Jul 14, 2024  
2014-2015 Academic Catalog 
2014-2015 Academic Catalog [Published Catalog]

General Academic Requirements & Regulations

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Graduate Academic Requirements
Graduate Academic Regulations
Non-degree Academic Regulations

Academic requirements and regulations govern the relationship between the university and its students. Students must complete the general academic requirements described below as well as those listed under individual degree programs (described in the next section) in order to obtain an academic degree.

The academic regulations described in this section are effective at the time of publication. The university reserves the right to modify them, in which case changes will be announced when necessary. The student is responsible for being aware of all academic regulations. Current university regulations apply regardless of the regulations in effect at the time a student entered the university, except where current regulations specifically state the contrary.

Student Responsibility and Privacy Rights of Student Records

Please see “Undergraduate Academic Requirements and Regulations” section.


Graduate Academic Requirements


The university has established the following general requirements which apply to all students working toward a graduate diploma, master’s degree or a Ph.D. Specific requirements for each degree program are described under the relevant “Fields of Study.”

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.


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 program.

The residence requirement of five or six years mentioned above does not include the period of enrollment in the English Language Institute.

Comprehensive Examination

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.

Thesis Requirements

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. Copies of the proposal approval document must be kept in the department of major and forwarded to the Office of the University Registrar.

At the department’s discretion, the student may register for 599 Research Guidance and Thesis, 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 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 on the graduate studies website.

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. In addition to submitting a hard copy of the thesis, students are asked to submit an electronic version of the thesis directly to the AUC Digital Archive and Research Repository (AUC DAR) dar@aucegypt.edu

All research involving living human beings requires in-advance approval from AUC’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Each student’s thesis adviser is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate form is filled in accurately. Until the IRB form is completed and approved, the thesis cannot be posted on DAR, and the student is not eligible to graduate. For more information, please refer to the IRB link: www.aucegypt.edu/research/ReviewBoard/Pages/Home.aspx

Graduate Academic Regulations



Students must register during the official registration period at the times announced in the university calendar. They should plan their courses with their advisers prior to registration and follow the instructions contained in bulletins issued by the Office of the University Registrar or on the Registrar’s web site. Planning forms are available on the Registrar’s web page http://student.aucegypt.edu. For foreign students, registration must be completed before a student visa can be issued.

Change of Courses

With careful attention to the degree requirements and course offerings, there should be minimal need for course changes after registration has been completed. Any student who desires a change must follow the instructions contained in the bulletin issued by the Office of the University Registrar. Change of courses can only take place during the first two weeks of a regular semester and during the first week of a summer session.

  • No other course may be substituted for a required course unless university action requires that the change be made.
  • A course may not be added to the student’s schedule after the registration deadline.
  • Students may drop and/or add courses without penalty during the formal “Late Registration and Course Changes Period” specified in the bulletin issued by the Office of the University Registrar.
  • A course may not be added to the student’s schedule after the end of the period of
    Late Registration and Course Changes.
  • Students may drop a course and receive a “W” grade during the seven weeks following
    the conclusion of any period of Late Registration and Course Changes associated with a
    fall or spring semester (that is, up to eight weeks after the beginning of a semester).
    The current system of “WP” and “WF” is eliminated.
  • Students are not permitted to drop classes after the seventh week of the closing date of Late Registration and Drop/Add operations.
  • Students will receive a grade of “F” if they stop attending classes without officially
    dropping the course.
  • Students may petition their dean for permission to drop a class and receive a “W” grade after the seventh week of the closing date of Late Registration and Drop/Add operations. However, such petitions will be approved only in special cases, which in most extraordinary circumstances will mean documented health or family crises. Petitions will be neither accepted nor approved for the purpose of avoiding a low or failing grade.
  • Fulltime international transfer students may petition for permission to drop a class and receive a “W” grade after the seventh week of the closing date of Late Registration and Drop/Add operations by seeking the approval of the Faculty Advisor in the International Programs Office and then submitting the petition for approval to the responsible department chair and dean. In general, such petitions will be approved only in special cases, which in most circumstances will mean documented health or family crises.

Credit Hours

Coursework is counted in credit hours. In general, a credit hour represents a one-hour class period and at least two hours of individual study each week for one semester. Thus a course of three credit hours would meet for three hours a week and the student would be expected to study for at least six hours outside of class.

Academic Load

The normal program of study for a full-time graduate student is nine hours per semester; however, upon the recommendation of the department concerned, a student may register for up to fifteen hours per semester. “Overload” forms are available on the Registrar web page http://student.aucegypt.edu. A graduate student taking a load of less than nine hours is considered a part-time student. A foreign student carrying a full academic load is entitled to university certification for obtaining a student visa. Foreign graduate students carrying less than a full load are not entitled to such certification unless they are fellows or sponsored students. In case of withdrawal, the university reports to the Egyptian authorities to cancel the student residence visa that was received through the university.


At the close of the semester students receive a final grade in each course. The grade is the professor’s official estimate of the student’s achievement as reflected in examinations, assignments, and class participation. The final grades are recorded on the student’s permanent record at the Office of the University Registrar. The grade may not be changed or removed from the record.

The following grading system is used at the American University in Cairo:

Grade   Points   Description
A   4.0   Excellent
A-   3.7    
B+   3.3   Very good
B   3.0   Good
B-   2.7    
C+   2.3   Conditionally passing
C   2.0    
F   0.0   Failing
Grades not included in the Grade Point Average:
I   Incomplete
S   Satisfactory
U   Unsatisfactory
W   Withdrew
AU   Audit
IP   In progress
P   Pass

The grade point average is calculated by multiplying the grade point value by the number of credit hours the course represents. The result is listed as quality points. The total quality points are then divided by the total credit hours. The results in courses for no credit are not included in the computation of a grade point average. Grades of “I”,”S”, “P”, “U”, and “W” are not assigned grade point values and are not used in the computation of the grade point average. Decimals beyond two places are truncated, not rounded up, in computing the grade point average.

Dual Graduate Degrees

Graduate students may pursue two distinct graduate degrees (diploma and MA/MS or Two MA’s/MS’s) in different majors, either simultaneously or consecutively. In either case, the student must apply to and be accepted by each program involved. “Dual Graduate Degree” form is available on the Registrar’s web page http://student.aucegypt.edu. The student may have up to 12 credit hours accepted for credit in both degree programs contingent upon departments’ and deans’ approval. A maximum of 9 credit hours may be accepted in case of dual diploma degrees. In the case of simultaneous programs, the student may request prior approval of the courses to be counted towards both degrees from the departments involved. In the case of sequential degrees, a period of up to five years is allowed between the dates of finishing one degree and starting the second. Acceptance of a course towards the new degree shall be contingent upon departmental and dean’s approval.

Incomplete Work

Under some circumstances graduate students who are unable to complete a course may be permitted to continue and complete it in the following semester. “Incomplete” forms are available on the Registrar web page http://student.aucegypt.edu. In the meantime a grade of “I”, meaning that the work is incomplete, is assigned in the course.

Students, whether registered or not, are responsible for making arrangements with the professor and the department of the major to complete the course in the following semester, otherwise, a tentative grade estimated on the basis of work already completed will be recorded. Failure to complete the course within the following semester will result in the grade being recorded as “F” unless a tentative grade has been previously reported. Meanwhile, students are not allowed to register for the same course.

The incomplete grade ‘I’ will appear on the student’s record along with the final grade received upon completion of outstanding work.

Any instructor submitting an incomplete grade must supplement this submission with a form to the Office of the Registrar (copies to the instructor and the student) giving the following information:

  1. Reason for the incomplete.
  2. The material which is lacking.
  3. Action necessary for removal of the incomplete.

The instructor will also inform the University Registrar, on the same form, of the grade the student will receive if the outstanding work is not completed on time. This grade is to be submitted to the registrar at the time of submitting the incomplete grade sheet.

Students who have an incomplete grade are not allowed to carry more than twelve credit hours a semester including the incomplete course or courses.

Students on warning who receive an incomplete are not permitted to register the following semester unless they have completed the coursework of the previous semester.

Probation, Dismissal and Course Repeat

If the student’s grade point average falls below “B” either in graduate work or in prerequisite course requirements, he/she will be placed on probation for one semester, during which time he/she must regain a “B” average.

Students who receive an “F” in any course will normally not be allowed to continue in the university (please refer to the course repeat policy in the following paragraph); a student may also be dismissed from the university if he/she does not complete all requirements within the period specified under ‘Residence’.

With the recommendation of the department and the approval of the school dean, a graduate student may be allowed to repeat one course, except if the grade is received for academic dishonesty. This privilege may be exercised only once. With the recommendation of the department and approval of the school dean, substitution is allowed for an elective or an infrequently offered course. Both the original grade and the new grade will appear in the transcript but only the new grade will be used in calculating the GPA. “Repeat Policy” forms are available on the Registrar’s web page http://student.aucegypt.edu

Planned Educational Leave of Absence

Students at The American University in Cairo may apply for a Planned Educational Leave of Absence. A Planned Educational Leave of Absence is defined as a planned interruption or pause in a student’s regular education during which the student temporarily ceases his or her formal studies at AUC while pursuing other activities that may assist in clarifying the student’s educational goals. The intent of the policy is to make it possible for a student to suspend his or her academic work, leave the campus without jeopardizing his or her rights and privileges, and later resume his or her studies with a minimum of procedural difficulty. A student who is approved for a planned leave will be considered as maintaining his or her status as a continuing student.

Planned educational leaves may be granted for a variety of reasons or projects, but certain characteristics must be contained in any request for a leave:

  • The leave must have a definite purpose relevant to the student’s overall educational objectives and goals.
  • The request must be for a specific period of time which should not exceed 2 regular semesters for students pursuing a graduate program.
  • The student must plan to return to AUC at the conclusion of his or her leave.

The following regulations apply to the planned educational leave:

  1. An application for a Planned Educational Leave of Absence and additional information can be obtained from the Office of the University Registrar or the Registrar’s web page http://student.aucegypt.edu
  2. The student must obtain the approval of his or her faculty advisor, the department chair of his or her major.
  3. The student should be in good academic standing at the time of the leave request. The leave application must be submitted to the Office of the University Registrar by the start of the final examination period of the semester immediately preceding the requested leave. The Office of the University Registrar will notify the leave applicant of the status of the request after all of his or her final grades have been submitted.
  4. The student may cancel a leave of absence as late as the first day of classes of the term for which the leave has been requested.
  5. A degree student who discontinues active enrollment in degree studies without being granted a leave of absence, or a student granted a leave who does not return to active study at the close of the period of approved absence, will be considered to have withdrawn from the University and must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and requirements then in force.
  6. The right to use university facilities is suspended while the leave is in effect, with the exception of library privileges subject to the approval of the department of major.
  7. A Planned Educational Leave of Absence is counted as part of the time limitations. A student returning from an approved leave remains under the requirements of the catalog that he or she was following upon his/her first registration into the program.
  8. Any academic credit during a Planned Educational Leave of Absence is accredited by AUC only if permission is granted in advance by the University Registrar and the department of major.

Withdrawal from the University

Students who drop all their courses during a semester are requested to pass by the Office of the University Registrar to activate their registration screens before the advising/registration period for the consecutive semester.

Students who wish to withdraw from the University for one semester or more due to illness or other emergency circumstances are requested to fill in a “Withdrawal Form” and submit it to the Office of the University Registrar - forms are available at the Office of the University Registrar and on the Registrar web page http://student.aucegypt.edu

Withdrawal grades will be recorded for each course, grades are either WP, meaning that the student was doing satisfactory work at the time of withdrawal, or WF, meaning that the student was not doing satisfactory work at the time of withdrawal. No academic credit is given for courses from which students withdraw.

Students who wish to return after an absence of one or more semesters may apply for readmission. Readmission is not granted automatically. (See the “Admissions” section of the catalog.)


Students who have graduated or who withdrew from the University can apply for official or student transcripts of their academic record. There will be a charge for this service. No transcript of academic record will be issued during the examination, registration, or graduation periods. Academic transcripts will not be issued when unsatisfied financial obligations to the university exist.

Non-degree Academic Regulations


Since non-degree students are usually seeking credit for transfer to other institutions, not all of the academic regulations in this section are applicable to them. They will be primarily concerned about the academic regulations of their home institutions to ensure that they receive maximum possible credit for their work at AUC. Non-degree Students who wish to transfer credits to their home universities should check these universities policies before coming to Cairo.

Non-degree students should note the sections pertaining to registration, change of courses, academic load, grades, warning, incomplete work, class attendance, and transcripts in the graduate section, as appropriate.

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