PhD Regulations

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 28 of the Capital University of Science and Technology Act, 2015 (Act No. XVI of 2015), the Board of Governors of the University is pleased to make the following regulations for graduate programs at the Capital University of Science and Technology, namely:—

1. Short Title and Commencement

  1. These regulations may be called the Capital University of Science and Technology Graduate Programs (PhD) Regulations, 2020.
  2. These regulations shall come into force at once.

2.      Definitions – In these regulations, unless there is anything repugnant in, the subject or context

  1. “Academic Council” means Academic Council of the University.
  2. “Board of advanced studies and research” means board of advanced studies and research (BASR) of the University.
  3. “Controller of Examinations” means Controller of Examinations of the University.
  4. “Credit Hour” means one hour of classroom teaching or three hours of lab teaching in one week.
  5. “Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)” means earned grade points multiplied by credit hours of that course, the sum of the product is then divided by the total number of credit hours attempted in the program.
  6. “Dean” means the Dean of the faculty in which the scholar is pursuing his/her studies.
  7. “Defense committee” means a committee constituted by the BASR for the oral defense of a PhD dissertation.
  8. “Department” means the department of the University in which the scholar is admitted.
  9. “Dissertation” means a piece of writing by the scholar involving original study of a subject through academic research.
  10. “External” means an expert from outside the department or the University.
  11. “Fall semester” means last semester of a calendar year.
  12. “Faculty” means a teaching entity of the University.
  13. “Grade Point Average (GPA)” means earned grade points multiplied by credit hours of that course, the sum of the product is then divided by the total number of credit hours attempted in a semester.
  14. “Registrar” means Registrar of the University.
  15. “Registration department” means registration department of the University.
  16. “Regular semester” means spring or fall semester.
  17. “Higher Education Commission (HEC)” means the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
  18. “Scholar” means a student who has been awarded admission in a PhD program of the University and his/her registration is intact.
  19. “Semester” means a period of 16 weeks of academic activities.
  20. “Similarity index” means a report generated by a plagiarism checking software for a particular piece of writing.
  21. “Spring Semester” means first semester of a calendar year.
  22. “Summer semester” means a semester falling between spring and fall semesters having 8 weeks duration.
  23. “Supervisor” means a professor/researcher having PhD degree appointed by the BASR to advise the scholar.
  24. “University” means the Capital University of Science and Technology.

3.      Admission Requirements

  1.  An applicant desirous for admission in a PhD program shall be required to meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:
    1. MS/MPhil degree in the relevant discipline from a degree awarding institution recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan;
    2. At least 3.0 (on the scale of 4.0) Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in the MS/MPhil degree or 60% aggregate marks if the degree is earned from an annual system; and
    3. Qualify University admission test or HEC approved test with 60% marks
    4. Statement of Purpose shall be submitted at the time of admission which should reflect applicant’s research potential, clarity of the subject and its applications.
  2. Intra-discipline applicants are allowed for admission with 6–9 Cr Hrs. graduate level deficiency courses provided the applicant has passed GRE Subject/Equivalent Test in the field selected for PhD.
  3. A PhD applicant having MS/MPhil degree from abroad shall submit an equivalence certificate from the HEC indicating his/her academic eligibility for admission in the PhD program.
  4. An applicant who has already completed a part of PhD credit hours (Cr. Hrs.) in another HEC recognized University may be eligible for admission subject to the following conditions:
    1. no transfer of Cr. Hrs. against research work shall be made; and
    2. the University shall have the exclusive right to accept or reject the request for transfer of Cr. Hrs. against course work.
  5. The admission of an applicant in the PhD program shall be subject to the approval of the board of advanced studies and research (BASR).

4. Degree Requirements

  1. A PhD scholar shall be required to successfully complete the following requirements:
    1. 18 Cr. Hrs. coursework, if the scholar has earlier degree in the same discipline and the coursework is to be completed on campus;
    2. 30 Cr. Hrs. research work;
    3. comprehensive examination;
    4. research work synopsis;
    5. dissertation foreign/external reviews;
    6. publication from PhD research work as per HEC requirement; and
    7. dissertation defense.
  2. Subject to regulation 5(10), a PhD scholar shall cease to continue his/her studies if he/she fails to complete 18 Cr. Hrs. coursework within six regular semesters with at least 3.00/4.00 CGPA.

5. Registration

  1. The maximum allowable registration in a Spring or Fall semester shall be nine (09) Cr. Hrs., while in a Summer semester, it shall be three (03) Cr. Hrs.
  2. A PhD scholar shall register in each regular semester.
  3. A PhD scholar who is not registered in a regular semester shall have an inactive registration status unless the scholar is on a semester break.
  4. A PhD scholar who has completed 48 Cr. Hrs. registration but did not complete the degree program shall register at least 01 Cr. Hr. in subsequent regular semester to continue to maintain his/her registration status active with the approval of the Department.
  5. An unauthorized absence of the scholar from the University for two consecutive regular semesters shall lead to cancellation of the admission.
  6. Where the admission of a scholar has been cancelled, the re-admission request may be considered, if supported by the Supervisor, and if the scholar has a chance to complete the program within allowed duration.
  7. A PhD scholar may add or drop a course within a specified period announced by the Registration Department and a course so added or dropped shall be deemed to have been registered or omitted, as the case may be, from the start of registration.
  8. A scholar may withdraw a course within the time limits announced by the Registration Department and a course so withdrawn shall be reported on the transcript with ‘W’ grade.
  9. A withdrawn course shall not be counted towards the calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA). However, it shall be treated as a registered course for the evaluation of tuition fee.
  10. A PhD scholar may repeat up to a maximum of six (06) Cr. Hrs; to improve his/her CGPA but if he/she fails to obtain 3.00/4.00 CGPA after registering 24 Cr. Hrs. coursework, he/she shall cease to be the student of the University.
  11. In order to improve CGPA, a PhD scholar is allowed to improve a maximum of 2 courses. The original as well as the revised grades of all repeated courses shall be shown on the transcript; however, better grades shall be considered towards CGPA calculation.

6. Assessment of Tuition Fee

  1. Fee shall be charged per credit hour as determined by the University from time to time.
  2. Tuition fee for the registered credit(s) shall be paid within due date to validate the registration. Non-payment of fee within the due date shall result into default status.
  3. A student who defaults in payment of fee shall not appear in the attendance roll.
  4. In a regular semester, if the fee is not paid within the prescribed time, the registration of the course(s) may be cancelled.
  5. For all practical purposes, the cancelled course(s) shall be deemed as never registered.
  6. In a Summer semester, if a course is registered, it shall be treated as confirmed and fee shall be charged.

7. Course Examinations

  1. A scholar shall be eligible for final term examination only if he/she meets the requirements specified from time to time by the office of Controller of Examinations.
  2. Midterm and final term examinations shall be administered by the office of Controller of Examinations.
  3. Midterm and Final Term examinations of a course shall be as per the datesheet announced by the Controller of Examinations, and if a scholar misses an examination, usually there shall be no re-examination.
  4. The University, in general, follows the relative grading scheme which has the following definition:
  5. Letter Grades Grade Points Academic Standing
    A 4.00 Excellent
    A- 3.67 Very Good
    B+ 3.33 Good
    B 3.00 Acceptable
    B- 2.67 Average
    C+ 2.33 Below Average
    C 2.00 Poor
    C- 1.67 Poor
    F 0.00 Fail
    I Incomplete
    N Continued
    W Withdrawn
    P Pass
    S Satisfactory
    US Unsatisfactory
    NC Non Credit
    () Grade Replaced
  6. A scholar not satisfied with the awarded grade may file a petition to the office of Controller of Examinations for the review of the final grade within fifteen days after the declaration of the result. The review of the grade shall be limited to omissions and calculation errors.

8. Retake of Final Examination

  1. Retake examination can be considered under two extenuating circumstances: a) serious illness of the scholar or b) death of an immediate family member.
  2. The scholar must intimate the CoE Office prior to the examination and a detailed application with evidence indicating exceptional circumstances faced by the scholar must be submitted as soon as possible but not later than 7 days from the date of examination.
  3. In case of self illness, a certifiable evidence from a reputed Hospital shall be required.
  4. In case of death of an immediate family member (Parent/Real Brother or Sister/Son or Daughter/Husband or Wife) a death certificate from an appropriate office should be submitted.
  5. A three members Dean Committee constituted for the purpose shall interview the applicants, if deemed appropriate, and it shall verify the submitted evidence to assess the genuineness of the requests. It shall finalize its findings within two weeks from the date of declaration of result.
  6. If the retake application is because of the death of an immediate family member, only one day exam(s) could be considered for reexamination.
  7. If retake is approved by the Deans Committee, I-Grade shall be granted to the approved cases, which must be converted into an earned grade within four weeks from the date of declaration of the result; otherwise I-Grade shall be converted into F-Grade.
  8. Retake examination shall be awarded final letter grade on absolute scale.
  9. If a scholar failed to attend all the examinations of the registered courses, he/she shall not be considered for retake; rather the Deans Committee shall evaluate such a case for semester freeze/drop and in this respect, its finding shall be final.

9. Probation & Expulsion

  1. A PhD scholar who fails to maintain a required minimum CGPA of 3.00/4.00, shall be placed on probation at the time of declaration of the result.
  2. A scholar with two consecutive probations shall cease to continue.

10. Comprehensive Examination

  1. A PhD scholar is required to qualify the comprehensive examination within a maximum of two attempts. Maximum duration to qualify comprehensive examination shall be three years from the date of admission.
  2. A PhD scholar is required to register for the comprehensive examination, which shall be conducted in each regular semester (Spring and Fall).
  3. List of the PhD registered scholars, who shall appear in the PhD comprehensive examination shall be issued under the seal of Controller of Examinations.
  4. For a given program, the courses and the course contents of the comprehensive examination shall be defined by the scholar’s respective department.
  5. A PhD scholar is required to qualify the comprehensive examination with a cumulative qualifying score of at least 60%.
  6. A PhD scholar who registered the comprehensive examination but did not appear in the examination shall be deemed to have consumed one chance with ‘W’ grade.
  7. A PhD scholar may drop the registration of the comprehensive examination and such a request shall be considered if it is communicated in writing by the scholar at least two working days before the holding of examination.
  8. A PhD scholar who failed the comprehensive examination in the second attempt or completed three years but did not qualify the comprehensive examination shall cease to continue his/her studies.

11. Research Synopsis

  1. Research synopsis shall be submitted as per the approved format and it shall be qualified by the PhD scholar at least two semesters prior to the dissertation submission. The semester in which it is qualified shall be counted and the date of qualification shall be the date of examination, subject to the approval by the BASR.
  2. Subject to the BASR approval, the synopsis shall be examined by a committee, constituted by the Chairman BASR on the recommendation of the Dean, comprising of:
    1. Dean of the faculty/his nominee – Chairman
      approved by Chairman BASR
    2. BASR nominee – Member
    3. one internal examiner – Member
    4. supervisor – Member
  3. A synopsis shall be evaluated as:
    1. accepted as is;
    2. accepted with revisions;
    3. rejected
  4. In case of revision, the revised synopsis shall be submitted within four weeks, failing which the synopsis shall be rejected.
  5. A rejected synopsis may be submitted at any time during a semester for re-examination with a certificate from the supervisor that ‘reasons of rejection have been addressed adequately’.
  6. Recommendations of synopsis evaluation committee shall be placed before the BASR for approval or otherwise.
  7. There shall be a maximum of two chances to qualify the PhD research synopsis, and if a scholar fails to qualify the synopsis even after passage of three years from the admission, he/she shall cease to be the student of the University.

12. Research

  1. Research credits registered by a PhD scholar shall be evaluated by the scholar’s supervisor at the end of each semester with satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade, and a scholar with unsatisfactory performance shall be placed on probation.
  2. If a PhD scholar is awarded two consecutive Unsatisfactory (US) grades, as per Regulation 12(1) of Chapter-3, such a scholar shall cease to be the student of the University.
  3. An Unsatisfactory grade as per standard University grading policy has to be repeated by the scholar.
  4. A PhD dissertation, as per the approved format, may be submitted after the completion of 30 research Cr. Hrs. subject to the conditions that the scholar must have an active registration status at the time of submission.
  5. A PhD dissertation shall be cleared for foreign/external review if its similarity index is less than 19% in total, and less than 5% from a single source. Similarity from the scholar’s own published work carried out during the PhD studies shall be excluded.
  6. In case of any ambiguity in plagiarism assessment, the following committee shall evaluate the case and submit its recommendations to the BASR for decision:
    1. concerned Dean (Convener)
    2. concerned Head of Department
    3. scholar’s Supervisor
    4. Director Graduate Studies/Research
  7. A PhD dissertation shall be reviewed by at least two foreign/external experts who shall be:
    1. PhD faculty member from the world top 500 universities ranked by the Times Higher Education or QS World Ranking in the year corresponding to dissertation evaluation year OR
    2. Pakistan-based Distinguished National Professors, Meritorious Professors from any national university; or Professors from top universities ranked by HEC; or Professors from any Pakistani University having a minimum H-Index 30 for Sciences, 15 for Social Sciences or 8 for Art & Humanities as determined by Web of Science.
  8. BASR shall approve a panel of five foreign/external reviewers proposed by the concerned Dean in consultation with the supervisor.
  9. A foreign/external review recommending minor revisions shall be accepted under the Supervisor’s certificate and if a reviewer is asking for major revisions it shall be sent back to the concerned reviewer, after corrections, if so desired by the reviewer otherwise a local review shall be arranged to certify that the revisions have been incorporated satisfactorily.
  10. A PhD dissertation must have at least two out of three positive foreign/external reviews to make the scholar eligible for the final defense
  11. The Dean shall propose the examiners for the final defense, in consultation with the supervisor, for the approval of the BASR. The Chairman of the BASR may allow the conduct of the defense in anticipation of the BASR approval.
  12. A PhD dissertation shall be examined, in an open defense, by a defense committee comprising of:
    1. Dean of the faculty or a Senior
      Professor approved by Chairman BASR – Chairman
    2. two external examiners – Members
    3. one internal examiner – Member
    4. supervisor – Member

Provided that if the Dean of the concerned faculty himself is the supervisor, then a senior faculty member shall be appointed by the Chairman BASR as the chairman of the defense committee.

  1. The chairman of the defense committee shall ensure the fairness in the conduct of the defense and the recommendations received from the members under regulation 12(14) shall be presented in the next BASR meeting for approval or otherwise.
  2. After the defense, the chairman of the defense committee shall invite the recommendations of the examiners that:
    1. dissertation may be accepted as is;
    2. dissertation may be accepted after minor revisions;
    3. dissertation may be accepted after major revisions; or
    4. dissertation may be rejected.
  3. A dissertation with minor revisions shall be submitted within 04 weeks from the date of defense and shall be accepted with a certificate from the supervisor that ‘the revisions have been incorporated’.
  4. A dissertation with major revisions shall be submitted within 12 weeks from the date of examination and shall be accepted with certificates from both external and internal examiners that ‘the revisions have been incorporated satisfactorily’.
  5. A dissertation with major revision requires re-defense by the same defense committee, however, the re-defense can be waived-off by the BASR by evaluating the certificates furnished by the examiners.
  6. If, after the final defense, a scholar fails to submit the corrected version of his/her dissertation within specified time, the case shall be referred to the BASR for final decision.
  7. In case of difference of opinion by the defense committee examiners the recommendations of majority shall prevail for the purpose of approval of the BASR.
  8. A dissertation may be rejected if the examiners are convinced, for reasons to be recorded, that most of the research work presented in the scholar’s dissertation is not carried out by him/her independently and there is a significant external help involved and the scholar does not have reasonable strength of knowledge on the material presented in the dissertation.
  9. A scholar whose dissertation has been rejected by the BASR on the recommendations of the defense committee shall cease to be the student of the University.
  10. If the chairman of the defense committee observed that in his opinion the conduct and the recommendations of the examiners were not fair, he may submit his written observations to the BASR with the request that the defense may be nullified, and upon receiving the report of the Chairman of the defense committee, the BASR may nullify the oral defense and direct that a fresh defense be arranged by constituting a new defense committee which may comprise of one or more examiners different from the previous examiners.
  11. Each scholar is required to publish research article(s) out of his PhD research work, after qualifying PhD synopsis, as per the following:-
    1. Sciences and Technology: One W–Category or Two X–Category publications.
    2. Social Sciences: One X–Category or Two Y–Category publications
  12. A scholar’s PhD degree completion shall be subject to BASR approval, and the date of completion shall be the date on which the case is approved.
  13. A minimum duration for the PhD degree shall be three (03) years and the maximum allowable duration, inclusive of semester breaks, shall be seven (07) years from the date of admission. However, the BASR can relax the upper limit to a maximum of one year.
  14. By auditing the compliance for the award of PhD degree, a PhD completion notification shall be issued under the seal of the Registrar.

13. Removal of difficulties

  1. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of these regulations, the Academic Council may, by order, do anything which appears to it to be necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty.