Entry requirements

Admission to the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) program requires the satisfactory completion of an undergraduate or master's degree in science in a relevant or related area, such as Engineering, Mathematics or the Physical, Chemical and Biological Sciences.

  • There are three phases and associated milestones for Ph.D. students:
  • ​Passing a qualifying exam
  • Passing an oral defense of the dissertation proposal
  • Dissertation phase with a final defense milestone

Months of entry


Course content

The Environmental Science and Engineering Program (EnSE) prepares students to work on many of the world’s most pressing challenges related to water security and the environment, focusing around the intersection of water, energy and food nexus, and sustainable processes.

This program comprises four focus areas: Water Quality, Chemistry, and Treatment; Environmental Microbiology and Biotechnology; Environmental Systems and Analysis; and Materials for Environmental Science and Engineering.

Students entering the program enroll in a set of core courses and then take technical elective courses that cover important areas in water and wastewater treatment technologies, water desalination, biotechnologies for resource recovery from waste streams, microbiological safety of water reuse, sustainability and management, surface science and materials for water, energy and environment. The core- plus elective courses will equip a student for a successful and productive career in these fields.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is designed to prepare students for research careers in academia and industry. 

There is a minimum residency requirement at KAUST of three and a half years for students entering with a bachelor’s degree and two and a half years for students entering with a master’s degree. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved to graduate. Individual courses require a minimum of a B- for course credit. 

The Ph.D. degree includes the following steps:

  • Securing an academic advisor 

  • Successful completion of program coursework 

  • Passing the dissertation proposal defense to 
obtain candidacy status 

  • Preparing, submitting and successfully 
defending a doctoral dissertation 

Fees and funding

See University website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • PhD by taught
    full time
    42 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Information Office