PhD Programs in CUST

At the time of its genesis, the founders of the university had a dynamic institution in mind that would act as a catalyst of change to mold our society in the cast of a knowledge based economy by proactively contributing towards the troika of industry, academia and the government. These multi-dimensional objectives can be achieved by flourishing a culture of research and innovation in the university. Such an environment can only be sustained through a very strong and mature PhD program.

By the grace of Allah Almighty, CUST is one of the very few universities in the country having a mature PhD program characterized by well-established calendar of advanced postgraduate courses and crystal clear academic processes. This has become possible by the retention of seasoned faculty in its PhD programs who not only excel in research but also are actively linked with the national industry.

Above everything our research culture is extremely student friendly. We do not put the burden of quality research solely on the student. Rather, the student gets help and nurturing in the form of extremely motivated supervisors, well established research groups which have matured over decades and a preserved database of the research conducted at the university in the form of PhD theses and publications.

PhDs Discipline

  1. PhD Electrical Engineering
  2. PhD Mechanical Engineering
  3. PhD Civil Engineering
  4. PhD Computer Science
  5. PhD Mathematics
  6. PhD Management Sciences
  7. PhD Bio-science

No. of PhDs Produced

  1. CUST/MAJU PhD students graduated till 14th Convocation dated 06-12-2018.
Sr.No. Programs PhDs
1 PhD – MGMT 59
2 PhD – CS 20
3 PhD – EE 44
4 PhD – BI 3
5 PhD – MATHS 9
Total 135
  1. CUST PhD students for Convocation 2019.
Sr.No. Programs PhDs
1 PhD – MGMT 3
2 PhD – CS 2
3 PhD – EE 4
4 PhD – BI 1
5 PhD – MATHS 2
Total 12


In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 28 of the Capital University of Science and Technology Act, 2015 (Act No. XVI of 2015), the Board of Governors of the University is pleased to make the following regulations for graduate programs at the Capital University of Science and Technology, namely:—

1. Short Title and Commencement

  1. These regulations may be called the Capital University of Science and Technology Graduate Programs (PhD) Regulations, 2018.
  2. These regulations shall come into force at once.

2. Definitions – In these regulations, unless there is anything repugnant in, the subject or context

  1. “Academic Council” means Academic Council of the University.
  2. “Board of advanced studies and research” means board of advanced studies and research (BASR) of the University.
  3. “Controller of Examinations” means Controller of Examinations of the University.
  4. “Credit Hour” means one hour of classroom teaching or three hours of lab teaching in one week.
  5. “Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)” means earned grade points multiplied by credit hours of that course, the sum of the product is then divided by the total number of credit hours attempted in the program.
  6. “Dean” means the Dean of the faculty in which the scholar is pursuing his/her studies.
  7. “Defense committee” means a committee constituted by the BASR for the oral defense of a PhD dissertation.
  8. “Degree Program” means in which the student is enrolled.
  9. “Department” means the department of the University in which the student is admitted.
  10. “Dissertation” means a piece of writing by the scholar involving original study of a subject through academic research.
  11. “External” means an expert from outside the department or the University.
  12. “Fall semester” means last semester of the calendar year.
  13. “Faculty” means a teaching entity of the University.
  14. “Grade Point Average (GPA)” means earned grade points multiplied by credit hours of that course, the sum of the product is then divided by the total number of credit hours attempted in a semester.
  15. “Higher Education Commission (HEC)” means the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
  16. “Registrar” means Registrar of the University.
  17. “Registration department” means registration department of the University.
  18. “Regular semester” means spring or fall semester.
  19. “Scholar” means a student who has been awarded admission in a PhD program of the University and his registration is intact.
  20. “Semester” means a period of 16 weeks of academic activities.
  21. “Similarity index” means a report generated by a plagiarism checking software for a particular piece of writing.
  22. “Spring Semester” means first semester of the calendar year.
  23. “Summer semester” means a semester falling between spring and fall semesters having 8 weeks duration.
  24. “Supervisor” means a professor/researcher having PhD degree appointed by the BASR to advise the scholar.
  25. “University” means the Capital University of Science and Technology.

3. Admission Requirements

  1.  An applicant desirous for admission in PhD shall be required to meet the following minimum eligibility criteria:
    1. MS/MPhil degree in the relevant discipline from a degree awarding institution recognized by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan;
    2. At least 3.0 (on the scale of 4.0) Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) in the MS/M.Phil degree or 60% aggregate marks if the degree is earned from an annual system; and
    3. Qualify University admission test or HEC approved test with minimum 60% marks.
  2. A PhD applicant having MS/MPhil degree from abroad shall submit an equivalence certificate from the HEC indicating his/her academic eligibility for admission in PhD.
  3. An applicant who has already completed a part of credit hours of PhD in another HEC recognized University may be eligible for admission subject to the following conditions:
    1. no transfer of credit hours against research work shall be made; and
    2. the University shall have the exclusive right to accept or reject the request for transfer of Cr. Hrs against course work.
  4. The admission of an applicant in the PhD program shall be subject to the approval of the board of advanced study and research (BASR).

4. Degree Requirements

  1. A PhD scholar shall be required to successfully complete all of the following requirements:
    1. 18 Cr. Hrs. course work;
    2. 30 Cr. Hrs. research work;
    3. comprehensive examination;
    4. research work synopsis;
    5. dissertation foreign reviews;
    6. publication/acceptance of at least one research paper in a reputed research journal, and
    7. dissertation defense
  2. Subject to regulation 5(10) a PhD scholar shall be ceased to continue his/her studies if he/she fails to complete 18 Cr. Hrs. coursework within four regular semesters with at least 3.00/4.00 CGPA,.

5. Registration

  1. The maximum allowable registration of credit hours in a Spring or Fall semester shall be nine (09) Cr. Hrs. while in a Summer semester it shall be three (03) Cr. Hrs.
  2. A PhD scholar shall register in each regular semester.
  3. A PhD scholar who is not registered in a regular semester shall have an inactive registration status unless the scholar is on a semester break.
  4.  A PhD scholar who has completed 48 Cr. Hrs. registration but did not complete the degree program shall register at least one Cr. Hr. in subsequent regular semester to continue to maintain his/her registration status active.
  5. An unauthorized absence of the Scholar from the University for two consecutive regular semesters shall lead to cancellation of the admission.
  6. Where the admission of a scholar has been cancelled the re-admission request may be considered, if supported by the Supervisor, if the scholar has a chance to complete the program within maximum allowed duration.
  7. A PhD scholar may add or drop a course within a specified period announced by the Registration Department and a course so added or dropped shall be deemed to have been registered or omitted, as the case may be, from the start of registration.
  8. A scholar may withdraw a course within the time limits announced by the Registration Department and a course so withdrawn shall be reported on the transcript with ‘W’ grade.
  9. A withdrawn course shall not be counted towards the calculation of Grade Point Average (GPA). However, it shall be treated as a registered course for the evaluation of tuition fee.
  10. A PhD scholar may repeat up to a maximum of six (06) Cr. Hrs. to improve his/her CGPA but if he/she fails to obtain 3.0/4.0 CGPA at the end of 24 Cr. Hrs. coursework he/she shall cease to be the student of the University.

6. Course Examinations

  1. A scholar shall be eligible for final term examination only if he/she meets the requirements specified from time to time by the office of Controller of Examinations.
  2. Midterm and final term examinations shall be administered by the office of Controller of Examinations.
  3. Midterm and Final term examinations of a course shall be as per the date sheet announced by the Controller of Examinations and if a scholar misses the final examination for any reason, there shall be no re-examination.
  4. Scholar shall receive letter grades for the registered credits at the end of each semester as per the following scheme:
    Marks Letter Grades Grade Points Definition
    90-100 A 4.00 Excellent
    86-89 A- 3.67 Very Good
    81-85 B+ 3.33 Good
    77-80 B 3.00 Acceptable
    72-76 B- 2.67 Average
    68-71 C+ 2.33 Below Average
    63-67 C 2.00 Poor
    58-62 C- 1.67 Exceptionally Weak
    Below 58 F 0.00 Fail
    I Work in Progress
    W Withdrawn
    P Pass
    S/US Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory
    NC Non Credit
    () Grade Replaced
  5. A scholar not satisfied with the awarded grade may file a petition to the office of Controller of Examinations for the review of the final grade within fifteen days after the declaration of the result. The review of the grade shall be limited to omissions and calculation errors.

7. Probation & Expulsion

  1. A scholar shall be placed on probation in a semester if he/she fails to attain 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) Grade Point Average (GPA).
  2. In case a scholar remains on probation for two consecutive semesters his/her case may be referred to the BASR for decision on his/her expulsion or otherwise.

8. Comprehensive Examination

  1. A PhD scholar is required to qualify the comprehensive examination within a maximum of two attempts.
  2. A PhD scholar is required to register for the comprehensive examination, which shall be conducted in each regular semester (Spring or Fall).
  3. List of the PhD registered scholars, who shall appear in the PhD comprehensive examination will be issued under the seal of controller of examinations.
  4. For a given program, the courses and the course contents of the comprehensive examination shall be designated by the scholar’s respective department.
  5. A PhD scholar is required to qualify both oral and written parts of the comprehensive examination with a cumulative qualifying score of at least 60%.
  6. A PhD scholar who registered the comprehensive examination but did not appear in the examination shall be deemed to have consumed one chance with F grade.
  7. A withdrawal request from the comprehensive examination shall be considered if it is communicated in writing by the scholar at least two working days before the holding of examination.
  8.  A PhD scholar who failed the comprehensive examination in the second attempt or completed two years as a PhD scholar but did not qualify the comprehensive examination shall be ceased to continue his/her studies.

9. Research Synopsis

  1. Research synopsis shall be qualified by the PhD scholar at least two semesters prior to the dissertation submission. The semester in which it is qualified shall be counted and the date of qualification shall be the date of examination, subject to the approval by the BASR.
  2. The Synopsis shall be examined by a committee comprising of:
    1. Dean of the faculty/his nominee             –               Chairman
    2. BASR nominee                                            –               Member
    3. one internal examiner                               –               Member
    4. supervisor                                                    –               Member
  3. A synopsis shall be evaluated as:
    1. accepted as is;
    2. accepted with revisions;
    3. rejected
  4. Revised synopsis, shall be submitted within four weeks, failing which the synopsis shall be rejected.
  5. A rejected synopsis may be submitted at any time during a semester for re-examination with a certificate from the supervisor that ‘reasons of rejection have been addressed adequately’.
  6. There shall be a maximum of two chances to qualify the PhD research synopsis, and if a scholar fails to qualify the synopsis even after passage of four years from the admission, he/she shall cease to be the student of the University.

10. Research

  1. Research credits registered by a PhD scholar shall be evaluated by the scholar’s supervisor at the end of each semester with satisfactory or unsatisfactory grade, and a scholar with unsatisfactory performance shall be placed on probation.
  2. PhD dissertation may be submitted after the completion of 30 research Cr. Hrs. subject to the conditions that the scholar must have an active registration status at the time of submission.
  3. A dissertation shall be cleared for foreign reviews if its similarity index is less than 20% in total, and less than 5% from a single source. Similarity from the student’s own published work carried out during the PhD studies shall be excluded.
  4. In case of any ambiguity in plagiarism assessment, the following committee shall evaluate the case and submit its recommendations to the BASR for decision:
    1. concerned Dean
    2. concerned Head of Department
    3. scholar’s Supervisor
    4. Director Graduate Studies
  5. A PhD dissertation shall be reviewed by at least two foreign experts from a technologically / academically advanced country as per the list published by the HEC from time to time.
  6. BASR shall approve a panel of three foreign reviewers out of five proposed by the concerned Dean in consultation with the supervisor.
  7. A foreign review recommending revisions shall be accepted under the Supervisor‟s certificate and if a review is asking for major revisions it shall be sent back to the concerned reviewer, after corrections, if so desired by the reviewer.
  8. A PhD dissertation must have at least two out of three positive foreign reviews to make the scholar eligible for the final defense.
  9. The Dean shall propose the examiners for final defense in consultation with the supervisor for the approval of the BASR.
  10. A PhD dissertation shall be examined, in an open defense, by a defense committee comprising of:
    1. Dean of the faculty Chairman
    2. two external examiners Members
    3. one internal examiner Member
    4. supervisor Member

Provided that if the Dean of the concerned faculty himself is the supervisor, then a senior faculty member shall be appointed by the BASR as the chairman of the defense committee.

  1. The chairman of the defense committee shall ensure the fairness in the conduct of the defense and the recommendations received from the members under regulation 10(12) shall be presented in the next BASR meeting for approval or otherwise.
  2. After the defense, the chairman of the defense committee shall invite the recommendations of the examiners that:
    1. dissertation may be accepted as is;
    2. dissertation may be accepted after minor revisions;
    3. dissertation may be accepted after major revisions or
    4. dissertation may be rejected
  3. A dissertation with minor revisions shall be submitted within 04 weeks from the date of defense and shall be accepted with a certificate from the supervisor that ‘the revisions have been incorporated’.
  4. A dissertation with major revisions shall be submitted within 12 weeks from the date of examination and shall be accepted with certificates from both external and internal examiners that ‘the revisions have been incorporated satisfactorily’.
  5. A dissertation with major revision requires re-defense by the same defense committee, however, the re-defense can be waived-off by the BASR by evaluating the certificates furnished by the examiners.
  6. If, after the final defense, a scholar fails to submit the corrected version of his/her dissertation, within specified time then, unless a time extension request is made in writing and approved by the relevant authority, his/her dissertation may be rejected with the approval of the BASR.
  7. In case of difference of opinion by the defense committee examiners the recommendations of majority shall prevail for the purpose of approval of the BASR.
  8. A dissertation may be rejected if the examiners are convinced, for reasons to be recorded, that most of the research work presented in the scholar’s dissertation is not carried out by him/her independently and there is a significant external help involved and the scholar does not have reasonable strength of knowledge on the material presented in the dissertation.
  9. A scholar whose dissertation has been rejected by the defense committee with the approval of the BASR shall cease to be the student of the University.
  10. If the chairman of the defense committee observed that in his opinion the conduct and the recommendations of the examiners were not fair, he may submit his/her written observations to the BASR with the request that the defense may be nullified, and upon receiving of the report of the Chairman as aforesaid and keeping in view the highest research standards and fairness of the process, the BASR may nullify the oral defense and direct that a fresh defense be arranged by constituting a new defense committee which may comprise of one or more examiners different from the previous examiners.
  11. Publication of at least one research paper from the PhD research work, representing Scholar’s sole affiliation with the University as the principal author, in a HEC approved (W-category) Journal, shall be a requirement. A co-author from outside the University is not allowed except for the approved collaborative research.
  12. A scholar’s PhD degree completion shall be subject to the approval from the BASR, and the date of completion shall be the date on which the case is approved.
  13. A minimum duration for the PhD degree shall be three (03) years and the maximum allowable duration, inclusive of semester breaks, shall be seven (07) years from the date of admission.
  14. By auditing the compliance for the award of PhD degree, a PhD completion notification shall be issued under the seal of the Registrar.

11. Removal of difficulties

  1. If any difficulty arises in giving effect to the provisions of these regulations, the Academic Council may, by order, do anything which appears to it to be necessary for the purpose of removing the difficulty.