Graduate Admissions

Master’s Degree and Higher Diploma Admission Requirements

  1. A minimum grade of 65% in the General High School Certificate (tawjihi).
  2. A Bachelor’s degree from a university recognized by Birzeit University in a field specified by the program to which the application is made, with a minimum overall assessment of “Good.” Graduates with a “Satisfactory” assessment may be admitted by the Academic Council upon the recommendation of the department council or program committee in the faculty.
  3. Two confidential recommendation letters from faculty members familiar with the applicant’s work, from administrators familiar with the work of the applicant, or one letter from each.
  4. Personal interview, if required by the program.
  5. Other requirements for admission as specified by the program and approved by the Academic Council, such as proficiency in a foreign language and work experience.

Admission and Registration

1. Applications, including all required documents, are submitted at specified times to the Registrar's Office. Department Councils and Program Committees review the applications and recommend the admission of students to the Academic Council, which approves the admission of all new students. Applicants who have not completed the bachelor’s degree at the time of application may be admitted conditionally upon receipt of the degree before enrollment in the program.

2. Admission decisions are communicated to the Registrar's Office by the Vice-President for Academic Affairs; the office then announces the decisions to admitted students.

2. Students wishing to change their fields of specialty must submit an application to the desired program at the specified time. Admission requirements of the desired program will apply in these cases.

Transfering from Other Universities

1. Admission requirements for applicants wishing to transfer from universities recognized by Birzeit University are the same as those listed under Admission Requirements (see above).

2. Up to nine credit hours (with a minimum assessment of “Good”) taken at other universities may be counted as equivalent to courses within the program, provided this is approved by the Academic Council upon the recommendation of the Department Council or Program Committee.

3. Grades received for courses at other universities are not included in a student’s grade average.

4. In addition to any credit hours transferred from other universities, a student must complete a minimum of 21 credit hours (including the thesis/seminar track requirements) of program requirements at Birzeit University .

5. One semester will be deducted from the maximum number of semesters a student is allowed in order to complete the requirements for the Master’s degree or Higher Diploma for each six hours (or more) transferred from other universities.

Graduation Requirements for the Higher Diploma

1. Completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours in the program, including a minimum of nine credit hours of required courses (600-700 level) and a minimum of six credit hours of elective courses specified by the program. Some courses from other graduate programs may be substituted for program electives upon approval of the program. Up to three credit hours of elective courses (not taken previously) may be taken from advanced undergraduate courses upon the approval of the program.

2. Completion of remedial courses, if any, required by the program (these courses must be completed before the end of the student’s third semester in the program; extension of the deadline requires the approval of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs upon the program’s recommendation). Remedial course credits and grades are not included in the student’s total hours or in the calculation of the grade average. Remedial courses may be repeated only once, and in the case of failure, the student is dismissed from the program.

3. Passing the general examination in those programs that require it; students who fail are allowed to repeat the examination once. Approval for taking the examination for a third time is given by the Academic Council, and failure in the examination results in dismissal from the program.

4. Completion of the last 15 credit hours at Birzeit University.

5. A minimum cumulative average of 75% in graduate courses.

6. Completion of any other program requirements.

Graduation Requirements for the Master’s Degree

1. Completion of 36 credit hours in the program, including a minimum of 12 credit hours of required courses and six hours of elective courses specified by the program. Up to six credit hours in courses from other graduate programs may be substituted for program electives upon approval of the program. Up to three credit hours of elective courses may be taken from advanced undergraduate courses (not taken previously) upon the approval of the program.

2. Completion of the two seminar courses (830 and 831) or the thesis (860). The two seminar courses may not be taken concurrently in the same semester without the approval of the Dean upon the program’s recommendation, and they cannot be counted towards the fulfillment of elective requirements. Students admitted beginning in 2008-2009 may replace one of the seminar courses with an elective course from the program if approved by the Department Council or Program Committee.

3. 12-18 credit hours in a concentration, if any, including the seminar courses (830 and 831) and the thesis (860), provided the seminars and the thesis are in the area of concentration.

3. Passing the thesis defense (for students in the thesis track) and the two seminars (830 and 831); see the option of replacing one seminar with an elective in Article 5.1.

4. Completion of remedial courses, if any, required by the program (these courses must be completed before the end of the student’s third semester in the program; extension of the deadline requires the approval of the Vice-President for Academic Affairs upon the program’s recommendation). Remedial course credits and grades are not included in the student’s total hours or in the calculation of the grade average. Remedial courses may be repeated only once, and in the case of failure, the student is dismissed from the program.

5. Passing the general examination in those programs that require it; students who fail are allowed to repeat the examination once. Approval for taking the examination for a third time is given by the Academic Council, and failure in the examination results in dismissal from the program.

6. Completion of the last 21 credit hours (including the thesis or the two seminars) at Birzeit University.

7. A minimum cumulative average of 75% in graduate courses.

8. Completion of any other program requirements.

Grades and Evaluation

All courses taken by a student are registered in his/her record. The minimum passing grade for a graduate course is 70%. Failing grades are 65% and 60% only. The passing grade for a remedial course is 65%. Final results of seminar courses and the thesis are reported as Pass (P) or Fail (F). Results of general exams, where required, are reported as Pass (P) or Fail (F). Incomplete grades (I) are given when a student fails to complete course requirements in time provided the instructor and the department or program head are given convincing reasons; Incomplete grades must be completed in the period not exceeding the fourth day after the start of late registration and revision of registration; otherwise, the grade of “Fail” (60) will be registered in the student’s record. Students who do not complete their theses in the semester in which they register for the thesis are given a grade of ”IP.” Students are allowed to repeat only one course in which they have received a passing grade in order to raise their grade average. The second grade, regardless of whether it is lower or higher than the first grade, is registered in the student’s record (see Article 10.2 below).

Course grades are evaluated on the following basis:

  • 90% and above: Excellent
  • 85%-89%: Very Good
  • 80%-84%: Good
  • 75%-79%: Satisfactory
  • 70%-74%: Pass
  • less than 70%: Fail

Calculation of Cumulative Average in Graduate Programs

The cumulative average is calculated for courses in graduate programs (and grades in undergraduate courses if approved by the program). The average is weighted according to the number of credit hours assigned to each course. Results of remedial courses, the thesis, the two seminars (830 and 831), the general examination, any course in which the student has a grade of “W,” undergraduate courses not approved for inclusion by the student’s program, and courses transferred from other universities, are not included in the grade average. The second grade in a repeated course is included in the grade average.

If a student is accepted to another graduate program, the grade average will be calculated only for the courses - graduate or undergraduate - required or approved by the new program.

Assessment of Degrees

The evaluation of graduate degrees is based on a student’s cumulative average in all courses counted towards the degree, and as follows:

  • Distinction: 90% and above
  • Very Good: 85-89%
  • Good: 80-84%
  • Satisfactory: 75-79%

Choosing a Thesis or Non-ThesisTrack and Transfering from Track to Track

Students are required to submit a written request for joining one of the two tracks (thesis and non-thesis tracks) upon the completion of a minimum of 15 credit hours in the program including the research methods course(s). The program’s decision will depend on the student’s academic record, the ability of the program to provide supervision, and the program’s announced criteria.

Students may change tracks upon the recommendation of the department or program council and approval of the dean. The Program Committee/Council may also recommend to the dean, based on the recommendation of the head of the program that a student change to Track B. This will be based on the thesis supervisor’s monthly reports and based on the Committee/Council’s assessment of the student’s seriousness, provided the period for completion of theses (four regular semesters) has not expired. In both cases, a grade of “Withdrawal” will be entered in the student’s record.

Thesis Registration

1. The maximum period allowed for the completion of the thesis is four regular semesters, beginning in the semester in which a thesis supervisor is appointed and until the completion of all thesis procedures, including the submission of the graduation form and copies of the thesis to all university offices. Any period of withdrawal from the university will be counted in the period of four semesters. The maximum period can be extended based on urgent and unavoidable circumstances upon the recommendation of the Dean and the approval of the Academic Council.

2. If thesis-track students do not complete the thesis (860) in the semester in which they register for the thesis, their registration continues until the completion of all thesis requirements (within the allowed period of 4 regular semesters) provided they pay the required registration fees. The grade of “IP” is registered until the thesis is completed and defended.

3. Students who do not complete the thesis within the allowed period will receive the grade of “Withdrawal” on their records.

Academic Probation

Students whose cumulative grade average falls below 75% are put on probation, only after the completion of six credit hours. Probations must be removed during the semester in which the opportunity to remove them is granted. Students are dismissed from the program if they are unable to remove the probation (see Article 15.3 below). Students under probation must register for a minimum of three and a maximum of six credit hours (including the thesis if the student was registered for it in a previous semester) in the first semester they register following the probation.

Dismissal from the Program

A student is liable to dismissal by decision of the Academic Council if he/she:

  1. fails in two different courses required in the program;
  2. repeats a course and fails it;
  3. fails twice in the seminars (830 and 831) or the thesis defense;
  4. receives two probations (not necessarily consecutive);
  5. does not complete degree requirements within the specified period;
  6. does not complete remedial courses within the specified period.

A student dismissed from a program for academic reasons may apply to another graduate program. Up to nine credit hours from the first program may be counted towards graduation requirements in the second program provided the student has received a minimum grade of 75% in these courses and upon the recommendation of the Program Committee/Council.

Dismissal from the University

Students are dismissed from the university in the following circumstances:

  1. if they are dismissed from one program and are not admitted to another program;
  2. if they exceed the maximum period for completion of degree requirements;
  3. if they violate university regulations; in this case the decision is made by the University Council upon the recommendation of the University Disciplinary Committee or any other committee appointed by the University Council for this purpose.

Withdrawal from Courses

Students may withdraw from courses during the period of revision of registration without the course appearing on their transcripts. Official withdrawal in the period extending from the beginning of the revision of registration period until the end of the 12th week (the end of the 6th week during the summer session) from the beginning of instruction results in the grade of “W” in the course; failure to withdraw officially results in the grade of “WF” (withdrawal with failure), regardless of students’ grades in the courses. Withdrawal from a course after the 12th week (after the 6th week in the summer session) from the beginning of instruction results in a grade of “WF.”

Withdrawal from the University

1. Students who wish to withdraw from the university must complete the appropriate forms and seek the approval of the department or program head and the dean. Failure to do so will result in the recording of the grade of "Withdrawal with Failure" (WF) in all courses for that particular semester irrespective of the time of withdrawal.

2. If a student officially withdraws from the university within the revision of registration period, the courses he/she has registered for do not appear on the transcript.

3. Official withdrawal after the revision of registration period and before the end of the 12th week from the beginning of instruction (the end of the 6th week during the summer session) results in the grade of “W” in all courses (including the thesis).

4. Students may not withdraw from the university after the 12th week from the beginning of instruction (the 6th week in the summer session). Students who are not able to continue their studies, regardless of the period of study at the University, will receive a grade of “WF” in all courses (the thesis will be registered as “IP.”

5. Students are allowed to withdraw officially from the university for a total period of two years during the period of study, provided the period of withdrawal does not exceed three consecutive semesters. Students will be able to apply for readmission to their programs in this case.

6. Students who withdraw are not relieved of their financial obligations toward the university.

Readmission

A student who officially withdraws from the University may apply for readmission to the program provided that:

1.  The cumulative average in graduate courses was 75% or more at the time of withdrawal. A student wishing to join a new program must apply for admission according to the application procedures in force at the time of the application.

2.  The student submits an application to the Registration Office at least one month before the beginning of the semester.

3.  The student secures a favorable recommendation from the department council or program committee and the approval of the Faculty Dean. Academic and financial regulations in force at the time of readmission will be applied.

4.  A student loses his/her right to readmission if his/her withdrawal exceeds a total of two years or more than three consecutive semesters. A new application must be submitted in this case, and if the student is admitted, the program will decide what, if any, of the courses already taken by the student can be counted towards the degree requirements. If the student is admitted to a new program, the program will decide what, if any, of the courses already taken can be counted towards the degree requirement

 Summer Session

The summer session is treated as a regular semester for the purposes of issuing academic probations, removing probations, and dismissal from the university, provided the student has registered for three or more credit hours during the summer session. Students may register for the thesis and defend it during the summer session upon the prior approval of the department council or program committee. Students are not allowed to register for seminars (830 or 831) during the summer session.

Study at Other Universities

Students are allowed to study up to nine credit hours at other universities with the approval of the Academic Council based on the recommendation of the department council or program committee, provided the student completes the last 15 credit hours at the university for the Higher Diploma and the last 21 credit hours (including the thesis or the two seminars) for the Master’s degree at Birzeit University.

Conditions for Granting the Degree

The Academic Council approves the granting of degrees upon the completion of all degree requirements. Degrees are granted at specified times. Students must observe the following instruction for the submission of the thesis:

  1. one bound hard copy of the thesis to each of the following: the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies, the Program office, the advisor, and the main library.
  2. One electronic copy of the thesis each to the library, the Dean of the Faculty, the Office of the Dean of Graduate Studies.

Amendments to the Regulations

Changes in these Regulations are approved by the University Council

Additional information can be obtained by contacting the Faculty for Graduate Studies.

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