Undergraduate Academic Requirements
The undergraduate academic programs' main components are:
Compulsory courses: courses that provide general basic knowledge in the faculty’s interdisciplinary fields of interest, in addition to courses in the specialized fields in which students declare their majors and receive degrees
Collateral courses: courses in interrelated disciplines which relate to specialized fields
Elective courses: courses relevant to students chosen majors and ones that students may select with the assistance of their academic advisors
Students must complete at least 141 total credit hours, given that the minimum grade in any course is D and the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) is C to qualify for a bachelor’s of science degree (BSc).
A student must select his or her field of study at the beginning of the second academic year after earning a minimum of 30 credit hours, including the introductory courses relevant to the chosen field of study.
A students with a minimum CGPA of 3.00 might select a minor on the condition that he or she has earned 12 credit hours in the field of study. These credit hours are earned in the major faculty subjects and should not be earned in collateral and elective courses.
A graduate with BSc from any of the four departments may continue his or her studies in the other three departments and receive an additional BSc on the condition of earning a minimum of 42 credit hours in the new selected department.
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Undergraduate Academic Regulations
Credit Hour System
Study in the faculty is based on the credit hour system. A credit hour is equivalent to one hour of theoretical study or two hours of laboratory or practical training.
The academic year is divided into two regular semesters (Fall and Spring) and each semester lasts fifteen weeks. The faculty arranges for summer semesters which last six weeks in which students can register for a maximum of six credit hours.
Academic Advising and Registration
The faculty assigns academic advisors from the staff to each group of students. The academic advisors guide students in the selection of courses and the field of study during their four academic years. The academic advisor's guidance is optional. The student is responsible for the final selection of courses and field of study. Registration of courses during the period of registration, as announced in the academic calendar, is mandatory. Students can only register for courses in subjects in which they successfully completed their prerequisites.
The faculty has four class levels: freshman, sophomore, senior, and junior. The class level for each student is determined by the total number of earned credit hours for the student. Students become sophomores upon earning 30 credit hours, juniors by reaching 60 credit hours, and finally develop into seniors upon earning 90 credit hours.
Students, in both Fall and Spring semesters, register a maximum of 19 credit hours and a minimum of 9 credit hours per semester, except during their graduating-senior semester where there is no minimum credit hours to register. Yet in the summer semester, a normal load shall not exceed 7 credit hours (9 credit hours in case of graduation). Students who are eligible to register an academic overload of up to additional 3 hours, must have a CGPA of not less than 3.5 and is subject to the faculty's approval.
English is the language of teaching. However, the faculty council might, based on suggestions from the departments, offer students one or more courses at any level in Arabic.
Change of Major
Students may be allowed to change their major if they fulfill the following conditions:
They have not yet completed 90 credit hours and hence not yet registered as seniors.
With the approval of the faculty .
Attendance and Absence
Attending classes and labs is essential as students benefit from lectures and discussions with professors and classmates. Students should attend regularly to avoid any absence having a negative impact on their grades.
In cases of absence from one of the semester tests, without an acceptable excuse, students will not be given another opportunity to take the test.
If a student is absent for 25 percent from one of the courses, during the first twelve weeks of a semester, the student may withdraw from the course. However if the absence exceeds 25 percent, after this period, the student will not be allowed to withdraw, attend lectures, or attend final exam and will receive F in the course. The student shall receive at least one warning before being barred from attending the course.
In very rare cases, students who are unable to complete a course may be permitted to continue work in that course after the dates of the examinations. Any professor submitting an incomplete grade must supplement this submission with a form to the dean's office, giving the following information:
Reason for the course being incomplete
The part of the course that is incomplete
Action necessary for completing the course.
In such a case, a grade of I, for “incomplete,” is assigned. The students must make arrangements with the professor to complete the course within one month after the beginning of the new academic session. Failure to do this results in recording grade F for that course.
If students have more than one incomplete grade, the credit hours of the incomplete course will be included in their academic load for the following semester.
In any case of cheating during written exams, the student who cheats will not be allowed to complete the exam and will receive grade F for the course.
If a student at the end of a semester receives a CGPA of less than 2.0 he or she will be put under probation and academic supervision for the two successive semesters. He or she must upgrade the CGPA to 2.0 by the end of the next semester.
In this case a written warning shall be sent to the student, with a copy to his or her parents explaining the consequences of his or her lack of commitment to the academic supervision.
During this period, a student would not be allowed to register for more than 12 credit hours in a semester in addition to the English course. Nor would a student be allowed to participate in sports’ teams or cultural and artistic activities organized by the University
During this period, the student shall meet his academic advisor at least twice a month. The academic advisor should follow up on the status of the student’s studies with other professors.
By the end of this period, if the student has not receive a GPA of 2.0, he or she shall be suspended from the University.
In this case, the student may appeal to the University to restart his or her studies. The University shall study his or her case and the personal, psychological, and academic circumstances which led to his or her suspension. If the University approved the appeal, it shall determine the conditions for the student to continue his or her studies.
Repeating a course in the case of a student wishing to improve his or her grades:
A student may repeat a course to improve his or her grades. In this case, the higher grade will be calculated into the GPA and the previous grade will be erased from the student's record.
If a student wishes to repeat a course for a second time he or she shall present an appeal to the council of students' affairs with the view of the academic advisor and the faculty council
Repeating a course in case a student receives F:
A student is allowed to repeat a course which he or she has failed. If he or she successfully passes the course, the F would not be erased from his or her transcripts. However, the new grade will be calculated in his or her GPA. If the student failed that course, the F grade shall not be calculated again in the GPA.
Change of Courses
Students who wish to drop or add any course must follow the rules which are determined by the registry office in the faculty.
Students shall not be allowed to drop and add any course without prior permission from the Faculty.
Students shall not be allowed to add additional course to their schedule after the registration deadline.
Students may drop classes up to the end of the fourth week of study in an academic semester, or at the end of the first week in a summer semester with no record of any grade being maintained.
Between the end of the fourth and the twelfth week of classes in an academic semester, or the end of the third week in a summer session, students may withdraw from courses. In cases of re-registering that course in another academic semester, a grade of WP will be assigned to students who pass the course, or a grade of WF will be assigned to those who fail it.
After the twelfth week in academic semesters and the third week in the summer session, students are not permitted to withdraw from classes.
Students will receive a grade F if they stop attending classes without officially dropping or withdrawing the course.
Each instructor evaluates students' activities during the semester (attendance, semester exams, assignments and finals) and gives a grade for the course according to the following schedule:
For a student to pass any course, he or she should receive at least 50 percent of the course grade (D).
GPA at the end of each semester is calculated as follows:
GPA= total of grade × number of credit hours for each course ÷ number of credit hours received during the years of study.
The duration of written exams for each course is two hours except for those courses which count for 2 credit hours only, where the written exam will be for one hour only. The faculty council, based on suggestions from the departments, may change these timings.
Grades for graduation certificate are calculated as follows:
|3.7 and above
|3.6 > 3.7
|3.2 > 3.6
|2.4 > 3.2
For a student to receive an honor he or she shall not have failed any course.
The faculty council, relying on suggestions from the relevant department, may approve amendments to the registration requirements and also to the content of compulsory courses.
The students’ committee of the faculty, in collaboration with academic advisors, is required to periodically follow up on students' performance. The faculty council shall approve results from the follow up and determine procedures and guidelines which will improve students' performance.
The faculty council shall arrange for training workshops and special studies in subjects related to each department's field of study, according to the University’s guidelines.
The faculty council might establish study centers, programs, and units to conduct academic research, workshops, conferences, and offer opinions and advice concerning subjects and issues related to socio- economic, political, administrative developments, and to the media in Egypt and the rest of Arab world.
At the faculty students acquire a solid knowledge and understanding of the core issues and concepts in specialized fields of international studies. Teaching methodologies aim at equipping future leaders and policy-makers with in-depth scientific and analytical thinking to approach multifaceted and vital global issues with the vision of building proactive students within a cooperative environment conducive to peace and development.
Hence a mixture of traditional lecturing and advanced interactive methods of teaching is offered to students to gain both knowledge, hands-on experience, and the skills of negotiation, debating, problem-solving, and conflict management, among other issues. We offer internationally respected programs that integrate classroom study with workplace experience. We also believe that both commitment and motivation are key factors for success in learning. In the light of these goals our programs, around which each student is expected to work, reflect, but are not limited to, the following principles:
Attendance at lectures is compulsory.
In-class activities: students are required to work in class, submit and discuss papers, and coursework assignments, as well as be involved in simulation games and role play.
Out of class activities: some courses require students to conduct field studies, visits, and interviews.
Exams: in each course, there are one or two mid-term exams and a final exam.
Simulation models: the faculty hosts a number of simulation models, such as the Model of American Presidency (MAP), Model of United Nations (MUN) and Model of Arab League (MAL) where participating students can practice and improve their skills and become aware of political, economic, and social events in the Arab world, and of international challenges and opportunities. Students gain a practical experience and mix with different people of diverse backgrounds. Participation in such role playing gives the opportunity to students to acquire several skills: diplomatic, negotiating, public speaking, procedural rules in international organizations, research, crisis management, etc.
Internships: students are required to undertake summer internships during their junior year in any organization relevant to their field of interest. Priority is given to students with a CGPA 3.0.
Class setting: to capitalize on the best learning benefit in-class, maximum specialization, maximum class capacity is forty students.
Teaching technology: the faculty applies up-to-date interactive teaching technologies, smart boards and a modular object-oriented dynamic learning environment (Moodle), which enriches and facilitates learning and provides opportunities for a wide range of on-line interactions between students and instructors. The faculty also uses white boards and audio-video equipment.
Assessment of Student Learning
In accordance with our mission, we offer an assessment plan, comprising methods of collecting information related to:
What students “know”, for example: IR theory, society and politics, national, regional and Western political systems, economic theories, the principles of public administration, etc.
What students “can do”, for example: political analysis, economic report-writing, or writing an essay.
The primary purpose of this assessment plan is to draw critical conclusions about the process of teaching and learning, and not to evaluate individual students or professors.
The following plan adds to the faculty’s already existing efforts to assess outcomes:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs):
Disciplinary knowledge: Students should have a general understanding of the principal theories that have shaped our faculty’s disciplines. They should be aware of the current disciplinary debates on these theories, and different viewpoints. Faculty members are aware of the need to accommodate diverse perspectives and respect differences of opinions.
Analytical skills and critical thinking: Students should be able to access a broad range of research material in their field, including both primary and secondary sources. Students should be able to read and critically evaluate the literature which is central to their discipline. Students must demonstrate the ability to write, discuss, and defend a research project in their field, based on these research materials, and engage in independent research. Students should be able to identify and summarize the main arguments of scholarly sources, assess the credibility of different arguments, use quotations, paraphrases, and appropriate documentation, engage in active debate and present a convincing arguments, using supportive evidence, and demonstrate a strong grasp of information literacy.
Students should have a sense of social responsibility and good citizenship as the faculty encourages their involvement in community and public service. To this end, the faculty offers intern programs and field trips in association with a range of diverse institutions in Egypt. The faculty also encourages a campus environment that is hospitable to multicultural and multidisciplinary interests and activities, thus encouraging integration and effective communication between different ways of thinking and different fields of knowledge.
This assessment plan uses four levels or stages of analysis and assessment of the faculty performance and the maintenance of an alumni database (for example, by establishing an alumni website, an alumni society and alumni reunion events). The four levels are: an assessment of samples of seminar writings, course evaluation and improvement, an exit survey and an alumni survey.
First - seminar writing samples: A representative sample of the seminar papers of all faculty students will be submitted to both the course instructor and one other faculty member for evaluation (normally, this other faculty member will be the Dean of the faculty. This representative sample will be given a score of either “good”, “acceptable”, or “unacceptable”, based on the following six criteria:
Grammar and writing style
Ability to present a thesis statement
Coherence and logic of the argument
Familiarity with and use of secondary sources, and, where appropriate, familiarity with and use of primary sources
Proper use of citations
Suitable knowledge of the field or discipline of study: economics, political science, or public administration.
The overall rating will be the sum of the scores of the six criteria. Our goal is that no student should have an “unacceptable” score in any of the six categories.
These procedures could be performed with a focus on the Seminar III papers, since this course is taken by senior students who have completed the three seminar courses which teach proper writing and research techniques. These procedures should occur in every semester when Seminar III is taught (usually the Fall semester).
Second - course evaluation and improvement: Each course is evaluated by students at the end of the semester, where the student should be asked questions about the general information provided; the teaching aids used; the teaching techniques, and other relevant questions.
Additionally, each course should have a “log book” containing previous and current syllabi, course evaluations, which serves as a source of information for future improvement. Each course shall be subject to what we can call an “improvement conference” every year or two. The participating course instructors, two other colleagues and two students shall be present at this conference. The purpose of this “improvement conference” is to evaluate what the students have learned from this course, the relationship between this course and the general faculty syllabi, and how this course improves the student’s qualifications for employment after graduation.
Professors as well as students should have knowledge about the National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) and the National Academic Reference Standards Requirements (NARS) and see how this course fits into the educational and qualification requirements of NAQAAE. The faculty treats the NAQAAE requirements as a checklist to ensure that all of its requirements are covered by the taught courses in the faculty. If one of the requirements is not covered in the current curriculum, then the faculty will modify the curriculum to ensure that it would be covered in the future.
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Third - exit survey: senior students of the faculty are given an exit survey, the intent of which is to assess student perceptions of the overall learning experience. The exit survey is mandatory. Results from the exit survey will generate both quantifiable data and qualitative comments and suggestions which help the faculty upgrade its activities.