Admissions Criteria​


​The Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) will follow a needs-blind admissions policy considering the candidate's context and merit without reference to financial need.

There will be no quotas, reserved seats or admissions against donations. Merit-based admissions will be open to candidates globally.

Merit will be assessed by several criteria including scholastic achievements, performance on an AKU Admission Test and interviews, productive use of time and other experiences indicating potential for leadership. Fulfillment of the basic eligibility requirements or a high academic score in any single discipline or any other outstanding achievement alone will not be sufficient for selection.

FAS will follow a two-stage admission process: 

Stage One: 

  1. Candidates will be invited to apply online. 

  2. Candidates who are writing their Higher Secondary Certificate examinations in the summer of the application year will be able to provisionally apply. 

  3. Candidates are required to submit their Secondary and Higher Secondary School marksheets depending on their high school completion status. 

  4. All eligible applicants will write an Admission Test comprising two sections: English and Mathematics.​

  5. The FAS Admission Test will be conducted across centers in Pakistan and overseas.

Stage Two: 

  1. AKU Test will be a key determining factor in shortlisting FAS candidates. 

  2. In addition to attending two independent interviews, shortlisted candidates will be requested to submit the following:

  • A record of their extracurricular commitments 

  • A personal statement (Candidates will be provided with guiding questions)  

  • One letter of recommendation. This letter will follow an AKU template which will be provided.​

  • Official transcripts from each college or university previously attended, with notarised English translation of documents, if in a language other than English

Academic Eligibility

Candidates following any system of education may apply to the programmes offered by the FAS, if they meet any of the below eligibility requirements.

There are no specific subject requirements.

Candidates applying provisionally must submit transcripts to meet the minimum requirements of eligibility by the deadline to confirm admissions.

Pakistani System of Education

Matriculation/Secondary School Certificate: 

An overall aggregate of 70% with a minimum 65% in English.

Higher Secondary School Education  

An overall minimum aggregate score of 70% minimum 65% in English

British System of Examinations (O and A Levels)

O Levels

Six best O level subjects including English will be considered. In addition, in Pakistan candidates should have Urdu, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies.​

A Levels 

​Any three principal subjects with a minimum 2 Bs and a C grade. (Further Mathematics and General Paper will not be counted as principal subjects).​

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

Overall, a minimum of 28 points out of 45 with English as a subject. Three subjects must be at Higher Level. 

All Pakistani nationals appearing for examinations from Pakistan must have Urdu, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies at any level of the programme.

American or Canadian High School Diploma

Overall minimum aggregate score of 70%/B grade/GPA of 2.5 as assessed by the Home Institution. English is a required subject at the High School Level. 

A minimum of four principal subjects in grades 9-10 and 11-12 is required.

All Pakistani nationals in Pakistan must have studied Urdu, Islamiyat and Pakistan Studies at the Secondary or Higher Secondary level.

Indigenous Higher Secondary School Certificates of Education

Candidates who have studied in an educational system not mentioned in the above sections may apply if they provide evidence of satisfactory completion of a Higher Secondary School Certificate of education equivalence with a grade of at least 70% or equivalent. English must be studied at the high school level.

Financial Assistance

The University operates a needs-sensitive financial assistance programme. Candidates will be assessed by AKU based on the information they provide.

Financial assistance will be offered to all students who have been admitted to the programme and who are unable to cover the cost of education at FAS. The financial assistance package will comprise grants and scholarships.

The FAS financial assistance programme will be in line with AKU’s commitment to creating a campus community that includes talented students from all socio-economic backgrounds.

Evaluation, assessment, and graduation criteria

The programme will follow the approved University grading scale and degree completion requirements, including mechanisms to measure the quality assurance of student and faculty performance. 

Grading Scale 

​Letter Grade ​​​Percentage Equivalent ​Grade Point 
​A+ ​95 – 100 ​4.0 
​A ​90 – 94 ​4.0 
​A- ​85 -89


​B+ ​80 – 84 ​3.3 


​75 – 79 ​3.0 
​B- ​70 – 74 ​2.7 
​C+ ​65 – 69 



60 – 64 


​​55 – 59 


​F1 ​< 55 ​​0.0 
​P 2 ​Pass 


​I 3 ​Incomplete ​‡ 
​IP 4 ​In Progress ​‡ 
​W 5 ​Withdrawn ​‡ 
​AU 6 ​Audit ​‡ 
AG 7 
​Aegrotat Standing ​‡ ​

‡ Not used in the calculation of grade point averages

* Not a passing grade


  • Fail - Provides no credit or grade points but the number of credit hours associated with the course is used in the calculation of the Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA). A student withdrawing after the sixth week will automatically receive an "F" grade which will go towards their GPA and appear on their transcript. 

  • Pass - Provides credit towards the student’s degree; the number of credit hours associated with the course is not used in the calculation of the CGPA. 

  • Incomplete - The grade of “I” must be cleared within 90 days of the date that grades are released by the Office of the Registrar. The grade of “I” is not used in calculating the student’s CGPA. 

  • In Progress - Used when a student is working on a thesis/dissertation as part of the requirements for the degree, the grade of “IP” shall be entered on the transcript. The grade of “IP” is not used in the calculation of a student’s CGPA. 

  • Withdrawn - Students may be allowed to withdraw from a course during the first four to six weeks of the semester. In such a case the transcript will reflect that the student enrolled in the course and withdrew. Consequently, the student will receive a “W” grade which will have no impact on the calculation of the CGPA of the student.  

  • Audit – A student enrolled as an “auditor” does not submit papers or assignments nor do they write te​sts or examinations.  Enrolment as an auditor requires the written permission of the course instructor, the department chair, and the appropriate academic entity head.  Upon completion of the course, an​​d subject to confirmation from the instructor that the student attended at least 80% of the instruction, the transcript notation “AU” will be recorded.  No other grade will be assigned.  Once a course is taken for audit the same course may not be taken for credit.  

  • Aegrotat Standing - A grade of AG grants credit for a course based on the course work already completed when no further assessment is considered feasible because of illness or other extenuating circumstances beyond the student's control. Students may only be granted an AG grade with the approval of the Academic Entity Head (Dean or Director) offering the course. The AG grade has no effect upon a student’s CGPA.​

Policy on Degree Completion, Re-sits & Repeats

Degree Completion

All courses required for the student’s programme of study must be successfully completed (a passing grade) before a student is cleared for graduation.

Students must have a minimum CGPA of 2.50 in order to graduate.​


A grade of ‘C-’ (C minus) is not considered a passing grade. A student receiving this grade may be permitted to re-sit an examination or re-submit an assignment. A student will be allowed only one attempt to raise their grade to a passing level. Students appearing in a re-sit will be eligible for a maximum of ‘C+’ (C plus) grade. If the student still does not pass, he/she will be asked to repeat the course. Transcripts will note that a student has raised his/her grade via a re-sit.

Repeating a Course

A failing grade (F) is assigned to any grade lower than a C- (C minus). Students receiving a failing grade are not eligible for a re-sit and must repeat the course. A student repeating any course will be eligible for a maximum of ‘B’ (B plain) grade. Transcripts will note that a student has raised his/her grade via a repeat. Where a student is required to repeat a course, both attempts at the course will be recorded on the student’s transcript. However, the new grade will replace the previous grade in the calculation of the student’s GPA and CGPA.

Residency Requirement

In conferring its undergraduate degrees at the FAS, the University verifies that its students have completed the specified course work and other degree requirements. To assure this, AKU has established a residency requirement based on the number of academic units required for the degree. As such, in addition to fulfilling any thesis/dissertation requirement, the student must complete no less than 50% of the required course work to be eligible for an AKU degree.

Time Limits

Students pursuing an undergraduate degree at the FAS must complete all degree requirements in no more than six years.

Requests can be made for an extension to the maximum duration. In support of the extension, the Dean will submit a request to the Chair of the Registrar’s Working Group (RWG). If members of RWG support the extension, then a one-year extension may be approved.

Academic Progression

If at the end of any term a student has a cumulative grade point average (CGPA) of less than 2.50, the student will be placed on academic probation. The student may be allowed to continue their studies with an aggregate CGPA below 2.50. Where a student is permitted to continue on academic probation, evidence must be provided of significant academic improvement to their semester GPA to reach at least 2.50 and their CGPA to a 2.50. Students who fail to achieve the required minimum GPA and CGPA of 2.50, following the required academic probation period, will be dismissed from their programme of study.

Transfer Credit

The Dean is responsible for:

  • Specifying whether a transfer of credits will be allowed in the relevant programmes of study. 

  • Providing academic unit-specific procedures for prior approval for transfer of credit from other institutions. 

Only credits from those institutions which AKU recognises are transferable directly. 

  • Credits earned at other institutions or other AKU academic units/programmes must be certified to be equivalent to the level and number of credits in the programme of study to which the credits are being transferred. 

  • Individual programmes of study will determine a stale dating policy for transfer credits. That is, whether a course will be accepted for transfer credit if older than the stale date noted.  For example, a programme may determine that a course completed in 2005 cannot be used for transfer credit in 2016 as the programme has a five-year stale date rule. 

Transfer credit is permissible only if the candidate has fulfilled all requirements of the course. 

The transfer of credits is permissible for credits earned by the candidate before admission at AKU. 

Transferred credits may not be used to meet practicum, lab, internship or thesis requirements.

AKU is not involved in the awarding of grades and criteria for pass/fail at other universities.  Therefore only credits with a “B” grade (or the percentage equivalent) or above are transferable; and grades obtained at other institutions will be listed on a student’s transcript and noted as transfer credit, but these courses will not be included in the calculation of the CGPA.

The maximum number of credits that may be transferred will not exceed 50% of the total number of coursework credits required for the student’s degree.

AKU recognises previous learning through transfer of credits for diploma- and bachelor-level qualifications. 

  • ​​For accreditation of prior learning from other institutions, the candidate will be required to sit a qualifying exam/paper or fulfil additional  requirements as specified by each programme. 

Application Timeline

Applications Open​
​December 18, 2022 to March 2, 2023 
​Admissions Test
​end of March/early April 2023
​April and May 2023 
​First set of Offers
​end of June 2023​​
Waitlist Offers
​July and August 2023

Start of the Fall Semester 

September 2023​