This section of the catalog describes the general academic requirements which form the basis of all university graduate degrees. Students must complete these requirements as well as those listed under individual degree programs (described in the next section) in order to obtain an academic degree.
The degree programs described represent the core of the university's wide range of academic and service activities. The university also conducts significant programs in research, training, and adult education, which are briefly listed in a separate section of this catalog and in more detail in other publications. Nondegree, intensive language programs in English and Arabic are described in the "English and Arabic Language Programs" section.
The Graduate Program
The university has established the following general requirements which apply to all students working toward a graduate diploma or a master's degree. Specific requirements for each degree program are described under the relevant "Fields of Study."
Upon entering the department of major, the student will be assigned an academic adviser who will provide counsel concerning degree requirements, course offerings, preparation for the comprehensive examination, and selection of a thesis topic and adviser. When a thesis topic and adviser are selected and approved, the thesis adviser then also becomes the academic adviser.
For the master of arts or master of science degree, the minimum requirement is 24 credit hours in residence and an acceptable thesis––normally two years of full-time academic work. Additional courses are assigned in lieu of the thesis if it is optional. The normal course load is 9 hours per semester. Upon the recommendation of the department concerned, students may register for up to 15 hours per semester, at an extra tuition charge. Students unable to carry a full course load may be permitted to take more time to complete their degree; however, they must complete all requirements, including the thesis, within five years of the date of first registration as a provisional or fully admitted graduate student. Students enrolling in the M.B.A. program must complete all requirements within six years of their provisional or full admission to the diploma program in Management.
The residence requirement of five or six years mentioned above does not include the period of enrollment in the English Language Institute.
A student may sit for a required comprehensive examination after completing 24 credit hours or while taking the final six credit hours. Comprehensive examinations are offered usually in mid-December and mid-April. Students not registered for courses or thesis hours and planning to sit for the comprehensive examination in any semester must register for comprehensives in that semester and pay tuition equivalent to one graduate credit hour.
Most master's degree programs require a thesis. Exceptions to this requirement are noted in the descriptions of the individual programs.
The student is responsible for selecting and developing a thesis topic which has departmental approval and for which a qualified adviser is available. In consultation with the adviser, the student must submit a thesis proposal (normally 1500 words in length) for consideration by the department. As soon as the proposal is approved, the student may proceed with thesis research and writing.
After completion of coursework, the student must register for 599 Research Guidance and Thesis each semester, and pay tuition equivalent to 3 credit hours each semester starting with the semester in which he/she plans to submit the thesis proposal, until completion of the thesis. A student who does not complete the thesis requirement within the period of two semesters (or three semesters in the case of economics majors) will be charged a fee equivalent to one graduate credit hour for each additional semester of thesis registration.
The thesis must be written in English and typed double-spaced. It will be judged on content, organization, documentation, and presentation. Guidelines on thesis writing and format are available at the department of major and the Office of Graduate Studies and Research.
Submission of Thesis
If the degree is expected at the end of the first semester, an acceptable (adviser-approved) thesis must be presented by November 15. If graduation is expected at the end of the second semester, the deadline for submitting the thesis is April 15. Each student is advised to submit the thesis early to allow time for the revisions which may be required; otherwise, awarding of the degree may be delayed.
Within three weeks of submission of the thesis, the candidate will meet with the committee appointed by the department for an examination of the thesis. The committee may include members from outside the department or outside the university.
All revisions required by the committee must be incorporated in the final copy. The committee members may consider the revised thesis individually or schedule another meeting with the candidate.
The top copy of the accepted and signed thesis is submitted to the Dean's office at least two weeks before commencement. If the thesis is submitted late, the degree will not be conferred that semester.