Saudi Arabia‘s capital Riyadh is a truly cosmopolitan city and the central government is constantly increasing its budget for higher education. The country’s strategic location also attracts many foreign students – the flight to Dubai is just an hour and a half and there are many low-cost carriers to choose from. So, a weekend shopping tour around the world’s biggest and most luxurious malls becomes a feasible option.

Saudia Arabia has got 19 universities among the Top 100 Universities in The World, while many graduate and post-graduate programs are taught in English. For this reason, we are going to have a look at the universities in Saudi Arabia with the highest acceptance rates.

Universities in Saudi Arabia with High Rates of Acceptance

1. Umm al-Qura University

Umm al-Qura University began its existence in 1949 as the College of Sharia. Back then, the academic focus was mostly on Islamic Law and Arabic Language. Since then, the university has diversified its academic portfolio with graduate and undergraduate programs in Engineering, Medicine, Education, and Technology.

Umm al-Qura University’s main campus is located in the sacred for the Muslim city of Mecca. The university is really big – it has a total of twelve different colleges.

During the latest admissions cycle, over 25,300 students applied to study at Umm al-Qura University and about 24,900 of them subsequently enrolled. This sets the university’s average acceptance rate at 98%, which is one of the highest acceptance rates in Saudi Arabia.

2. Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University

This university was founded in 1970 as the first higher education provider for women in Saudi Arabia. Now, it has thousands of students pursuing their degrees in 34 different colleges. The central campus is located in the capital, Riyadh.

Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University is most famous for its colleges of Human Medicine and Dentistry, both of which provide graduate, as well as undergraduate programs. We have estimated this public university’s admission rate at about 70-75%.

3. Alfaisal University

Next on our list of universities in Saudi Arabia with high acceptance rates is Alfaisal University, which was established in 2002 in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh. The language of instruction at this university is English and the student/faculty ratio is 18 to 1.

Not surprisingly, this higher education provider offers several Bachelor’s programs that are taught in its five colleges – Science, Pharmacy, Business, Engineering, and Human Medicine. The most popular Master’s program is in Nanoscience, as well as the one in Biomedical & Health Sciences. Alfaisal University’s average admission rate is around 65-70%.

4. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

Established in 2009, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, or KAUST as it is known for short is a small private university that offers only postgraduate programs. Interestingly, all of them are taught in English. It is also the first mixed-gender university in Saudi Arabia.

The most popular Master’s programs at KAUST are Bioscience, Environmental Science and Engineering, and Marine Science. On the whole, the academic focus is on environmental protection, conservation, and sustainable natural resources management.

This is a university in Saudi Arabia with high acceptance rates. The average GPA required for admission is 3.5 out of four. In addition, the average TOEFL and IELTS scores of the applicants are also quite high.

5. King Abdulaziz University

King Abdulaziz University was established back in 1967 as a private university named after the founding father of Saudi Arabia. In 1976, it went into public hands. Now, it is a really big higher education provider with over 180,000 students. The central campus is located in the city of Jeddah.

King Abdulaziz University has a total of 24 different faculties with the most popular of them being the Faculty of Law, the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, and the English Language Institute. All of them offer a wide variety of graduate and undergraduate programs. This is a very selective university with an average acceptance rate for the latest admissions cycle of 25%.

6. Effat University

Effat University was established in 1999 as one of the few all-women universities in Saudi Arabia. It is organized into four major colleges as follows: the College of Engineering, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, the Business College, and the College of Architecture and Design.

Effat University’s Graduate School offers Master’s programs in Islamic Financial Management, Urban Design, and Translation Studies.

7. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

We end our list of universities in Saudi Arabia with high acceptance rates with King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM), which is one of the most famous universities in Saudi Arabia. Every year it receives applications from the whole Middle East region and even from North Africa. Established back in 1963, the university has enrolled thousands of students in its undergraduate and postgraduate programs.

KFUPM has been organized into six colleges with the most popular of them being the College of Petroleum Engineering and Geosciences, the College of Computer Science & Engineering, and the College of Environmental Design. Its most popular graduate programs are Business, General Finance, and Applied Engineering.

This is a highly selective university that accepts only the most gifted and promising students from the country and from abroad. KFUPM’s admission requirements are high for TOEFL, IELTS scores, and GPA. Its average acceptance rate for the latest admissions cycle has been confirmed at 10%.


We hope this article on Saudi Arabia’s universities with high acceptance rates was helpful. If you want to study abroad, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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