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Graduates Studies (Master's & Ph.D. Degrees)
Section 1: Definitions
These by-laws will be called (By-laws for the award of the Master's degree at the University of Sharjah) and will come into force as of the beginning of the academic year 2000-2001.
The following terms will have the meanings set against them unless the context indicates otherwise:
University : University of Sharjah
Chancellor : Chancellor of the University
Council : Graduate Studies Council
Deanship : The College of Graduate Studies and Research Deanship
Dean : Dean of the College of Graduate Studies and Research
College : the Academic College concerned
Department : The Academic Department concerned
Section 2: Master Degree Requirements
The minimum course requirement for the Master's degree are at least 33 credit hours composed of 24 credit hours of coursework plus another 9 hours for thesis work or according to the requirements of the comprehension exam track.
The Master's program comprises the following, subject to the provisions of article (3):
a. Compulsory courses : 9 - 24 credit hours
b. Elective courses : 6 - 15 credit hours
c. A thesis : 9 credit hours
The Council may, upon a recommendation from the Graduate Studies Committee in the Department and the College instruct the student to a study a maximum of 12 credit hours as prerequisite courses to be taken during the first year of enrolment in the program, and such credits shall not be included in the CGPA or counted toward the time limit set for graduation.
The time limit set for obtaining the Masters degree shall be no less than three academic semesters, and shall not exceed eight academic semesters commencing from the semester in which the student starts his studies. The student may postpone study or withdraw from all courses for two additional academic semesters in accordance with the regulations.
a. The academic year is made up of two full semesters each lasting for 16 weeks, excluding times for registration & examinations.
b. The required credit load for each semester is 6-12 credit hours.
Section 3: Admission
The Council will determine, at the commencement of the academic year, and upon recommendations from the Colleges and the Departments, the number of students to be admitted in that year.
To be admitted into the Master's program, a candidate must fulfill the following requirements:
a. The student must hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from a recognized university with a minimum grade of Good and a CGPA of 3 on a 4-point scale. Students with a CGPA of less than 3.0 may be admitted conditionally in accordance with the executive instructions of the University and pursuant to the decisions of the Ministry of Higher Education.
b. During his undergraduate years, his attendance must not have fallen below 75% of the required percentage.
c. His undergraduate degree should be in a subject that would qualify him for the graduate major he wants to pursue in accordance with the study plan of that major.
A Master's candidate can be accepted in a Master's degree in a field different from his major upon the recommendation of the Department, College and the approval of the Council.
A Department may require a student to pass 12 credits as prerequisite courses within two academic semesters from enrollment as a condition for admission in the program, subject to the following:
a. Registration for Master level courses is not considered unless candidate has passed the required prerequisite courses. If he has only one or two more prerequisite courses to complete, the Department may allow him to enroll in the higher study courses.
b. The time the student takes in order to finish the required prerequisite courses shall not be counted in the period set for obtaining the degree unless the student has enrolled in some of the compulsory graduate courses along with the prerequisites.
The Council may request additional admission requirements for the Master's degree based on the recommendations from of the Department.
a. Applications for admission to the Maters degree shall be submitted to the Deanship on forms prepared by the Deanship. Thereafter, the forms shall be forwarded to the concerned Department for appropriate decision in light of conditions of admission.
b. The student shall be admitted by a recommendation of the Postgraduate Studies Committee in the Department, and the Dean shall communicate the decision to the student, the Department, the College and the Department of Admissions and Registration to complete registration procedures.
If a student is expelled from a Master's program, he is not allowed to enroll in the same program again.
Section 4: Transfer
At the commencement of study, the program will assign to each student an advisor to provide him with guidance in his studies and assist him in selecting a topic for his dissertation and the research proposal.
A student working towards the Master's degree may change his major provided his old Department, the new Department and the College approve such a transfer, subject to the following:
a. The candidate must meet all the requirements for admission in addition to any extra requirements that the Department he wishes to transfer to deems necessary.
b. The Postgraduate Studies Committee in the Department may recommend to the Dean that a maximum of 12 credit hours of corresponding courses that was studied at the university to be transferred provided that the student’s grades therein are included in his CGPA.
c. The student's registration has not been cancelled for any reason.
d. Time spent on a previous major is counted as part of the time needed to complete degree requirements in the Master's degree on the basis of nine credits to each semester.
e. A graduate student is allowed to change his major only once throughout the period allowed for Master's degree.
a. Subject to the provisions of Article 8 (number of students admitted in the program), a student may, by a decision of the Council based on a recommendation from the Postgraduate Studies Committee in the Department, transfer from a Masters program from outside the University to a similar program if he satisfies admission conditions and has not been dismissed from the university he is transferring from.
b. The Postgraduate Studies Committee in the Department may recommend to the Dean that no more than 9 credit hours of corresponding courses to be transferred provided that the student’s grade therein is not less than Very Good or (B) (3.0 out of 4.0) or equivalent.
c. A maximum of four years have elapsed since he had studied the courses such counted.
Course grades referred to in Article (17) will not be calculated in the C.G.P.A.
Section 5: Grades and Examinations
a. All final course grades are evaluated numerically and in point average according to the following grading system:
90 to 100
85 to less than 90
80 to less than 85
75 to less than 80
70 to less than 75
Less than 70
b. CGPA will be equivalent to the following grades:
3.70 - 4.00
3.00 - 3.69
2.50 – 2.99
The minimum passing grade in any graduate course is C+ and prerequisite courses are on a pass-fail bases.
a. A minimum C.G.P.A of 3.00 is required for graduation in the Master programs.
b. For the purpose of raising his CGPA, a student may repeat a maximum of two courses throughout his study period. The highest score shall be included in the CGPA.
Grades for the pass/fail credit courses shall not be counted as part of his C.G.P.A.
The distribution of grades in a graduate course is as follows:
20% - 30% for semester exams
30% - 40% for reports & research work
40% for the final exams
The by-laws governing the award of the Bachelor's degree will be applied to all cases to which no provisions or regulations have been given regarding issues related to master programs.
The Council will approve the thesis proposal and the appointment of a supervisor.
A student may not register for the thesis credits until he has successfully completed 50% of the required credit hours in accordance with the provisions of article (20) and paragraph (a) of article (21).
a. If the student absence exceeds 25% of the total number of hours of any course without an excuse acceptable to the course instructor and approved by the College Dean, the student shall be barred from the final examination and shall be given a grade of (F). However, he may duly withdraw from the course if the remaining period permits such withdrawal in accordance with the regulations.
b. If the student absence with an excuse acceptable to the course instructor and approved by the College Dean exceeds (25%) of the total number of credits of any course, the student shall be considered to have withdrawn from the course and a grade of (W) shall be recorded in his transcript
Academic rules & regulations governing the award of the Bachelor's degree will apply to all the procedures followed in submitting a medical excuse.
A student, who has missed a final exam with an excuse acceptable to the Dean of Graduate Studies, is given an "I" (incomplete) for the course. In this case the instructor concerned will be informed, and the "F" is replaced by an "I". The "I" must be cleared within the first few weeks of the following semester. However, if the student has withdrawn the following semester, he is to clear the "I" in, the following semester.
Section 7: Drop-Add, Postponement, and Suspension of Registration
FIRST: Drop and Add
A student may withdraw from one or more courses during the first week of the semester without recording the course on his transcript. He may also withdraw from one or more courses during the first eight weeks of the semester with the approval of the Dean and the recommendation of the course instructor in accordance with a special form prepared by the Deanship. The Director of Admissions and Registration and the Chairman of the Department shall be advised in writing of the decision, and a grade of (W) shall be recorded in the student’s transcript.
a. The number of credit hours registered by the student should not fall, as a result of a student's withdrawal, below the minimum study load permitted b these by-laws.
b. A student whose absence exceeds 25% will be deemed to have withdrawn from the course and will receive a (W) grade in his record for that course if he presented an acceptable excuse. His study in that course will be considered postponed.
a. The Dean of Graduate Studies may approve the withdrawal of a student from all the courses in a given semester, provided that the request for withdrawal is submitted no later than 2 weeks before the final exams. The student will receive a "W" grade for the courses of that semester.
b. The Dean of Graduate Studies may approve a student's complete withdrawal from the program in which he was admitted, provided that an application is submitted no later than 2 weeks before the start of the final exams. A student who withdraws will not be allowed to enroll in the same program if his C.G.P.A. was less than 3.00 at the time of withdrawal.
A student is permitted to postpone (Leave) his studies only after he has completed at least one semester in the program he has enrolled in.
A student who has spent at least one semester in the program which he has joined may request a postponement for a period of not more than two consecutive or separate semesters by a decision of the Dean and a recommendation from the Postgraduate Committee in the Department, provided that this is done in the first half of the semester.
The student's study will be postponed:
a. His application for postponement as in Article (34) is approved.
b. If paragraph (b) of Article 31 or paragraph (a) of Article (32) is applicable.
Third: Suspension of Registration
The student status will be deemed under suspension if the semester starts and he has not registered for that semester.
If the student stops his studies for two consecutive or separate semesters, he shall be dismissed from the program but may be re-admitted by a Council decision.
A student who has lost the right to study as a result of study suspension or withdrawal from a program may submit an application for re-admission. If admission conditions in his old program are satisfied, he may be re-admitted by following the regular admission procedures. His academic record shall be kept intact and he shall be permitted to resume the program in accordance with the study plan approved after his re-admission provided that the period of suspension or withdrawal does not exceed four years.
Section 8: Academic Warning and Expulsion
A student will be placed under academic probation in one of the following two cases:
a. If he fails to obtain, by the end of any semester, a C.G.P.A. of 3 out of 4 in the courses he studied until the end of the semester in question.
b. If the supervisor decides that the student is negligent in his thesis work.
A student will be suspended from the Master's program if:
a. The student fails to score C+ in a course, even when repeated for a better grade.
b. If his C.G.P.A. falls below 3.00 out of 4.00 for 2 semesters and he fails to clear the probation by the third semester.
c. If his study period exceeds the maximum time limit allowed in Article (6).
d. If he commits any act that violates the rules, regulations and by-laws of the University.
A student who is expelled from the program because of his low C.G .P.A is allowed to re-enroll for 9 credit hours. If he manages to raise his C.G.P.A. to 3.00 and clears the probation, he is allowed to re-enroll provided that:
a. His C.G.P.A., was a minimum of 2.5 when expelled.
b. The courses he enrolls for are part of his study program.
c. He completes these courses in no more than two consecutive semesters from his expulsion. The two semesters will, however, be included in the maximum allowed period for graduation.
Section 9: Supervision and Defense of Thesis
a. The Council appoints a supervisor for the Master's candidate based on the recommendation of the Graduate Committee in the in the Department concerned.
b. The Council shall make a decision to approve the thesis proposal no later than the end of the third semester from the date when the student joined the program based on the recommendation of the Department.
a. The supervisor appointed to supervise the thesis must be a full professor or an associate professor.
b. If need be, the supervisor could be an assistant professor who has at least 2 years of experience and a minimum of two papers in his field of specialization published or accepted for publication in a refereed journal or two papers.
c. The supervisor could be a distinguished researcher or eminent authority in the field in question from outside the University and will be appointed by a decision of the Council upon a recommendation from the Department and College.
The maximum number of theses supervised by one professor shouldn't exceed:
a. Four in case the supervisor is a full professor
b. Three in case the supervisor is an associate professor
c. Two in case the supervisor is an assistant professor, subject to the provisions of paragraph (b) of
The Council, however, has the right to increase the number of theses to be supervised according to the Department recommendations.
The Council may decide, upon the recommendation of the Department and the supervisor, to appoint a second supervisor for the thesis if the need arises.
In special circumstances, a supervisor may be replaced by someone else in the same manner he was appointed.
The Council may decide, upon a recommendation of the Department, that a supervisor who is on paid or unpaid sabbatical leave, continues to supervise individually or jointly the student's thesis provided that the leave is spent in the United Arab Emirates.
At the end of each semester, the supervisor submits a detailed report to the head of Department in which he charts the student's progress. A copy of the report will also be submitted to the Dean of Graduate Studies.
Once the thesis is completed, the supervisor will submit a final report to the head of Department in order to complete the procedures stipulated by the degree requirements regulations.
The weight for teaching master courses and theses supervision load shall be calculated in accordance with the executive instructions issued by the University.
Both the title and the theses proposal may be modified if required in the same manner adopted for thesis proposal approval.
The defense committee shall be appointed and a date shall be set by a decision of the Dean based on a proposal from the supervisor, the recommendation of the Postgraduate Studies Committee in the Department and the approval of the College Postgraduate Studies Committee.
The number of the defense committee members shall be at least three (excluding the co-supervisor). One of them must be from outside the Department or University, and must satisfy the conditions of supervision. The supervisor shall be the Chairman of the Committee which will take its decision by a majority vote (2/3 or 3/4 or 4/5).
The discussion of the thesis will be in the following manner:
a. The student will present a synopsis of his thesis.
b. The chairman of the panel will conduct the discussion at the end of which the panel will deliberate, make one of the following decisions and communicate it to the student:
1. To accept the thesis and recommend awarding the degree.
2. To accept the thesis and the award of the degree after the remarks of the panel have been taken into account. In this case, the student will be given a period of no less than one month and no more than three months from the date of the viva. Following this, the panel members will submit individual reports to the chairman of the panel indicating that the student has complied with the remarks. The chairman will convey the reports to the head of Department along with the report of the viva panel for submission to the Deanship of Graduate Studies.
3. To re-discuss the thesis after major changes have been made, in which case the student will be given a period of no less than six months and no more than one year from the date of discussion.
4. To reject the thesis and state the reasons for the decision. In this case, the student will be awarded a postgraduate diploma.
5. If the period specified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of this article expires without the student submitting his thesis along with the required changes, or if he fails to incorporate the panel's remarks, the thesis will be deemed to have been rejected, and the provisions of paragraph (4) of this Article will apply.
Section 10: General Provisions
The student will be awarded the Master's degree by a decision of the Council of Deans upon the recommendation of the Council, which will base its recommendation on the decision of the viva panel to accept the thesis.
The student will grant the University in writing the right to photocopy the entire thesis or parts thereof for research purposes and exchange with other universities.
The Council of Deans will take decisions on council recommendations for matters not provided for in these by-laws.
The Deanship of Graduate Studies and the Department of Admission and Registration will be responsible for the implementation of these instructions.