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Admission to the MSc. Program

Admission Requirements

An applicant for regular admission to any graduate program should meet the following requirements:

  1. The applicant must hold a Bachelor's Degree or its equivalent. The Degree must be conferred by Kuwait University or by another approved academic institution.

  2. The applicant must have a minimum overall average of 2.67 points on a scale of 4.00 or its equivalent. The applicant's average in the main field of specialization should not be less than 3.00 points on a scale of 4.00 or its equivalent. The following applicants may be exempted from the academic level requirement mentioned in this paragraph:

  1. Recipients of Bachelor's degree in Medicine and Surgery, or Dentistry from Kuwait University or the equivalent of that degree, if they are applying for admission to programs in the Faculty of Medicine or Faculty of Dentistry.

  2. Applicants who had previously studied graduate courses at Kuwait University under the non-degree system, provided that the graduate credits of courses passed are not less than 12, and the overall average in all graduate courses studied is not less than 3.00 points on the scale of 4.00. The period of studying under the non-degree system should not exceed four semesters. In exceptional case, one additional semester may be allowed with the approval of the Dean of the College of Graduate Studies.

  1. The applicant must have a good command of the language of instruction used for the program he/she wants to join. The applicant for admission to a program for which Arabic is the language of instruction must be proficient in another language determined by the department concerned. The College of Graduate Studies sets the minimum level of language proficiency.

  2. An employed applicant should submit from the place of work a signed notification of joining the program.

  3. Provisional Admission:

An applicant is given provisional admission status in the following two cases:

  1. If he/she has satisfied all the requirements for regular admission and the Program Committee recommends admission on condition that the applicant passes some additional courses for a maximum of 15 credit hours. The credits of these additional courses shall not be counted as part of requirements for the study program, and the grades obtained shall not be included in the calculation of the overall average. The student admitted on this condition should register for all the required additional courses during the first semester of his/her admission, and the registration should be for a normal study load as stipulated in the by-laws. In exceptional cases and with the approval of both the Program Committee and the College of Graduate Studies, some of the required courses may be postponed to the second semester of his/her admission. If the provisionally admitted student passes the required courses with an overall average of three (3.00) points (on the scale of four), his/her admission status is changed to regular. Otherwise he/she is academically dismissed from the program.

  2. If he/she satisfies the requirements of Article nine (9) with the exception of paragraph 2, and the applicant is a disabled person who has a minimum overall average of 2.33 points and a specialization average of at least 2.50 points on the scale of 4.00 in undergraduate courses. The admitted student has to obtain an overall average of 3.00 points [Very Good] or above at the end of the first semester in order to continue with study. Otherwise he/she is dismissed from the program.

Postponement of Admission

  1. The admission of a student who did not register for courses may be postponed once for a period not exceeding one academic year, upon the approval of the Program Committee and the College of Graduate Studies.

  2. The student who did not register during the same semester in which he/she was admitted and did not postpone his/her admission, is considered to have withdrawn from the program. The student who postpones his/ her admission and does not register during the semester following the period of postponement, is also considered to have a withdrawn from the program. 

PROGRAMS OF STUDY

  1. Master's Degree Program With Thesis:

The minimum number of course credits that must be successfully completed by a student in order to be awarded a Master's Degree is twenty one (21) in addition to the thesis. The Master's thesis should demonstrate the ability of the graduate student to conduct a scientific research and present the findings clearly and methodically.

  1. Master 's Degree Program Without Thesis:

The minimum number of course credits that must be successfully completed by a student in this case is thirty three (33).

APPROVAL OF COURSES

  1. The College of Graduate Studies approves courses of 500 level or higher offered by Kuwait University.

  2. The College of Graduate Studies approves passed courses included in its programs for up to a maximum of 18 credits, on the following conditions:

  1. The grade obtained in the course should not be less than 3.00 points on the scale of 4.00 or its equivalent.

  2. The period between passing the course and its approval should not exceed two years.

  3. The approved course should be a requirement in the program to which the student is admitted.

  4. The credit hours of approved courses are counted toward the degree and included in the calculation of the student's Grade Point Average.

  1. With the recommendation of the Program Committee, 400 level courses may be approved and included in the graduate program on the following conditions:

  1. The courses must be offered by Kuwait University.

  2. The courses must be related to the student's major field or research topic.

  3. The student's admission should not have been based on the condition that he/she passes these courses.

  4. The number of credit hours of the approved undergraduate courses shall not exceed six (6).

  5. The credit hours of approved courses are counted toward the degree and included in the calculation of the student's Grade Point Average.

  1. With the recommendation of the Program Committee, courses studied by the student at other academic institutions may be approved and included in the graduate program on the following conditions:

  1. The academic institution must be recognized by Kuwait University.

  2. The courses must be relevant to the program and at the graduate level.

  3. The student's grade in each of these courses must not be less than 3.00 points on the scale of 4.00 or its equivalent.

  4. The courses should have been studied within the time limit set for obtaining the Degree and the period between the date of passing the courses and the date of admission to the program should not be more than two years.

  5. The number of approved credit hours of these courses must not constitute more than 30% of the required credit hours of the program.

  6. The credit hours of approved courses are counted as part of the degree requirements at Kuwait University and not included in the calculation of the student's Grade Point Average.

  1. Courses which were previously approved for obtaining the undergraduate degree or any other academic degree, cannot be approved.

  2. The total number of approved credit hours, including what is mentioned in paragraphs 2 and 4, should not exceed 18.

REGISTRATION OF COURSES

 Student Workload

The normal workload per semester ranges from eight to fifteen (8‑15) credit hours for a full‑time student and five to nine (5‑9) credit hours for a part‑time student. In exceptional cases, a part‑time student may, upon the approvals of the Program Director and the College of Graduate Studies, register for less than the normal workload. The registration of thesis is considered to be the equivalent of registering for a normal workload. On the basis of Program Director's proposal and CGS approval, the student who is expected to graduate within one semester may be exempted from the requirement of maximum study load.

For programs which follow the annual system of study, the normal workload stated in the above paragraph is to be doubled and, in exceptional cases, the minimum workload for part‑time students may, upon agreement of the Program Director and approval of the College of Graduate Studies, be reduced up to eight (8) credit hours.

Registration, Addition and Withdrawal

  1. Registration:

The student is required to register during the times specified by the College of Graduate Studies, and comply with the regulations governing study load stipulated in these by‑laws. A student may suspend his/her enrollment for any semester provided that the period of suspension does not exceed a total of two semesters during his/her studies. If it does, his/her enrollment is canceled.

  1. Addition:

The student may, after the approval of the Course Instructor and the Program Director, add a course or more during the times specified by the College of Graduate Studies, provided that the study load does not exceed the maximum limit permitted under these by‑laws.

  1. Withdrawal:

A student may be allowed to withdraw from one or more courses during the times specified by the College of Graduate Studies, provided that he/she complies with the following:

  1. If the student is registered during the semester, the withdrawal should take place during the times specified by the College of Graduate Studies, unless there is an excuse acceptable to the Course Instructor, the Program Director, and the College of Graduate Studies. If the student is not registered during the semester, he may withdraw from the program at anytime.

  2. Student's workload after withdrawal should not be less than the minimum limit permitted under these by‑laws

  3. Withdrawal from all courses or a course registered by a student, will be considered to be a cessation of registration during the semester.

COMPREHENSIVE EXAMINATION 

Article (22) of the CGS By-Laws contains the following information concerning the Comprehensive Examination:

  1. Nature of the Comprehensive Examination

Each graduate student has to pass a written and oral examination. The examination must be so comprehensive as to reveal the extent of the student's preparation to pursue graduate studies in his/her field of specialization. In particular, it must show the student's capabilities with respect to synthesis, analysis, interpretation, application and discussion.

  1. Comprehensive Examination Committee

The Comprehensive Examination Committee consists of at least three members of  the academic program, appointed  by the  Dean of  the  College of  Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the Program Committee. The committee carries out the task of examining the students and delivering the results, using the form prepared for that purpose, to the Program Committee for submission to the College of Graduate Studies.

  1. Grade of the Comprehensive Examination

The student's grade in the Comprehensive Examination shall be "Pass" or "Fail".

  1. Failing the Comprehensive Examination

A student who fails the examination for the first time must repeat it during the next semester. If the student fails for the second time he/she is academically dismissed from the Master's Degree Program.

  1. Period for taking the Comprehensive Examination

The student shall take the Comprehensive Examination before completing 18 credit hours.

  1. Rules for the Comprehensive Examination

The Program Committee shall lay down clear written rules as well as a well-defined policy on comprehensive examination and inform the concerned students, about the following:

  1. Date, time, and place of holding the Comprehensive Examination.

  2. Clearly defined and written academic subject in which the students are to be examined.

In the case of programs which follow the annual system, the Comprehensive Examination may be conducted through the committees of oral examinations which are held for each course, provided that the Area Committee specifies the rules and regulations under which these examinations shall be held and attended, and the comprehensiveness in the field of specialization is taken into consideration. 

 

MASTER’S THESIS 

Supervision of thesis

An academic supervisor shall be nominated for each Master’s student who is required to prepare a thesis. The nomination should take place as soon as possible but not later than the end of the semester following the one in which the student was admitted. The supervisor’s major field of specialization should be the same as that of the student. A co-supervisor whose major field of specialization or program is different from that of the student but related to the student’s research, may be nominated.

The Program Committee submits its recommendation for the nomination of the main supervisor and co-supervisor (if any) to the College of Graduate Studies for approval. The approval is based on satisfying the requirements stipulated in article 8 of the CGS by-laws. The student is supposed to have only one main supervisor. The addition of a co-supervisor should be justified and approved by the College of Graduate Studies after studying the matter. 

Responsibilities of the main supervisor and co-supervisor:

The main supervisor is primarily responsible for guiding the student through various stages leading to the preparation and submission of the thesis. These stages include selecting a research topic, formulating the research plan, registering for the thesis, conducting the actual research, and writing the thesis. Other responsibilities of the main supervisor are as follows:

  1. Accounting for any payments made for the student’s thesis research, in accordance with the relevant guidelines and prescribed procedures.

  2. Conducting periodical evaluation of the student’s research performance and thesis under preparation.

  3. Participating in the final evaluation of the student’s thesis.

The role and responsibilities of the co-supervisor are determined by the concerned Program Committee. 

Change of supervisory committee:

Whenever there is a change in the name of the supervisor or or-supervisor, form AC/3 entitled “Change of Supervisory Committee” should be completed and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for approval. The completed form provides basic information on the current and proposed supervisor and /or co-supervisor (if any). It also includes the reason for change as well as the signatures of the student and the Program Director. 

Number of theses to be supervised

The number of theses which a faculty member is allowed to supervise is determined on the basis of the CGS Council’s decision issued on 3/6/2001 and which states that “a faculty member who is entitled to supervise, may be a main supervisor for not more than two students and a co-supervisor for not more than three students at a time. The Dean of the College of Graduate Studies may exempt some cases if necessary”. 

Registration of thesis

Article (23) of the CGS by-laws states that, “After the completion of  one semester, a graduate student may, with the approval of the Academic Supervisor, the Program Director and the College of Graduate Studies, register for a thesis in accordance with the following rules:

  1. The student must have completed a minimum of twelve (12) credits of courses approved for the Degree, and passed with a general Grade Point Average of not less than 2.67.

  2. The student who registers for thesis is considered to have satisfied the requirement for full-time workload as stipulated in these by-laws.

  3. Registration for thesis may last for more than one semester. The thesis under preparation shall be given a grade of  “Satisfactory (S)” or “Unsatisfactory(U)”.

Registration procedures

The graduate student shall register for thesis in accordance with the following steps:

  1. Form AC/1 entitled “Request to Register for Master’s Thesis” is completed and submitted to the College of Graduate Studies. The completed form is signed by the student, the nominated main supervisor (and co-supervisor if any), and the Program Director.

  2. If all the requirements for the supervision and registration of the thesis are satisfied, the College of Graduate Studies will approve the nomination of main supervisor (and co-supervisor if any), and the request to register for Master’s Thesis.

  3. The concerned Program Director as well as the main supervisor (and co-supervisor if any) and the student are formally informed of the CGS decision.

  4. After approval of form AC/1:

  1. The student is required to specify the research proposal and budget.

  2. The student is also required the student is required to register for thesis at the beginning of each semester (or academic year if enrolled according to annual study system) until graduation. Information on the specific dates of registration for students enrolled in various programs can be obtained from the CGS Calendar included in the 'Course Schedule' which is published twice every year before the beginning of first and second semesters.

Funding of thesis research

The funds needed to support the thesis research of a Master’s degree student may be requested from either the College of Graduate Studies [CGS] or the Research Administration [RA] at Kuwait University. Details concerning the issue are summarized under the relevant headings below.  

CGS financial support

The College of Graduate Studies may financially support the thesis research of a full time or a part time student provided it does not require the purchase of any kind of equipment. Normally, this type of research budget does not exceed K.D. 1,000. If these conditions are satisfied and the financial support is required, Form AC/2 entitled “Thesis Research Proposal & Budget” should be completed in full and signed by the student’s supervisor(s) and the concerned Program Director before being submitted to the College of Graduate Studies for consideration and necessary action. 

Advance payment from the approved thesis research budget of the student, shall be made to and accounted for by the concerned supervisor. The allocated fund should be spent in accordance with the following guidelines which indicate what is allowed and what is not. 

A.    Expenditure which is allowed:

  1. Scientific reference books not available at University libraries. When the research work is completed, the student should deliver such books to his/her College library.

  2. Software. When the research work is completed, the software must be kept at the student’s academic department.

  3. Various consumables such as chemicals, animals, fish, plants, glassware, etc.

  4. Hiring vehicles, boats, etc., whenever the need arises.

  5. Charges for chemical, medical, engineering, and other analyses.

B.    Expenditure, which is not allowed:

  1. All types of equipment including computers, printers, and non-consumable accessories.

  2. Salaries and wages of any person.

  3. Subscriptions for scientific magazines.

  4. Subscription for the Internet.

  5. Stationery.

  6. Photocopying.

  7. Travel.

RA financial support

The Research Administration at Kuwait University may financially support the research of a full-time Master’s degree student who is registered for thesis work. The amount of financial support may reach a maximum of K.D. 6,000. This support is in the form of a “Graduate Research Award” [GRA]. The application form is presented in Appendix 5

According to the rules governing the GRA, the thesis research project’s team is headed by the student’s main supervisor who is designated as the Principal Investigator [PI]. Any co-supervisor is designated as his/her Co-investigator and the student is the sole Co-researcher. The application process includes the following steps:

  1. The Principal Investigator (Supervisor) obtains commitments from the project’s team (Co-investigator and the student).

  2. Form AC/2 is completed without the part entitled “Thesis Research Budget” and endorsed by the supervisor and the Program Director.

  3. The form entitled “Application for Graduate Research Award” is completed in full and signed by the main supervisor (and co-supervisor if any), the student, and the Program Director.

  4. The two forms are submitted to the College of Graduate Studies which refers the application for Graduate Research Award to the Research Administration for the necessary action.

It is important to note the following points concerning the thesis research project.

  1. A minimum of 3 months processing time is required prior to the starting date of the project.

  2. The PI of the approved project is required to submit periodic/final reports (every 6 months) and take full responsibility of the financial procedures concerning the project budget.

  3. The student must acknowledge RA’s financial support by recording the project number on his/her thesis.

  4. A copy of the thesis, after approval, must be provided to RA through the College of Graduate Studies.

  5. All published research generated from the project should acknowledge RA’s grant for the project and a copy of the reprint has to be provided to the RA.

  6. The Research Administration provides K.D.100 monthly award for 12 months as incentive to the student researcher as part of the project budget.

  7. The project is frozen if the student withdraws from the program or stops studying.

Criteria for writing thesis

The student who is in the process of writing his/her thesis, has to satisfy the minimum organizational and production requirements set by the College of Graduate Studies. Details on this subject can be found in the booklet entitled “A Guide to Master’s Thesis” Second edition: 2004 A.D./1425 A.H.

Evaluation of thesis

All theses prepared by Master’s degree students at Kuwait University are evaluated by external referees. Details on the rules governing the evaluation process and the procedures that have to be followed, can be found in the booklet entitled “A Guide to Master’s Thesis”.  

Thesis Examination Committee

The Thesis Examination Committee is formed according to article (24) of the CGS by-laws. The decision of the CGS Council, issued on 3/6/2001, concerning voting rules in the Thesis Examination Committee, states as follows:

“In the case of resorting to voting in order to determine the result of the examination, the vote should be counted as follows:

  1. Supervisor or co-supervisor or both (one vote)

  2. The two faculty members in the major specialization of the student (one vote each)

  3. Report of the external referee (one vote)

  4. Report of the second external referee if resorted to (one vote).

In the case of equal number of votes on both sides, the opinion of the side which include the Committee Chairman shall prevail”. 

Submission and distribution of thesis

Details on the submission and distribution of thesis can be found in the booklet entitled “A Guide to Master’s Thesis”.

 GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR MASTER’S STUDENTS 

A Master’s student has to complete all the graduation requirements related to the concerned program of study with in the time limit stipulated in article (14) of the CGS by-laws. 

A.    Requirements for Master’s program with thesis:

The student enrolled in this program has to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Passing all the required courses.

  2. Obtaining a GPA of not less than 3.00 points.

  3. Passing the Comprehensive Examination.

  4. Passing the Thesis Examination.

B.     Requirements for Master’s program without thesis:

The student enrolled in this program has to satisfy the following requirements:

  1. Passing all the required courses.

  2. Obtaining a GPA of not less than 3.00 points.

  3. Passing the Comprehensive Examination.