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 Graduated Program

​​​​​​Master Program in LIFE SCIENCES

​​Please find the details below.



Life Sciences Department, College of Sciences, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), Dhahran, PO.Box 5045, Dhahran, 31261, Saudi Arabia


Rapid advances in biology are opening up a multitude of new research and business opportunities in life science related industries. In order for the Kingdom to stay at the forefront of development in the 21st century, we need to participate and excel in this vital field. The proposed Life Sciences MS program is organized around biotechnology, biochemistry, cell biology, molecular biology, microbiology, ecology etc. Within this program, students can tailor their studies, to the type of employment and research they would like to pursue in the future.


The objectives of the programs are listed below.

  1. ​​To provide postgraduate education to qualified students and prepare them for careers in biological sciences such as laboratory specialist in pharmaceutical, medical, and forensic medicine, or in the food, environmental and agro-technology industries.
  2. To train postgraduate students in the various fields of biotechnology
  3. To prepare "life science researchers" and professionals to meet the future needs of the Kingdom.
  4. To prepare postgraduate students for more advanced studies.

 Program Learning Outcomes

In order for a graduate to meet course objectives, the following is a list of expected learning outcomes that will be met during the training. Graduates will acquire the ability to:

  1. apply knowledge to solve biological problems.
  2. design and conduct experiments, and to analyze and interpret data.
  3. develop novel ideas and products in the field of life sciences.
  4. work with multi-disciplinary teams to identify, formulate, and solve biological problems
  5. use up-to-date technology, skills and instrumentation related to life sciences
  6. practice and conduct themselves in a professional and ethical manner
  7. communicate effectively
  8. use knowledge related to IT and its utilization in biology (bioinformatics).

Admission requirements

The general requirements for admission to the program, in addition to any requirements enforced by KFUPM regulations, are:

  1. ​A four-year Bachelor's (B.S.) Degree in Biology (Life sciences) from a recognized institution with evidence of a suitable background for entering the proposed field.
  2. A Grade-Point Average (GPA) of 3.00 or higher on a scale of 4.00 or equivalent, and a GPA of 3.00 in the subject of the major field. Official transcripts and degree certificates are required for final admission. Students may also be admitted on a provisional basis as a pre-graduate if his GPA is below 3 but above or equal to 2.5. In this case, the student has to score B or above on a number of Biology core / elective courses, as decided by the Master Biology Committee.
  3. Completion of TOEFL with a minimum score of 520 (PBT), 190 (CBT) or 68 (IBT). The TOEFL score must be sent directly to the Deanship of Graduate Studies. The KFUPM code is 0868. IELTS is also acceptable [min 5.5]
  4. Acceptable General Graduate Record Examination (GRE), which should also be reported directly.
  5. At least three letters of recommendation from the faculty who taught the applicant undergraduate courses.
  6. Satisfactorily meeting any additional departmental or university admission requirements.

Course requirements

Total credit hours required for the Master of Life Sciences is 30 credit hours. Students have to choose 4 out of the 6 core courses.

​Type of Courses CR

Core Courses

LS Electives

Free Elective Course










The details of the core courses, number and titles are given in the Table below

Requirement Course Number and Title CR

​Core Course

Core Course

Core Course

Core Course

​General Req.

​​Degree Req.

LS Electives

Freeelective course

LS 511 Microbiology

LS 541 Cellular and Molecular Biology

LS 546 Techniques in Biology

LS 551 Ecology and Evolution

LS 599 (S​eminar)

LS 610 (MS Thesis)

Choice of 3 courses within the LS elective courses.

Choice of 1 course










  •   Elective Courses (9 credits)

The following courses are offered for the degree of LS Master as biological electives. All students are required to complete 3 elective courses (9 credit hours) as shown in the Table below.

Table 6: List of elective courses

Elective Courses
LS 512 Virology 3-0-3
LS 513 Microbial Biotechnology 3-0-3
LS 521 Biochemistry 3-0-3
LS 523 Human Physiology 3-0-3
LS 524 Toxicology 3-0-3
LS 526 Protein Structure & Function 3-0-3
LS 542 Biotechnology 3-0-3
CE 542 Microbiology in Environmental Engineering 3-0-3
LS 562 Invertebrate 3-0-3
LS 563 Paleobiology 3-0-3
LS 564 Plant Biotechnology 3-0-3
LS 565 Ethics in Biology 3-0-3
LS 571 Biological Oceanography 3-0-3
LS 572 Physiology of Mammals 3-0-3
LS 573 Plankton Ecology and Process 3-0-3
LS 574 Aquaculture 3-0-3
LS 590 LS Special Topics I 3-0-3
LS 591 LS Special Topics II 3-0-3
LS 606 Independent Research 0-0-3
Environmental Sciences Master Program Courses
ENVS 535 Environmental Biotechnology 3-0-3
ENVS 564 Statistical Methods in Environmental Research 3-0-3
Physics Department
MEPH 510 Radiobiology 2-0-2
Chemical Engineering  Department
CHE 534 Bioreaction Engineering 3-0-3
Civil Engineer Department
CE 542 Microbiology in Environmental Engineering 3-0-3
CE 548 Biological Processes 3-0-3
Chemistry   Department
CHEM 631 Molecular Biochemistry 3-0-3

Free Electives (6 credits)

All students are required to complete two free electives (6 credit hours) to be chosen from any academic department or program in the University according to the approved degree plan of the student.

​Degree plan

The following is the degree plan of the program. Students will choose 2 core courses (along with one free elective) during the first semester, and another 2 (along with one Biology elective) during the second semester. The third semester will consist of a free elective and a Life Sciences (LS) elective course, and a seminar. The last semester will be dedicated to the Thesis.

Summary of the Degree Plan 
Course # Title LT LB CR
First Semester
LS 511  Microbiology 3 0 3
LS 541  Cellular and Molecular Biology 3 0 3
LS XXX  LS Electives 3 0 3
   9   9
Second Semester
LS 546 Techniques in Biology 2 2 3
LS 551 Ecology and Evolution 3 0 3
LS XXX LS Electives 3 0 3
LS 599 Seminar 1 0 0
   9   9
Third Semester
LS XXX LS Elective 3 0 3
XXX* Free Elective 3 0 3
LS 610 MS Thesis   IP
   7   6
Fourth Semester
LS 610 MS Thesis 0 0 6
   0   6

            *This refers to any course in the University, irrespective of the level of the course.

2.8 Program Requirements

The Life Science Department is relatively new, and currently has 5 faculty members. However, plans are underway for the recruitment of more faculty members. By the time this Master Program starts, our Department will have at least 7 faculty members. Thus, expertise to cover all the core and elective courses of the Program will be available. In addition, two full time technicians will be involved in the running of laboratories. All administrative issues will be handled by the department secretary.

6.2 Facilities

The Program will be run by the newly established Department of Life Sciences at KFUPM. Currently, two rooms (B7-R107 and R108) serve as teaching laboratory classroomsand extra two labs will be allocated for the Master Program. In addition, the Department has one lab dedicated for research.

Host Department

The Program will be managed by the Life Sciences Department , King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. P.O.Box 5045, Dhahran, 31261, Saudi Arabia

Contact: Mr Ahmed Al-Sadah
Telephone : +966 3 860 7032
Fax : +966 3 860 7031
PO Box: 5045
Office Location: Building 7 Room 131​

To download the file click on below link.
vii_Brochure_Biology Master Program_23 March17.docx​​