General Academic Requirements and Regulations

  1. How long will it take me to complete my graduate program?
  2. How many courses do I have to take each semester?
  3. Can I take a leave of absence from graduate studies? What is the procedure for withdrawing from the university? Would I get refund for the courses I drop?
  4. If I have to withdraw for personal reasons, is it guaranteed to readmit again once my reasons are resolved?
  5. How many independent study courses can I take?
  6. Can I take a minor in another graduate program?
  7. What is the procedure for applying for dual graduate degrees?
  8. Part of my program requirements includes a language proficiency test. When am I supposed to complete this test? What help does AUC give its students in this regard?
  9. Part of my program requirements includes a comprehensive exam?
  10. How many credits does the thesis count for?
  11. If a student gets an “F” in a graduate course for lack of attendance what does he or she need to do to remove the F?
  12. If a student needs to report some form of unfairness , is there a complaint procedure?

  1. How long will it take me to complete my graduate program?
    The length of time taken to complete a graduate program depends on how many credit hours the student takes each semester and on the program requirements. Full-time Egyptian graduate students take three courses or nine credit hours per semester and can take up to six credits in the summer. International students may take up to four courses or 12 credit hours per semester. Most graduate programs require 24 credit hours of coursework and a thesis. Some programs allow students to take two courses (three in the case of economics) as an alternative to the thesis. The MBA requires a minimum of 33 and a maximum of 48 credit hours. Generally, students who take a full load every semester can complete the requirements in two academic years, or in three semesters and a summer. Students taking more than 9 credits hours per semester can finish in a shorter time. Part-time students may take up to five years (six years in the case of MBA) to complete their program requirements.

  2. How many courses do I have to take each semester?
    To be a full-time graduate student you need to take three courses per semester but since many of the graduate students at AUC work, they tend to register for two courses per semester. International students can take up to five courses a semester as full-time students. The University catalog contains the detailed information on each program and the number of credits you need to take to get the degree.
  3. Can I take a leave of absence from graduate studies? What is the procedure for withdrawing from the university? Would I get refund for the courses I drop?
    Students may apply for a planned educational leave of absence. A planned educational leave of absence is defined as a planned interruption or pause in a student's regular education during which the student temporarily ceases his or her formal studies at AUC while pursuing other activities that may assist in clarifying the student's educational goals. The intent of the policy is to make it possible for a student to suspend his or her academic work, leave the campus without jeopardizing his or her rights and privileges, and later resume his or her studies with a minimum of procedural difficulty. A student who is approved for a planned leave will be considered as maintaining his or her status as a continuing student.
    Planned educational leaves may be granted for a variety of reasons or projects, but certain characteristics must be contained in any request for a leave. The leave must have a definite purpose relevant to the student's overall educational objectives and goals. The request must be for a specific period of time which should not exceed two regular semesters for students pursuing a graduate program. The student must plan to return to AUC at the conclusion of his or her leave.

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

  4. If I have to withdraw for personal reasons, is it guaranteed to readmit again once my reasons are resolved?
    A student who has withdrawn in good standing and wishes to return to the university after an absence of one or more semesters may apply for readmission. Application must be made before the appropriate application deadline, and the applicant must meet all the admission requirements prevailing at the time of readmission. Readmission is not granted automatically.
    Students at The American University in Cairo may apply for a planned educational leave of absence. A Planned Educational Leave of Absence is defined as a planned interruption or pause in a student's regular education during which the student temporarily ceases his or her formal studies at AUC while pursuing other activities that may assist in clarifying the student's educational goals. The intent of the policy is to make it possible for a student to suspend his or her academic work, leave the campus without jeopardizing his or her rights and privileges, and later resume his or her studies with a minimum of procedural difficulty. A student who is approved for a planned leave will be considered as maintaining his or her status as a continuing student.

  5. How many independent study courses can I take?
    This depends on the structure of the program and on the number of elective courses it allows. Please consult your faculty adviser.
  6. Can I take a minor in another graduate program?
    At present we do not have minors in graduate studies but you could consider a graduate diploma (usually five or six courses) together with your master degree. Graduate students may pursue two distinct graduate degrees as a dual degree (diploma and Master's or two Master's) in different departments, either simultaneously or consecutively. In either case, the student must apply to and be accepted by each program involved. The student may have up to 12 credit hours accepted for credit in both degree programs contingent upon departments’ and deans' approvals. In the case of simultaneous programs, the student may request prior approval of the courses to be counted toward both degrees from the departments involved. In the case of sequential degrees, a period of up to five years is allowed between the dates of finishing one degree and starting the second. Acceptance of a course toward the new degree shall be contingent upon departmental and deans’ approvals.
  7. What is the procedure for applying for dual graduate degrees?
    Graduate students may pursue two distinct graduate degrees (diploma and master's or two master's) in different departments, either simultaneously or consecutively. In either case, the student must apply to and be accepted by each program involved. The student may have up to 12 credit hours accepted for credit in both degree programs contingent upon departments' and deans' approvals. In the case of simultaneous programs, the student may request prior approval of the courses to be counted toward both degrees from the departments involved. In the case of sequential degrees, a period of up to five years is allowed between the dates of finishing one degree and starting the second. Acceptance of a course toward the new degree shall be contingent upon departmental and deans’ approvals.
  8. Part of my program requirements includes a language proficiency test. When am I supposed to complete this test? What help does AUC give its students in this regard?
    You are required to complete the language requirements before graduation. If the language is needed for the thesis work, then it would be best if the requirements are completed before completing the thesis or even starting it. Please consult the department on the language policy.

  9. Part of my program requirements includes a comprehensive exam?
    A student may sit for a required comprehensive examination after completing 24 credit hours or while taking the final six credit hours. Comprehensive examinations are offered usually in mid-December and mid-April. Students not registered for courses or thesis hours and planning to sit for the comprehensive examination in any semester must register for comprehensives in that semester and pay tuition equivalent to one graduate credit hour. The department helps the student prepare and approve the comprehensive exam list.
  10. How many credits does the thesis count for?
    Graduate students at the thesis writing stage should be advised that even if the thesis credits are not counted on the transcript, they need to register for the equivalent six credits (the first and the second time you register for the thesis , you pay the equivalent of a three credit course. The third time it is counted as one credit in all graduate programs except in the Economics department where it is a three credit thesis registration fee).
  11. If a student gets an “F” in a graduate course for lack of attendance what does he or she need to do to remove the F?
    Write a petition. Get a letter from the professor with the reasons for the F. Get the approval of the department chair and the dean. Take the document to the graduate advisor in the registrar’s office for their action.
  12. If a student needs to report some form of unfairness, is there a complaint procedure?
    If a student has a complaint about alleged unfair or improper treatment in a course or about any other academic matter, the issue should be discussed first with the faculty member responsible for the class in question. If the issue is not resolved at that level, the student should discuss the complaint with the chair of the department in which the course is offered. If the chair is not able to settle the issue, the student should raise the question with the dean of the school. Beyond that, the provost must be consulted.
    If a student has a complaint about a matter of academic policy, the matter may be taken to the Student Union. Two representatives of the Student Union are members of the University Senate and they are authorized to raise matters of policy in that body.