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King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

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King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM or UPM) (Arabic: '- short:( ') is a public university in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia . It was established on 23 September 1963 by a Saudi Royal Decree as the "College of Petroleum and Minerals," providing high-level education about two of the most valuable natural resources in Saudi Arabia. It was given university status in 1975.

General information

Unlike the nearby King Faisal University, the University is a male only institution. Its acceptance rate is only 15%, making it the toughest to get into in Saudi Arabia. Among Saudi universities, KFUPM is highest regarded for its excellence in the science & engineering programs. The university offers some programs that are not offered anywhere else in Saudi Arabia.



King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals is located in Dhahran, between the HQ of the Saudi Arabian Oil Company, Saudi Aramco; and the Dhahran Air Base. The campus is near the Persian Gulf [*] at a distance of seven km from Al-Khobar city. The port city of Dammam is only 20 km away. The oil-producing town of Abqaiq is located 70 km west, and the ancient oasis of Al-Hasa is about 130 km south of campus. The island of Bahrain is 35 km from the Saudi coastline.

The "Al Jabal" Hill

The academic buildings are located on a 100-foot "Jebel" (Arabic for mountain). The Academic Complex of the Jebel dominates the surrounding countryside. Fortune Magazine called it "A jewel of a university on Arabian sands". A Water Tower located between academic buildings became the symbol of the University. It can be seen from several kilometres away. There are more than 30 academic buildings.

The Academic Complex consists of many major buildings, all of them completed and in use. The facilities available include: faculty/staff offices; shops and laboratory buildings, which include the Heavy Equipment Laboratory building and the Energy Research Laboratory building; the Information Technology Center; classrooms; the Administration Building; Library; the Faculty/Student Center, which includes the Faculty Dining Hall, the Post Office, and the Stationery Shop; Auditorium, which seats 850 people and is equipped for simultaneous translation in three languages; Gymnasium; a Mosque; the Research Institute; the Stadium, which seats 10,000 people; the Medical Center; the Conference Center; and multi-story parking garages. The facilities also include a natural outdoor amphitheater, playing fields and indoor courts for intercollegiate and intramural sports, and the distinctive KFUPM water tower with circulatory water systems.

Wireless Service: The Wireless Connectivity (WiFi) Service is deployed within the university campus. This KFUPM Wireless LAN service is now available in all Academic and Administrative buildings.

Smart Card Service [*]

This Smart Card is an all-in-one card and is designed to make life easier for students, faculty and staff inside KFUPM campus. This single card can be used for a whole range of campus services and access control. You can use the card for:


Building access control

Fingerprint access control for secure areas

There are other services that can be included and are kept as future extensions.


KFUPM is the highest ranked university in Saudi Arabia, with about 9,000 full-time undergraduate and 2,600 full-time graduate students.


All programs of the engineering colleges were evaluated for Substantial Equivalency recognition by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) in April 2001. They were found substantially equivalent to similar accredited programs in the United States.

The new trends in accreditation criteria have brought outcome assessment to focus. Accrediting agencies such the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (ACCSB), the Computer Science Accreditation Board (CSAB) and the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) require programs or colleges seeking accreditation to have self-assessment. Industry push and competitive job markets have also contributed to the need for continuous program quality improvement that focus on student learning and preparation for professional practice after graduation.

Preparatory Orientation Year Program


Preparatory Orientation (1st) year is mandatory for all students before being truly enrolled in the university, i.e., beginning freshman year.

In the Prep year, only Mathematics, intensive English, Introductory Physical Sciences, Computer Skills and workshop courses are given. Those who pass the prep year, or are exempted from it, become full students. A student must select a major by the end of the orientation year. The GPA of that year does, to some extent, affect the choices he may have; for example, the engineering, science and MIS programs have a high (above 2.0) prep year GPA requirement, whereas other majors are open to those who have somewhat lower GPAs, especially in the mathematical courses.


KFUPM has five main colleges:

1) College of Engineering Sciences Website

Department of Aerospace Engineering [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc.

Department of Chemical Engineering [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Department of Civil Engineering [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Department of Electrical Engineering [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

*Telecommunication : M.Sc.

Department of Mechanical Engineering [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Department of Petroleum Engineering [*] : B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

2) College of Computer Science & Engineering Website

Department of Computer Engineering [*]:

*Computer Engineering: B.Sc., M.Sc.

*Computer Networks: M.Sc.

*Joint Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering

Department of Information & Computer Science [*]:

*Computer Science: B.Sc., M.Sc.

*Software Engineering: B.Sc.

*Joint Ph.D. in Computer Science & Engineering

Department of Systems Engineering [*] :

*Industrial & Systems Engineering: B.Sc.

*Control & Instrumentation Systems Engineering: B.Sc.

*M.Sc., Ph.D. in Systems Engineering

3) College of Sciences Website

Department of Chemistry [*]:

*Chemistry : B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

*Industrial Chemistry: B.Sc.

Earth Sciences Department [*]:

*Geology: B.Sc., M.Sc.

*Geophysics: B.Sc.

*Environmental Sciences : M.Sc.

Islamic & Arabic Studies Department [*]:

offers Social, Islamic & Arabic courses

Department of Mathematical Sciences [*]:

*Mathematics: B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

*Statistics: B.Sc.

Department of Physics [*]:

*Physics: B.Sc., M.Sc.

*Medical Physics: M.Sc.

4) College of Industrial Management Website

Department of Accounting & Management Information Systems:

*Accounting: B.Sc., M.Acc.

*Management Information Systems: B.Sc.

Department of Finance & Economics:

*Finance: B.Sc.

Department of Management & Marketing:

*Marketing: B.Sc.

*Management: B.Sc.

Business Administration: M.B.A., Executive M.B.A. [*]

5) College of Environmental Design Website

Department of Architecture [*]: B.Sc.

Department of Architectural Engineering [*]: B.Sc.

Department of City & Regional Planning [*]: B.Sc., M.Sc.

Department of Construction, Engineering & Management [*]: M.Sc.

6) Community Colleges

Additionally, there are three more community colleges:

Dammam Community College(dcc) [*]

Hafar Al-Batin Community College [*]

Hail Community College [*]

Recently Damman community college(DCC)was inaugurated by King Abdullah. [*]

Other Academic Departments

Continuing Education Department [*]

The Department of Continuing Education Programs offers shortcourses. These courses are designed for engineers, managers, and practitioners who are interested in pursuing further studies in their fields of specialization. The courses are open to all applicants who have the desire and the background to participate.

English Language Center:

*Orientation English Program

*University English Program [*]

Physical Education Program [*]

University Diploma Programs: [*] offers Associate Degrees in: Accounting, Computer Applications & Marketing.

Dhahran Techno-Valley

Dhahran Techno-Valley is destined to gather national and international research centers in one location. It is expected that outstanding services plus recreational activities will add to the vibrancy and networking amongst tenants in the Valley Community. Academic support from KFUPM is a commitment that can be counted upon. Other leading technological and scientific institutions in the area will also be fully utilized.

King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Science Park

KASP was established in 2002. Located on a 35-hectare site in the north of the KFUPM campus, the park is closely integrated with the university. The location, with its proximity to the science and engineering colleges, provides for considerable interaction between tenant firms and their personnel and university scientists and engineers. At present, there are few companies that have joined the park. These are Schlumberger, Ciba, Yokogawa and JCCP presently share research interests with the university and are located in its Research Institute.


The Research Institute (RI)


Research at the university can be classified into personal, sponsored, and client-funded. The mission of the RI is to serve the nation by conducting client-driven research and development utilizing university resources. Among its objectives are: serve the nation as a professional problem solver; adapt imported technologies to the Saudi environment; serve the needs of government organizations, local industry, and businesses for research and development; develop local expertise; support graduate and undergraduate programs at KFUPM, and contribute to the high quality education and training of students.

The technical expertise for applied research available in the RI is focused in its seven centers with their sections/labs.

Center for Applied Physical Sciences: The Metrology & Standards Section and the Central Analytical Laboratory.
Center for Communications & Computer Research: Computer Technology, and Communications Technology Sections.
Center for Economics & Management Systems: Business Incubators, Economic Studies, and Management & Quality Control Sections.
Center for Engineering Research: Materials, Urban Areas Engineering, Engineering Analysis, Energy Systems Sections, and Material Characterization Laboratory.
Center for Environment & Water: Water, Environment, and Marine Studies Sections.
Center for Petroleum & Minerals: Petroleum & Gas Engineering, Petroleum Geology & Geophysics, Minerals Resources, and Remote Sensing Sections.

Center for Refining & Petrochemicals:Refining, Petrochemicals, and Petrochemical Products Development Sections.

The manpower of the RI as of 1 January 2005 was 258 full-time employees, of whom 53 held PhD degrees, 64 held MS degrees, 50 held BS degrees, and 91 held other credentials. Project teams are typically formed of 35% full time RI researchers, 25% faculty members, 10% students, and 30% support staff.



It is centrally located in Building 8, within a short walking distance from most classrooms and laboratories. It has an available floor space of nearly 7000 square meters. It is an "open stack" library, allowing users free access to its resources. Reading areas are provided on the first, third, and fourth floors. To encourage maximum utilization, the University Library operates with a minimum of regulations and restrictions.

The current collection of books and bound periodicals totals over 328,000 volumes, 32% in Science, 21% in Engineering, 24% in Humanities, and 23% in Social Sciences. The Library has over 23,000 volumes in Arabic and over 300,000 volumes in English, and also subscribes to approximately 1,500 periodical titles. In addition, there are some 490,000 research reports on microfiche and 63,000 documents in other media, including more than 25,000 educational films and 38,000 reels of journal back issues on microfilm. Audiovisual materials are provided through a well-equipped AV department with a collection consisting principally of motion pictures, filmstrips, videotapes, and audiocassettes. These AV materials can be used in the Library Auditorium which is also used for seminars, lectures, short courses, theses defense, and other presentations

Campus Life

The University Cafeteria

A large spacious building is situated adjacent to the Student Dormitories. It can accommodate more than 1500 students at a time. Students are provided with subsidized meals, comprising of breakfast, lunch and dinner. Apart from the Student Cafeteria, there are a number of Coffee Shops, located in different academic buildings and student dormitories, offering varied refreshments.

Sports and Recreation Facilities

Sports and Recreation Facilities are in three large areas ideally situated on the main campus.

1) The Stadium: The Universitys major sports facility is the Stadium, located near the main entrance to the University. It is designed to seat 10,000 spectators. The Stadium is open and has facilities for VIP seating, press box, and TV booths. The playing area is a super turf artificial grass field.

2) The mid-campus areas: this area include a 25 meter indoor swimming pool, student shower and changing facilities, 3 soccer pitches (one with an artificial grass super turf surface), 5 handball/six-a-side courts, 5 tennis courts, athletic track, 4 basketball/volleyball courts, 4 squash courts, a weight training room, 2 rooms equipped with television and video facilities to aid the teaching and coaching of all sports.

3) Sports Hall area located on the "Jebel" contains the latest in modern indoor physical education facilities. Included are areas for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics handball, squash, table tennis, judo, tae kwon do, karate, weight training, and many other sports activities. Shower and changing rooms plus seating areas for spectators are also provided. Adjacent to the gymnasium is Olympic-size swimming and diving pool with its own shower and changing rooms.

Student Housing

The University has provided a separate area for the Student Housing on campus consisting

of buildings which accommodate about 2000 students. This is in addition to the already existing 67 barracks which accommodate about 2,200 students thus bringing the total of students residing on campus to 4,200. Presently the construction of Phase-I housing buildings is finished and now accommodate 1500 students. In addition Phase-II of students housing is under construction which will also accommodate about 1500 students.

Students Clubs

Clubs Main Website

Public Relations Club

Aerospace Engineering Club

Civil Engineering Club

College of Industrial Management Club

Chemical Engineering Club

Cultural Club

Electrical Engineering Club

Environmental Design Club

IEEE KFUPM student branch

IET - KFUPM Student Branch

Jawala Club (Scouts)

Petroleum Engineering Club

Science Club

Social Club

Systems Engineering & Computer Club

Theater Club

Mechanical Engineering Club

ISA KFUPM Student Branch

Facts about KFUPM

The current Rector of KFUPM is Dr. Khaled S. Al-Sultan.

The main language of instruction in KFUPM is English. However, a few, including courses on Islam and the Arabic language are taught in Arabic.

The grading system is the standard 0 to 4.0.

KFUPM, like many other Saudi universities, sponsors its graduates who showed academic excellence to continue their postgraduate studies out of Saudi Arabia.

Previous Rectors of KFUPM

H.E. Sheikh Ahmed Zaki Yamani

H.E. Dr. Saleh Ambah

H.E. Dr. Baker Bin Baker

H.E. Dr. Abdulaziz Al Dukhayyil

Notable alumni

Ghazi Mashal Ajil al-Yawer: Previous president under the Iraqi Interim Government and current Vice President of Iraq.

Khaled S. Al-Sultan: Current rector of KFUPM.

Nadhmi Al-Nasr: interim president of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology and was vice president of Engineering Services at Saudi Aramco.

Prince Mohamed Al-Faisal: President of Al-Faisalia Group

Prince AbdulAziz Bin Majed: Madinah Munawwarah Prince

Dr. Faisal Manzoor Arain, Chair, Construction Project Management Department, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Calgary, Canada


KFUPM's official website

KFUPM International Advisory Board

Dhahran Techno-Valley

KFUPM Alumni Wiki

KFUPM's unofficial alumni students site (in Arabic)

KFUPM's unofficial students forum (in Arabic)

iKFUPM - Unofficial Portal for KFUPM Wordlwide (in English)

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals