The PhD Program at Air University is designed to produce independent researchers, scholars, and innovators who will advance the state of knowledge in the discipline and disseminate their findings by publishing in scholarly journals and conferences. Our aim is to enable our graduates to serve the community and nation with their scholarly contributions and play leading roles in academia and industry. A due emphasis has been placed on the applied and industrial aspects of the research.

Academic Qualification: 18-year MS/ MPhil/ Equivalent degree in Computer Science or relevant field with minimum CGPA 3.0,

Test Scores: At least 60% score in GRE/NTS GAT (subject).

The following core courses are to be completed before entering the PhD (CS) program.

  • Analysis of Algorithms
  • Assembly Lang. / Computer Architecture
  • Computer Networks
  • Computer Programming
  • Data Structure
  • Database Systems
  • Operating Systems
  • Software Engineering
  • Theory of Automata

Selection Criteria

Admission is based on candidate’s performance in the following:

  • Academic Background
  • Test Scores
  • Research Proposal
  • Interview (to assess research potential)

Credit Hours

Coursework: PhD coursework comprises 6 graduate level courses beyond Master’s Degree (total 18 credit hours).

Research: All doctoral students must register for at least 30 credit hours of doctoral research work.

Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA)

The PhD student is required to maintain a CGPA of 3.00 or above on the scale of 4.00.

Comprehensive Exam (CE)

The PhD student is required to take the Comprehensive Examination (CE) of the Department within one semester of the completion of coursework (securing a min CGPA of 3.00/4.00). Student will have two chances to clear the CE within two years of admission. After passing the CE, the status of the PhD student will be converted to PhD Candidate.

Research Proposal

Before the end of the semester following the semester in which the CE is held, a doctoral candidate will be required to prepare, present, and defend a research synopsis outlining his/her intended research, to the Guidance and Evaluation Committee (GEC) for its approval. Two chances (with a gap of up to six weeks between the two) will be given to student to clear his/her topic defense. The student shall complete the requirement of successful defense of research synopsis (availing all chances) within two semesters after clearing the CE.

PhD Thesis Evaluation

The PhD thesis must contain original research work. A plagiarism check shall be conducted for the PhD thesis using software approved by AU.

In addition to the evaluation of thesis by GEC and plagiarism check, the thesis will also be sent for evaluation to two foreign experts from technologically advanced countries and one local external examiner

Evaluation by Foreign Experts

PhD candidate must submit his/her finalized thesis to GEC at least 06 months prior to the maximum allowed duration. It must be sent to local external and foreign experts after approval of Faculty Board of Graduate Studies as soon as possible.

In case the Foreign Evaluator (s) gives his/her assessment of thesis as "Accept with Minor Changes", the PhD Candidate will incorporate these changes in the thesis and the Supervisor will certify that these changes have been incorporated. Subsequently, the Final thesis will not be resubmitted to the same Foreign Evaluator(s).

If the report of the Foreign Evaluator(s) states "Accept with Major Changes", the matter may be referred to GEC who will ask the Candidate to modify his/her research or thesis accordingly. The GEC will then certify that the requisite changes have been made and the final thesis will not be resubmitted to the Foreign Evaluator(s).

If the foreign evaluators recommend that the work is acceptable for award of PhD, then a local committee, comprising the local external and internal evaluators, is constituted. Upon receiving positive evaluation report by Foreign Evaluators, the local external examiner and the Supervisor, the Candidate shall apply for final defense of his/her thesis.

Research Publication

It is mandatory for a PhD candidate to publish at least one research paper as first author based on his/her PhD thesis/ dissertation in HEC recognized ‘W’ or ‘X’ category journals.

Final Defense

After receiving positive comments from the local experts and publication of research work, the PhD candidate is required to defend his/her work before the GEC in the form of an oral presentation. The candidate will be declared successful upon approval by a majority vote of the GEC.

The minimum/normal duration of the PhD studies shall be three academic years, extendable by three more academic years (on semester-to semester basis) upon approval by Dean of the Faculty on the recommendation of the Chair Department.

Note: An academic years consists of two regular semesters i.e., Fall and Spring