MS/MPhil Programs Leading to Ph.D.s Eliminated by New HEC Policy

The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has discontinued the ‘MS/MPhil leading to Ph.D.’ programs in its new Ph.D. admission policy.According to the new policy document, universities with less than 10 years of existence have been restricted from starting specialized Ph.D. programs, and further admissions to these programs have been prohibited. Universities have also been barred from launching more than two Ph.D. programs a year.

The document explains the timeline for the completion of a new degree and states that a Ph.D. cannot be completed in either less than three years or more than eight years of the enrolment of the student.If a student is unable to complete their Ph.D. within the prescribed time, the university may designate a competent authority to decide whether an extension may be granted if the delay owes to a situation beyond the control of the student. However, even in such exceptional circumstances, in no event will a Ph.D. degree be awarded to a student after over ten years of enrolment in the program.

The date of the notification of the award of the Ph.D. degree following the Ph.D. defense will be considered as the completion date of a student’s Ph.D. studiesUnder the new policy, students can pursue a Ph.D. degree after the completion of their Bachelor’s degrees. However, this is just a minimum criterion and universities are free to develop their own admission frameworks.Additionally, the minimum CGPA required to apply for doctoral studies is 3.0 (in the semester system) or First Division (in the annual system) in the candidate’s most recent degree.