The activeness in the field may be ascertained from the publication list of the referees.

International Reviewers: The origin and affiliation of two of the reviewers must be from the technologically / academically advanced countries as approved for the subject by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan. 

National Reviewers: One of the reviewers shall be from an academic/research institution within Pakistan but outside KUST.

External Examiner: The National Reviewer appointed by the Vice-Chancellor (the Dean if so empowered) will act as the External Examiner for the final defense.

Internal Examiner: The Internal Examiner should be a faculty member actively involved in research either from within the University or any of its constituent/affiliated colleges/institution. At the time of appointing reviewers for the thesis, the VC (or the Dean if empowered) approves the Internal Examiner.

  • When forwarding the thesis to the Dean’s office for further processing, the HoD will also provide a list of proposed examiners (duly approved by the competent bodies) for evaluation of the thesis, Five (05) from outside Pakistan, three (03) from within Pakistan but outside the University, and three (03) from within the University along with their postal addresses including official emails.
  • The Vice-Chancellor will approve the name of the reviewers, two from outside Pakistan, one from within Pakistan but outside of the University, and one from within the University.
  • On the recommendation of the HoD , the Vice Chancellor will approve these four (04) experts. The Dean’s office forwards the approved list of the reviewer and examiners to the CoE who approaches the reviewers electronically, providing hard / soft copy of the complete thesis, and requests for consent to review and evaluate the thesis for the following:
  1. Relevance to the field
  2. Originality of the work
  3. Timeliness of the topic
  4. Importance of the work
  5. Scope of the work for a PhD degree
  • On receiving the consent, the CoE office shall forward the copy(s) of the thesis to the reviewers if they so desire. In case of no response from any of the reviewers, the CoE will seek the approval of an alternate reviewer. The Controller of Examinations will contact the reviewers, through electronic mail, for their consent to evaluate the thesis. Once received the consent, the Controller mails the hard copies of the thesis as well as a soft copy to the reviewers for evaluation and submission of report within a stipulated period of time, usually 02 months but not exceeding 03 months.
  • If no response is received from Reviewers after two months of the dispatch of the thesis by the Controller’s office, the Controller will send a polite reminder to the reviewers with a request to acknowledge the reminder. If no response is received after a month of the first reminder, a second reminder is sent. If no report is received after a month of the second reminder, the Controller will request the Vice Chancellor for appointing another evaluator(s).
  • On receiving the reports, the COE will inform the concerned HoD and the research supervisors accordingly and a copy of the reports will be sent to the Dean’s office.
  • Three of the reports (Two from Foreign Reviewers and One from National or Internal Reviewer) must be favorable. In case of a negative report from both the International Reviewers while positive from the National Reviewers, the CoE requests the Vice Chancellor/ Dean for approval of alternate reviewers. This option can be used only once
  • In Case of minor comments (if any) from Evaluators, the Thesis may be placed before the Graduate Committee in order to ensure that all the changes have been incorporated.

Level-III:     Final Defense of Ph.D. Thesis

  1. An open public defense of the thesis is an essential part of the evaluation of Ph.D. thesis. After receiving positive evaluation reported as mentioned above A Ph.D. scholar is required to successfully defend his/ her thesis publicly in the presence of External and Internal Examiners as well as the HoD or his/her Nominee.
  2. The CoE office forwards the reports to the respective HoD. The HoD contacts the External and Internal Examiners for fixing a date for the final defense. The final defense shall neither be held over the weekend nor on a public holiday.
  3. The final defense shall be announced at least 15 days in advance and the student, as well as the examiners, must be formally informed. A notification to this effect shall be widely circulated on campus and KUST website
  4. The House also approved the following amended jury/committee for final defense:
  • Dean Concerned
  • Head of the Department Concerned,
  • Two Examiners (External and Internal).
  • A nominee of the Vice Chancellor.
  • Final verdict regarding the thesis will be made after the mutual consent of the above committee.
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