Sign In

 Admission and Program Requirements

In addition to the admission requirements specified by the Deanship of Graduate Studies, the minimum admission qualifications for admission to the KFUPM Ph.D. program in Computer Engineering is:

  1. A Master's degree in a COE-related engineering or science discipline with a minimum GPA of 3.0 out of 4.0 from an institute with an MS program equivalent to KFUPM's.
  2. A minimum TOEFL score of 560 (PBT), 215(CBT), or 80 (IBT) or other equivalent English tests. Scores should not be more than two years.
  3. Three letters of recommendation (at least two from instructors or current supervisors) addressing the applicant's academic achievements and professional accomplishments.
  4. Acceptable GRE scores.
  5. A statement of purpose, where the student should elaborate on his general area of research and Ph.D. research plans at KFUPM (approximately 1000 words).

Students enrolled in this program are required to complete 30 graduate credit hours of courses (excluding the dissertation). These courses should be selected from a program of study approved by the student's Graduate Committee, the Department Chairman, and the Dean of Graduate Studies.

The Ph.D. program in Computer Engineering provides specialization in four areas of competency. These areas are chosen to provide coverage of well-recognized established areas of COE and at the same time allow for coverage of anticipated future progress in the discipline. Each student must select one of the following as his major area, and another as a minor area:

Computer Architecture and High-Performance Computing
Computer Networks and Security
Digital System Design & Automation
Computer Systems and Applications

The completion of at least 30 credit hours of course work beyond the M.S. course work and beyond remedial courses is required for all Ph.D. students. Each student must select major and minor areas. The student may take for credit any of the COE 500-level (or higher) courses listed under the four specialization areas, provided that such courses have not been taken for credit by the student for a previous degree at KFUPM. To ensure depth of knowledge, a minimum of three courses (9 credit hours) must be taken from the student's selected major area. In the minor area, a student must take a minimum of two courses (6 credit hours). To provide a breadth of knowledge, the student is required to take two graduate technical elective courses which must be taken from outside the COE department.  In addition, two COE elective courses (6 credit hours) should be taken from any of the four COE specialization areas.  Furthermore, a graduate free elective course may be either a COE or a non-COE course. The graduate technical elective courses may be taken from other related disciplines, e.g. ICS, SWE, EE, SE, or Math. The maximum number of courses that may be taken from outside the COE department is 4 courses (12 credit hours).

Students are also required to present a seminar that describes recent research findings in Computer Engineering as well as attend the technical seminar series organized by the COE Department. This requirement is fulfilled by the zero-credit hour seminar course COE 699 (1-0-0).  Students have to pass the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam in order to secure a passing NP grade in the Seminar Course. If a student who is registered in the Seminar Course fails the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam his assigned seminar grade will be IC (incomplete), which is changed to a passing NP grade once he passes the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam latest by the subsequent semester to avoid having the IC grade changed into F.

The student should select his Ph.D. dissertation topic from his major area. Twelve credit hours are assigned to the Ph.D. dissertation which is split into two courses; COE 711 and COE 712. In COE 711 (3 credit hours) the student prepares his dissertation proposal, while in COE 712 (9 credit hours) the student works on his proposed research subject. The dissertation is expected to involve original scholarly research applied to a carefully defined problem.

Area/CoursesMin RequirementNotes
Major Area3 Courses (9 Cr. hrs.)
  • Major area may be any of the 4 COE areas of competency.
Minor Area2 Courses (6 Cr. Hrs.)
  • Any COE specialization area other than the major area
COE Electives 2 Courses (6 cr. hrs.)
  • Any COE specialization area.
Technical Electives

2 Courses from COE-related disciplines (6 Cr. Hrs.)

  • Should be taken from outside the COE department.
Free Elective1 Course (3 Cr. Hrs.)
  • May be either a COE or a non-COE course.
Comprehensive ExamComprehensive Exam
  • To be passed by the 4th semester (FT students), or the 5th semester (PT students)
SeminarCOE 699: Seminar
  • Zero credit-hour (P/F).

COE 711, and COE 712:   Dissertation

  • 12 credit hours (3 + 9)
  • The dissertation topic is to be selected from the student major area of specialization.