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Study in Top Universities of Saudi Arabia: Courses and Eligibility Criteria

Updated on 15 May, 2023

Neha Uppal

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

As one of the fastest-growing education systems in the Middle East, Saudi Arabia is becoming an incredibly popular study-abroad destination. If you are considering studying abroad and looking for an exciting destination, check out universities and colleges in Saudi Arabia! Saudi Arabia, a country brimming with culture, warmth, and jaw-dropping innovations, is home to some of the best universities in the world. 

There are many factors to consider when looking for the best study-abroad destination. Reservations regarding cultural differences, opportunities, and costs cross every student's mind. If you're stuck in the tug-of-war of studying in Saudi Arabia vs. India, you've come to the right place! Sit tight as we explore each top-ranked University in Saudi Arabia, its courses, perks, scholarships, eligibility, and application procedures.

Impressive Perks of Studying in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has top-notch universities, a wealth of wisdom, and a drive to innovate. According to QS Arab Region University Rankings, 23 of the best universities in the region are located in Saudi Arabia. Credited as one of the Middle East's fastest-growing and best higher education systems by the QS Higher Education System Strength Rankings, Saudi has become a very attractive study-abroad destination in recent years.  

Saudi Arabia's oil reserves have fueled innovation in its higher education system. This liquid gold allows Saudi Arabia to fund educational institutions and encourage innovations. Unsurprisingly, the country boasts the best global oil and gas engineering degree programs. 

Studying at a university in Saudi Arabia offers many perks to international students. From unique cultural experiences, high-quality education, and the opportunity to be at the forefront of education, there's something for everyone. Here are some of the most sought-after perks of a Saudi education:

Premium-Quality Education

Colleges in Saudi Arabia offer high-quality education with world-renowned courses—universities specializing in science, engineering, and energy-related courses with opportunities for research and development. Many Universities in Saudi Arabia provide a diverse and global education through partnerships with universities globally. 

Affordable Tuition Fees

Saudi Arabia offers relatively affordable tuition fees as compared to most study-abroad destinations. There are also a variety of scholarships available to students to cover tuition, living expenses, and other costs. These scholarships also include fully funded studying opportunities, meaning you could study for free!

Global Cultural Experience

Saudi Arabia has an enriching cultural heritage. It is home to the diverse populace living in Saudi Arabia and offers a unique multicultural experience. Saudi Arabia's strategic location at the crossroads of three continents makes it a melting pot of traditions and histories.

Opportunities for Personal Growth

Saudi Arabia is at the forefront of our time's architectural and technological movements—the cultural roots of Saudi Arabia aid in building core life skills and cultural awareness. The unique position held by this nation on the world stage allows for tremendous growth opportunities.

List of Saudi Arabian Universities

Saudi Arabia prides itself on having a globally recognized higher education system. Every university in Saudi Arabia boasts a variety of courses in multiple fields, emerging as one of the top choices for students. We've compiled a list of universities in Saudi Arabia based on their QS World Rankings and various parameters:

Name of University


QS Global Ranking 2023*

Popular Courses

Course Duration

Annual Tuition Fee** 

King Abdulaziz University (KAU)



  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Agriculture and forestry
  • Pharmacy
  • Chemical engineering













Undergraduate Courses: 4 Years (Humanities and Social Sciences)

5-6 Years (Professional Degrees)


Postgraduate Courses: 2 Years


Ph.D.: 2.5-3.5 Years

SAR 16000

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals



  • Chemical engineering
  • Electrical engineering
  • Mechanical engineering
  • Mineral and mining engineering
  • Management and business

SAR 7500

King Saud University



  • Mechanical engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Pharmacy
  • Life-sciences

BSc Degree (SAR 52, 515 – 71,271)

MSc Degree 

(SAR 22,506 - 33760/ SAR 56266 – 71271)

Umm Al-Qura University



  • Technology management
  • Business management
  • Islamic economics
  • Engineering sciences
  • Pharmacy and pharmacology

BSc Degree (SAR 52,515– 71,271)

MSc Degree 

(SAR 22,506 - 33760/ SAR 56266 – 71271)

Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University (IAU)



  • Medicine
  • Architecture
  • Industrial design
  • Building engineering
  • Clinical pharmacy

BSc Degree (SAR 52,515– 71,271)

MSc Degree 

(SAR 22,506 - 33760/ SAR 56266 – 71271)


**-university official website

Study in Saudi Arabia: Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility requirements for degree programs in Saudi Arabia are pretty straightforward. The eligibility criteria for undergraduate and postgraduate courses are as follows:

Undergraduate Courses

The minimum requirements for admission to undergraduate programs in universities of Saudi Arabia are as follows:

  • A high school certificate or secondary school diploma that is authenticated by the Saudi Ministry of Education
  • Applicant must submit the Qiyas or SAT 1 test results or clear the university-specified admission test and personal interview
  • Arabic or English language proficiency with a certificate of TOEFL (PBT — 380) or IELTS (grade 3.5)

Graduate Courses 

The minimum requirements to secure admission in masters programs in fields of engineering/science or business administration are as follows:

  • A four-year bachelor's degree in relevant subjects in the proposed field from a recognized university.
  • A GPA or Grade Point Average of around 3.00 or higher on a scale of 4.00 or even equivalent for scholarship applicants. For non-scholarship applications, a GPA of 2.50 or more on a scale of 4.00 will work.
  • Certification in TOEFL with a minimum score of 70 (IBT), 190 (CBT), and 520 (PBT). IELTS is also accepted with a minimum grade of 6.0.
  • Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) with a minimum of 450 scores for admission to business courses. Professional experience in certain management courses.

 University of Saudi Arabia: List of Important Documents

  • Academic transcripts listed on the university website
  • Passport
  • Birth certificate
  • A certificate of good conduct
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Custodian approval for female students
  • Legalization certificate of educational documents

Students will further have to meet additional requirements specified under the selected program of the university they are applying for. 

All the documents of non-Saudi applications will be authorized by the Saudi Arabia embassy or Saudi officials in their residence. 

University in Saudi Arabia: Application Procedure and Deadlines

The application procedure and deadlines vary depending on the university and course. Typically, you have to research the specific courses you wish to pursue and then look for universities that are best suited for that program. 

Once you have shortlisted the university, visit its course website and review the application process carefully. After that, gather all the specific documents mentioned on the university website. 

To initiate the application process, you have to create an account on the university website. Next, submit the requested documents and ensure that every detail filled in the application form is correct. 

Students will have to wait for a few days to hear the results. In some cases, they might be requested to go through an interview process. 

Once you're selected, you will receive a mail, following which you can go ahead and pay the fee and start your visa process. 

University in Saudi Arabia: Tuition Fees and Scholarships

The tuition fees in Saudi Arabia vary depending on the course and university chosen. Undergraduate programs can cost around SAR 22,506, and postgraduate programs can cost around SAR 52,514. The cost of living can also range from SAR 3000  to SAR 3938. 

A wide range of scholarships is available to students studying in Saudi Arabia, from government grants to university scholarships. India offers scholarships to students studying in Saudi Arabia as well. Some of the popular scholarships offered are:

  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Scholarships (Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission Scholarships)
  • Scholarships for Indian Students Offered by the Saudi Government
  • Islamic Development Bank Scholarships
  • Mahmoud S. Rabbani Scholarships
  • King Fahd University Scholarships

Note that the given scholarships come with specific terms and conditions that the students must fulfill to receive the scholarship. 


Studying abroad offers a unique and unforgettable experience for international students, and Saudi Arabia carries a legacy of innovation and progress. With a beautiful culture, prestigious education programs, and a penchant for innovation and creativity, each University in Saudi Arabia offers something unique to students. Whether you're an engineering, medicine, finance, or humanities student, Saudi Arabia is your destination. So what are you waiting for? Start exploring the possibilities of studying in Saudi Arabia Today!

Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best university in Saudi Arabia?

King Abdulaziz University is ranked #1 in Saudi Arabia, and the QS Arab Region Rankings 2023, making it the best university in Saudi Arabia and the Arab Region. 

How can I study in Saudi Arabia from India?

Several universities in Saudi Arabia, like Tabuk University, offer distance education. All you need to do is visit the university website, enroll in the offered programs, and complete the admission process.

Can women study in Saudi Arabia?

While some universities do not admit women, there are opportunities for women to study in Saudi Arabia. Universities have separate campuses for men and women, where they are free to pursue a degree of their choice. 

Neha Uppal

Sr. Content editor

Neha Uppal is a passionate content creator and editor. She carries 7.5+ years of experience working with leading edutech companies where she worked as a Faculty, Community Manager, and Content Marketeer. At upGrad, she is helping out people keep informed about the scopes and opportunities of studying abroad via informational articles/blogs.

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