Admission to the Ph.D Program
An applicant for admission to Ph.D. program is required to satisfy the following requirements:
1. The applicant must hold a Master's Degree or its equivalent. The Degree must be conferred by Kuwait University or by another academic institution recognized by Kuwait University.
2. The applicant who holds a Master's Degree conferred by an academic institution other than Kuwait University should pass a test or more, determined by the Academic Program. The test result should indicate that the applicant is academically prepared to pursue Ph.D. studies.
3. The applicant who holds a Master's Degree conferred by an academic institution other than Kuwait University must be proficient in the language of instruction of the program to which he/she wants to join. An applicant to a program in which Arabic is the language of instruction must be proficient in another language determined by the concerned academic department. The College of Graduate Studies sets the minimum level of language proficiency.
4. An employed applicant must submit a written consent from his/her place of work confirming that there is no objection to joining graduate program.
5. The applicant must fulfill any additional conditions required by the program which he/she wants to join.
Postponement of admission
- 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.
- 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during the same semester in which he/she was admitted, and did not postpone his/her admission is considered to have withdrawn from the program.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admission and does not register during the semester following the period of postponement, is also considered to have withdrawn from the program.
PROGRAM OF STUDY AND APPROVAL OF COURSES
The Ph.D. program represents the minimum requirements of the College of Graduate Studies. The Academic Department (represented by the Program Committee) may specify additional general requirements (to be included in the Ph.D. program) or special requirements (to be included in the student program) with the approval of the College of Graduate Studies. The minimum number of credit hours of approved graduate courses required for the Ph.D. program is fifteen (15) in addition to the dissertation. This number may include a maximum of six (6) credit hours of course work from other specializations.
Study Program for the Student
The Academic Supervisor determines a study program which is in conformity with the student's academic background. A preliminary program for the student must be approved by the College of Graduate Studies before the beginning of the second semester and the final study program must be approved by the College of Graduate Studies before the end of the third semester since the student's admission to the program. The study program may be amended after the third semester upon the recommendation of Academic Supervisor and the approval of the College of Graduate Studies. The Supervisor's recommendation should include academic justification for the amendment.
The study program for the student, (initial and final) must include all the required compulsory courses in addition to any other courses that are necessary for supporting the student's academic background or research. All approved courses studied by the student are included in the calculation of the GPA.
Approval of courses
The College of Graduate Studies approves graduate courses (of 500 level and above) provided that they had not been previously endorsed for the requirements of Master's or Bachelor's Degrees. Graduate courses not offered by Kuwait University may also be approved provided that they do not exceed thirty percent (30 %) of the course credits required for the program and the grade of each course must not be less than 3.00 points or its equivalent. Such courses should have been studied within the time limit set for completing the Degree, or within a maximum period of two years from the time of passing them until the date of admission to the program.
REGISTRATION OF COURSES
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
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.
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.
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:
A. 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.
B. Student's workload after withdrawal should not be less than the minimum limit permitted under these by‑laws
C. Withdrawal from all courses or a course registered by a student, will be considered to be a cessation of registration during the semester.
QUALIFYING EXAMINATION FOR Ph.D
Article (33) of the CGS by-laws contains the following information concerning the qualifying Examination for Ph.D:
- The student (through his/her Academic Supervisor) must submit to the College of Graduate Studies a request to sit for the Ph.D. qualifying examination, just before or soon after he/she has completed all the courses specified in the study program, provided that his/her GPA is not less than 3.00.
2. Upon a recommendation of the Program Committee, the College of Graduate Studies shall form the "Ph.D. Qualifying Examination Committee" under the chairmanship of the student's Academic Supervisor. The Committee members shall include two faculty members in the major specialization of the student and one or two faculty members from other graduate programs.
3. The Ph.D. Qualifying Examination shall be written and oral. If the student does not pass the examination for the first time, he/she shall repeat it for the second and last time within a period not exceeding six months. If the student fails the examination for the second time, he/she shall be academically dismissed from the Ph.D. program.
Supervision of Dissertation
An academic supervisor shall be nominated for each Ph.D student. 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.
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 dissertation. These stages include selecting a research topic, formulating the research plan, registering for the dissertation, conducting the actual research, and writing the dissertation. Other responsibilities of the main supervisor are as follows:
- Accounting for any payments made for the student’s Ph.D research, in accordance with the relevant guidelines and prescribed procedures.
- Conducting periodical evaluation of the student’s research performance and dissertation under preparation.
- Participating in the final evaluation of the student’s dissertation.
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.
Registration of dissertation
After passing the Qualifying Examination for Ph.D. the student has to register for dissertation in accordance with the following procedures:
1. Form AC/1 entitled “Request to Register for Ph.D. Dissertation” 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 dissertation are satisfied, the College of Graduate Studies will approve the nomination of the main supervisor (and co-supervisor if any), and the request to register for Ph.D. dissertation.
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:
a. The student is required to specify the research proposal and budget.
b. The student is also required to register for dissertation 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 Ph.D research
The funds needed to support the research of a Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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. 3,000. If these conditions are satisfied and the financial support is required, Form AC/2 entitled “Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. 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.
RA financial support
The Research Administration at Kuwait University may financially support the research of a full-time Ph.D. student who is registered for dissertation work. The amount of financial support may reach a maximum of K.D 18,000. This support is in the form of a “Graduate Research Award” [GRA]. The application form for this award is presented in Appendix 5.
According to the rules governing the GRA, the Ph.D. 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:
- The Principal Investigator (Supervisor) obtains commitments from the project’s team (Co-investigator and the student)
- Form AC/2 is completed without the part entitled “Ph.D. Research Budget” and endorsed by the supervisor and the Program Director.
- 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.
- 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 Ph.D. research project.
- A minimum of 3 months processing time is required prior to the starting date of the project.
- 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.
- The student must acknowledge RA’s financial support by recording the project number on his/her dissertation.
- A copy of the dissertation, after approval, must be provided to RA through the College of Graduate Studies.
- 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.
- The Research Administration provides K.D.100 monthly award for 12 months as incentive to the student researcher as part of the project budget.
- The project is frozen if the student withdraws from the program or stops studying.
Criteria for writing dissertation
The student who is in the process of writing his/her dissertation, 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 Ph.D dissertation”. Second edition: 2004 A.D/ 1425 A.H.
Evaluation of dissertation
All dissertations prepared by Ph.D students in the College of Graduate Studies are evaluated by internal and external examiners. 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 Ph.D dissertation”, and in article (34) of the CGS by-laws.
Voting rules in the Dissertation Examination Committee
The decision of the CGS Council issued on 3/6/2001 states as follows:
“In the case of resorting to voting in order to determine the result of the examination, the votes should be counted as follows:
- Supervisor or co-supervisor or both (one vote)
- The two faculty members in the major specialization of the student (one vote each)
- Chairman of the Dissertation Examination Committee (one vote)
- External examiner or a report from him (one vote).
- Second external examiner if resorted to, or a report from him (one vote).
In the case of equal number of votes on both sides, the opinion of the side that includes the committee chairman shall prevail”.
Submission and distribution of dissertation
Details on the submission and distribution of dissertation can be found in the booklet entitled “A Guide to Ph.D Dissertation”.
GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS FOR Ph.D STUDENTS
A Ph.D student has to complete all the graduation requirements within the time limit stipulated in the article (32) of the CGS by-laws. Those requirements are as follows:
- Passing all the required courses (a minimum of 15 course credit).
- Obtaining a GPA of not less than 3.00 points.
- Passing the Qualifying Examination for Ph.D.
- Passing the Ph.D Dissertation Examination.