Frequently Asked Questions


KGSP recommends that students avoid all non-essential travel, both domestic and international:   COVID-19 is transmitted by direct interaction with infected people, which is increased by travel.  This advice is benchmarked against national (e.g., CDC and MOH) and international (e.g., WTO) guidelines, and aligns with other countries’ recommendations.  


I understand the advice of avoiding travel, but what if I want to travel anyway? How would KGSP help me, especially now that Saudi Arabia has reopened travel?

  • It remains the Program’s recommendation to avoid all travel; this remains, however, an individual decision.  
  • If you chose to travel despite this recommendation, you assume the associated risks and responsibilities; while you will not be penalized from a programmatic standpoint, you must ensure that doing so will not jeopardize your ability to continue studies.




I chose to return to Saudi Arabia when the pandemic began, and I am still here. However, I have a lease that I am paying for in the US. What should I do?

  • Please reach out to your KGSP Advisor to discuss your situation, and they can advise you on the best course of action.




Advisors understand the impact of the adjustments you have needed to make to be successful in online or hybrid environments. Continue communicating with your KGSP advisor and home university and identify your needs in this learning context, and the KGSP will support you in managing the impact of this uncertainty.


I do not like studying in an online environment Is there flexibility to extend my degree or take a break from my classes?

  • KGSP’s regular policy regarding course registration—and academic performance—remains in place: You must follow the degree plan signed by your home university academic advisor and submit to your KGSP advisor for review. Your academic advisor will be able to assist you in identifying suitable courses that may work better than others in an online environment.


Some universities are offering changing grading options to pass/fail or getting credit for the class without counting it into your GPA because of the course's hybrid or online delivery. Can I change my grading to pass/fail? 

  • As KGSP students, you are also expected to follow the KGSP's guidelines for pursuing a pass/fail option:
    • If the decision to issue grades as pass/fail is decided for you by your university or individual professor, KGSP will abide by that (i.e., it’s not a choice you made).
    • If the pass/fail option is available as a choice (i.e., it is not a decision made for all students/classes by the individual professor or by your university), you must first request to do so with the KGSP, as always.  Barring special circumstances, the Program will only approve a move to Pass/Fail if doing so:
      • Doesn't affect you graduation timeline
      • Is in a non-STEM class (changed from non-major)
      • Without moving to pass/fail, you will receive a C or below



Will the current situation cause any delays in the KAUST admission timeline?

  • No. KAUST has always had a staggered admission process. For seniors graduating in 2021, the application deadlines are 11/20/20 or 01/15/21: Please reach out to your KGSP Advisor if you have any questions about which deadline applies to you.

Will my selection of pass/fail grades in Spring 2020 be problematic when applying to KAUST?

  • No. The COVID-19 pandemic cause unprecedented changes to grading policies at most universities, to which graduate institutions around the world are adapting. Any unique questions about your transcript will be addressed during your interview.



KGSP will assist students as necessary during emergency situations that are a direct result of COVID-19.


What if a KGSP student contracts COVID-19?

  • In line with its regular health policies, KGSP will provide all possible support to any student who contracts COVID-19, working with relevant authorities to promote the best possible care.

I am a co-sponsored student, and I am concerned that I may lose my sponsorship. What happens then?

  • As always, KGSP students will remain active with the Program as long as they fully adhere to all programmatic expectations and their Terms and Conditions, including the modality and location guidelines shared via email in November. The Program's commitment to active students assures assumptions of benefits should any change in co-sponsorship occur in such circumstances.

I returned to Saudi Arabia in March, and I am not planning to return until August 2021. Will my KGSP stipend be adjusted? 

  • Active students engaging in full-time coursework from Saudi Arabia (per the modality and location guidelines shared in August and November) will receive adjusted financial benefits according to the Program's standard eligibility criteria. Please reach out to your KGSP advisor if you have questions about this.