Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs for Students

How large is the Center?

As of Fall 2018, ANPERC includes a faculty of 6, 40 MS/Ph.D. students and visiting scholars, plus 26 research and administrative staff. The center is growing rapidly and plans to add additional faculty in the near future. Despite this growth, the center strives to create a strong and supportive community for all students, post-docs, scientists, staff and faculty.

Do I need to have a confirmed research topic prior to moving to KAUST?

No, but there is the expectation that the research topic will fit within any of our center's Research Themes. Most students develop this over the first few months in collaboration with our researchers. We work on a strengths-based partnership to help our students excel.

What opportunities will I have to present my work?

Students have regular opportunities to present their work during regular team meetings and classes.

What classes will I need to take as a student?

This is dependent on the degree program.  Learn more about the programs here.

Is there a buddy system in the group?

Yes. Following your offer letter, you will be given the contact details of another student in the center.

Do I need to bring any research materials with me?

No. All the laboratory/research materials that you will need can be found at KAUST or we will order them with you.

What is the expected time and requirement to get the degree? What is the maximum period we can stay at KAUST?

This is dependent on the degree. For full details, see the Program Requirements and in particular the Dissertation Research Credits section on the website.

What is the post graduate career path? Are there any career fairs at KAUST?
There is a dedicated Professional Development and Career Counseling Office that offers extensive professional and career development support to students as well as facilitating career fairs. Career paths for KAUST graduates with MS or PhD range from government agencies and national labs to national oil companies, as well as private companies, universities and research institutions, NGO's and nonprofits around the globe. 

Do I have what it takes to make this step and move to KAUST?

KAUST and ANPERC demand high academic standards, with a high GPA in relevant engineering and science fields. Moving away from an established community and support system also takes strength and determination. We encourage you to read the Applying to KAUST page to help you with your decision making.

Is KAUST recognized as a top research institute in the world?

The QS World Unversity Rankings placed KAUST #1 in citations per faculty for the past four years.  See here for full details about this and other information on KAUST's impact and achievements as a world-class research university.

Where can I get information on ongoing projects?

In addition to this site, visit the ANPERC Facebook page and follow ANPERC on Twitter for information on upcoming and ongoing projects.

Does KAUST offer financial support for students?

All Master's and PhD students admitted to KAUST will also be evaluated for financial support under the KAUST Fellowship. If awarded, the KAUST Fellowship supports students for the duration of their graduate studies. Students may be assessed academically for admission without the KAUST Fellowship.


FAQs General

Is KAUST isolated from other communities?

KAUST is located approximately one hour north of Jeddah on the beautiful Red Sea. Our closest neighboring town is Thuwal, a short drive/taxi ride away. We actively encourage our community to develop both local and international connections.

What is the weather like?

Temperatures range from the mid 40s°C (113+°F) in summer to the low 20s (70+°F) during winter. The humidity is high during summer.

What’s the social life like?

Graduate Affairs, Recreation and KAUST facilitate a number of both formal and informal events throughout the year that strengthen and continually develop our active community. In addition to these events, here’s a brief listing of ongoing events:
  • Book clubs: two English and one French group going strong
  • Coffee groups: there’s at least a few of these that meet regularly
  • Self directed groups (SDGs): these community run groups include everything from photography to rugby and are great places to meet others.
  • The Arts Office: run a variety of choral and orchestral groups for adults
  • For families with kids:
    • Playgroup
    • Harbor Library story time
    • Kindermusik
    • Little Kickers
    • Baby yoga

Extra-curricular activities: these are run by Recreation, Self-Directed Groups, individual community members and The KAUST School. Click here for more information about what it's like to live and study at KAUST.

What are the leisure facilities like?

KAUST is a dynamic community with award winning academic and leisure facilities and programs. There are gyms, swimming pools, tennis, squash and badminton courts, bowling and a rock climbing wall.

What household items are available in Jeddah? What do I need to bring?

Jeddah is home to a variety of large malls including Mall of Arabia, Red Sea Mall and IKEA that cater to every household and appliance need. Common wisdom advises bringing adapters and transformers if you choose to bring your own electronics and appliances.

Will I experience the ‘real’ Middle East living at KAUST? Is it possible to travel in KSA?

Absolutely! There are a number of popular domestic trips that are arranged by Government Affairs at KAUST. Alternatively, many members of the KAUST community choose to independently explore local Wadis or venture further afield to the renowned archaeological site, Madain Saleh/Mada'in Saleh.

Can family visit KAUST?

Immediate family are able to enjoy brief visits to KAUST. Government Affairs will assist with this process as certain approvals, visit visas, and fees are required.

What transport is available?

On campus there are frequent buses that service all areas. Regular buses depart KAUST for major Jeddah malls, hospitals and Mecca and Medina. Both Jeddah and KAUST have taxi services. It is possible (and in fact comparatively easy) to enjoy KAUST without a car.

FAQs & Other Resources

Do you have other general questions about KAUST?  Check the KAUST Graduate Student Handbook. It's a great resource for general information on academics and student life.  
Other questions about ANPERC and KAUST?  Email us:  contact.uperc(at)