Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering (ERPE)

Aims and Scope

Research and education, as well as their transformative potential, are central to KAUST’s mission. KAUST educates scientific and technological leaders, catalyzes the diversification of the Saudi Arabian economy, and addresses challenges of regional and global significance, thereby serving the Kingdom, the region, and the world. Through the synergy of science and technology, with a focus on innovation and enterprise, KAUST is a catalyst for transforming people’s lives.

Faculty and students in the Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering (ERPE) program at KAUST engage in interdisciplinary research to understand and model hydro-chemo-thermo-mechanical coupled processes in the subsurface, with emphasis on multiphase and reactive fluid flow (oil, gas, brine, water, and CO2).

The Energy Resources and Petroleum Engineering program for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. students focuses on modern reservoir description, geology, engineering, and management. Students in this program receive broad training in advanced scientific concepts and thermodynamics, geology, geophysical characterization, and reservoir engineering. Students participate in scientific research activities that may include mathematical analyses, geological and computational modeling, and/or laboratory/field studies. Ph.D. candidates focus on original research-driven to advance the boundaries of knowledge, including challenging topics in energy and environment, such as enhanced oil recovery (EOR), geothermal, and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS).

Program Contacts

Hussein Hoteit, Program Chair
Karema Alaseef, Graduate Student Advisor

Assessment Test

Students are admitted to KAUST from a wide variety of programs and backgrounds. To facilitate the design of an appropriate study plan, all admitted students without a master’s degree are required to take a written assessment exam when they arrive on campus. The purpose of the assessment is to determine whether students have mastered the prerequisites for undertaking graduate-level courses taught in the program. The topics covered by the assessment test for the ERPE program include:

  1. Basic Principles of Mechanics
  2. Basic Principles of Physics
  3. Engineering Mathematics
  4. Basic Principles of General Chemistry

Students are encouraged to carefully prepare for the assessment by refreshing the general knowledge gained from their undergraduate education before arriving at KAUST. Failure to pass one topic or more of the assessment test will result in taking mandatory 100-level courses that do not count for the M.Sc. credits. The academic advisor works with admitted students to develop a study plan. The study plan requirements must be satisfactorily completed, in addition to the University degree requirements.


All students are required to be enrolled in 12 credits each semester and 6 credits during the summer session. These credits can comprise coursework, dissertation research, directed research, thesis credits, or internships.