- Graduate students having a thesis as a requirement for degree completion must prepare and have approved a thesis proposal prior to starting their thesis research.
- The preparation of a thesis proposal is either:
i. Part of a course (seminar/research methodology) and is to be finalized and approved within the course
ii. Not part of a course, but is to be finalized and approved prior to starting the thesis work
In case the preparation of a thesis proposal is not part of a course, students would be able to register for the thesis guidance credits for the first time even if a thesis proposal is not finalized and approved. However, students cannot register for any further thesis guidance credits without an approved thesis proposal.
3. With the purpose of guiding students in their progress towards the completion of their degree requirements, lower credit hours limits are indicated below for having students start their thesis proposal, and upper credit hours limit are indicated for having students complete their thesis proposal:
i. The minimum number of credit hours before which a graduate student should not submit a thesis proposal is 9 credit hours.
Individual graduate programs can set a higher limit than this if they deem necessary.
ii. The maximum number of credit hours beyond which a graduate student should have completed a thesis proposal is 21 credit hours.
Individual graduate programs can set a lower limit than this if they deem necessary.
4. Thesis proposal contents
Essential contents encompass:
• Literature review
• Research question(s)
• Proposed methodology/theoretical framework
Additional components can be required by specific graduate programs (please refer to your program for any additional components), such as:
• Conceptual framework
• Fieldwork or needed materials (library resources, documents, data, and others)
• Location of the conduct of the research
5. Thesis proposal approval:
i. The thesis proposal must be reviewed and approved within the graduate program before the student can embark on the thesis work. The approval process is left to the individual graduate program to develop and implement but typically would involve review and feedback from a number of faculty members involved in the program.
ii. The update of the thesis proposal based on feedback received, where applicable, is to be conducted by the graduate student in coordination with his/her thesis supervisor:
a) In case the feedback and associated updates fall within the overall aim and scope of the proposal, only the thesis supervisor approval of the updates is needed
b) In case the feedback and associated updates are such that the original aim and scope of the thesis proposal are no longer valid, the updated proposal is considered a new thesis proposal to be submitted for another review and approval within the graduate program
iii. In case the thesis proposal entails patentable processes or products, the proposal reviewers within the program are to sign a non-disclosure agreement form. The thesis supervisor will identify this need, and the non-disclosure agreement form is to be obtained from AUC's Technology Transfer Office.
6. In some disciplines, examiners/readers could be identified when the thesis proposal is complete. The proposal could be shared with potential examiners/readers with the aim of helping decide whether to be examiners/readers the thesis.
- The selection of a thesis supervisor could be carried out before or after the preparation of the thesis proposal, depending on the internal regulations of the graduate program.
- The student is to identify and agree with a faculty member to be his/her thesis supervisor. Having more than one supervisor is possible (co-supervisors). Thesis supervisor(s) should be competent in the student’s thesis topic. The graduate program director must be informed of this agreement. The approval of thesis supervision form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
- The involvement of the thesis supervisor in thesis supervision during the summer months is left at the discretion of the faculty member, and the decision is to be communicated to the student and the program director no later than the start of the preceding month of May.
- The thesis supervisor must be a full-time faculty member at AUC. Thesis co-supervisors, where applicable, can also be external to AUC but must be full-time faculty members affiliated with an accredited university in Egypt or elsewhere. Having a thesis co-supervisor must be mutually agreed upon by the student and the main thesis supervisor.
- The thesis supervision relationship is a mutually-consensual one between the graduate student and the thesis supervisor. This means that a graduate student can change the thesis supervisor (in this case, the changing thesis supervisor form is to be used) and a thesis supervisor can decide to no longer be involved in the supervision of a thesis (in this case, the withdrawing from thesis supervision form is to be used). In either case, the student must identify a new thesis supervisor. The Banner record of the student must be updated accordingly. Graduate studies forms are available here.
- In case a thesis supervisor ceases to be a full-time faculty member at AUC before the final submission of a thesis, an alternative thesis supervisor must be identified by the student and the changing thesis supervisor form is to be used in this regard. Graduate studies forms are available here. The thesis supervisor who is no longer at AUC as a full-time faculty member could still be involved in the thesis supervision as a co-supervisor, with consent from the student, and the new thesis supervisor, conditional that he/she meets the conditions specified in point 3 above.
- During the course of the thesis work, the thesis supervisor, in coordination with the student, and with approval from the program director, identifies and agrees with faculty members to act as examiners/readers.
In the case of graduate programs in sciences and engineering, the examiners are identified when a final thesis draft is ready for defense.
The formation of the thesis defense committee form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
2. At least two examiners/readers are needed: external examiner/reader one, and internal examiner/reader two. The examiners/readers must be experts in the field of the thesis topic. They can be from outside the graduate program of concern, and one of them can also be external to AUC.
3. Examiners/readers must be holders of doctoral degrees, and if external to AUC, should be affiliated with an institution of higher education in Egypt or elsewhere.
Feedback on Thesis Work
- During the process of thesis work and thesis writing, the student works closely with the thesis supervisor(s), who provide(s) guidance and feedback on the work and the student’s progress in this regard. Thesis progress report form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
- The supervisor (and where applicable, the co-supervisor) is to have the leading role in guiding the student through the thesis work.
- This process will result in a thesis draft. The originality of this draft should be checked through the submission to Turnitin.com.
- The thesis draft can then be shared with the examiners/readers that would provide feedback on the draft for the student to take into account for the finalization of the thesis document.
- The thesis supervisor coordinates obtaining feedback from examiners/readers on the thesis draft and communicates this feedback to the student.
Feedback must be provided in a written format, either as a report or as annotated comments on the thesis draft. The feedback cannot be provided verbally.
For the feedback from examiners/readers on the thesis draft, the supervisor must agree with the examiners/readers on how this feedback would be addressed by the student. If any disagreement arises about the feedback between the examiners/readers on one hand and the supervisor(s) on the other hand, in this regard, this should be discussed and addressed before being relayed to the student. This ensures no conflicting feedback relayed to the student.
In the case of graduate programs in sciences and engineering, the examiners provide their feedback after the thesis defense.
- A thesis defense is obligatory for all graduate programs with a thesis requirement.
- The thesis supervisor agrees with the student that the thesis draft is ready for the defense. The thesis defense approval form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
- A thesis defense committee is formed, consisting of the thesis supervisor(s) and the examiners/readers. A moderator for the thesis defense, other than the supervisor and examiners/readers, could be identified by the thesis supervisor. The formation of the thesis defense committee form is to be used.
The non-disclosure of thesis defense deliberations form is to be signed by the members of the thesis defense committee.
Graduate studies forms are available here.
4. The thesis defense should consist of:
i. An open defense, at least to members of the program/department
ii. Oral structured presentation
iii. Committee’s discussion with the student for a final assessment
5. After the thesis defense takes place, final comments and feedback are provided to the student by examiners/readers and thesis supervisor(s) in writing, and no later than three weeks after the thesis defense. The thesis defense evaluation form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
6. Based on the thesis evaluation by the thesis defense committee, an update of the thesis draft, where necessary, would be conducted by the student, addressing comments and feedback raised by members of the thesis defense committee during the defense.
The updated thesis draft could be further reviewed by the thesis supervisor and/or examiners/readers.
In case a thesis re-defense is needed, the thesis re-examination form is to be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
7. The finalized thesis copy, approved by the thesis supervisor and examiners/readers, is then submitted for the completion of the degree requirements. The originality of the finalized thesis document must be checked through submission to Turnitin.com. In this respect, the submission to Turnitin.com Form should be used. Graduate studies forms are available here.
Deadlines for Drafts and Thesis Defense
- The defense must be conducted no later than two weeks prior to the deadline for final thesis submission as specified in the University Catalog.
- The thesis draft ready for defense must be submitted by the dates specified in University Catalog, and no later than 10 working days before the defense date.