Aims and Scope of the Graduate Program

The Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE) Program focuses on applications of modern computational methods to study geophysical problems associated with the atmosphere and/or ocean circulation, earthquakes, oil exploration, reservoir modeling, and subsurface phenomena. Students in this program receive broad training in numerical methods, mathematical modeling, and geophysics, with an option for M.S. students to participate in scientific research activities that include computational, mathematical modeling, and field-study projects. Ph.D. candidates in the program conduct original research on a topic related to earth science and engineering.

The program is divided into two tracks that focus on computational analysis of (1) fluid earth systems and (2) solid earth systems. ErSE students must specify one of the two tracks as their major. Students in the fluid earth systems track study flow and transport processes both beneath and above the earth’s surface, including subsurface, surface and atmospheric flows. Students in the solid earth systems track focus on seismology, geophysics, geodynamics and geomechanics.


KAUST offers only graduate degrees, and the research agenda provides the foundation for the master’s and doctoral levels of education:
  • The M.S. degree which can be a terminal graduate degree or may serve as a gateway to the Ph.D. program. The M.S. degree typically takes three semesters and a summer to complete (18 months). The degree allows flexibility for internships, research, and academics. Learn more about M.S. degree requirements.