Electrical and Computer Engineering M.Sc. Program

It is the responsibility of students to plan their graduate program in consultation with their academic advisor. Students are required to meet all deadlines. Students should be aware that most core courses are offered only once per year.

The Master of Science (M.Sc.) degree is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved to graduate. Individual courses require a minimum of a B- for course credit. Students are expected to complete the M.Sc. degree in three semesters. Satisfactory participation in every KAUST summer session is mandatory.

The M.Sc. Requirements

  • Core courses (12 credits)
  • Elective courses (12 credits)
  • Research/capstone experience (12 credits)
  • Graduate seminar 398 (non-credit) – all students are required to register and receive a satisfactory grade for the first two semesters
  • Completion of one Winter Enrichment Program (WEP)

Core Courses (12 credits)

This portion of the degree is designed to provide students with the background needed to establish a solid foundation in the program area:

Core Courses:

ECE 202Analog Integrated Circuits


ECE 206Device Physics


ECE 208Semiconductor Optoelectronic Devices


ECE 221Electromagnetic Theory


ECE 231Principles of Optics


ECE 242Digital Communication and Coding


ECE 245Wireless Sensors and Sensor Networks


ECE 251Digital Signal Processing and Analysis


ECE 263/ME 226Cyber-Physical Systems

ECE 271A/ME 221ALinear Control Systems


AMCS 211Numerical Optimization


AMCS 241/STAT 250Stochastic Processes


CS 204Data Structures and Algorithms


CS 244Computer Networks


CS 294Contemporary Topics in Computer Science

Elective Courses (12 credits)

One additional elective course (3 credits) in ECE. Courses from any ECE track can be used to fulfill this requirement. Two additional courses (6 credits) from any 200- or 300-level course in any degree program at KAUST. If a core course is from AMCS or STAT, then this course can fulfill the applied mathematics/statistics requirement. In this case, the elective curriculum requirement would need to increase to four courses (12 credits). Course selection process, including core courses, applied mathematics/statistics requirement, and elective ECE courses, should be done with the consent of the academic advisor. Students must also register for ECE 398 (non-credit seminar course) for the first two semesters of the degree program.

The elective courses (which exclude research, internship credits, and IED courses) are designed to allow students to tailor their educational experience to meet individual research and educational objectives, with the permission of the academic advisor.

M.Sc. Thesis

The thesis defense committee, which must be approved by the dean, must consist of at least three members and typically includes no more than four members. At least two of the required members must be KAUST faculty. The chair plus one additional faculty member must be affiliated with the student’s program. This membership can be summarized as:

Member Role Program Status
1 Chair Within program
2 Faculty Within program
3 Faculty or approved research scientist Outside or inside program
4 Additional faculty or research scientist Inside or outside KAUST


  • Members 1-3 are required, member 4 is optional
  • Co-chairs may serve as member 2, 3, or 4, but may not be a research scientist
  • Members 2 and 3 must use primary affiliation only
  • 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

View a list of faculty and their affiliations here.

M.Sc. Non-Thesis

Students wishing to pursue the non-thesis option must complete a total of 12 capstone credits, with a maximum of 6 credits of directed research (299).

Students must complete the remaining credits through one or a combination of the options listed below:

  • Broadening experience courses: courses that broaden a student’s M.Sc. experience (maximum 6 credits can be applied to master degree requirements)
  • Internship: research-based summer internship (295) – students are only allowed to take one internship
  • Ph.D. courses: courses numbered at the 300 level
  • Directed research (299) – master’s level supervised research (maximum 6 credits can be applied to master degree requirements)