​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING PROGRAM ACADEMICS

The Material Science and Engineering Program is designed to equip students with fundamental and applied knowledge of materials. Its goal is to prepare them to tackle grand challenges in sustainability and alternative energy, nanotechnology and nanoelectronics, biomaterials, materials characterization, and low-power computing.​​​​

SUMMARY OF M.S. AND PH.D. REQUIREMENTS:​​

​​​Degree Summary Sep 2021 update.JPG

View Program Guide OnlineSee MoreCourse List & Syllabi See More

​​M.S. degree requirements:

The Master's Degree (M.S.) is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved to graduate.

The M.S. degree has the following components: 
  • Assessment Test and Prep-courses (100 level courses)
  • Core Courses 
  • Elective Courses
  • Graduate Seminar (non-credit)
  • Winter Enrichment Program
  • Research/Capstone Experience
Students are expected to complete the M.S. degree requirements in three semesters and one Summer Session.

It is the sole responsibility of the student to plan her/his graduate program in consultation with her/his advisor.

MS Degree Timeine PNG.png


Winter Enrichment Program

  • ​Students are required to satisfactorily complete at least one full Winter Enrichment Program (WEP).

Master's Assessment Test

  • Students are admitted to KAUST from a wide variety of programs and backgrounds. In order to facilitate the design of an appropriate study plan for each individual student, all MS and MS/PhD incoming students will be required to take an assessment during orientation week. There is no grade for the assessment. The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether students have mastered the prerequisites for undertaking graduate level courses taught in the program. The Advisor uses the results of the assessments to design, if necessary, a remedial study plan with a list of courses aimed at addressing content areas that may impede a student from successful completion of the degree requirements.

    Students are encouraged to prepare for the assessment by refreshing the general knowledge gained from their undergraduate education before arriving at KAUST.

    Material Science and Engineering Assessment Test Subjects

    Material Science and Engineering students will be tested on the following subjects:

    • Basic Principles of General Chemistry
    • Basic Principles of Physics 
    • Engineering Mathematics
    1. Basic Principles of General Chemistry
    Topics included in the General Chemistry assessment test:
    • Physical and Chemical Properties of Matter 
    • Principles of atomic structure 
    • Periodic variation in physical and chemical properties of the elements
    • Chemical bonding: Formal charge and Lewis structure, Polarity, Molecular geometry and hybridization of atomic orbitals
    • Intermolecular forces
    • Chemical Kinetics & Equilibrium
    • Acids and bases
    • Electrochemistry
    • Stoichiometry
    Recommended References:
    - Chang, R., & Goldsby, K. A. (2016) Chemistry. 11th  Ed. McGraw-Hill, 2016. ISBN-13: 978-0078021510 (or any other edition).
    - Silberberg, Martin S., Principles of General Chemistry, McGraw-Hill, 2013.
    Online reference: 


    2. Basic Principles of Physics
    Topics inluded in the Principles of Physics assessment test:
    • Newtonian Physics:
      • Kinematics (motion with constant acceleration in one and two dimensions). 
      • Dynamics (Newton's Laws of motion).
      • Work-Energy theorem, potential energy and energy conservation.
      • Momentum, impulse and collisions. 
    • Electromagnetism: 
      • Electric fields, Coulomb's law, electric potential and potential energy, electric flux (Gauss's law). 
      • Direct-current circuits, resistors and capacitors is series and in parallel, theory of metallic conduction, power distribution systems. 
      • Magnetic field, motion of charged particles within uniform magnetic fields, magnetic force on current-carrying conductors, forces between parallel conductors. 
      • Electromagnetic Induction: Faraday's and Lenz's Laws, motional electromotive force, induced electric fields. 
    • Quantum Physics: 
      • The photoelectric effect.
      • Wave particle duality, probability and uncertainty.
      • Electron waves, de Broglie wavelength.
      • Atomic spectra, energy levels and the Bohr model of the atom. 
      • Wave function interpretation. 
    • Thermodynamics:
      • Calorimetry and phase changes.
      • Equations of state, molecular properties of matter.
      • Kinetic-molecular model of an ideal gas.
      • Work done during volume changes.
      • Paths between thermodynamics states .
      • Kinds of thermodynamic processes.
      • 1st law of thermodynamics and Internal Energy.
      • 2nd law of thermodynamics. Carnot cycle and entropy. 
    • Oscillations and Waves:
      • Mathematical description of a wave.
      • Energy in wave motion.
      • Speed of waves.
      • Superposition of waves.
      • Standing waves.
      • Reflection, Refraction, critical angle and total internal reflection.
      • Diffraction from a single, double slits and around objects. Interference patterns including double-slit interference. 
    Recommended References:
    - Young, Hugh D., et al. University Physics with Modern Physics. Addison-Wesley, 2011 (or any undergraduate general physics textbook).
    Online Reference: 


    3. Engineering Mathematics and Basic Calculus 
    Topics included in the Engineering Mathematics assessment test:
    • Functions and Models (including graphical representation of functions)
    • Limits
    • Derivatives (including graphical and physical interpretation of derivatives)
    • Anti-derivatives and definite integrals.
    • The classes of functions used to develop these concepts are: polynomial, rational, trigonometric exponential and logarithmic.
    • Integration (by parts, substitutions, partial fractions, approximation of integrals and improper integrals)
    • Infinite sequences and series
    • Convergence tests
    • Power series
    • Taylor polynomials and series
    • Taylor's Remainder Theorem
    Recommended References:
    - Banner, Adrian. The Calculus Lifesaver: All the Tools You Need to Excel at Calculus. Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN-13: 978-0691130880
    - Strang, Gilbert. Calculus. Wellesley, MA: Wellesley-Cambridge Press, 2010, ISBN 978-09802327-4-5
    - Zill, Dennis G., and Warren S. Wright. Advanced Engineering Mathematics. Burlington, Ma: Jones and Bartlett Learning, 2018, ISBN-13: 978-1284105902
    - Stewart, James. Essential Calculus: Early Transcendentals. Australia: Brooks/Cole, 2013, ISBN-13: 978-1133112280

    Online Recommended References:
    Calculus: Early Transcendentals by James Stewart

Master's Non-Thesis

  • ​Students wishing to pursue the non-thesis option must complete a minimum of six (6) credits of Directed Research (MSE 299). Summer internship credits may be used to fulfill the research requirements. Summer internships are subject to approval by the student’s academic advisor and the Division.

Master's with thesis


  • Students wishing to pursue the thesis option must complete a minimum of twelve (12) credits of Thesis research (MSE 297). Students are permitted to register for more than twelve credits of M.S. thesis research as necessary and with the permission of the thesis advisor. 

    Apply to Master’s Thesis Option

    By default Master’s student is enrolled in the Master’s non-Thesis track. Students wishing to change to Master’s Thesis track must submit the M.S. Thesis application to change track.

    M.S. student can apply to change to Master’s Thesis track as early as their second semester. The student must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.2 to apply.

    The MS Thesis Application form is available under frequently used forms section.


    Designation of Thesis Advisor

    Students can work on an M.S. Thesis under the supervision of program affiliated faculty members. The list of affiliated faculty members with MSE program on Material Science and Engineering program main page, click here.

    Students may choose to do thesis research with a non-affiliated faculty member. The potential non-affiliated thesis supervisor must become a project-affiliated supervisor for this specific thesis project. Any student would like to request to work with a non-affiliated faculty member must submit the following documents to the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for program approval. 
    • Master’s Thesis application.
    • Research proposal signed by the Thesis Supervisor providing an over-all research project summary and explaining how the project relates to the student's home program.

    The application is subject for approval by the student's home program. The program’s GPC will communicate the program decision to the student and the potential Thesis Supervisor once the decision is made.


    M.S. Thesis Timeline and Extension

    The M.S. Thesis Supervisor and the student need to define the thesis timeline at the time the application is submitted. The student is expected to complete the M.S. with Thesis degree requirements by the end of their second fall semester (fourth semester). 

    Students may apply to extend into the spring semester (fifth semester) by submitting the Request for Time Extension to Complete M.S. Thesis form to their GPC. The request for time extension requires the Dean's approval.


    Thesis Defense and Submission

    Students pursuing the Master’s Thesis track are expected to give an oral defense and submit a written Thesis to fulfill the degree requirements.

    Students are required to complete the following steps to defend and submit their Thesis:

    1. Writing the Thesis Document

    Students must follow the KAUST Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines available on KAUST Library website when they write their thesis.

    The students are advised to seek the assistance of the Writing Center as early in their writing process as possible. The Writing Center provide consultations and support sessions to imporove the students academic writing. Students can request to schedule an appointement with the center by sending an email to Skills Lab, skillslab@kaust.edu.sa.

    2. Formation of the Thesis Committee

    Once the student and supervisor agree that the thesis is ready to be examined/defended, the student has to form a Thesis examination committee and set the date for the oral defense. 

    The division recommends that the student submit the Thesis to the examining committee no later than two weeks prior to the defense. However, the committee chair sets the final requirement for the submission timeline. 

    The student has to submit the Thesis Formation Committee form to the GPC at the beginning of the semester in which the student intends to defend the thesis. 

    Thesis Committee Members' selection criteria:

    The Thesis Committee must consist of at least three members, and typically includes no more than four members.

    Member
    Role
    Program Status
    ​1
    Committee Chairperson (M.S. Thesis Advisor)Within Program or Affiliated
    ​2
    KAUST Faculty Member
    Within Program
    ​3
    Faculty or Approved Research Scientist
    Outside Program
    ​4
    Additional Faculty (Optional)
    Inside or outside KAUST

    • Members 1-3 are required. Member 4 is optional. 
    • Co-Chairs may serve as Members 2, 3, or 4, but may not be a Research Scientist. 
    • Adjunct Professors and Professors Emeriti may retain their roles on current Committees, but may not serve as Chair on any new Committees. 
    • Professors of Practice and Research Professors may serve as Members 2, 3 or 4 depending upon their affiliation with the student’s program. They may also serve as Co-Chairs. 
    • Visiting Professors may serve as Member 4. 

    3. Thesis Defense

    An oral defense of the M.S. Thesis is required, although it may be waived by the Dean’s Office under exceptional circumstances. A requirement of a public presentation and all other details are left to the discretion of the Thesis Committee.

    Thesis Defense Date

    The oral thesis defense must be completed two weeks before the last day of classes of the graduating semester. The student must set the date of the Thesis Defense with the committee members by the time the student submits the Thesis Committee Formation form. 
     
    Booking a Venue of the Thesis Defense

    It is the student's responsibility to book a room and make the necessary IT arrangements for the Thesis Defense. Room booking is done thru the student portal under Service Request Management. 

    Thesis Defense Announcement

    As stated above, the requirements of public presentation is left to the discretion of the Thesis Committee. If the committee decided to announce the defense, student must send the following information to GPC two week prior to defense date. 
    • Thesis title 
    • Abstract 
    • Start time and end time of the defense
    • Location of the defense

    Oral Defense Guidelines

    As a general guideline the defense is expected to be a 45-minute presentation followed by 15 minutes of general Q&A then a closed-door Q&A session with the committee. The format of the presentation is left to the discretion of the Thesis Committee.

    Thesis Defense Evaluation

    The student defending his/her thesis will receive one of these two outcomes, Pass or Fail. A pass is achieved when the committee agrees with no more than one dissenting vote otherwise the student fails. 

    In case of Pass, the student is required to send a copy of the MS Thesis Approval form within two days after the Thesis defense to GPC. 

    In the case of Fail, the Thesis Supervisor must inform the program GPC immediately to take the necessary action. 
    4. Thesis Submission 

    Before Submitting the final draft of the Thesis to GPC, the student is required to send the thesis document to the Graduate Thesis Advisor. The Graduate Thesis Advisor will make sure the student comply with the university Thesis and Dissertation guidelines.  

    Once the post-examination corrections required by the Thesis Committee and format changes are carried out, the student is required to do the following:
    1. Upload the final draft of the Thesis document to Turnitin through Blackboard under the course titled "Semester"_”Year"_THES (e.g. Fall_2018-2019_THES) available on the list of Courses: Quick View.
    2. Inform the GPC after uploading the file. 
    3. Submit the M.S. Thesis Final Approval form signed by Thesis Committee members and the Graduate Thesis Advisor to GPC.
    4. Submit the Copyright form available on KAUST Library website to GPC.

    Once all required documents are submitted, the GPC will take the following actions to complete the Thesis submission: 
    1. Run the Turnitin similarity report and send it to the Thesis Advisor to confirm the originality of the student’s work. The supervisor will inform the student about any necessary adjustments to the thesis document. In this case, the student is required to re-upload the Thesis after applying the required corrections into Blackboard.
    2. The GPC will submit the final draft of the Thesis document, the M.S. Final Approval form, and the Copyright form to the Library Archive.
    3. The library will send the tracking number of the Thesis document to GPC.
    4. GPC will notify the Registrar Office and confirm the completion of the M.S. Thesis degree requirements. A copy of the email will be sent to the student.
    5. The registrar office will start the graduation and exit processes at this stage.


    Forms are available under frequently used forms section.


Graduate Seminar

  • ​All students are required to register MSE Graduate Seminar course (MSE 398) and receive a Satisfactory grade for three semesters during the MS degree to complete the degree requirement.

Research/Capstone Experience

  • ​The number of credits required to fulfill the research experience requirements varies depending on the Master's degree option M.S. student choose to pursue, Master's non-Thesis or Master's Thesis. 

    • Master's non-Thesis option: the number of credits required for this track is six (6) credits.
    • Master's Thesis option: the number of credits required for this track is twelve (12) credits.

    More details in the following sections.

Core Courses

  • This portion of the degree is designed to provide a student with the background needed to establish a solid foundation in the program area.

    M.S. students are required to complete twelve (12) credits (4 courses) with success to fulfill the core course requirements. Students must select nine (9) credits (3 courses) from the list of core courses below. Students must also complete one 200 or 300 level AMCS course to fulfill the remaining three (3) credits.

    List of MSE Core Courses:

    • MSE 221 - Crystallography and Diffraction 
    • MSE 225 - Electronic Properties of Materials 
    • MSE 226 - Thermodynamics and Equilibrium Processes 
    • MSE 227 - Applied Quantum Mechanics 

    Individual courses require a minimum of a ‘B-‘to earn the course credit.


Elective Courses

  • ​The elective courses are designed to allow each student to tailor his/her educational experience to meet individual research and educational objectives.

    The number of credits required to fulfill the elective courses requirements varies depending on the Master’s degree option M.S. student choose to pursue, Master’s non-Thesis or Master’s Thesis.

    • Master’s non-Thesis option: The number of credits required for the Master’s non-Thesis option is eighteen (18) credits (6 courses). With the consent of the Academic Advisor, MSE courses, courses from other academic programs, and up to six (6) credits of IED courses will count toward elective requirements. Replacing elective courses with research credits or internship credits is not allowed. 
    • Master’s Thesis option: The number of credits required for the Master’s Thesis option is twelve (12) credits (4 courses). With the consent of the Academic Advisor, MSE courses and courses from other academic programs will count toward elective requirements. Replacing elective courses with research credits, internship credits, or IED courses is not allowed. 

    You will find the list of MSE elective courses under Program Courses and Descriptions.

    Individual courses require a minimum of a ‘B-‘to earn the course credit.

P​H.D. DEGREE REQUIREMENTS:

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 3.5 years for students entering with a B.S. degree and 2.5 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.

​Students pursuing Ph.D. degree are required to complete the following degree requirements to earn the degree: ​

​PH.D. DEGREE TIMELINE:

PhD Program Timeline PNG.png

Designation of Dissertation Advisor

  • ​The selected Dissertation Advisor must be a full time program-affiliated assistant, associate or full professor at KAUST. To view the list of MSE faculty members and faculty members affiliated with MSE click here and scroll down the page to faculty members.​​

    The student may also select an advisor from another program at KAUST. This advisor can only become project-affiliated for the specific dissertation project with program level approval. Project affiliation approval must be completed prior to commencing research.

    To select a non-affiliated faculty members for a project base affiliation the following documents must be submitted to the program's GPC for the program approval:

    • Change of Advisor Form
    • Research proposal submitted by the supervisor providing an over-all research project summary and explaining how the project relates to the student's home program.

    This application is subject to approval by the student's home project faculty members. The student and supervisor will be informed of the decision by the GPC. ​

Ph.D. 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/mandatory 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 Dissertation Advisor. 

    Ph.D. Courses

    • Ph.D. Coursework 
      • Ph.D. students with a relevant M.S. degree must complete minimum of four courses, two of which must be 300-level courses.
      • Ph.D. students with a relevant B.S. degree must complete minimum of two 300-level courses in addition to M.S. degree coursework requirements.
    • Graduate Seminar 
      Ph.D. students are required to successfully complete four (4) semesters of the MSE Graduate Seminar. The student can achieve the passing grade by attending at least 80% of the seminar sessions scheduled in a semester.
    • 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 a second time in the Ph.D. Degree.


    Students entering the program with an M.S. degree from KAUST may transfer unused coursework toward the Ph.D. program requirements subject to program level approval. Students transferring from another university's Ph.D. program may receive some dissertation research and coursework credits on a case-by-case basis for related work performed at the original institution upon approval by the Dean.

Ph.D. Qualifying Exam

  • The purpose of the subject-based Qualifying Exam is to test the student's knowledge of the subject matter within the field of study.

    All students entering the Ph.D. program with a B.S. degree must take this examination within two years of their admission. Students admitted to the program with an M.S. degree must take this exam within one year.

    To complete the MSE Qualifying Exam milestone, PhD student must fulfill the following requirements:

    1. Take the final exam of Three (3) Courses from the MSE curriculum, including Two (2) Core Courses and One (1) 300-level Elective Course. The student is not required to register to these three courses, he/she only needs to take the final exam. The student does not need to take all three final exams in the same semester. However, he/she is required to complete all three final exams within the first year after starting the PhD degree.

    2. Score B+ (75%) or higher in the final exam of the three courses. This is considered the first attempt to complete the Qualifying Exam. Student is required to submit the MSE Qualifying Exam Evaluation form after the final exam regardless of the outcome.

    3. Score below B+ (<75%): course instructor will give another written test to the student one month after receiving the grade for the final exam. The student will be tested in the failed course(s) only. This is considered as the second attempt to pass the Qualifying Exam. Student is required to submit the MSE Qualifying Exam Evaluation form after the final exam regardless of the outcome.
      • Failing the second written exam is considered as a failure to complete the MSE Qualifying Exam and the student will be dismissed from the university.
      • Student may appeal the program decision by sending an appeal to Register Office. If the appeal is accepted, the student will get one last chance to complete the Qualifying Exam. Point 4 will explain the format of the Qualifying Exam after the appeal.

    4. The format of the Qualifying Exam after the appeal is as follows.
      • The Qualifying Exam will be an oral exam.
      • The examiners of the three subjects will form an ad-hoc committee to examine the student.
      • The exam will include all three subjects selected for the first attempt regardless of the grades earned before attempting to complete the Qualifying Exam. Passed courses will be included in this exam.
      • The exam will be scheduled within three months after accepting the student's appeal.
      • The Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) will schedule the third attempt of the Qualifying Exam. Time and location of the exam will be arranged and communicated to examiners and the student by the GPC.

    The student is required to fill out the MSE Qualifying Exam Evaluation form and collect the evaluation of all examiners on the day of the exam. Click here to download the form. The completed form must be sent to program GPC within 24 hours after completing the exam. 

Dissertation Committee Formation for Ph.D. Proposal

  • Ph.D. students must submit the request to form dissertation committee & present Ph.D. proposal two weeks prior to the Ph.D. proposal defense date. Click here to download the form.

    ​The Dissertation Committee for Ph.D. propsal must consist of at least three faculty members, but no more than five members. The criteria for selecting committee members is as follows: 

    Member
    ​Role
    ​Program Status
    1​​Chair
    Within the Program or Affiliated​
    2​Faculty​Within the Program
    ​3
    Faculty​Outside the Program​
    ​4
    Additional Faculty​ or Approved Research Scientist
    Inside KAUST​
    ​5
    ​Additional Faculty​
    Inside or Outside KAUST​


    • Members 1-3 are required. Member 4 & 5 are optional.
    • Co-Chairs may serve as Members 2 or 3. 
    • Professors of Practice and Research Professors may serve as Members 2 or 3 depending upon their affiliation with the student’s program. They may also serve as Co-Chairs. 
    • Adjunct Professors, Professors Emeriti, and Research Scientist may serve as member 4 or 5.

    The Dissertation Committee must be approved by the Program Chair and the Dean.  Once constituted, the composition of the committee can only be changed with the approval of both the Dissertation Advisor and the Dean.

Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal Defense

  •  The Dissertation Proposal Defense includes two aspects: a written research proposal and an oral research proposal defense. 

    • The written research proposal document should be 3000 words (+/- 10%).
    • The oral defense should be 1.5 hours long (30 min presentation, 60 min questions)

    Ph.D. Proposal Defense Evaluation

    There are four possible outcomes from this Dissertation Proposal Defense:

    • Pass: A pass is achieved when the committee agrees with no more than one dissenting vote, otherwise the student fails.

    • Pass with conditions: In the instance of a Pass with conditions, the entire committee must agree on the required conditions and if they cannot, the Dean decides. The deadline to complete the conditions is one month after the defense date, unless the committee unanimously agrees to change it.

    • Fail with retake: The deadline to complete the retake is six months after the defense date, unless the committee unanimously agrees to reduce it.

    • Fail without retake: In the instance of a Fail without Retake, the decision of the committee must be unanimous. Students who fail the Dissertation Proposal Defense, or who fail the retake, will be dismissed from the University.


    The Dissertation Proposal Evaluation form​ must be submitted within 48 hours after presenting the dissertation proposal.

Dissertation Defense and Submission

  • ​Ph.D. Dissertation Defense

    The Dissertation Defense is the final milestone of the degree. This part requires acceptance of the Dissertation and the passing of the final defense. The final defense is a public presentation that consists of an oral defense followed by questions.​

    To complete this part Ph.D. student is required to complete the following:

    • Form Ph.D. Dissertation Committee and petition for Ph.D. dissertation Defense examination .
    • Defend the dissertation and submit the results.
    • Submit Ph.D. Dissertation and the Final Approval form .

    Note:

    Students must follow the KAUST Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines available on the library website when they write their dissertation.

Petition for Ph.D. Dissertation Defense

  • ​Petition for Dissertation Defense Examination

    Ph.D. student is expected to declare his/her intention to defend the Ph.D. Dissertation by forming the dissertation committee and submitting the Ph.D. Petition for Dissertation Defense Examination form to the GPC. The student must submit the form to the GPC by the end of the second week of the semester the student intends to defend.

    It is advisable that the student submits her/his dissertation to committee members six weeks prior the defense date.

    Dissertation Committee

    The PhD Dissertation Defense committee for the final defense must consist of at least four members, and typically includes no more than six members. At least three of the required members must be KAUST faculty and one must be an examiner who is external to KAUST. The Chair plus one additional faculty member must be affiliated with the student’s program.

    The External Examiner must hold a Full or Associate Professor position at a university other than KAUST. The External Examiner will review the dissertation and send a report within three weeks sharing his/her recommendations and questions prior to the final defense. Beyond the External Examiner, up to two additional members can be added. All committee members must attend the final defense, by videoconference if necessary.

    Member Role & Program Status:

    ​Member

    Role​

    Program Status​

    ​1

    ​Chair

    ​Within Program

    ​2

    ​Faculty

    ​Within Program

    ​3

    ​Faculty

    ​Outside Program

    ​4

    ​External Examiner

    ​Outside KAUST

    ​5

    ​Approved Research Scientist

    ​Inside KAUST

    ​6

    ​Additional Faculty

    ​Inside or outside KAUST

     
    Notes: 

    • Members 1 – 4 are required. Members 5 and 6 are optional.

    • Co-chairs may serve as either Member 2, 3 or 6. 

    • Adjunct Professors and Professor Emeriti may retain their roles on current committees, but may not serve as chair on any new committees. 

    • Professors of Practice and Research Professors may serve as Members 2, 3 or 6 depending upon their affiliation with the student’s program. They may also serve as co-chairs. 

    • Visiting Professors may serve as Member 6, but not as the external examiner.​​​

Oral Defense and Results Submission

  • ​The Dissertation Defense is the final milestone of the degree. This part requires acceptance of the Dissertation and the passing of the final defense. The final defense is a public presentation that consists of an oral defense followed by questions and may last a maximum of three hours.

    Evaluation

    There are four (4) possible outcomes for Final Defense: 

    • Pass without conditions

    • Pass with conditions

    • Fail with retake

    • ​Fail without retake

    A pass is achieved when the committee agrees with no more than one dissenting vote, otherwise the student fails. 

    In the instance of a Pass with Conditions, the entire committee must agree on the required conditions and if they cannot, the Dean decides. The deadline to complete the conditions is one (1) month after the defense date unless the committee unanimously agrees to reduce it. 

    In the instance of a Fail without Retake permitted, the decision of the committee must be unanimous. Otherwise one retake is permitted. The deadline to complete the retake is four (4) months after the defense date unless the committee unanimously agrees to reduce it. Students who fail the Final Dissertation Defense or who fail the retake will be dismissed from the university.

    Ph.D. student is required to submit the Ph.D. Dissertation Defense Examination Result form to the GPC within three days after the defense examination.​

Submission of Dissertation and Final Approval Form

  • ​Dissertation Document:

    Students must follow the KAUST Thesis and Dissertation Guidelines available on KAUST Library website when they write their dissertation. The student will be contacted by Thesis Checker in the Registrar office to make sure the student is following the guidelines.

    The Writing Center provide editorial assistance to students writing their thesis. Students can book a time by sending an email to Skills Lab, skillslab@kaust.edu.sa.

    Submission of Dissertation:

    Once the post-examination corrections to the final dissertation document and the format of the dissertation are completed, the Ph.D. student must submit the final draft of the dissertation document to Turnitin through Blackboard. And, submit the Final Approval and Copyright Availability forms to GPC.

    The Student can also use the Turnitin tool in Blackboard to check the dissertation document for plagiarism.​

    Steps to submit the dissertation and run the plagiarism report:

    • Log into Blackboard.

    • Click on the course titled (“Year”_”Semester”_DISS) available on the list of Courses: Quick View.

    • Click on View/Complete under Originality-Check.

    • Fill in your information and Upload your Thesis document.

    • ​Click on Go to Assignment Inbox.

    • Click on the similarity percentage next to your Thesis Title.

    To run the report at a later time:

    • Log into Blackboard.

    • ​Click on the course titled (“Year”_”Semester”_DISS) available on the list of Courses: Quick View.

    • Click on Course Tools.

    • Click on Turnitin Assignments.

    Submission to KAUST Library:

    • The GPC will send the Turnitin Plagiarism report to the supervisor for authentication.

    • The GPC will archive the final dissertation to the library on behalf of the student once the following documents are submitted: 

    • ​​The GPC will inform the Registrar Office once the submission is confirmed by the Library. ​

Ph.D. Dissertation Proposal

  • ​The Dissertation Proposal Defense is the second part of the qualification milestones that must be completed to become a Ph.D. Candidate. The purpose of the Dissertation Proposal Defense is to demonstrate that the student has the ability and is adequately prepared to undertake Ph.D. level research in the proposed area. This preparation includes necessary knowledge of the chosen subject, a review of the literature and preparatory theory or experiment as applicable.

    Ph.D. students are required to complete the Dissertation Proposal Defense within one (1) year after passing the qualifying exam. The proposal defense date will be determined by student and his/her advisor.

    To complete the Ph.D. proposal milestone, Ph.D. students are required to

    1. Submit a request to Form the Dissertation Committee and present the Ph.D Dissertation Proposal.
    2. Defend Ph.D. Dissertation proposal.


    More details in the following sections.

​freq​uently used forms:

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