Birzeit University operates on a two-semester system and according to credit hours. Each of the two semesters is 16 weeks, and a summer session, if offered (depending on available means and capabilities), is eight weeks long. New students are accepted at the beginning of each academic year, and a small number of students are admitted, depending on space availability, during the second semester. Applications should be sent to the Registration Office according to the dates published annually in the university bulletin. The university closes on Fridays and Sundays of each week, and other holidays are announced at the beginning of each academic year.
Following are the minimum requirements needed for students to enroll at the university:
1. A General High School Certificate (tawjihi) or an equivalent (e.g: SAT, IB, or GCE with equivalence requirements as set by the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education).
2. Student placement in the faculties depends on the stream of the High School Certificate:
I. With a certificate from the Scientific Stream, the student can enroll in any faculty she/he wishes.
II. With a certificate from the Art Stream, the student can register in either the Faculty of Arts or the Faculty of Commerce and Economics.
3. A general secondary education certificate with “No Pass” grades is not accepted.
4. The Certificate score should not be less than the standards set by the Palestinian Ministry of Higher Education.
Admission for first-year students is competitive and is based on his or her Composite Score, with the condition that these scores are not lower than those required for admission in a certain faculty. The Composite Score of the students is the average percentage score of the General Secondary Education Certificate or equivalent and a percentage score of the last three years in high school. The minimum average score required for each faculty depends on guidelines set by the University Council.
All students have to take an English language proficiency exam, and students are placed in English language courses according to their scores.
Transfer Students: Transfer students are considered if they have completed a minimum of 30 credit hours at an accredited university, with a grade point average not less that 70%.
Birzeit University students are classified into two main categories:
I. "Regular Students" are both part-time and full-time students enrolled at the university and are working toward a degree.
II. "Irregular Students" are classified as:
1. Special Students: Students who are not working toward a degree at the University, or those who wish to transfer credit hours to another university.
2. PAS Students: International students enrolled in the "Palestine and Arab Studies Program" (PAS) at the university.
3. Audit Students: Students who wish to attend classes for their own benefit. They do not receive any credits, grades or transcripts from the courses they attend.
The minimum requirements for a Bachelor degree for each faculty are:
- 120 credit hours for the Faculty of Arts
- 120 credit hours for the Faculty of Commerce and Economics
- 128 credit hours for the Faculty of Science
- 160 credit hours for the Faculty of Engineering
These requirements are distributed as follows:
1. University Requirements: All undergraduate students are required to take a total of 20 credit hours in courses which include Arabic, English, Library Science, Physical Education, and Cultural Studies.
2. Faculty Requirements: These are courses that are required of all students in a faculty, and generally consist of introductory courses in the respective disciplines (between 15-25% of all requirements).
3. Department Requirements: These are introductory and advanced courses in a students area of specialization, and other, closely related areas. These amount to 40-65% of total credit hour requirements.
4. Electives: In addition to the above, students may choose courses outside their areas of specialization.
5. Community Work Requirement: As part of graduation requirements, all students must complete a minimum of 120 hours of community work.
Probation and Dismissal
A regular student is put on academic probation if his or her cumulative average falls below 65%, provided he/she has studies in excess of 12 credit hours at Birzeit University. These include all courses irrespective of failed courses or repeats.
The following conditions apply when academic probation is issued and/or removed:
1. A student who does not maintain a minimum cumulative average of 65% is placed under probation; this probation is removed if he/she achieves a cumulative average of 65% and above in the following semester.
2. An academic probation is issued and/or removed at the end of a semester if the student has registered for six credit hours and above.
3. A student issued with an academic probation may register for a minimum of six credit hours and a maximum of 16 credit hours in the following semester.
4. A student may be issued with a second academic probation if he fails to remove the first probation provided he has registered for at least six credit hours in that semester.
Academic Dismissal from University
The Academic Council can decide to dismiss regular students for academic reasons in any of the following situations:
1. when a student accumulates a total of two academic probations;
2. when a student fails three times in a course required for graduation;
3. when a student fails twice in a university requirement and is not granted permission by the Academic Council to repeat the course for the third time;
4. when a regular student (not a transfer student) fails to gain admission to a departmental program in his/her faculty after having completed 64 credit hours and above;
5. when a student is dismissed from his/her major program and fails to gain admission to another;
6. when a student spends at the university more than double the period required to complete his course work without completing graduation requirements. In all cases, the maximum period for graduation should not exceed eight years.
The university waives its right to dismiss students in the following cases:
1. Students who have no more than 16 credit hours to complete before graduation (24 credit hours for Engineering students) are permitted to continue with their studies in order to remove the probation within two semesters, which may include the summer session if the student registers for six credit hours or more.
In all cases, a student must register for a minimum of six credit hours in a semester to remove the probation even if he requires a lesser number of hours to graduate. No student may graduate while under academic probation.
2. Students who should be dismissed under items (4) and (5) mentioned above, may be placed under close academic supervision by the Faculty Dean for one semester only, in order to be given a final chance to remove the probation and to gain admission to another departmental program. Failing to do so, the student will be dismissed from the University.
NOTE: Dismissed students may apply for readmission to the University after a minimum period of one year and a half from their dismissal date but not exceeding four years. If their application is approved, students are issued with special conditions they are required to fulfill by the end of the first semester after their readmission. Students failing to meet these conditions would be dismissed on a final basis.
Dismissal for Non-Academic Reasons
Upon the recommendation of the Disciplinary Committee or any other committee appointed by the University Council, the University Council may dismiss a student for non-academic reasons.
Withdrawal from Courses
The following regulations apply to withdrawal from courses:
1. A withdrawal from a course during the first week of the semester is not recorded in the transcript.
2. A "W" is recorded on a student's transcript if he/she withdraws after the first week and before the twelfth week of the semester.
3. A "WF" is recorded on the student's transcript if he/she withdraws after the twelfth week of the semester, and a grade of 50% is assigned to the course withdrawn from.
4. A "WF" is recorded on the student's transcript if he/she stops attending classes and has not filed the necessary withdrawal forms at the Registrar's Office.
Withdrawal from University
A student may withdraw from the university under the following regulations:
1. If a student withdraws during the first week of the semester, his/her name will not appear on the university records for that semester.
2. If a student withdraws from the university after the first week and before the twelfth week of the semester, "W" is recorded on his/her transcript for all courses s/he registered for.
3. If a student stops attending classes and does not file the necessary withdrawal forms, “WF” is recorded on his/her transcript for all courses s/he registered for. However, if a student withdraws officially, a "WP" is recorded for the courses in which s/he had a passing grade at the time of withdrawal, and "WF" is recorded for the courses in which s/he had a failing grade at the time of withdrawal.
4. No fees are refunded upon withdrawal from the university.
Readmission to University
A student who has discontinued his/her education at the university and who was not dismissed for academic reasons may apply for readmission under the following conditions:
1. The student's cumulative average when s/he discontinued his/her studies must not be less than 65%.
2. The student must submit his/her application for readmission one month prior to the beginning of the semester.
The Admissions Committee consults with the relevant faculty before it makes its decision on readmission. If accepted, the student must observe the regulations in the most recent edition of the university catalogue.
For more info, please contact the Registrar's Office.