American University of Beirut

General University Academic Information

Academic Rules and Regulations

The general policies, procedures and minimum requirements for advanced degrees are stated in this section. However, each program has specific degree requirements which are detailed in the respective program descriptions under later sections of this catalogue. Both general and program specific requirements must be fulfilled in order for a graduate student to receive a master’s degree or PhD degree.

Academic Advisors

For the master’s degree level, refer to Supervision of Master’s Thesis or Project on page 55. For the PhD degree level, refer to Supervision of Doctoral Thesis on page 63.

RCR Requirement

The Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) Requirement must be completed by all newly admitted degree seeking graduate students, both at the master’s and PhD levels. The requirement includes prospective graduates and graduates admitted on probation. The requirement is fulfilled by completing the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research course determined by the student’s respective faculty and department/program. RCR courses “cover core norms, principles, regulations, and rules governing the practice of research.” Topics include research misconduct, data management, authorship, peer review, mentoring, using animal subjects in research, conflicts of interest, collaborative research, and research involving human subjects. Additional topics may be included according to research discipline. The requirement must be fulfilled within one month of being notified of the requirement. Failure to fulfill the requirement in a timely manner results in a registration hold that is removed once the student has completed the RCR course.

Academic Dishonesty

Plagiarism, falsification of data, cheating and other forms of academic dishonesty are serious violations of academic integrity and may result in dismissal. Students are expected to be familiar with the various forms of academic dishonesty as explained in the Student Code of Conduct and in the University Policy and Procedures Concerning Research Misconduct.

Plagiarism

Students who fail to properly credit ideas or materials taken from other students and/or outside sources (including Artificial Intelligence) commit plagiarism. Students putting their name on a piece of work - any part of which is not theirs - constitutes plagiarism, unless that piece is clearly marked and the work from which they have borrowed is fully identified. Plagiarism is a violation of the university’s academic regulations and is subject to disciplinary action.

Correct Use of Language

English is the language of instruction at the University. Papers (term papers, essays or examinations) that are poorly written, no matter what the course the student is enrolled in, may receive a lower grade for the quality of writing alone. The final grade in any course may be lowered for consistent substandard written or oral expression; in extreme cases, a failing grade may be given for this reason alone.

Attendance

Attendance Policy

Students who are absent without excuse for more than one fifth of the number of sessions in any course may be dropped by the instructor of the course.

Classes and Laboratories

  • Students are expected to attend all classes, laboratories or required fieldwork. The students are responsible for all course material and for any announcements made during class time, lab time or fieldwork.
  • Students who miss more than one fifth of the sessions of any course prior to the withdrawal deadline can be withdrawn from the course by the instructor.
  • Students who withdraw or are withdrawn for excessive absence from a course receive a grade of “W.”
  • An instructor who withdraws a student from the course because of excessive absence must have stated in the syllabus that attendance will be taken.
  • Students who do not withdraw or cannot be withdrawn for excessive absence from a course will receive a grade of F.

Examinations and Quizzes

Students who miss a scheduled examination (including midterms and finals), quizzes, or other class assignments must present an excuse considered valid by the course instructor. Makeup exams, quizzes, and class assignments are administered according to the course syllabus and must be completed before the final grade of the course is issued at the end of the term. Only medical reports and/or qualified professional opinions issued by an AUB Medical Center (AUBMC) doctor, or by the University Health Services are accepted. Should there be a question about the validity of any excuse presented by the student, the matter should be referred to the appropriate faculty committee. Instructors will make sure there is no time conflict between an exam and a regularly scheduled course.

Leave of Absence

All graduate students are expected to make steady and satisfactory progress toward the completion of degrees.

Students who are not enrolled for a period of more than one academic year (two consecutive regular terms and one summer) will be considered to have withdrawn from the program unless they apply for a leave of absence and secure approval from the department, faculty/ school Graduate Studies Committee, and the Graduate Council.

The leave of absence application can be for up to one academic year at a time. The maximum period of approved leave of absence is for two academic years. An approved leave of absence does not count towards maximum residency. Non-enrollment by the student for one regular term without securing leave of absence will count towards maximum residency. Students who seek to return without having secured leave of absence approval after a nonenrollment period of more than one academic year must reapply and will be considered for readmission following regular AUB application/admission procedures. If re-admitted into the same graduate program, then their earlier status as graduate student will count towards maximum residency. See section on readmission.

The leaves of absence are approved based on documentation of a justified reason that includes documentation/proof submitted, and the time of submission. Acceptable reasons must prevent students from carrying out their graduate studies. Students are strongly advised to consult with their advisors regarding the validity of their reasons. Normally, students are expected to submit a leave of absence before the start of the term in which the leave begins. On some occasions and with adequate justification, leave of absence may be approved after the beginning of the term.

Students with an approved Leave of Absence (LOA) are not required to submit a reactivation form.

Students should be granted an automatic reactivation of their academic status through the Graduate Council.

Readmission

Students who are returning from an unauthorized leave of absence or who have exceeded their maximum residency or have been dropped from their program must submit an application for readmission by the admission deadlines through the Office of Admission.

Category of Students

Full-Time Status

Full-time status is defined as the enrollment by the graduate student in the following:

  • A minimum of 6 non-thesis credit hours during the fall or spring term or
  • Master’s student working on thesis or
  • PhD degree candidacy status or
  • PhD students who are on fellowships that provide monthly stipends and tuition coverage.

Part-Time Status

​Any student who does not fulfill any of the above full-time mentioned conditions.

Audit Students

Those who wish to attend individual classes without receiving credit may apply as auditing students.

AUB students can apply to audit a course through the online petitions system (OPFS). Non AUB students must email regist@aub.edu.lb to obtain approval. An applicant is eligible to audit a course if the following requirements are met:

  • Baccalaureate II or its equivalent, or a bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a recognized academic institution to audit a graduate course.
  • Approval from the instructor of the course.
  • Payment of the tuition charge at the Comptroller’s Office (student accounts section).
  • Registration as an auditor at the Office of the Registrar.

Applicants are not eligible to audit laboratory, studio or seminar courses. Since permission to audit is on a space-available basis, applicants are not permitted to register until registration of regular students is complete. The university does not grant academic credit for such work.

The Graduate Fellowship and Assistantship Program (GFAP)

The Graduate Fellowship and Assistantship Program (GFAP) at the American University of Beirut provides fellowship support composed of partial or full tuition coverage for students in good standing at the master’s level towards the fulfillment of their degree requirements. Awards are allocated on a competitive basis based on merit and qualifications, departmental needs, and availability of funds as per the policy published at https://aub.policytech.eu/dotNet/documents/?docid=1541&public=true. For new students, the application process is part of the online graduate admissions process (https://graduateadmissions.aub.edu.lb/​). For continuing students, applications may be obtained from the office of the dean of the faculty to which the student belongs and should be filled out prior to the deadline set by the faculty.

Registration

Requirements

Before registering, new students must ensure that all requirements for registration are met, particularly conditions detailed in the acceptance email and checklist received from the Office of Admissions. Students who do not meet the conditions listed in the checklist cannot register.

A registration guide is available on the webpage of the Office of the Registrar. Subsequent to confirmation that all conditions have been met, students must follow the steps in this guide.

Students may refer to the “Registration Instructional Video” on the webpage of the Office of the Registrar.

Students can introduce final adjustments to their schedules during change of schedule (drop & add) period.

Cross-Registration

Students Enrolled at AUB Taking Courses at Other Universities in Lebanon

Students studying at the American University of Beirut may be allowed to cross-register for a course at other recognized academic institutions if all the following conditions are met:

  • the course is a program requirement at AUB,
  • the course is not offered at AUB during the graduation term. Official documentation of the grade ​must be received by AUB two weeks prior to the Senate vote, or graduation will be postponed to the following term,
  • the course in which the student intends to cross-register is equivalent to a course that AUB offers (the number and title of each of the two equivalent courses should be clearly indicated),
  • the student completes the cross-registration form, secures the chairperson’s approval, and sends it to the Office of the Registrar,
  • the Office of the Registrar authorizes the student to cross-register; the student submits authorization to the concerned institution and secures their consent.

Students will be registered for the course manually at the Office of the Registrar upon presenting the signed cross-registration form; and must earn a C+ or its equivalent in the cross-registered course in order to transfer the credits.

Students Enrolled at Other Universities Taking Courses at AUB

For purposes of cross-registration, students studying at recognized academic institutions who wish to take courses at AUB must do the following:

  • secure permission from their institutions to take specified courses at AUB,
  • secure permission from the chairperson of the concerned department at AUB,
  • present the above permissions to the AUB Office of Registrar; and
  • settle the fees at AUB upon registration by the Office of the Registrar.

Courses and Grades

Courses taken as part of a student’s graduate study program fall into one of two categories, which are graduate courses or prerequisites (undergraduate courses). Each category may have different grading systems.

Course Loads

Normally, the maximum number of credits that may be taken in a regular term is 12. The maximum number of credits that may be taken in the summer session is 6. Normally, students who wish to enroll in more than the maximum number of credits must petition the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee to obtain permission.

Graduate L​​evel Courses

  • ​The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is C+ for a master’s student and B for a PhD student.
  • The minimum grade for a graduate student enrolled in a graduate course is F.
  • Results of tutorial courses are reported as Pass (P) or No Pass (NP).
  • Results of comprehensive exams, projects, or theses are reported as in Progress (PR) or Pass (P) or NO Pass (NP).

Prerequisite Courses

Prerequisite courses are undergraduate courses taken to make up for deficiencies in the student’s academic background in relation to the program they are pursuing.

  • Prerequisite courses do not carry graduate credit.
  • The minimum passing grade for a prerequisite course is C+. Departments or programs may set higher minimum passing grades.

Change of Grade Policy

​After grades are posted on the AUB Student Information System (AUBSIS), a change of grade is not allowed unless a demonstrable mistake was made in the correction of the final examination or in the calculation of the grade. In such a case, the instructor must initiate a Change of Grade petition for approval along with supporting evidence for the mistake warranting the change of grade. The chairperson of the course department and the dean must approve the petition.

No change of grade will be accepted and processed after the lapse of one regular semester. Students have the right to access their corrected exams, including final exams, without penalty, and to request review of their exams in case mistakes have been made in calculating grades or in corrections. The student’s request to review the course grade must be made to the course instructor within one week of the posting of course grades. In case the review by the instructor results in a change of course grade, the instructor must initiate the Change of Grade petition.

If a dispute regarding the change of a grade continues, the student must discuss the issue with the chair of the department. If the student is still not satisfied, s/he must submit a petition to the faculty Academic and Curriculum Committee requesting further consideration.

Incompletes

Students who receive an incomplete grade for a course must complete the course work within one month of the start of the next regular term.

Incomplete coursework is reported as “I” followed by a grade reflecting the evaluation of the student based on the grade calculated as per the course syllabus where a grade of zero is computed for all missed work. If the work is not completed within the period specified, the “I” is dropped and the attached grade becomes final.

A grade of “I” may be assigned by the appropriate faculty committee in cases where it extends the incomplete beyond the normal reporting period based on an approved petition.

Credit Transfer

​Transfer of Credits into a Master’s Degree Program

​Graduate courses taken beyond the bachelor’s degree requirements at AUB, or at other recognized institutions, are only transferable for credit toward master’s degree requirements if the applicant attained a cumulative average of at least GPA: 3.3 in the undergraduate courses taken in the major or related field of study. Only graduate courses in which the applicant earned an equivalent grade of B+ or above can be transferred. For graduate programs of up to 33 credits, no more than 9 credits are transferable provided they are not credits earned by internship, thesis or practicum, and degree minimum residency requirements are maintained. For master’s degrees with more than 33 credits, the maximum number of transferable credits is up to 12. Applicants who have completed a Bachelor of Engineering Degree (BE) and are applying for admission to a Master of Engineering program (ME) may apply for a waiver of up to 9 credits of coursework. The total number of transferable credits from BE to ME may not exceed 12 credits for AUB graduates and 9 credits for non AUB graduates. (For more details, refer to the Maroun Semaan Faculty of Engineering and Architecture section). Approval by the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee is required for all transfer credits.

Transfer of Credits from One Master’s Degree to Another

​Graduate courses taken at AUB (or at other recognized institutions), in which the applicant earned an equivalent grade of B+ or above may be transferred to another master’s degree at AUB. No more than 9 credits are transferable provided they are not credits earned by an internship, thesis or practicum, and degree minimum residency requirements are maintained. For master’s degrees with more than 33 credits, the maximum number of transferable credits can be up to 12 credits. Approval by the department or the academic unit concerned and the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee is required for all transfer credits. Normally, credits counted toward another graduate degree at AUB or another institution cannot be transferred if they have already been used to satisfy requirements for another awarded graduate degree.

Calculation​​​ of the GPA

Credits earned at other institutions or at AUB beyond the requirements of the bachelor’s degree and transferred into the master’s program are not included in the calculation of a student’s grade point average while pursuing a master’s degree. Such courses are reported as pass (P). Transfers of credit earned at the master’s level or while registered as a graduate not working for a degree from AUB are not subject to the above limitations but require the recommendation of the department chair and approval of the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee.

Transfer of Credits into a PhD Degree Pro​​​gram

Graduate courses taken beyond the master’s degree requirements at AUB, or at other recognized institutions, are only transferable for credit toward PhD degree requirements if the applicant attained a cumulative average of at least A- in the graduate courses taken in the major field of study. Only courses taken beyond the master’s degree requirements in which the applicant earned an equivalent grade of A- or above can be transferred. No more than 6 credits are transferable provided they are not credits earned by an internship, thesis or practicum, and degree minimum residency requirements are maintained. Approval by the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate Council is required for all transfer credits.

Transfer of Credits from a Graduate Diploma Program​​

Transfer of course credits from graduate academic and professional diploma programs at AUB to a graduate degree program is allowed following the academic rules and regulations specified by the university. The number of course credits that can be transferred is up to 12 for graduate academic diplomas and up to 6 for graduate professional diplomas. In addition, only graduate-level courses in which the applicant earned an equivalent grade of B+ or above can be transferred. The approval of the faculty/ school Graduate Studies Committee is required for all transfer credits.

Change of Major Within Fa​culty and Interfaculty Transfer

Students enrolled in a master’s degree program at AUB may apply to transfer to another program according to the following procedure:

  • Change of major within the same Faculty: Students may apply, following the set deadlines for graduate admissions process, for change of major within the same Faculty by petitioning the department to which they are planning to join and securing its approval and the approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Transfer to other Faculties/Schools from within AUB: Students should complete a new application to the desired program following the graduate admissions process and deadlines to be considered for admission into the new major.
  • Transfer within an interfaculty program: Students should apply to the relevant interfaculty program committee seeking its approval and the approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee of the Faculty to which the student wishes to transfer.

Academic Standing of Students Working for a Master’s Degree

The academic performance of the student is first evaluated by the department upon completion of 9 credits of coursework after initial enrollment towards the degree and then is evaluated every term thereafter.

A graduate student is in good standing when her/his graduate cumulative average is B+ or above. Students must be in good standing in order to be awarded a degree.

Students Admitted on Probation

  • Students admitted on probation must complete at least 9 credits of graduate level courses within the first two terms of graduate studies, must pass all courses, and must attain a minimum cumulative average of 3.3 to achieve regular status.
  • If students fail to meet any of these conditions, they will be dropped from the program.

Probation and Removal of Probation

Students working for a Master’s degree can be placed on academic probation if they fail to make normal progress towards the degree. The academic performance of the student is first evaluated by the department upon completion of the first 9 credits of coursework towards the degree and then is evaluated every term thereafter:

  • Students are placed on probation if they attain a cumulative average below 3.3 or fail any course taken for graduate credit.
  • Students placed on probation due to average must remove the probation at the end of the following term by attainment of a cumulative average of at least 3.3.
  • Students placed on probation due to course failure should retake the course the next time it is offered and achieve a minimum passing grade of B. In case this condition cannot be met, students in consultation with the advisor must petition the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee to retake the course.

The department or program in which the student is enrolled may recommend probation to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee even though the student has attained an adequate cumulative average.

Changes in probationary status of enrolled graduate students are reviewed at their respective Faculties/School Dean’s Offices within one week of the start of the term by the faculty/school. The faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee issues through the Office of the Dean the statement of the change of probation status to the student with copies to the department chair, student advisor and Office of the Registrar.

Dismissal

The Faculty/School Graduate Studies Committee may dismiss a master’s student, in consultation with the department/program, from graduate study if any of the following conditions arise:

  • Cumulative average based probation status is not removed in the term following the first probation, excluding students admitted on probation (see previous section on probation and removal of probation).
  • Students are placed on probation for a second time.
  • Students achieve a cumulative average of less than 2.3 after completion of 9 credits.
  • Students fail to achieve a passing grade in two courses in one term.
  • Outside the first term of study, students achieve a cumulative average of 2.3 or above but less than 3.3 in any term, and fail to achieve a passing grade in one course in that term.
  • Students fail the comprehensive examination or the thesis defense twice.

Requirements for the Master’s Degree

Course Requireme​nts

  • There are two types of master’s degree programs, namely, thesis and non-thesis. Some programs provide a choice between the two.
  • Students following the thesis option are required to complete a minimum of 30 credit hours, of which a minimum of 21 graduate credit hours should be in coursework and a minimum of 6 credit hours in thesis work. Normally, a maximum of 3 credit hours may be tutorial courses. Exceptions for individual students will require approval of the department chair and the faculty Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Students following the non-thesis master’s program are required to take a minimum of 30 graduate credit hours, 3 credits of which may be a project. Students must follow a course of study approved by the department/program and by the faculty Graduate Studies Committee.
  • Students following the Master of Public Health (MPH) are required to complete a minimum of 42 credit hours.
  • Students following the Master of Business Administration (MBA) program are required to take 6 credits of foundation courses (or to pass a related exemption test upon approval of the program director). In addition, they must complete a minimum of 42 credit hours, of which a minimum of 39 graduate credit hours in coursework and a minimum of 3 credit hours of MBA project.
  • Students holding an MD degree or working on a combined MS-MD degree are required to complete at least 10 graduate course credits and a thesis, in addition to the MD degree requirements.

Graduate students receive credit for graduate level courses only. Students with deficiencies in their undergraduate preparation in relation to the program they are pursuing may be required to take additional course credits as determined by the department/program concerned.

Some programs may have additional credit requirements for completion of a master’s degree.

Additional Language Requirements

Individual departments and programs may set their own non-English language requirements. Examination procedures for these languages should be approved by the faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Residency​​ Requirements

To meet the minimum residency requirements for the master’s degree, a student must register and be in residence as a graduate student for at least two terms, that is, either for one term and two summers or for four summers.

All requirements for the master’s degree must be completed within a period of eight regular terms for full time students and 10 regular terms for part time students after admission to graduate study. Extension beyond the maximum allowed period of study requires approval from the faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Approved leave of absence does not count toward the residency. Please refer to the Leave of absence Section.

Interruption of studies, consecutive or intermittent, shall not exceed three years, starting from the first administrative registration in the program.

Comprehen​​sive Examination

All master’s programs require that the student register and pass a 0-credit comprehensive examination course. Timing of the examination is set by the department/program. The examination is graded as Pass (P) or No Pass (NP).

Students who do not pass the comprehensive examination may take it a second time in the following term. Students who fail a program’s comprehensive exam twice are dropped from their program. Students who pass the comprehensive exam after one failure will have their initial grade changed from “NP” to “PR”.

In place of the comprehensive exam, FHS and OSB follow different requirements. Please refer to the appropriate section.

Students may not register the thesis prior to passing the comprehensive examination.

Supervision of Master’s Thesis or Project

Thesis Proposal

When following a graduate program leading to the master’s degree with thesis option, students are expected to meet with faculty members in the department to discuss possible thesis topics and select a thesis advisor. Normally, the thesis advisor is from among the fulltime professorial faculty of the department/program or from another department/program in the university. In interdisciplinary programs, the thesis advisor is from one of the concerned programs.

Students are expected to select a research topic in consultation with the thesis advisor and prepare a thesis proposal by the end of the second regular term. The proposal must clearly state the topic addressed and the proposed contributions to the body of knowledge. The thesis proposal should also state the thesis title, objectives, scope of work with relevant literature, research methodology and expected results. A Thesis Committee is formed by the thesis advisor and the student in coordination with the chairperson/director of the unit according to the following conditions:

  • The Thesis Committee should normally consist of at least three members of professorial rank chaired by the thesis advisor.
  • In case a co-advisor is also a member of the thesis committee, then the thesis committee should consist of at least four members of professorial rank chaired by the thesis advisor.
  • In departments/programs, normally at least two members of professorial rank of the Thesis Committee must be members of the student’s department. The remaining member(s) can be from other departments at AUB or from an institution recognized by AUB.
  • In case the thesis advisor is from another department at AUB, the chairperson will consult with the chairperson of the department to which the thesis advisor belongs.
  • In interdisciplinary programs, the members of the Thesis Committee should be drawn from full-time faculty members at AUB. Normally at least two members of professorial rank must be from the departments involved in the program.

The thesis proposal should be approved by the faculty/school Graduate Committee at least four months before the thesis defense.

The Thesis Committee must be approved by the chairperson/director of the student’s department/program. The student must submit the thesis proposal to the committee and secure its approval. The committee members will evaluate the proposal in consultation with the thesis advisor.

Students will submit the thesis proposal with a completed Thesis Proposal Form as required by Faculty or Program (see website) to the chairperson of the department, signed by the thesis advisor and all the members of the Thesis Committee, with the proposed dates of the comprehensive examination, thesis defense, and courses taken so far. Students should indicate if the proposed research involves human subject research or animal related research and seek approval/confirmation or exemption of the Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee.

Once approved, the chairperson forwards the thesis proposal with the names of the Thesis Committee members to the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee for its approval. The faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee will then inform the chairperson of the proposal approval or lack thereof, and the chairperson will communicate the decision to the thesis advisor.

It is the student’s responsibility, in coordination with the thesis advisor, to keep members of the Thesis Committee informed on the progress of her/his work and seek their input.

Continuous Thesis Registration

Once students register for their thesis, they pay a thesis fee that allow them to register up to three additional terms without paying. Although the additional registrations are paid for, students must still register for the thesis on AUBsis each time in the relevant course number labeled A, B, and C consecutively. In addition, students are expected to register consecutively without skipping any regular term. Not registering for the thesis without an approved Leave of Absence (hereafter referred to as an “unexcused absence”) throughout subsequent terms will cause the student to forfeit the registration due for each term of unexcused absence. Exceptions must be addressed through a petition for approval by the advisor, department chairperson, faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee, and the Graduate Council. The below table shows examples of students who take no leaves and how unexcused absences lead to payment for additional thesis registrations once the three additional terms are exhausted by registrations or unexcused absences.

​​
1st Thesis term
​​​3 Additional​ terms​ ​
​Paying term 1
​Number of Absences
​Regular term 1 (Course #)
​Regular term 2 (Course # A)
​Regular term 3 (Course # B)
​Regular term 4 (Course #C)
​Regular term 5 (Course # D)
​0
​Pay & Register
​Register (no payment)
​Register (no payment)
​Register (no payment)
​Pay & Register
​1
​Pay & Register
​Unexcused Absence
​Register & No Payment
​Register & No Payment
​Pay & Register
​2
​Pay & Register
​Unexcused Absence
​Unexcused Absence
Register & No Payment​​Pay & Register
​3
​Pay & Register
​Unexcused Absence
​Unexcused Absence
​Unexcused Absence
​Pay & Register

Thesis Format

An AUB-approved thesis manual is available on the university libraries webpage. The manual provides the style guide for all theses prepared by AUB students, and application of its instructions is mandatory for all theses-dependent degrees. Theses not conforming to the publication style outlined in the thesis manual are not accepted by the university. Students are welcome to visit the Archives and Special Collections, Jafet Library, any time during the term (https://aub.edu.lb.libguides.com/Thesis​).

For all matters not discussed in the Thesis Manual, theses must follow the form and style specified by the department or program, provided the style conforms to the Thesis Manual. Students graduating in the Summer term must be registered during that term (see section below on Thesis Defense). Students who carry out thesis work during the Summer term are expected to register for the thesis. Not registering during the Summer term after having started thesis work should only take place if students will not be using AUB facilities/services for research and will not be receiving thesis advising during that term.

Thesis Defense

Students are not allowed to defend their thesis unless they have passed the comprehensive examination. In order to defend the thesis, students must be registered for the thesis in the session in which they expect to graduate.

The thesis defense is open to the public and must be carried out no later than the dates specified on Graduate Council Website (https://www.aub.edu.lb/graduatecouncil/Pages/thesisdeadlines.aspx​).

The final draft of the thesis shall be submitted to each member of the Thesis Committee at least two weeks before the date of the thesis defense. The thesis defense shall be announced at least two weeks in advance. The total time allocated for the thesis defense should allow for answering all questions and should not normally exceed 120 minutes.

The thesis defense session is normally chaired by the thesis advisor, and the student will be notified of the final decision by the Thesis Committee immediately after completion of the Thesis Committee deliberations.

The last thesis registration is graded with Pass (P) or No Pass (NP) which is reported for the combined thesis and thesis defense. If No Pass (NP) is reported, students may resubmit the thesis and defend it no earlier than the next semester. Failure on the second attempt results in discontinuation of the graduate work. All previous thesis registration grades are reported as PR (in progress). If the thesis work involves human subject research or animal related research, the Thesis Committee must forward to the department chair a copy of the approval/ confirmation or exemption letter of the Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee.

Project and Project ​​​Defense

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the non-thesis master’s degree, students may be required to submit a project. Each student is assigned an advisor who serves as the project advisor. The master’s project topic proposal and selection of the advisor and project committee members should be approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. The master’s project committee should be composed of at least two members recommended by the department/program in addition to the advisor. The project topic proposal, selection of the advisor, and selection of project committee members should be approved by the faculty/ school Graduate Committee at least four months before the project defense.

Students are expected to register and finish the project work within two consecutive regular terms at most. Registering for a project course beyond a second term requires approval of the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee; this approval must be sought on a persemester basis prior to registration.

If the project work involves human subject research or animal related research, the Project Committee must forward to the department chair a copy of the approval/confirmation or exemption letter of the Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee. The project defense is open to the public and must be carried out no later than the dates specified in the table below.

All previous project registration grades are reported as PR (in progress). Pass (P) or No Pass (NP) is reported for project defense. If No Pass (NP) is reported, students may resubmit the project and defend it after a period of at least three months. Failure on the second attempt results in discontinuation of the graduate work.

Deposit of the Project/Thesis in ​the Library

After passing the project/thesis defense examination, students are required to deposit one soft copy of the thesis saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) file into the library (ScholarWorks). Upon successful submission, the Library delivers a receipt to the Office of the Registrar before the students are awarded the degree. The Office of the Registrar shall ensure that all names of students recommended to the Senate for award of the master’s degree in the thesis option have submitted their thesis copy to the library. Students should sign a release form indicating whether or not the library is authorized to supply copies of the thesis/project to other libraries or to individuals. The non-authorization option is valid for a period of three years only, after which copies of the project/thesis are supplied upon request. For deadline, refer to webpage https://www.aub.edu.lb/graduatecouncil/Pages/thesisdeadlines.aspx

Master’s Degree Graduation R​​​​equirements

To be eligible for graduation with a master’s degree from the American University of Beirut, a graduate student:

  • must apply for graduation,
  • must have attained a cumulative course average of 3.3 or above,
  • must not be on probation by the time the coursework is completed,
  • must have completed the minimum credit hours of coursework designated by the specific program,
  • must have passed the comprehensive exam,
  • must have completed thesis requirements for the thesis option degrees,
  • must have completed project requirements for the non-thesis option degrees,
  • and must have met the residency requirements specified for the master’s degree.

Academic Standing of Student Working for PhD Degree

Good Standing

A PhD student is in good standing when her/his graduate grade cumulative average is 3.7 or higher. Students must be in good standing in order to be awarded a degree.

Probation and Removal of Probation

Students working for a PhD degree who have not yet advanced to candidacy can be placed on academic probation if they fail to make normal progress towards the degree. The academic performance of the student is first evaluated by the department upon completion of the first 9 credits of coursework towards the degree and then is evaluated every term thereafter:

  • Students are placed on probation if they attain a cumulative average of 3.0 or more, but less than 3.7, or fails any course taken for graduate credit.
  • Students placed on probation due to average must remove the probation at the end of the following term by attainment of a cumulative average of at least 3.7.
  • Students placed on probation due to course failure should retake the course the next time it is offered and achieve a minimum passing grade of B. In case this condition cannot be met, students in consultation with the advisor must petition the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee to retake the course.

The department or program in which the student is enrolled may recommend probation to the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee even though the student has attained an adequate cumulative average. Probation of a PhD student may be removed by the Graduate Council upon recommendation from the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Changes in probationary status of enrolled graduate students are queried at their respective Faculties/School Dean’s Offices within one week of the start of the term by the faculty/school. The faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee issues through the Office of the Dean the statement of the change of probation status to the PhD student with copies to the department chair, student advisor and Office of the Registrar.

Dismissal

The Graduate Council, upon recommendation from the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and the Chair of Department, may discontinue a PhD student from graduate study if any of the following conditions arise:

  • Probation status is not removed in the term following the first probation.
  • Students receive probation for a second time during the degree residency.
  • Students attain a cumulative average of less than 3.0.
  • Students fail to achieve a minimum passing grade of B in two courses in one term.
  • Outside the first term of study, students achieve a cumulative average of 3.0 or above but less than 3.7 in any term, and fail to achieve a passing grade of B in one course in that term.
  • The work of the student is considered to be unsatisfactory in the opinion of the department or program, regardless of the grades obtained.
  • Students fail the Qualifying Examination Part I (Comprehensive Examination) or Part II (Thesis Proposal Defense) twice.
  • Students fail the thesis defense twice.

Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy

In addition to the particular rules of the various graduate programs as stated in their sections of this catalogue, the following general rules apply to all Doctor of Philosophy programs. The award of a Doctor of Philosophy degree indicates that a student has attained mastery of a field and has demonstrated the capacity to perform independent scholarly research. The doctoral degree is not awarded solely upon completion of a curriculum of courses, even if the student has done superior work in it. Rather, it is awarded in recognition of independent scholarship as demonstrated by a substantial contribution in the candidate’s chosen field.

Program o​​​f Study

Each doctoral student is expected to take such courses as may be required for both a strong foundation in the field and the development of a specialization.

Regular PhD Track Course Requirements for Students Holding Master Degrees

Each student, in consultation with her/his advisor, is expected to finalize a program of study and submit it to the department within two terms of starting the PhD degree. The following are main features of this PhD track:

  • It must include a minimum of 48 credit hours beyond those required for the master’s degree of which a minimum of 18 credit hours must be in graduate-level coursework and a minimum of 24 credit hours of thesis work. Normally, a maximum of 3 credit hours out of the 18 credits of coursework may be tutorial courses. Exceptions for individual students will require approval of the department chair and the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.
  • It will include a 0-credit comprehensive examination preparation course and a 0-credit thesis proposal preparation course.

For all PhD students who joined their program from AY 2020-21, complete the Certificate on Teaching in Higher Education (see the section below for Certificate on Teaching in Higher Education).

Accelerated PhD Track Course Requirements for Students Holding Bachelor Degrees

Each student, in consultation with her/his advisor, should finalize a program of study and submit it to the department within two terms of starting the PhD degree. The Graduate Council monitors the progress of the student through annual reports on course and thesis work by chairpersons of the department/program. The following are main features of the accelerated PhD track:

  • must include a minimum of 78 credit hours beyond those required for the bachelor’s degree of which a minimum of 36 credit hours must be in graduate-level coursework and a minimum of 30 credit hours of thesis work. Normally, a maximum of 6 credit hours out of the 36 credits of coursework may be tutorial courses. Exceptions for individual students will require approval of the department chair and the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.
  • It will include a 0-credit comprehensive examination preparation course and a 0-credit thesis proposal preparation course.

Students enrolled in the accelerated PhD track with a cumulative average of (GPA: 3.3) or above are allowed to transfer to the MA/MS/ME degree program upon recommendation by the department and approval of the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee. The Graduate Council is then informed.

Additional Language Require​ments

Depending on the research topic, the Thesis Committee and the department may require proficiency in one or more foreign languages. Examination procedures for these languages will be approved by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Residency Re​​quirements

To fulfill the minimum residency requirements for the PhD degree, students must register for at least six terms beyond the completion of the master’s degree or eight terms for the accelerated track beyond the bachelor’s degree. Requirements for the PhD degree must be completed within ten regular terms of starting graduate work beyond the master’s degree or twelve regular terms for the accelerated track beyond the bachelor’s degree. Extension requires Graduate Council approval upon recommendation by the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee.

Interruption of studies, consecutive or intermittent, shall not exceed three years, starting from the first administrative registration in the program.

Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (C​-THE)

The Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (C-THE) is a graduation requirement for all PhD students. It provides training in teaching for PhD students at AUB. Starting in the fall term that follows their first term of enrollment, PhD students take two 0-credit courses, (EDUC 401 and 402) one in the fall and one in the spring. A full description of these courses can be found in this catalogue under the Department of Education.

​PhD Qualifying Exam​​

All PhD programs require that PhD students pass the qualifying exam. The PhD qualifying exam is two parts. The Qualifying Exam Part I is a written comprehensive exam administered by the department/program or Thesis Committee. The Qualifying Exam Part II is an oral thesis proposal defense exam administered by the Thesis Committee. Each of the qualifying exams consists of a 0-credit course that must be registered and given a grade of pass or fail by the end of the term. The successful completion of Qualifying Exam Part I is a prerequisite for Qualifying Exam Part II; the successful completion of Qualifying Exam Part II is a prerequisite for the Thesis Defense.

​Qualifying Exam Part I: Comprehensive​ Exam

All PhD programs require that PhD students register and pass a 0-credit comprehensive examination course. Comprehensive examinations are written exams taken after completing a minimum of 15 credits of course requirements for the regular degree track and a minimum of 30 credits of course requirements for the accelerated degree track. The comprehensive exam should normally be taken by the fourth term of the PhD student’s enrollment in the regular PhD program and by the sixth term of the PhD student’s enrollment in the accelerated PhD track.

In general, a comprehensive examination provides assurance that all PhD candidates have acquired sufficient knowledge/background in their major field of study. For more details on the examination, students should refer to their specific department/program requirements. The Thesis Committee or the department/program administers the comprehensive exam.

Students who do not pass the comprehensive exam may take it a second time in the following term. Students who are unable to pass a program’s comprehensive exam twice are dropped from the PhD program. Students who pass the comprehensive exam after one failure will have their initial failure reported as “PR” for progress in the first term the course was registered, and the grade of “P” for passing the comprehensive exam will show on their transcript in the second term the course was registered.

Qualifying Exam Part II: Defense ​of Thesis Proposal

All students must successfully complete a qualifying examination defending their PhD thesis proposal. The second part of the qualifying exam (thesis proposal defense) is conducted by the student Thesis Committee. There should be at least one regular term between the thesis proposal defense term and the thesis defense term.

Admission to Candidacy

Students enter degree candidacy upon successfully passing both parts of the qualifying exam while being in good standing. Students who are enrolled in degree candidacy are considered full-time students. While in degree candidacy, it is the responsibility of both the student and advisor to maintain contact to ensure continuous progress towards the completion of the degree.

For admission to candidacy, students are additionally expected to:

  • have completed all graduate coursework requirements beyond the master’s degree in the regular PhD track,
  • have completed all graduate coursework requirements beyond the bachelor’s degree in the accelerated PhD track,
  • have attained a cumulative average of at least 3.7 while in the regular or accelerated track doctoral programs,
  • have completed all language requirements.

Supervision of Doctoral Thesis

During the first term of graduate study, the department or program assigns an academic advisor to the student. The advisor guides and helps the student plan a course of study. Not all credits need to be in courses offered by the department/program in which the student is enrolled, but all credits must be in courses that, in the judgment of the department/program, are relevant to the field in which the student is specializing.

Normally by the end of the second term, each student enrolled in a PhD program is assigned a thesis advisor who must be a full-time professorial rank faculty member who is normally a member of the student’s department/program. In case the thesis advisor is from another department at AUB, the chairperson will consult with the chairperson of the department to which the thesis advisor belongs.

PhD students are required to register for a thesis course continuously and sequentially during each term in which they are carrying out work contributing to their PhD thesis. The only exception to this policy of continuous enrollment is if the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate Council have granted the student a formal leave of absence.

PhD Thesis Committee

The thesis committee should be composed of at least five members, with a minimum of three from within AUB and two members should be from outside the university. A maximum of one member with the title of Professor Emeritus can serve on each committee.

  • The thesis advisor and at least three of the Thesis Committee members must be of professorial rank.
  • All members of the Thesis Committee must hold a doctoral degree in a relevant field.
  • The chair of the Thesis Committee must be a full professor who is not the PhD thesis advisor.
  • Members of the doctoral Thesis Committee are recommended by the student’s thesis advisor in consultation with the student.
  • The committee is approved by the department, the Faculty Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate Council.

The doctoral Thesis Committee approves the thesis topic and research plan, conducts the thesis proposal defense (Part II of the Qualifying Exam) and conducts the thesis defense. The thesis proposal in addition to the selection of the Thesis Committee and the committee’s approval of the proposal submission should be approved by the faculty/school Graduate Studies Committee and the Graduate Council before the student can conduct the second part of the qualifying exam (thesis proposal defense). The Graduate Council informs the Office of the Registrar, Dean of the Faculty, Chair of the Department, and Advisor of the approval decision. The student, upon approval, can arrange for the thesis proposal defense date and time as applicable.

PhD Thesis Proposal

When following a graduate program leading to the PhD degree, students are expected to meet with faculty members in the department to discuss possible thesis topics and select a thesis advisor.

Students are expected to select a research topic in consultation with the thesis advisor and prepare a thesis proposal. The proposal should be prepared by the end of the fourth regular term for a regular track student and by the end of the sixth regular term for an accelerated track student. The proposal must clearly summarize the thesis problem and the planned approach. The purpose of the thesis proposal is to inform the Thesis Committee members and the department, in concise statements, of the candidate’s research plan. It should state the thesis objectives, scope of work with relevant literature, research methodology and expected results. The proposal must provide sufficient literature citations to indicate awareness of previous work and enough detail to show how the proposed work is expected to advance knowledge in the field.

Students must submit the thesis proposal to the Thesis Committee and get its preliminary approval to defend the proposal.

Students must indicate if the proposed research involves human subjects and/or animals and seek approval/confirmation or exemption of the Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee.

Qualifying Exam Part II: Defense of Thesis Proposal

All students must successfully complete a qualifying exam defending their PhD thesis proposal. The second part of the qualifying exam (thesis proposal defense) is to be taken at least two terms prior to the thesis defense and is conducted by the student’s Thesis Committee. Students are expected to demonstrate the intellectual capacity to pursue and complete independent research that advances knowledge in the field of study.

Passing the thesis proposal defense requires that the research topic is of PhD standard, original, clear in its contribution to existing knowledge and contains appropriate methodology. Students who fails the thesis proposal defense (Part II of Qualifying Exam) must repeat it in the following regular term after addressing the comments of the Thesis Committee compiled by the Thesis Committee chair in the examination report.

The chair of the doctoral Thesis Committee, upon satisfactory completion of the proposal defense, will send to the department chair her/his assessment (Pass or Fail) of the 0-credit course “Qualifying Exam Part II” along with a copy of the exam form, signed by all members of the committee.

Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) / Institutional Review Board (IRB)

The Human Research Protection Program (HRPP) at AUB is responsible for safeguarding the rights and welfare of human subjects participating in Biomedical and Social and Behavioral Sciences (SBS) research activities conducted under the auspices of AUB. It is committed to protecting, ensuring respect, and fostering awareness of those rights. This is achieved by governing and authorizing the conduct of research that follows the three ethical principles of the Belmont Report namely: Respect for Persons; Beneficence and Justice; and that abides by the principles of responsible research conduct and scientific integrity. The IRB, which is the core component of HRPP, is the sole AUB committee formally designated by HRPP to review and approve the conduct of research involving human subjects who are recruited to participate in research activities conducted at AUB (including AUBMC) and by AUB faculty, students and staff, regardless of the funding source or the location of the research.

Human Subject Research:

“Research” is defined as a “systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, which is designed (in whole or in part) to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.”

“Human subject” is defined as “a living individual about whom an investigator (whether professional or student) conducting research obtains (1) information or biospecimens through intervention or interaction with the individual; or (2) obtains, uses, studies, analyzes or generates identifiable private information (data) or identifiable biospecimens.”

Research that requires IRB review includes any research involving human subjects or their identifiable private information that:

  • is conducted by AUB faculty, staff, or students, or
  • is performed on the premises of the university, or
  • is performed with or involves the use of facilities or resources belonging to the university.

Depending on the associated risk, the IRB categories of review are as below:

  • Exempt review which involves less than minimal risk.
  • Expedited review which involves minimal risk.
  • Full Board review which involves more than minimal risk.

Timeline of Review schedules:

  • Exempt research studies take around 8 days to two weeks for review and approval.
  • Expedited review requires approximately four to six 6 weeks for review and approval.
  • Full Committee review should be submitted at least six weeks prior to the IRB meeting date; review and approval by the IRB may require one or more months after the initial IRB review at a convened meeting.

It is an institutional requirement that all members of the AUB community who plan to conduct research studies involving human subjects complete the designated web-based courses offered through AUB by the Collaborative Institutions Training Initiatives (CITI) Program.

Adherence to all institutional policies, rules, and regulations of the HRPP/IRB is important during the conduct and participation in any research project involving human subjects, as any failure to comply may (a) create an increase in risks to subjects, (b) adversely affect the rights, welfare, and safety of research subjects, and/or (c) adversely affect the integrity of the university’s HRPP. Any non-compliance may jeopardize the conduct of the research project, eligibility to be approved by the HRPP/IRB as PI or co-investigator on future projects, and/or may delay fulfillment of the requirements for graduation.

Guidance about the research submission process is available on the IRB website at: www. aub.edu.lb/IRB. Students are also welcome to visit the HRPP/IRB offices at the Halim and Aida Academic and Clinical Center, 3rd floor, or contact the HRPP/IRB at 5445 or irb@aub.edu.lb

Updates and activities can also be followed on the AUB IRB X (previously Twitter) account: @AUB_IRB

Research on animals

Established in 2003, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) at the AUB Faculty of Medicine ensures that laboratory animals used in research and teaching comply with the «US Government Principles for the Utilization and Care of Vertebrate Animals used in Testing, Research, and Training.»

  1. Proposal Review Process:
    • All new proposals for animal use and significant changes to existing proposals must undergo review and approval by the IACUC before animal use can commence.
    • Experimental procedures, including field studies, pilot studies, breeding, or euthanasia for sample collection, require prior IACUC approval.
  2. Oversight and Compliance:
    • The IACUC reviews, approves, requires modifications to, or withholds approval for proposals involving animal use.
    • It suspends any activity not compliant with animal care policies at AUB-FM.
  3. Inspections and Record Keeping:
    • The IACUC oversees all areas where animal procedures occur and determines inspection intervals, including research laboratories and spaces for routine procedures.
    • It inspects surgical, drug, and experimental records to monitor protocol adherence.
  4. Research Protocol Approval:
    • Researchers must submit a Research Protocol Approval form detailing the need for animals, procedures involved, housing, care, and pain category (C, D, or E).
  5. Ethical Considerations:
    • The IACUC promotes the 3 Rs principle (Replacement, Reduction, Refinement) to minimize animal use and discomfort.
  6. Personnel Training:
    • Personnel involved in animal research or teaching must undergo mandatory training covering theoretical and practical components.
    • Training consists of an online theoretical module and a 2-hour practical session, ensuring understanding of laboratory animal science and ethical issues.
    • Trainees must pass the online exam with 80% or higher to attend the practical session.
    • Upon completion, trainees receive an Animal Care Facility (ACF) training attendance certificate, granting access to the ACF.

All measures implemented by the ACF and IACUC ensure compliance with NIH guidelines regarding the care and use of animals in research and teaching.

All students conducting human subject research or animal-related research for master’s theses or projects must obtain prior written Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee approval/confirmation or exemption, respectively.​

PhD Thesis Format

In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, students must submit a thesis based on the results of original, independent research. Except in departments/programs in which the medium of instruction is not English, the thesis must be in English.

An abstract not exceeding 350 words must be submitted with the thesis. If a thesis is in a language other than English, the abstract must be written in both the thesis language and in English.

An AUB-approved thesis manual is available on the university Libraries webpage. The manual provides the style guide for all theses prepared by AUB students, and application of its instructions is mandatory for all PhD degrees. Theses not conforming to the publication style outlined in the thesis manual are not accepted by the university. Students are welcome to visit the Archives and Special Collections at Jafet Library any time during the term (https://www.aub.edu.lb/graduatecouncil/Pages/thesisdeadlines.aspx​).

For all matters not discussed in the Thesis Manual, theses must follow the form and style specified by the department or program, provided the style conforms to the Thesis Manual. Copies of the thesis should be submitted by students to the Thesis Committee members at least two weeks before the thesis defense. Copies must be legible and durable. Additional copies may be required as specified by the department or program concerned.

PhD Thesis Defense

The thesis/project defense is open to the public and must be carried out no later than the dates specified on the Graduate Council website (https://www.aub.edu.lb/graduatecouncil/Pages/thesisdeadlines.aspx​). In order to defend the thesis, students must be registered for the thesis in the session in which they expect to graduate.

Final doctoral thesis defenses will be announced to the university community so that interested members from the faculty and student body may attend. The date, time and location for the defense must be sent to the Graduate Council at least two weeks in advance. A copy of the thesis abstract must accompany the defense announcement.

Pass (P) or No pass (NP) is reported for the combined thesis and thesis defense. Successful completion of the thesis defense requires at least four affirmative votes and no more than one negative vote. If No pass (NP) is reported, students may resubmit the thesis and defend it no earlier than the next semester. Failure on the second attempt results in dismissal from the program.

If the thesis work involves human subject research and/or animal related research, the Thesis Committee must forward to the department chair a copy of the approval/confirmation or exemption letter of the Institutional Review Board and/or Animal Care Committee.

Deposit of the Thesis in the Library

After passing the thesis defense examination, students are required to deposit one soft copy of the thesis saved as PDF (Portable Document Format) file into the Library (ScholarWorks). Upon successful submission, the Library delivers a receipt to the Office of the Registrar before students are awarded the degree. The Office of the Registrar shall ensure that all names of students recommended to the senate for award of the PhD have submitted their PhD thesis copy to the library. Students should sign a release form indicating whether or not the library is authorized to supply copies of the thesis to other libraries or individuals. The non-authorization option is valid for a period of three years only, after which copies of the thesis are supplied upon request. For deadline refer to webpage https://www.aub.edu.lb/graduatecouncil/Pages/thesisdeadlines.aspx

PhD Degree Graduation Requirements

Students can graduate at the end of any academic term provided they have satisfied the following requirements:

  • Applied for graduation.
  • Attained a minimum cumulative course average of 3.7, excluding courses taken prior to admission into the program.
  • Passed the Doctoral Qualifying Exam Parts I and II (comprehensive and thesis proposal defense examinations) as set by the department.
  • Met program-specific requirements for publication of thesis work by the time of graduation. Refer to the catalogue section pertaining to the program. The minimum requirement is two publications according to one of the following options: (1) in two internationally refereed journals, (2) in two international conferences, or (3) in one internationally refereed journal and one international conference. Program specific requirements may be more stringent.
  • Successfully completed the Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (C-THE) by completing the two required courses*
  • Successfully defended a thesis of original scholarly work.
  • Met the residency requirements and all pertinent AUB regulations.

This requirement applies to students who join the PhD programs at AUB after the Academic Year 2020-21 (inclusive). Students should start C-THE in the fall term that follows their first term of enrollment.

Requirements for the Graduate Diplomas​​

Graduate diploma programs, regardless of type (academic or professional), require a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 course credits. Some programs may allow three credits from undergraduate courses. Graduate academic diplomas can include courses from existing graduate degree programs.

Graduate Diploma Graduation Requirements

To be eligible for graduation with a graduate academic or professional diploma, students must have attained a cumulative course average of 3.3 or above and must have completed the minimum credit hours of coursework designated by the specific diploma with a course passing grade of C+.

Students who receive a graduate diploma that satisfies the requirement of at least 240 lecture hours in total, in at least six courses, will be granted an associate alumnus/a status. Graduate diploma programs will follow the same maximum residency requirements as for master’s degree programs.

Disclosure of Student Records

Information about notification of rights under Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) can be found on the following link: http://www.aub.edu.lb/Registrar/Documents/ferpa.pdf

Commencement Exercises

Commencement exercises are held once per year at the end of the Spring term. Students who graduate in Spring or in the immediately previous Summer and Fall terms may participate in the commencement exercises. Students are allowed to march in the commencement exercises only once per degree.

Names on Diplomas and Degrees

Names on diplomas and degrees are spelled exactly as they appear on passports or official identity cards. According to the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education, names of Lebanese students should include first name, father’s name and family name. Names on AUB diplomas and degrees appear both in Arabic and English. If a name on a passport or official identity card does not appear in both languages, then the name that does not appear in one language will be spelled on AUB diplomas and degrees according to the personal preference of the student.

Once a degree is issued the name cannot be changed. All AUB degrees issued for the same student must have the same spelling in both English and Arabic.

Recognition of AUB Degrees by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education

The Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education (MEHE) recognizes degrees awarded by the American University of Beirut provided students are admitted on the basis of the Lebanese Baccalaureate, or its equivalent, as determined by the Lebanese Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

The MEHE does not yet recognize online degrees/diplomas.

It is the responsibility of students to ensure the degrees they receive from AUB are duly evaluated by their respective governments.

Recognition of AUB Degrees by the State of New York

The AUB degrees are registered with the State of New York and will be recognized by it through a process managed by AMIDEAST. For details refer to the website of the Office of the Registrar.

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