Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE)

Aims and Scope


In the Earth Science and Engineering (ErSE) program at KAUST, faculty and their students engage in interdisciplinary research to understand and model geophysical and geological processes in the complex and changing nature of our planet. The ErSE curriculum provides graduate-level education in earth sciences and their applications in four distinct specializations represented by four tracks:


Geophysical Fluids and Climate System Science



Machine Learning in Geosciences


The program is rich with opportunities, for both M.Sc. and Ph.D. students, with a focus on modern computational and advanced data-analysis as well as laboratory and field methods to study geoscience problems. Depending on the chosen track, students in this program receive broad training in numerical methods, mathematical modelling, geophysics and/or geology. M.Sc. students have an option to participate in scientific research activities that include computational and mathematical modelling or field- and/or lab study projects (M.Sc. with thesis). Ph.D. candidates in the program conduct original research publishable in international high-ranking peer-reviewed journals.

Program Contacts

Sigurjon Jonsson, Program Chair
Karema Alaseef, Graduate Student Advisor

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, 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 the prerequisites for undertaking graduate-level courses taught in the program. The academic advisor works with admitted students to develop a study plan. Students are encouraged to prepare for the assessment by refreshing the general knowledge gained from their undergraduate education before arriving to KAUST. The study plan requirements must be satisfactorily completed, in addition to the University degree requirements.