The Study Track

The PhD study track is oriented towards scholarship and research. It is a 3 year curriculum; this period may be extended to 5 years. During the first year the student follows 4 seminars and submits a detailed thesis proposal. In the second year the candidate follows two tutorials and begins with the redaction of the dissertation. The third year is entirely dedicated to fulfilling the writing process of the thesis. 


 I.            Rules and Regulations

1)   Candidates for the PhD degree shall satisfactorily complete work amounting to 42 credits distributed as follows:

- 12 Credits in four offered seminars in different theological disciplines

- 6 Credits in two tutorials focusing on the topic of the dissertation

- 24 Credits for the dissertation

2)   The PhD program is equivalent in length to three years of study.

3)   All candidates are required to complete course work (12 credits seminars – 6 credits tutorials) in the first two years.

4)   The academic year is made up of two semesters.

5)   Professors supply study materials either at the beginning of the semester, or shortly before the seminar itself. Students are required to prepare for the seminar using the provided study material.

6)   The PhD candidate must meet the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress. Satisfactory Academic Progress is defined as:

- Having a cumulative grade point average of at least B (80/100) in the doctoral program

- Minimum passing grade B- (75/100) in all courses

- Not exceeding maximum absence (10%)

- Continuous effort in research



II.            Dissertation Concept

1)   Description

The Doctoral Dissertation is an unpublished academic work, culminating years of post-graduate, guided, independent and personal research. The results must be supported by knowledge and theoretical arguments obtained with methods and techniques applied with academic rigor and consistency. The general purposes a thesis must have are:

- To generate scholarly valid and reliable conclusions

- To provide advancement in the field of specialization

A graduate student needs to defend successfully his doctoral dissertation to receive his PhD degree.


2)   Approval of Subject

During the second year, candidates submit a detailed thesis project, which should lie within one of the faculty's active research areas, and that two members of the academic staff are available for appointment as the supervisor, one as a first reader, and the other as a second reader. The description of the academic content of the PhD project should include its main elements, problematical issues, hypothesis, ideas concerning methods, theories and any empirical research planned, etc. It should also mention the necessary resources which will be used and offer a working schedule for the standard study period. The Dissertation Project Form shouldbe used for this purpose.


3)   Supervision

a)   Appointment of Supervisor:

Considering the Application for Admission and the Dissertation Proposal the Academic Committee recommends a supervisor for the PhD project to the Dean. The Dean considers the recommendation for approval. The supervisor should be a recognized researcher in the relevant research area and a member of the UOB faculty at the level of Full Professor or Associate Professor. 


b)   Supervisors’ Responsibilities:

The supervisor has overall responsibilities to mentor the progress of the PhD candidate's research project and the writing of the PhD dissertation with a view to ensuring completion as required. The supervisor shall prepare a PhD plan at the start of the project together with the candidate.

He shall:

- Evaluate the progress of the PhD candidate in his research project and report on this in semiannual evaluations.

- Support and guide the PhD candidate in developing necessary contacts and in working actively in the world of research.

- Support and guide the PhD candidate in his efforts to publish research results in the course of the PhD program.

- Stay in regular contact with the candidate.

- Provide supervision regularly, and read and discuss the candidate's work.


c)    The PhD Candidate's Responsibilities:

        i. The PhD candidate must keep his/her supervisor informed of the progress of the project, including:

- All relevant information concerning the progress of the PhD program and work on the dissertation.

- All the drafts of the gradual phases in writing the dissertation.

- All important research results.

- The process of the editing of the final text of the dissertation.

- Drafts of any publication during the PhD study period.

     ii. Active participation in academic conferences and workshops is required from the PhD candidate during the period of his/her doctoral study.


d)   Semi-annual Evaluations: 

Every six months, the supervisors provide the Director of the PhD Program, i.e. the Dean with an evaluation of the candidate’s academic progress and research. Based on the evaluation, the Dean decides whether the candidate’s academic progress and research are satisfactory or not.

PhD candidate who fails to secure an approval of his/her detailed dissertation concept within 3 semesters since his/her enrollment is placed on academic probation.


e)   The Dissertation Committee:

The two readers must be professors or associate professors from the main field of specialization at UOB. The task of the Committee is to read the dissertation final draft and provide feedback including remarks and required amendments before the submission to defense. 


f)     Change of Supervisor:

Supervisors may be changed in the course of a PhD program, or additional supervisors or co-supervisors may be appointed. A request for a change of supervisor may come from the PhD candidate or from one of the supervisors, or the change may be initiated by the Dean.



4)   The Format of the PhD Dissertation

Candidates must follow the PhD Dissertation Guide and Style Manual issued by the Central Library at UOB or at AHOS.



5) The Assessment Committee

Upon completion of the PhD dissertation the candidate submits by hand to the Dean seven copies of the manuscript and applies in writing for the dissertation defense. The Dean appoints the Assessment Committee members and designates the committee chairperson.

a)   Definition:

The Assessment Committee is in charge of reading and examining the final text of the dissertation.

b)   Composition:

The Assessment Committee consists of at least 5 members: the supervisor, the members of the dissertation committee, in addition to a professor or an associate professor from another university. The Dissertation Supervisor may chair the assessment committee. 

c)    Tasks:

Members of the Assessment Committee receive a hard copy of the dissertation sent by the chairperson. They shall:

- Submit a written Report on the Dissertation to the chairperson of the assessment committee two months after they receive the manuscript. All reports shall be available at the Office of the Dean before the public announcement of the defense session.

- Attend the defense session personally and present their evaluation orally during the session.

- Participate in the writing of the Report on Defense.

- Deliberate and agree on a grading mark for the dissertation.

The chairperson is responsible for ensuring the examination procedures: submission of copies to the assessment committee, communicating the date of defense, coordination of the session and submission of all needed reports and documents.

d)   Defense:

- The PhD candidate must defend the dissertation before the assessment committee according to the following procedures:

- The date for the defense session is set by the Dean.

- The physical presence of the candidate at the defense is required. Candidates may defend the dissertation by telecommunication at AHOS.

- The defense is open to the public.

- A secretary appointed by the committee shall write down the session report.

- The final session report shall be signed by all members present in the defense.



6)   Award of the PhD 

The PhD degree is the highest academic degree awarded at the IOT to candidates who have completed the required coursework, participated in at least two international conferences, published at least one article in a peered academic review, defended a doctoral dissertation, and submitted it by hand to the Library after making the requested amendments.

Candidates are eligible to receive the PhD degree when they offer by hand to the Dean’s office the following documents:

- Certificates of participation in at least two national or international conferences.

- A copy of their publication in a peer-reviewed academic journal.

- "A copy of the Dissertation after the final amendments, signed by the five members of the Assessment Committee.

- A Library receipt of the Dissertation.

 After reviewing the above mentioned documents, the Dean of the IOT grants the award of PhD to the Candidate. The University of Balamand solemnly awards the degree of PhD.