No more thesis for PhD, thanks to HEC


Keeping in view the shortage of researchers in private sector varsities, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has waived off the prerequisite of submission of thesis for advancement into a PhD programme, Pakistan Today has learnt.
In a letter addressed to the vice chancellors (VCs) of all public sector varsities, the HEC has directed the officials to remove the condition of thesis submission for candidates, who wish to enrol in PhD programmes.
As per the HEC letter, the candidates with thesis and non-thesis MS/MPhil degrees should be allowed to advance into PhD programmes.
The HEC has further directed the universities to consider candidates having MS/MPhil degrees without completing their thesis work.
The public sector varsities have fixed criteria for admission into PhD programmes with the completion of 30 credit hours, including an approved thesis, by the varsity.
The letter, written by HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi, clarified to the VC/Rector/President/Director of all public sector varsities that the university may award an MS/MPhil or equivalent degree upon satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours only. “Thesis and non-thesis degree options are available and it is not necessary to write a thesis to obtain the degree,” he stated.
Naqvi further said that each university may take the decision about the thesis/non-thesis option on its own subject requirements. “Consequently any person having completed an MS degree is eligible to be considered for admission into PhD programme,” he added.
Terming it a move to facilitate private sector varsities without adequate number of PhD qualified faculty to teach students on how to conduct research and preparation of thesis, the public sector varsities have voiced concerns over the new condition of HEC.
The varsities fear overburden of PhD candidates, claiming that the non-thesis MS/MPhil candidates would also come forward for enrolment in PhD programmes.
When approached for comments, University of Karachi (KU) Academic Affairs Pro-Vice Chancellor said that varsity had not received any such intimation from the HEC as yet.
“But how can a candidate complete 30 credit hours without the research thesis,” she questioned.
She was of the view that the KU is an autonomous institution and it is not necessary to implement the HEC’s each and every directive. “The varsity has an approved code of conduct with the provincial assembly and it would follow the rules,” she added.
“[However], if the HEC presses the KU for implementing the orders, then the matter would be forwarded to the Board of Advanced Studies and Research and if the board approves the suggestion, the matter would be taken to the KU Academic Council,” she said. “If the council also approves the suggestion, only then the move would be implemented.
The KU pro-vice chancellor said that under the MS/MPhil programme, the varsity has fixed one-year course study after which the candidates prepare a research thesis for the award of degree.
She added that the universities do not allow admission in PhD programmes until the research thesis is submitted.


  1. R u talking about 'Proposal for getting admission into PhD' or 'the actual thesis at the end of PhD' has been exempted?

  2. no it doesnt mean proposal.actully in europe there are two types od ms/mphil degrees. research degree and non research degree. in pakistan to get an admission in phd one must do research in mphil or ms and write thesis. if he did it, then a person is consider to be eligible for phd.

  3. Its not impressive decision, If HEC want to implement western universities MSC (thesis/non thesis) programme then there should not any compromise on Ph.D degree's standard. If it 'll be prerequsite to acquire admission in Ph.D then there'll be no more worth of doctrate degree.

  4. I totally disagree with the HEC decision. If some person is not able to do a research thesis in MS then how he/she will be able to do Ph.D as Ph.D is about research.. right??

  5. It's really a new thing, and every new thing take time to digest, but it is quite easy for students now to complete their MPhil.


      • same here but my HOD still not allowing me to go for course work in place of thesis….please guide me how to get it implemented in my department at IIUI

  6. Research should be promoted beside this will be like a Tuition /Couching. Certainly the credit hours has an impact though Research Thesis/Report or any data on your research finding has not any alternate. Thesis should not be avoided at any mean, even though it should be implement to our schools and colleges to promote the problem oriented studies. Students should be give short projects, case studies so that they could ehance their individual profession capability.

  7. Yes , thesis requirement must be implemented but the criteria to enroll in PhD it should be lilient and one more thing the condition of 1 year course work in PhD should be removed for those candidates who have already done their Masters.

  8. I think in some Universities of European countries this trend has started that Degree award of PhD is concerned with the publication of 2-3 Standard research papers in Impact factor journals…………than u have completed PhD.

  9. I think we do not need writing thesis at any stage. Those who are currently enrolled as PhD scholar, award PhD degrees to them after five years. If HEC insists on thesis writing, then plagiarism zindabad.

  10. It is a horrible decision. How M.Phil degree is possible without thesis? How student can conduct PhD research until he or she learn "How to research".
    They are dropping all of our educational standards. And I condemn that 🙁

  11. Higher study means to do research and get the skills about the research, so due to this decision the universities will never produce good researchers…………..

  12. bad decision. it makes the education devalued. all over the world thesis are written and they are going backword . cuhc a pitty

  13. It is a horrible decision. In this way quality will be decreased and quantity will be increased. Our nation needs quality work in this era, as its a time of gobble competition. HEC please compare your quality of education with universities of world and try to focus on quality.

  14. without thesis no consideration of m.phil degree. its post graduate degree not undergraduate. thesis should cont.. in M.phil. its should remain pre requesite for PHD. research facilities should provide to Post Graduate students.

  15. How a M.phil or MS graduate qualify for research officer job when they do not have research work in his acadamic career

  16. well it will just like to teach courses in tuition and let them to pass out! the question is….what is the criteria of higher education!!!??

  17. A very good decision. Its better then copy paste work. which max number of ppl are doing for their thesis.

  18. Such a Stupid Decisiion (If this report/article is true). A person who can not conduct his research at MS Level then he should not be awarded even MS degree… rather we are recommending him/her for PhD. It is total nonsense and (if its true) then it'll be to accomodate few non-eligible candidates for PhD….. Already HEC has brought So-Called Drs from China and other countries who does not know even A B C of research and have no temprament of teaching and are just running after money. They want the status of Dr. and they teach the basic most courses that can be taught by A simple MCS or MS. I am suprised why we are paying millions of rupees to these so called drs. whose research is not giving/changing a sinlge bit to Pakistan.

  19. Its interesting to see so many people commenting here on mattetrs like higher education and PhD degrees etc and not a single person seems to be able to write using correct grammar ..

  20. Many of our PhD Professors are plagiarist. A plagiarist will supervise my work. Is it possible that a plagiarist will guide me in the right direction. Second, what is the standard of libraries in our country.

  21. Why don't HEC keep a check on Head of Departments and Supervisors about research stuff, instead of excluding thesis? HEC must make sure that every MS student has been provided a supervisor from department and has started the research.

    It is not healthy decision of excluding the thesis.

  22. Why are we in such a hurry to produce PhDs..its not the quantity its the quality … dont make a joke of us world wide …

  23. Simply a wrong decision by HEC. It will drop down the standard of MS/MPhil students of Pakistan.

  24. Please don't do it. Although we have shortage of supervisors. We have to focus on how to improve the quality of Education. This Action will decrease the level of Education in Pakistan.

  25. m not agree with the decision…. bad idea like PH.D would not have any worth……

  26. “No more thesis for PhD, thanks to HEC”
    There must be some ethics in reporting instead of getting attention by the readers. This is very old understanding that MS Thesis was not a prerequisite for enrollment,and any body who is registered in MS-Leading to Phd can go ahead without thesis ,just by completing a project instead. however headline gives the impression as if PhD can be awarded with out thesis.
    What you people want to portray about Pakistan. It’s face has been made ugly, already.

  27. It looks like HEC has taken this decision to provide opportunity to some specific people to get registered without having thesis in their MS/M.Phil. This decision is going to devalue the quality of education in Pakistan. MS/M.Phil and PhD are research based degrees and we should set new standards to improve the research environment in our institutes/universities rather than just to increase the number of Master degree holders.

  28. Not a good decision i am not agree with HEC decision HEC please i request u k education sector ko to pure rehny dain

  29. its really a Good decision & it will yield better results with more PhDs for academic purposes. I appreciate the decision of HEC. We need to further relax the criteria to enter into PhD Course. We are far away in research if we compare our country to neighbours. HEC should adapt open policy for all & i suggest to develop a general course of research for potential PhD candidates. HEC should first remove the requirement of GRE (Subject) to attarct maximum students in research upto tem years minimum from now because a lot of students feel threatening while appearing in GRE.

  30. In Australia, they even take a Bachelors Degree holder (4 year- First Class Honors) into PhD. Why people assume that MPhil solves the "How to do research" problem?
    It can still be done in a PhD with no prior research experience.

    In no sense does it mean that the standard of PhD students is low. It always depends on what they expect out of the PhD students as a result of 3-4 years of dedicated research.
    By waiving such requirements of MS/MPhil for entering into PhD, they produce a high number of PhD doctors each year and improve their qualified manpower.

  31. Bad Decision at all. Its not commendable to draw back thesis condition instead of creating resources for doing research work.At the time Pakistan has very small number of researchers and among them a few are good at their work. Thesis condition must, in my view, be there to fulfill the degree criteria. If there is no research, how can Pakistan produce researchers?

  32. American and British universities professors are laughing at our clowns like Javaid Lteghari –keep master in dubai [ Indian Lady] and Brainless sohairl naqvi for this decision. They just want to occupy seats and do nothing except for visiting western countries. Getting USAID, British Council. They feel very happy to visit foregn countries. Academically they are zero

    Kiran Abro
    Boston, USA

  33. i think i should not say that it is bad decision but only that its ridicules i.e, totally mad.

  34. I partially disagree. In my opinion the students must write a dissertation/thesis at BS hons and MSc stage as I think our students don't know how to write good quality articles and research journals. In order to give them confidence in writing research articles/research papers we should incourage thesis writing at Masters and BS hons level. Only special relaxations should be given to those who are able to publish atleast one research journal in international journal. A similar formula is applied in Malaysia. We should not adopt the europian policy (degree with thesis and degree by coursework), their educational system is completly different from ours. We should make rules by considering our educational system.

  35. Meray mutabiq ye acha faisla hai,
    Research work to karen gy, lekan Phd k doran,,,sirf admission k liye Thesis lazmi nahi hai.

  36. A very good decision, further , i expect from HEC to finish the creteria of NTS / GRE for admission in MS and phd.

  37. Its Good Decision as, HEC is not waiving thesis at all, though jus allowing engagement into PhD programs without being stuck in thesis at MPhil….

  38. Good decision, one more decision may also required by HEC that minimum criteria for admission into Phd programme is 3 CGPA out of 4 CGPA which means 75% marks, it should also be lower to 70 % in MS/Mphill. Or 2.7 CGPA out of 4.

  39. This is a very geood step taken by HEC. It will make easy for students of M.Phil to make themselves enrolled in Phd. But the criteria should be same for all universities of Pakistan. Because HEC is supposed to play its role of regulatory body. HEC should take action against the monoply of Karachi University especially regarding NTS exam for admissions. But unfortunately KU is not following that.

  40. Is this rule practicing in any of the Pakistani university.Can any one tell me how i can ask a copy of this decision to submit it in my university for waiving my thesis for MPhil.

  41. Thanks to HEC for submitting this decision and it is the right of every Mphil/MS students to get admission in PHD programme on result awaiting condition. Its a humble request to HEC that it should bound universities to follow this particular rule for admission into PHD although they can still force their conditions of discrimination to their result awaiting students. Its still not been implemented by universities for session 2012. its been unfair for students and we are looking forward to it.

  42. This is good decision to accommodate the students having MS with Non thesis option but in future there should be a restriction of doing thesis

  43. fine decision for those who has no much recourses to write thesis so i appreciate this helping step for students.

  44. there is no any standard of guidance provided to thesis students in the public universities, therefore its better decision to come over those problems which students face while carrying there research work !!!

    • this is the problem which i am facing,. i have completed my course work having 3.53GPA from islamic internation university since one year but still my proposal is not accepted to start my research work.. whenever i completed and brought my idea to my supervisor, he rejected it and advised to bring some more.. this is enough.. one year and no progress.. pathetic.. shame on the research supervisors.. no standard and no ability.. this is what called research doctorate,.. i m better withour this horrible thesis and i apperciate the decision which help us to complete MS degree in three years..

  45. very good decision, in sense that in varsities our intelligent professors can not give any guidance to the students, how to do research thats why everyone is afraid of thesis and this is i think a very good decision of HEC.. this will encourage the students who did not complete their research work in their MS program.

  46. A very good decision by Dr. Naqvi. HEC is continuously working to give high quality education in Pakistan, and it is because of HEC policies that Pakistani Universities are now among top 300 universities of the World. HEC started its working in 2002 and in such a small span of time, they succeeded to increase universities from 87 to 180.
    And this all is because of efforts made by Dr. Sohail Naqvi and his team. He did his bachelors, MS, and PhD from USA with highest distinction.
    So there is no question of being corrupt of being mindless (as said by a few people who commented here).
    HEC is continuously trying to improve its standards and I appreciate this innitiative, because Thesis in MS/Mphil program is not necessary in foreign Universities.
    Thesis in PhD is a must and it will remain compulsory.
    So try to understand the situation first before pointing out fingers on top management of HEC, which is competent enough to take such decisions for providing better quality education.

  47. m.khan
    its a right decision of HEC to give an option of 30 credit hours course-work or 24 credit hours course-work with theses. the reason is, universities fail to facilitate the students and provide them research supervisors. Only the completion of M.Phil. take 3 to 5 or more years.

    • exactly the same situation with islamian students, whom thesis are still pending from 2008. thus i appriciate the decision and want it to be implement on urgent basis in all pakistani universities including islamic international islamabad.

  48. it’s a commendable decision. Many will get chance of getting advance education. There’s no need of M.Phil degree either.

  49. HEC should defined clear rules for issuence of MS/Mphil degree whether a thesis is mandatorty or not…if the thieses is thn all should..if not thn all shld'nt …and for admission in PHD same rules should be implemnted..MS/Mphil is allowed without theses thn all should be allowed and given the right to admt in PHD whether public or private sector…

  50. Educational consultants assist the students in applying for financial loans or arranging the necessary funding. Students need help in arranging well organized financial documents within the given time and in the required format.

  51. The letter, written by HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi, clarified to the VC/Rector/President/Director of all public sector varsities that the university may award an MS/MPhil or equivalent degree upon satisfactory completion of 30 credit hours only. “Thesis and non-thesis degree options are available and it is not necessary to write a thesis to obtain the degree

  52. you didn't know about the follow-up study, I'm glad I could provide you with the information. If you knew about it — and I suspect you did — and decided not to use it because it contradicted your thesis, that's highly deceptive

  53. I think we do not need writing thesis at any stage. Those who are currently enrolled as PhD scholar, award PhD degrees to them after five years. If HEC insists on thesis writing, then plagiarism zindabad.essay

  54. Thanks a lot very much for the high quality and results-oriented help. I won’t think twice to endorse your blog post to anybody who wants and needs support about this area.
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  56. This HEC decision is just a joke and provide an intentional effort to decline the educational standard. Hence this will further widen the knowledge gap. and quality education at hoem than abroad.

  57. Which universities are allowing students with 17 years of education (without thesis) for admission in Ph.d?

  58. i think it is good decision for younger, in phd we we spend almost 4 yeas, or 4 years is enough for research and thesis, dats y there is no need of thesis in MS, jo log keh rehe han k hona chaye,wo just jealousy kar rehe han

  59. I totally disagree with the HEC decision. If some person is not able to do a research thesis in MS then how he/she will be able to do Ph.D as Ph.D is about research Based. So it is not right decision. Dr. M. Afzal Malik

  60. its a good decision…In MS a student learn how to conduct research and PhD is all about doing research practically. It helps to increase the number of PhD in Pakistan….

  61. The HEC has further directed the universities to consider candidates having MS/MPhil degrees without completing their thesis work.
    The public sector varsities have fixed criteria for admission into PhD programmes with the completion of 30 credit hours, including an approved thesis, by the varsity.

  62. little irrelevant but fact that what positions PHDs / MPhill holders are getting in Pakistan, I know many who are working on 25k with MS(18 year education) degree…what a joke

  63. Really terrible decision by the Higher Education Commission. This lowers the standard of education in Pakistan.

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