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Marine Science (MarS) (Master of Marine Science )

Master (ISCED 2011 level 7)


Entry level Bachelor
Cost All admitted students receive the benefits of the KAUST Fellowship which supports students for the duration of their graduate studies.

Master of Marine Science (MarS)

Take your research to new depths with the Red Sea as a living laboratory. You’ll study endangered species and how we manage the harvesting of resources from the ocean. And you’ll have access to state-of-the-art equipment for scientific cruises, diving, field sampling and more.

​The Marine Science (MarS) program takes advantage of KAUST's location on the Red Sea, a living laboratory with great potential for exciting science. The program addresses the biology and ecology of the multitude of marine life forms. There is an intentional focus on the local Red Sea system, both as a primary study system and as a system with which general concepts from other marine systems can be compared.

The goal of the Marine Science Program is to develop an integrated understanding of the Red Sea’s ecosystem as well as marine ecosystems in general, including fundamental biology at the molecular and genomic levels, symbiosis with algae and prokaryotes (Bacteria and Archaea), associated communities of fish and corals and the physical and chemical environment that impacts and shapes them. This understanding could have an impact on global carbon cycling, endangered species and how we manage the harvesting of resources from the Oceans.


We’re an international graduate-level science and technology research university located on the shores of the Red Sea.

We’re ranked 1stin the Middle East and 6th in the world of the Global Top Ten Young Universities (New Nature Index, 2019). And we’re home to world-class faculty, scientists, engineers and students from across the globe, all focused on finding solutions to problems in areas related to water, food, energy, and the environment.

The Master of Science degree (M.Sc.) is awarded upon successful completion of a minimum of 36 credit hours. A minimum GPA of 3.0 must be achieved to graduate. Individual courses require a minimum of a B- for course credit. Students are expected to complete the M.Sc. degree in three semesters. Satisfactory participation in every KAUST summer session is mandatory.

Course requirements: 
- Core courses(9 credits) 

- Elective courses (0-15 credits) 

- Research/capstone experience (12 -24 credits) 

- Graduate seminar 398 (non-credit) – all students are required to register and receive a satisfactory grade for every semester of the program they attend 

- Completion of one Winter Enrichment Program (WEP) 

M.S. thesis option and M.S. Non-thesis option for graduation.

Structural components
Summer schools
Internship/Workplace experience
International component
Laboratory training
Practical/Field work
Research Project

Application procedure

  • Official university transcripts
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of purpose
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS English language proficiency score
  • Official GRE scores (GRE submission is encouraged and will enhance an application, but it is not compulsory)


KAUST Admission process

Admission Review

Your Application must be complete for it to be reviewed by the Admissions Office. If your file is missing documents, you will be asked to submit them before it can be reviewed.

Faculty Review Committee

If your application passes Admissions review, it will be evaluated by the faculty review committee of each program.

Academic Interview

If selected, you will be invited for an academic interview with KAUST Faculty.

KAUST Interview

This is a personal interview, either via Skype video chat and/or in person.

Grant opportunities

All admitted students receive the benefits of the KAUST Fellowship which supports students for the duration of their graduate studies.


- A score of 79 on the TOEFL IBT (Internet Based Test) or 6.0 on the IELTS is required (not required if the applicant received a degree from an accredited institution in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, or New Zealand)
- Official transcripts (and/or certified English translation)
- 3 letters of reference
- Curriculum Vitae
- Statement of Purpose

ISCED Categories

Conservation and environmental management