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.
Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the information presented in this catalog and for observing all policies and procedures related to their participation in the university community. In addition, AUC has adopted a set of policies and procedures concerning the statutes and regulations on the campus. Copies of these policies and procedures may be obtained at the Office of the Registrar.
Regulations will not be waived nor exceptions granted based on a student’s lack of awareness of the policies and procedures of the American University in Cairo. Although a number of university personnel (e.g. advisors, faculty members, registrar, departmental staff, and student affairs staff members) assist students, the student is personally responsible for following all policies and meeting deadlines and requirements. This responsibility includes, but is not limited to, academic requirements and the rules listed under the appropriate information sections of this catalog.
Privacy Rights of Student Records
Students have the right to access their own official records. The written consent of the student must be received before personally identifiable data is released from the student’s records to any party other than the exceptions specified below.
While the university is authorized under the United States Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 to release “directory information” about students, AUC does not publish a student directory. Student information is subject to release by the university unless the university has received prior written objection from the student specifying information that the student requests not to be released. Such written objection should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
AUC is authorized to provide access to student records to campus officials and employees who have legitimate educational interests in such access. These persons are those who have responsibilities in connection with the academic, administrative, or service functions of the university and who have reason for using student records connected with their academic or other university responsibilities. Disclosure may also be made to other persons or organizations under certain conditions (e.g. as part of an accreditation or program evaluation; in response to a court order or subpoena; in connection with financial aid; or to US institutions to which the student is transferring).
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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 starting the program 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 thesis supervisor. When a thesis topic and supervisor are selected and approved, the thesis supervisor then also becomes the academic adviser.
Residence is the period of study completed at AUC. For the master’s and for the PhD degrees, two-thirds of the required credit hours, excluding research seminars and thesis credit hours, must be completed in residence. An acceptable thesis is also required. Additional courses are assigned in lieu of the thesis if it is optional.
Enrollment Status and Time Limit for a Degree Completion
The normal load for a full time student is 9 credit hours per semester. Upon the recommendation of the program concerned, students may register for up to 15 credit hours per semester.
A student taking a load of less than 9 credit hours per semester is typically considered a part-time student. A foreign student taking a course load of 9 credit hours per semester is entitled to university certification for obtaining a student visa. Foreign 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.
Typically, the completion of these requirements takes two years of full time academic work for the master’s degree, and five years for the PhD degree. 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, where applicable, within five years of the date of first registration as a provisional or fully admitted graduate student in a master’s degree program. Students enrolling in the master in Counseling Psychology program must complete all requirements within six years of their provisional or full admission to the program. Students enrolling in the PhD program must complete all requirements within seven years of their provisional or full admission to the program. The time limit does not include semesters for which students are only enrolled in English language instruction. Any period of interrupted studies, such as an approved Planned Educational Leave of Absence, or a period of temporary withdrawal, is counted as part of the time period required for degree completion.
An academic program may grant an extension for completing the degree beyond the set limit by one semester, up to a maximum of one academic year. This requires the approvals of the dean of the degree program and the dean of Graduate Studies.
Comprehensive and Qualifying Examinations
A student may sit for a required comprehensive examination after completing 24 credit hours or while taking the final 6 credit hours. Comprehensive examinations are offered usually in mid-December and mid-April. Students not registered for courses or thesis credit 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.
A PhD student should sit for the PhD qualifying examination the semester immediately following the completion of the required course credit hours, but no later than the fourth semester since full or provisional admission. The exam is offered twice a year: once in each of the fall and spring semesters. Dates are announced at the beginning of each academic year. A PhD student can only sit for the PhD qualifying examination while enrolled at AUC.
Comprehensive and qualifying examinations may be repeated once. A student who fails the comprehensive or qualifying examination a second time would be dismissed from the degree program after the end of the semester in which the examination was retaken.
Additional to required courses, most master’s degree programs and the PhD program require a thesis. Exceptions to this requirement are noted in the descriptions of the individual programs, which may specify supplementary requirements instead of a thesis.
The student is responsible for selecting and developing a thesis topic which has program approval and for which a qualified supervisor is available. In consultation with the supervisor, the student must submit a thesis proposal, as per the specifications of the degree program, for consideration by the program. Once the proposal is approved, the student may proceed with thesis research and writing. A copy of the proposal approval must be kept in the program of major.
At the program’s discretion, and in order for a master’s student to embark on his/her thesis work, the student may register for Research Guidance and Thesis credits, and pay tuition equivalent to 3 credit hours each semester until completion of the thesis. For a PhD student, he/she may register for up to 9 credit hours of Research Guidance Dissertation credits each semester. A student who does not complete the thesis requirement within the period of two semesters for master’s degrees, three semesters in case of M.Sc. in Finance and within the assigned total number of dissertation credits for a PhD degree, 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. It will be judged on content, organization, documentation, and presentation and originality. Guidelines on thesis writing and format are available at the graduate studies website.
Approvals from the Institutional Review Board and CAPMAS
All research involving human subjects requires in-advance approval from AUC’s Institutional Review Board (IRB). Each student’s thesis supervisor is responsible for ensuring that the student has obtained IRB approval, where applicable, before embarking on thesis work. Thesis work involving human subjects and conducted without obtaining prior IRB approval cannot be used. Without proper IRB approval, the thesis cannot be accepted nor be posted on AUC Knowledge Fountain, and the student is not eligible to graduate. For more information, please refer to the IRB webpage https://www.aucegypt.edu/research/institutional-review-board
For some research, approval from the Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) is required for data collection. Where applicable, a student must secure this approval prior to his/her data collection.
Submission of Thesis
If the degree is expected at the end of the fall semester, an acceptable (supervisor -approved) thesis must be presented by November 15. If graduation is expected at the end of the spring semester, the deadline for submitting the thesis is April 1. 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 program 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 originality of the final thesis text must be checked. The committee members may consider the revised thesis individually or schedule another meeting with the candidate.
The electronic copy of the accepted and signed thesis is submitted to the office of the dean of the degree program by the third Tuesday of January (for fall, and winter graduates), by the third Tuesday of May (for spring graduates) and by the third Tuesday of July (for summer graduates). If the thesis is submitted late, the degree will not be conferred that semester. In addition to submitting a digital file of the thesis, students are required to submit an electronic version of the thesis, including the required forms and the completed signature page, directly to AUC Knowledge Fountain (https://fount.aucegypt.edu/)
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 Registrar or on the Registrar’s web site. Planning forms are available on the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar. For foreign students, registration must be completed before a student visa can be issued.
Newly admitted degree-seeking students must successfully complete the online Academic Integrity Modules during their first semester at AUC. Registration in subsequent semesters shall not be possible until the successful completion of these modules.
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 Registrar. Change of courses can only take place during the start of a semester during the drop/add period determined by the Office of the Registrar .
- 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 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).
- 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 concerned program director and dean. In general, such petitions will be approved only in special cases, which in most 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.
A course substitution is the replacement of a required course for a degree with another course, provided that the latter meets the learning outcomes of the required course. In the unlikely event that a course substitution is needed, the concerned student must complete a course substitution form available at the Office of the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar and secure all the necessary approvals on the form before submitting the completed form to the Office of the Registrar. Course substitution is limited to up to one-third of the credit hours of the course work required for a graduate degree.
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.
The normal load for a full-time graduate student is 9 credit hours per semester. Upon the recommendation of the program concerned, students may register for up to 15 credit hours per semester, at an extra tuition charge. In this respect, overload forms are available at the Office of University Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
Overload shall not be allowed for students that are on any sort of academic probation or have not completed the outstanding course work related to an incomplete grade.
A student taking a load of less than 9 credit hours per semester is considered a part-time student. A foreign student taking a course load of 9 credit hours per semester is entitled to university certification for obtaining a student visa. Foreign 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.
The academic load in the winter session is a maximum of 4 credits.
The academic load in the summer session is a maximum of 6 credits, overlapping of courses in the longer summer session with the shorter sessions is not allowed.
Independent study is a student‐initiated directed study in a field of special interest not available through current course offerings and is detailed in a mutually agreed‐upon contract between a faculty member and a student. Independent study can provide students with a unique opportunity to work on carefully selected projects under the direct supervision of a faculty member volunteer with a shared interest.
A graduate student in good academic standing may enroll in independent study not exceeding 3 credit hours within a single graduate degree. In case of dual degrees, whether simultaneous or sequential, up to 3 credit hours of independent study may be taken for each degree. The Independent Study form is available at the Office of the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
At the close of the semester students receive a final grade in each course. The grade is the course instructor’s official evaluation of the student’s achievement as reflected in course work. This final grade is recorded by the course instructor on Banner, and becomes part of the permanent academic record maintained by the Office of the Registrar. The grade may not be changed or removed from the record.
The following grading system is used at the American University in Cairo:
|Grades not included in the Grade Point Average
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”, “U”, “W”, “AU”, “IP”, “NR” and “P” 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 (two master’s degrees, or a diploma and a master’s degree, or two graduate diploma degrees) in different majors, either simultaneously or consecutively. In any case, the student must seek admission to and be accepted by each program of concern, and then fill out a “Dual Graduate Degree” form, which is available on at the Office of the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
The student may have up to a maximum of 12 credit hours accepted for credit in both degree programs contingent on the approvals of the concerned programs and school deans. A maximum of 9 credit hours may be accepted for the case of dual graduate diploma degrees or the case of a dual master’s and graduate diploma degrees.
In the case of sequential degrees, credit hours from the first degree can be accepted for credit in the second degree contingent on the approval of the second degree concerned program and concerned school dean. A period of five years should not be exceeded between the dates of completing these credits in the first degree and the start of the second degree.
In the case of simultaneous degrees, students who have completed all the requirements for one of the degrees and who decide to withdraw from the other degree, will receive the appropriate single degree. Students who have withdrawn from one of the degrees and later decide to complete this degree, must apply for readmission, be readmitted and then fulfill the requirements for this degree. This must be carried out within the period of the time limit for completing a degree (please refer to section of “Enrollment Status and Time Limit for a Degree Completion”)
A student who withdraws from his/her master’s degree, then joins another master’s degree may have up to 12 credit hours completed for the former degree accepted in the latter. For the case of two graduate diploma degrees or the case of a master’s and a graduate diploma degrees, up to 9 credit hours completed for the former degree may be accepted into the newly pursued degree. The above is contingent on the approvals of the concerned program and school dean. A period of five years should not be exceeded between the dates of completing these credits for the first degree and the start of the second degree.
Dual Undergraduate/Graduate Programs
A dual undergraduate/graduate degree program is an approved program in which a student pursues a graduate degree with an undergraduate degree in a related field. The total time for the two degrees could be decreased through the acceptance of up to 12 credit hours of required courses in both degrees. A student enrolled in such a program must complete all requirements for the two degrees and is awarded both degrees at the end of the program. In this regard, this student is admitted to the graduate program before he/she has earned a bachelor’s degree. The student is typically able to take both undergraduate and graduate courses for the program during his/her senior year.
A student who decides to withdraw from this dual degree program, will receive his/her appropriate undergraduate degree contingent on having completed all requirements for this undergraduate degree.
In rare cases, graduate students who are unable to complete a course may be permitted to continue and complete it in the following semester. In the meantime, a grade of “I” is assigned to the course. Any course instructor submitting an incomplete grade must supplement this submission with an incomplete form to the Office of the Registrar (with copies to the program director, and the student) giving the following information:
- Reason for the incomplete.
- The material which is lacking.
- Action necessary for removal of the incomplete.
Incomplete forms are available at the Office of the Registrar webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
The student must make the necessary arrangements with the course instructor to complete the outstanding course work before the start of the examination period of the following semester, whether the student is enrolled at university or not. In completing the outstanding work, the student need not register again for the incomplete course. Failure to complete the course work within this time period will result in the grade to change to “F”, signifying failure for the course. No extension of this time period is allowed.
Students in good academic standing, with incomplete grades, are not allowed to have a load higher than 12 credit hours, including the load of the incomplete course or courses, during the semester in which they need to complete the required coursework for clearing the incomplete grades. Students with incomplete grades and who are on probation will not be allowed to register for any credits during the semester in which they need to complete the coursework for clearing the incomplete grades.
Only the final grade, received upon completion of the outstanding work, is kept on the student’s record.
Probation, Dismissal, Course Repeat and Retake
If a student’s grade 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. In case the student’s overall GPA does not meet the “B” average at the end of the given semester, the student will be dismissed from the university.
A graduate student, who receives an “F” in any course, will be dismissed from the university.
Provisionally admitted students must meet the required admission condition specified by the graduate program. In case the student fails to meet the admission condition, he/she will be dismissed from the program.
When a student does not complete all program requirements within the period specified under “Enrollment Status and Time Limit for a Degree Completion”, he/she will be dismissed from the program for the expiration of the study period. A student may not seek new admission to the same program from which he/she has been dismissed for the expiration of the study period.
A student dismissed from university, may petition for repeating one course. This would be to possibly clear an “F” or to improve his/her GPA to 3.0 or above. If allowed, he/she will need to apply for a readmission. If this repeat is to clear an “F”, the student is not allowed to register in any other courses until successfully repeating this course and clearing the “F” grade.
With the recommendation of the program and the approval of the school dean, a graduate student may be allowed to repeat one graduate level course, regardless of the grade achieved, except if the grade is received for breaching academic integrity (please refer to the paragraph below if the grade is because of a breach of academic integrity).
With the recommendation of the program 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 on the transcript but only the new grade will be used in calculating the GPA. With the recommendation of the program and the approvals of the school dean and the dean of graduate studies a student may be allowed to retake a graduate level course in which the grade received was because of a breach of academic integrity, when the course is next offered, unless otherwise stipulated by the academic integrity sanctions. Both the original grade and the new grade will appear in the transcript and both will be used in calculating the GPA. This privilege of repeating and/or retaking a graduate course may be exercised only once. Repeat forms are available at the Office of the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
Planned Educational Leave of Absence
A degree-seeking student may apply for a Planned Educational Leave of Absence. A Planned Educational Leave of Absence is defined as a planned interruption of a student’s regular education during which the student temporarily ceases his or her formal studies at AUC, and after which he/she resumes his/her studies without the need to apply for readmission. A student who is approved for a Planned Educational Leave will be considered as maintaining his or her status as a continuing student.
1. A student requesting a Planned Educational Leave of Absence must be in good academic standing at the time of request. The leave is conditional on the approval of the concerned program, and school dean. The leave application must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar no later than two weeks before the start of the semester by when the leave is requested. The Office of the Registrar will notify the leave applicant of the status of the request before the start of the semester when the leave is requested.
Planned Educational Leave requests should:
- Specify the purpose of the leave, which must be relevant to the student’s overall educational objectives.
- Not exceed a maximum of 2 regular semesters.
- Include the student’s confirmation of returning to AUC at the conclusion of the leave.
2. The Planned Educational Leave of Absence form is available at the Office of the Office of the Registrar’s webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
3. 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 and approved.
A degree-seeking student shall be considered as having withdrawn from the university if he/she discontinues active enrollment in his/her program without being granted an approved leave of absence, if he/she does not return to active study at the close of the period of approved leave absence. This student must apply for readmission and be subject to the regulations and requirements then in force.
The right to use university facilities is suspended while the approved leave of absence is in effect, with the exception of library privileges subject to the approval of the program of major and the concerned school dean.
A Planned Educational Leave of Absence is counted as part of the time period for the completion of the degree. 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.
Any academic credits accrued during a Planned Educational Leave of Absence is accepted by AUC only if prior permission is granted by the Office of the Registrar and the department program of major.
Withdrawal from the University
Degree-seeking 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 available at the Office of the Registrar webpage: https://www.aucegypt.edu/students/registrar
A “W” grade will be recorded for each course from which the student withdrew, unless the withdrawal has taken place during the drop and add period in a semester and no academic credit is given for these courses.
Withdrawn students who wish to return after an absence of one or more semesters must apply for readmission. Readmission is not granted automatically. (See the “Admissions” section of the catalog.)
A withdrawal period is counted as part of the time period for the completion of the degree.
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, where applicable, 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 regulations pertaining to registration, change of courses, academic load, grades, probation, incomplete work, class attendance, and transcripts in the graduate section, as appropriate.
Non-degree students who wish to transfer non-degree credits completed at AUC towards a graduate degree should first obtain admission into the intended graduate program. A maximum of three courses (9 credits) can be transferred to the graduate degree sought. A minimum “B” grade per course is required together with the approvals of the graduate program and the respective school dean. Non-degree credits to be transferred must have been completed within five years of admission to the relevant degree program.
Upon the recommendation of the student’s program to the school dean in consultation with the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies and the Office of the University Registrar, a graduate student may receive a number of transfer credits equivalent to up to one-third of the credit hours of graduate course work required for his/her graduate degree. Transfer course work is applied as credit (TR) toward the degree and is not included in the calculation of the grade point average.
Graduate transfer credits will not be granted for credits earned by examination or for completing required thesis or dissertation credit hours.
A graduate degree program may establish lower limits on the number of transfer credits than those of the university. Degree programs establishing lower limits may waive their own policy, but within the university specified limit, by approval of the concerned school dean. Course work credits to be transferred, and taken prior to matriculation to a current AUC degree program, must have been completed within five years of admission to this degree program.
Types of credits allowed to transfer encompass graduate-level course work taken at another institution and meeting the following conditions:
- They have not been previously used to earn another degree or transcripted certificate.
- They are for graded graduate level course work from an accredited institution, for which the student has achieved a grade of “B” or better.
- They are of relevance to the student’s program of study.
- They have been completed within a period of five years from the date of the start of the degree to which they are to be transferred.
Any request for the acceptance of transfer credit towards an AUC degree shall be carefully considered by the program concerned before submitting a recommendation to the school dean for approval.