CHSS Admission Requirements | HBKU
CHSS Admission Requirements

Admission and Application Requirements

Applicants seeking admission to any of the MA degree programs should have a bachelorʼs degree in a relevant field with a strong academic record (minimum 3.0 GPA out of 4) from a recognized university.

Applicants seeking admission to the PhD in Humanities and Social Sciences program should have a master’s degree in a relevant field with a strong academic record (minimum 3.0 GPA out of 4) from a recognized university.    

Applicants are required to submit a minimum IELTS score of 6.5 or TOEFL score of 79 to demonstrate their English proficiency. The IELTS or TOEFL score must be no more than two years old.

For applicants who are interested in programs within the Middle Eastern Studies Department, and MA in Intercultural Communication, further details about the language proficiency requirement and the process to seek exemption (where this is an option) are available at Admissions page.

IELTS or TOEFL requirements will not be waived under any circumstances for applicants to the MA in Audiovisual Translation and the MA in Translation Studies. No previous degrees acquired in the English-language will exempt applicants from this requirement; nor will holding any specific passport. Applicants to the MA in Audiovisual Translation and MA in Translation Studies should have strong language proficiency in Arabic. Applicants will be assessed on their Arabic language skills during the admissions interview and through a written assessment.

Application Requirements


A completed online application form

Academic transcripts

Official electronic copies of transcripts should be submitted as part of the online application. Final transcripts and graduation statements are required for all previous university studies. All transcripts submitted should include an explanation of the grading system. For those who have not completed their current studies, transcripts must include results from the last completed semester of coursework. Transcripts in languages other than English or Arabic must be accompanied with an official translation. Applicants who are admitted to the program based on copies of or incomplete transcripts will be required to provide original transcripts upon enrollment in order to register for courses.

Standardized test results

Official copies (where required) must be sent directly to HBKU. Please refer to the institutional codes below:  

Please refer to the institutional codes below:

  • TOEFL: 4981
  • IELTS: No code required. Students should ask the IELTS center where they tested to send the IELTS TRF to Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Applicants should also submit copies of their test scores with the online application.

Letters of Recommendation

Applicants to the PhD program should submit two letters of recommendation, preferably from academic referees.

Personal Statement of Interest

Applicants are required to submit a personal statement. The requirements vary by program. Please visit the website for further information.

Applicants to the Master of Arts in Intercultural Communication program are asked to submit a personal statement (500-800 words) with two sections:

Section I: I: About the applicant, their journey, motivations, and goals:

  • Introduce themselves and talk about their general interests
  • Motivation to join a graduate program in intercultural communication
  • Career objectives

Section II: Achievements and the skills which make them a good fit for the program.

  • Volunteer, professional experiences/work
  • Personal or academic achievements
  • How the points mentioned above may relate to intercultural communication.

Applicants are welcome to add any other points that they find relevant.

PhD research proposal

Applicants to the PhD program should submit a research proposal with the online application.

Applicants are encouraged to consult the college’s research clusters when preparing their draft proposals. CHSS faculty would consider proposals aligned with one of the research clusters or their related themes. Therefore, please take some time to review each research cluster and its associated themes and develop your proposal accordingly. You will also find the faculty whose research is aligned with each research cluster. This will also help you to consider and nominate a potential supervisor.

Research Proposal Provisional Title 
The title should give a clear idea of the planned research topic.

Research Proposal
Your proposal must include a minimum of 1,000 and a maximum of 2,000 words. The research proposal should include your full name and all the required numbered sections below:

  1. Objectives and Research Questions
    In this section, you will briefly explain the overarching goal of your proposed research. Before writing your proposal, you should carefully consider the key questions you are trying to answer and try to avoid very broad research proposals to make sure that your proposed research is achievable and focused enough to be completed within the planned period.
  2. Significance of Research
    In this section, you will provide an assessment of the existing literature related to your research topic and you will explain in what way your proposed research will enrich the existing literature to demonstrate the originality of the proposed research.
    In this section, you should also explain why your research proposal is important. For example, you can discuss the way that your research will build on the existing literature and why your proposed research is needed and adds value, etc.
  3. Methodology and Indicative Structure
    In this section, you will explain the type of research you plan to undertake, such as conducting a survey, collecting data, doing fieldwork or interviews, etc. You should also discuss how you plan to analyze your research data or findings. Finally, you will enumerate the main sections of the dissertation you plan to write.
  4. Bibliography 
    In this section, you will include the list of the most relevant works related to your proposed research topic.
  5. Planned Research Schedule
    In this section, you will clearly explain how you plan to complete your courses, plan your research activities and write your thesis within the four-year period, given your personal situation (work and family commitment) and given that the first year is a course intensive year during which you will take part in courses and seminars and undertake research training in order to write a publishable research paper.

    The second-year is generally dedicated to data collection or field research and planning your second publishable article. The third-year will be devoted to writing and completing your initial dissertation draft and submitting your second article. The fourth and last year will be dedicated to the examination and the submission of your final dissertation.

    The key questions you will need to answer in this section are: 

    1. What makes you confident that can you finalize your dissertation during the planned duration?
    2. How feasible is your proposed research given this period?
  6. Research Motivations
    Briefly explain why and how you have decided to pursue this research? What motivates your interests?
    How is the proposed research is related to what you have done previously (work, training, publications, general interests, etc.). How will this research help your career? Finally, briefly explain why you want to undertake a PhD with the HBKU College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Hamad bin Khalifa University.

Resume/Curriculum Vitae

Applicants should submit a copy of their current resume or curriculum vitae with the online application.

Identification Document

All applicants should submit an electronic copy of their passport as part of the online application. Nationals and residents of Qatar should also submit their valid Qatari ID.

Tuition and Student Funding

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences provides a limited number of tuition waivers on a competitive basis.

To view tuition fees, please click here.

Admission inquiries

General inquiries

  • Please do not submit any additional application materials which are not on the list of required items. Any additional materials received will be automatically discarded.
  • HBKU cannot return documents to the applicant once they are submitted.
  • All documents submitted through the online application must be in PDF format. Any documents submitted in a different format will not be accepted.