About the program

The Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering Academic Program, for Ph.D. students, focuses on modern reservoir description, engineering, and management. Students in this program receive broad training in basic scientific concepts and thermodynamics, geology, geophysical characterization, and reservoir engineering. Our students participate in scientific research activities that may include mathematical analyses, computational modeling, experimental research and/or field studies. The candidates focus on original research driven to advance the boundaries of knowledge.

If you are visiting as a potential applicant to our program, we can confidently say that the 'KAUST' experience is a truly unique opportunity for brilliant Ph.D. students who share the dream to make a difference in our field and in the world. We hope you will consider KAUST and our program.

Ph.D. Degree

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Degree is designed to prepare students for research careers in academia and industry. It is offered exclusively as a full-time program.

There is a minimum residency requirement at KAUST of three and a half years for students entering with a B.S. Degree and two and a half years for students entering with an M.S. Degree. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved on all doctoral coursework. Individual courses require a minimum of a ‘B-’ to earn course credit.

The Ph.D. Degree includes the following steps:

  • Securing an Academic Advisor.
  • Successful completion of Program Coursework.
  • Passing the Qualifying Examination.
  • Passing the Dissertation Proposal Defense to obtain candidacy status.
  • Preparing, submitting and successfully defending a Doctoral Dissertation.

Course Requirements

The required coursework varies for students entering the Ph.D. Degree with a B.S. Degree or a relevant M.S. Degree. Students holding a B.S. Degree must complete all Program Core Courses and Elective Courses outlined in the M.S. Degree section and are also required to complete the Ph.D. courses below. Students entering with a B.S. Degree may also qualify to earn the M.S. Degree by satisfying the M.S. Degree requirements; however, it is the student’s responsibility to declare their intentions to graduate with an M.S.

Students entering the Ph.D. Degree with a relevant M.S. Degree must complete the requirements below, though additional courses may be required by the Academic Advisor.

Ph.D. Courses

  • At least two 300-level courses.
  • Students with a KAUST MS degree but not in ErPE or with an MS degree from another university must take a minimum of two ErPE Core Courses in addition to two 300-level ErPE courses.
  • Graduate Seminar 398 (non-credit): All students are required to register and receive a Satisfactory grade for every semester of the program they attend.
  • Winter Enrichment Program: Students are required to satisfactorily complete at least one full Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) as part of the degree requirements. Students who completed WEP requirements while earning the M.S. Degree are not required to enroll in a full WEP for the second time in the Ph.D. Degree.
  • Satisfactory participation in every KAUST's Summer Session is mandatory. Summer Session courses are credit-bearing and apply towards the degree.

Ph.D. Candidacy

In addition to the coursework requirements, the student must successfully complete the required Ph.D. qualification milestones to progress towards Ph.D. candidacy status. These milestones consist of the subject-based qualifying examination and Ph.D. Proposal Defense.

Ph.D. Defense

To graduate, a Ph.D. candidate has to form a Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Committee, finalize the Ph.D. dissertation and successfully defend his/her Ph.D. dissertation.

Program taught in:
  • English
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

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Last updated July 23, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Open Enrollment
30 - 42 months
- Fully Funded Scholarship + Monthly Allowance
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