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Doctor of Philosophy in Computer Science


Computer Science is an enormously vibrant field. From its inception over half a century ago, Computer Science has become the defining technology of our age. Computers are integral to modern culture and are the primary engine behind much of the world’s economic growth. The field, moreover, continues to evolve at an astonishing pace. New technologies are introduced continually, and existing ones become obsolete in the space of a few years. The Department of Information and Computer Science offers a PhD in Computer Science degree, which follows international standards and recommendations.

Program Admission Requirements

The admission process starts with an application to the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies. A student can apply for one of the following statuses:

  1. Research Assistant (only foreign nationals),
  2. Graduate Assistant (only Saudi nationals),
  3. Full-time graduate student,
  4. Part-time graduate student.

The applicant must fill out all related forms which can be obtained from the College of Graduate and Interdisciplinary Studies office or website. The applicant must also submit the following:

  • A letter of intent
  • Graduation certificates
  • Transcripts
  • At least three reference letters
  • Official IELTS/TOEFL scores report

A PhD applicant must have an MS degree in Computer Science from an institution whose undergraduate and graduate programs are at least comparable to those of KFUPM in both content and quality. All applicants must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 out of 4. for an applicant to be admitted to the PhD CS program.

An application must have a strong background in the following core areas of computer science:

  • Data Structures
  • Computer Architecture
  • Algorithms
  • Programming Languages
  • Database Systems
  • Computer Networks
  • Operating Systems

A similar course to “ICS 500: Research Methods and Experiment Design in Computing”, is also a pre-requisite for admission. This requirement can be waived if an adequate publication record is shown by the student at application time. An unsatisfactory background in any of these areas is considered a deficiency. Provisional admission may be granted to otherwise qualified students with some core background deficiencies. Students with deficiencies must take the corresponding appropriate course(s) at KFUPM. Any deficiency must be completed with a grade of B or better before a change of status to regular is realized.