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Office of the Registrar FAQs​

Course Registration


How do I Add or Drop a course during the semester?

  • Students can add or drop a course via the portal any time prior to the add/drop deadline for each semester. Dropping a course prior to the deadline will not affect your transcript records.  After the deadline, you can add or drop a course but only once you have completed an Add/Drop form and submitted it to the Office of the Registrar for processing. Courses dropped at this stage of the semester will result in a W grade on your transcript.

What if I am registering late? 

  • The late registration periods are identified in the course schedule each semester and summer session. During this period, a student may register with the consent of the academic adviser. Beyond the late registration period, registration is permitted only under exceptional circumstances and requires the recommendation of the academic adviser, and the consent of the Registrar. Please refer to the Academic Calendar to view the late registration deadline each semester.

Do I have access to cancel a class through my Portal?

  • Yes, but only within the initial add/drop deadlines. You must ensure that you stay within the Program requirements. Seek advice from your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) to ensure you will not drop below the minimum required credits per semester. Check the Academic Calendar for registration deadlines.

I cannot access the KAUST SAP portal; therefore I am not able to register for the current or next semester. Who should I contact to solve this problem?

  • Students should be proactive and communicate with IT helpdesk to install VPN access on their laptops, which will grant access to Portal when using an off-campus network. Failing to do so may result in delaying your registration, hence suspending your monthly stipend. You may email RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA for late registration concerns, which will be addressed on case by case basis.  

How can I register for a course as an audit? Would you please add this course to my Blackboard?

  • You can audit a course and have Blackboard access to the course materials by emailing your request to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) and it will be added to your Blackboard.

How many credit hours must I register for in total each session?

  • All MS and PhD are required to register for a total of 12 credits in the fall session, 12 credits in the spring session, and 6 credits in the summer session.

Why does the directed research not appear on the timetable?

  • Directed research does not appear because it is not a 'scheduled' class.

How can I add/drop research credits?

  • You can add/drop via student portal before the deadline for each semester. However if you missed the deadline, you can fill in an add/drop form available from your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). Be aware that if you miss the Drop with a "W" deadline, this will show on your transcript. Always check Academic Calendar for important deadlines.

Where can I find deadline dates?




How can I get an enrollment letter confirming my status as a full time student at KAUST?

  • The Office of the Registrar can provide a letter that confirms your student status at KAUST and states your monthly stipend and benefit details. This can be used for travel visa applications, bank requests and other official requirements.
  • To obtain an enrollment letter, please email the Office of the Registrar at RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SAnoting your full name and KAUST ID number. An enrollment letter will be emailed to you within two working days.
  • Alternatively, you can collect this letter directly from the Office of the Registrar, building 9 level 3 # 3328/3323, upon presentation of a valid KAUST ID card.

Can I change my current program of study? 

  • Yes under certain circumstances but must first discuss this change with your Academic Advisor. If your Advisor agrees with the proposed change, you must complete the Change of Program form and returned the completed, signed form to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for processing. Please obtain the Change of Program form from your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).

Can I get a time extension to complete my degree?

  • A time extension to complete your degree may be granted in certain circumstances. To determine if you are eligible for an extension, please contact your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) to discuss your case. If you are eligible, please obtain the Extension of Time form from your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC), complete it, and return the form to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for processing.

Can I take a leave of absence from the university?

  • Yes. Students may be granted leave of absence in certain circumstances. If a student meets the requirements outlined in the leave policy, they may apply for leave by completing a Leave application online before the leave is required.
  • An approved leave of absence indicates that the student will return to KAUST at the end of the leave of absence period. A leave of absence for medical reasons requires a petition to the Registrar, supported by a physician, prior to reinstatement. A student on leave may not use any University facilities; a leave of absence does not alter the time limits for degrees or coursework.
  • To return from leave, students must contact the Registrar's Office for registration and Graduate Operations for housing to be re-assigned. For further details, please view the Graduate Student Leave Policy.
  • The Dean of Graduate Affairs may place a student on involuntary leave of absence if persuaded by the evidence that such an action is necessary for the protection of the KAUST community or for the personal safety or welfare of the student involved. Such a decision by the Dean for Graduate Affairs is subject to automatic review within seven days by the Dean of Graduate Affairs.
  • For more details of the leave policy, please visit the policy site and view the Graduate Student Leave Policy.

Can I get a waiver of degree requirements?

  • Please refer questions regarding waiver of degree requirements to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC). If you do not know who your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) is, please contact the Office of the Registrar.

How do I apply for a PhD program if I am currently a Master's student?

  • The Office of Admissions will guide you through the PhD program application process. Once you have completed your Master's degree and been accepted into the PhD program, you will then be able to enroll in doctoral courses.

I've been accepted to an off-campus internship. Will the registration be done by your office? Or, do we need to register to a specific course through Portal?

  • Once your internship form is approved and submitted to the Office of the Registrar, we will register you for the internship credits and you will be able to see it on your Portal account.

What is required of me as a continuing student?

  • To continue in KAUST beyond the first semester, the student must make satisfactory progress in fulfilling any admission conditions that were imposed, meet program requirements determined in consultation with his or her advisor, and maintain a satisfactory academic progress. Any student whose work is not satisfactory and who is not anticipated to make substantial progress, may be refused registration at the beginning of any semester by the appropriate academic division and the Associate Provost for Graduate Affairs and will have his/her program terminated.


Grades and Credits


Can I transfer credits from another university attended prior to joining KAUST?

  • Yes. Students entering with a BS or MS from another institution may transfer up to 9 credits of graduate level coursework towards the above requirements with the approval of the program Chair. A Transfer of Credit form must be completed, signed and returned to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for processing.

Can I get a grade changed on my records?

  • You can appeal a grade but this must be done by the second week of the following semester. If your instructor agrees that a grade change is applicable, he/she must complete and sign the Grade Change Form and return this to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) for processing. Once it's been processed, the Office of the Registrar will amend your records to reflect the new grade. See the student handbook 

How can I review KAUST's policy on academic standing?




What is the difference between an official transcript and an unofficial transcript?

  • An unofficial transcript is printed on plain paper and is usually used for internal use or student's reference. An official transcript is printed on special watermarked security paper, stamped with the Registrar's seal and signature.

Can I get a copy of my official transcript?

  • Yes. You can request the latest version of your transcript from the Office of the Registrar at any time. An unofficial copy can be used for your academic performance review with your academic advisor. For external requirements a stamped official transcript can be provided.


Diploma, commencement and dissertation defense


How do I petition to defend my dissertation?

  • You must complete and submit a Petition for Dissertation Defense Form to your dissertation committee at least two weeks in advanced of your defense. You will nominate a date & time for the defense. You must also submit a complete copy of your dissertation at this time. 

What do I need to do once I have passed my Dissertation Defense Exam?

  • If your dissertation is approved by all the committee members, you must enter your student details on the Final Approval of PhD Dissertation Defense form.
  • The Committee Chair and Dean sign this form. The form should then be returned to your Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).
  • The Thesis Checker in the Registrar's Office will confirm that your dissertation meets the editorial guidelines of the University for submission to the Library.
  • The dissertation is sent to the library Thesis Clerk, who will issue a 6 digit number on the Final Approval of PhD Dissertation Defense form.
  • Once the Office of the Registrar receives the completed Final Approval of PhD Dissertation Defense form with the 6 digit number and confirmation that you have met the Program and University Degree requirements, your graduation will be confirmed. You will then be eligible to graduate at the next Commencement ceremony.

When will the graduation Diploma be issued?

  • Diplomas are issued at the Commencement ceremony which is held in December. Diplomas will be presented to all applicable students. If you have graduated but do not attend the ceremony, you can collect your diploma in the week following commencement from the Office of the Registrar. For students who have already left campus, the Office of the Registrar will arrange for the diploma to be sent my courier to a nominated address after the commencement ceremony. Spring graduates will receive their diplomas from the Registrar's Office after the official graduation date

Can someone else pick up my transcript/diploma on my behalf?

  • Yes, you can send a request to RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA listing the contact details and cc'ing your diploma collector, who must be a KAUST community member with valid KAUST ID.

Can I obtain more than one copy of my diploma?

  • Each student will receive one diploma plus a copy for verification purposes.
If I complete the entire course requirement prior to the Commencement ceremony, can I get my diploma before then?
  • No. Diplomas will not be made available to any student before commencement. If you have a specific requirement for confirming your graduation prior to the official graduation date, a letter may be issued upon written request to the Office of the Registrar.

Can I obtain a proof of graduation before my official graduation date?

  • Yes, students may have a certificate of completion when they submit the thesis/dissertation to KAUST library for archiving and have the degree requirements audit completed by both the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC) and the Office of the Registrar.
  • Students may obtain a letter that includes their anticipated graduation upon receiving an email from the Graduate Program Coordinator (GPC).

There is an error on my diploma. How can I get it corrected?

  • The Office of the Registrar makes every effort to ensure that all information printed on the diploma is correct. Students are asked to double check the information that will be printed on the diploma and confirm its accuracy several months prior to graduation. The Office of the Registrar is not responsible for errors that occur due to student's failure to respond and confirm.
  • If you believe there is an error on your diploma, please contact RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA  and your request will be reviewed by the Registrar's Office. Please note that a replacement diploma may incur a replacement fee plus a courier charge.




How can I contact the Office of the Registrar?

  • Email: All queries can be sent to the Office of the Registrar Helpdesk – RegistrarHelpDesk@KAUST.EDU.SA. You will receive a reply within 1 working day. Emails must be sent from your KAUST email address. 
  • Telephone: Please phone 012 808 0505. Phone assistance is available Sunday to Thursday, 8am – 5pm.
  • In person: You are welcome to visit the Office of the Registrar, located in Building 9, level 3, office 3323. We are open Sunday to Thursday, 8am – 5pm.