Umm al-Qura University

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Umm Al-Qura University may also refer to a calendar (Umm Al-Qura Calendar) of Saudi Arabia or the city of Mecca (Makkah Al-Mukarramah.) See Islamic calendar and Mecca.
Umm Al-Qura University
جامعة أم القرى
Jāmiʿah ʾUmm Al-Qurā
Motto Honored Education, Honored Place
Type Public
Established 1949 (College) , 1981 (University)
Budget SR 3.5 billion (US$ ~900 million)
Academic staff
Undergraduates 100,000+
Postgraduates 10,000+
Location Mecca, Mecca Province, Saudi Arabia
Campus Abidiyyah (Mecca), Aziziyah (Mecca), Al-Zahir (Mecca), Al-Lith, Al-Qundufah, Jamoom

Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) (Arabic: جامعة أم القرىJāmiʿat ʾUmm Al-Qurā) is a large public Islamic university in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. The university was established as the College of Sharia (Islamic Law) in 1949 before being joined by new colleges and renamed as Umm Al-Qura by royal decree in 1981.[1]

UQU started primarily as an Islamic university offering degrees in Islamic Law and Arabic language studies. It now offers more courses in such diverse subjects as Technology Management, Business Management, Islamic Economics, Marketing, Engineering, Technology, Medicine, Education, Architecture, as well various Applied, Social and Engineering Sciences. In 2015, the UQU annual budget hovered around SR 3 billion (1 US$ = SR 3.75).


In 1949 King Abdulaziz Al Saud established the College of Sharia (Islamic Law) in Mecca, making it the first higher education institution in the country.[citation needed] It constituted the kernel of Umm Al-Qura University. It was followed by the establishment of the Teachers' College in 1952. This continued until 1959 when the College of Shari'a took the responsibility of teachers' preparation and became the College of Shari'a and Education. In 1962 the College of Education was established as an independent college.

In 1971 the Colleges of Shari'a and Education became part of King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah and constituted its branch in Mecca. However, The University of Umm Al-Qura was established in 1981 by the royal decree number 39 in 1981 and the colleges of Shari'a and Education were detached from King Abdul Aziz University and joined by new departments to form the new university.

Currently, it has student exchange programs with Purdue University, Tufts University, and King's College London.


The medium of instruction in most UQU academic programs is English, with exceptions like College of Sharia, College of Arabic Languages, College of Islamic Economics and Finance, as courses on Islamic studies and Arabic language are taught in Arabic. University offers degrees of Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy. The grading system is the standard 0 to 4.0 scale with classes of:

Grade Numeric Grade Letter Grade GPA
Exceptional 95% or above A+ 4.00
Excellent 90-94% A 3.75
Superior 85-89% B+ 3.50
Very Good 80-84% B 3.00
Above Average 75-79% C+ 2.50
Good 70-74% C 2.00
High-Pass 65-69% D+ 1.50
Pass 60-64% D 1.00
Fail below 60% F 0.0


  • College of Da’wa and Usul-ud-Din
The College of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din was established on 21/12/1401A.H. by the Royal Decree No. 27278/32/3.[2] This college is considered as an extension of the two ancient colleges; College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies and College of Education.[citation needed] It was renamed into "the College of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din". At the beginning, the college had only one department, which had been inaugurated at the college of Shari'ah and Islamic Studies in 1395-1396 A.H. in its 14th session held on 26/8/1402 A.H, it approved the inauguration of the following departments:[2]

- The Department of Aqeedah (Creed); - The Department of Media (later moved to the College of Social Sciences); - The Department of Qera'at (various readings of the Qur'an).

By the beginning of the academic year 1402/1403 A.H, the College started to offer courses and it included four departments for both male and female students; except the Department of Media. However, by the academic year 1404/1405 A.H, the Department of the Qur'an and Sunna was inaugurated by virtue of resolution No. 30/4/16/6827/1, issued on 22 Rajab, 1404 A.H, according to the resolution of university's high council during its second session dated 25 Jumada II, 1404, which required moving the Department of the Qur'an and Sunna from the College of Shari`ah (Islamic Law) to the College of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din (Call to Islam and Religion's Fundamentals).

The College has four departments:[2] Department of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din; Department of Kitab and Sunna; Department of Aqidah (Creed); Department of Qera'at (various readings of the Qur'an). The postgraduate studies in the specializations of the college started since it was supervised by the College of Shari`ah and Islamic Studies, before their separation is effected. In 1420 A.H, the deputy deanship of the College of Da'wa and Usul-ud-Din for postgraduate studies was established as it started to supervise the postgraduate studies in the college.[2]

  • College of Arabic Language
The Department of Arabic was established in 1962 as an independent department at the College of Education before it was joined to the College of Shari'a in 1965. Graduate Studies were introduced to the department in 1973 and the College of Arabic Language was created by a royal decree in 1981.
The College includes the following departments:
1. Department of Arabic Language and Grammar.
2. Department of Rhetoric and Criticism.
3. Department of Literature.
4. Department of the Languages of Islamic Societies.
5. Department of Graduate Studies.
The College offers the Bachelors, Masters, and Ph.D. Degrees in all the above-mentioned disciplines, except for the Department of the Languages of Islamic Societies which offers the Bachelors degree only.[3]
  • College of Business (CoB)
The Umm Al-Qura College of Business was established in 2009 under the leadership of the visionary founding dean Prof. Mohammad Fawwaz Rajallah Al-Omiri and associate deans Prof. Abid Alabdali and Prof. Abdul-Rahim Nasir Ahmad. The CoB has five departments offering teaching and learning in various business and management programs. Faculty members at the CoB are involved in research in such diverse areas as Strategic Management, Optimization, Operations Research, Supply Chain Management, Technology Management, Sustainability, Decision Modeling, Accounting and Finance, Marketing Management, Economics, Mathematical Modeling, Pedagogy, etc. The research is disseminated through publications in international journals and presentations at conferences, workshop, and symposia.
In 2014, the CoB was on track for accreditation by AACSB (The Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business) and EPAS/EFMD. Befittingly, under the leadership of Dr. Al-Omiri and Dr. Ahmad, the CoB received official recognition by AACSB in form of the Official Declaration of Accreditation by AACSB On June 4, 2014.[4] In June 2014, a change of the college leadership and consequent loss of strategic direction immediately after getting the AACSB Accreditation resulted in dramatic change in the CoB priorities. At this stage, the top priority of the CoB is to convert the language of instruction to Arabic (98% of the professors are now already teaching in Arabic but officially the language of instruction is declared as English). Nevertheless, the CoB is still an academic member of AACSB International, which is a membership association of educational institutions, business, not-for-profit, and government organizations devoted to the advancement of higher education in business.

  • College of Education (in Makkah)
The College of Education as part of King Abdulaziz University from Rajab 1390 to Rajab 1401 AH: As of Rajab 1390, the College of Education became a university college when it was merged into King Abdulaziz University. During that period, academic departments were established successively and the college eventually comprised the following departments:[5]
§ Department of Islamic Education, § Department of Curricula and Teaching Methods, § Department of Psychology, § Department of Art Education, § Department of Physical Education (Sports), § Department of Nursery Education, § The Training Courses Center, § Department of Educational Administration and Planning
The College of Education as part of Umm Al-Qura University from Rajab 1401 AH to date. It started with two old colleges; the College of Education and its elder sister, the College of Shari`ah. Henceforth, new colleges were established, some of which took over departments from the College of Education as follows:

1- The departments of chemistry, biology, physics, and mathematics were transferred from the College of Education to the College of Applied and Engineering Sciences, which was established in 1402/1403 AH. 2- The departments of geography and English language were transferred to the College of Social Sciences, which was established in 1404/1405 AH.[5]

  • College of Applied Sciences
The College of Applied Sciences, the first scientific college at Umm Al-Qura University, was established in 1990 and includes four departments (Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology). The college departments award bachelor's and master's degrees and also the departments of chemistry and biology award the Ph.D. degree. It now has over 60 laboratories as well as an interactive training center.[6]
  • College of Social Sciences
The College of Social Sciences, comprising departments of Humanities within Umm Al-Qura University, was established in 1404 A.H. as part of the development process of the University, some departments and centers of the College of Education were separated from the college and became the kernel of the College of Social Sciences; namely Departments of Geography and English Language and Center of English Language.[7] The new College soon began to grow as the University Council approved establishing new departments and centers. New departments included the Department of Information Science (previously known as Department of Libraries and Information Science), Department of Social Work and Department of Islamic Media.
So far, the number of departments has become six listed below as:[7]

Department of Geography; Department of English Language; Department of Social Work; Department of Information Science; Department of Islamic Media; and Center of English Language.

  • College of Engineering and Islamic Architecture
The Academic Departments of the College of Engineering and Islamic Architecture are as follows:[8]

1. Department of Islamic Architecture. 2. Department of Electrical Engineering. 3. Department of Mechanical Engineering. 4. Department of Civil Engineering. 5. Department of Computer Engineering.

Degree offered:

Graduates of these departments are offered the bachelor's degree. All academic programs offered by the College are ABET Accredited.[8][9] Bachelor's degree Requirements: The bachelor's degree normally takes five years of full-time study (ten semesters), and each department requires successful fulfilment of a certain number of credit hours as follows: 1- Department of Mechanical Engineering: (165) credit hours. 2- Department of Civil Engineering: (165) credit hours. 3- Department of Electronic Engineering: (160) credit hours. 4- Department of Islamic Architecture: (169) credit hours.

  • Faculty of Dentistry
Led by Dr. Mohammad Beyari, College of Dentistry is one of the latest faculties in UQU. It was founded in 2007 by the decree no. 13/47/1428 dated 27/8/1428 hijri.[10]
  • College of Medicine
The College of Medicine at Umm Al-Qura University, established in 1995 as the first medical college in Mecca.[11]
  • College of Computer and Information Systems
The College of Computer and Information Systems at Umm Al-Qura University was established in 1426H[12]. It includes three academic departments; computer engineering, computer science, and information systems, all of which awards bachelor degree. The college also awards the Master degree in computer science and engineering. The college became internationally accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). It includes 80 members of teaching staff, and 1045 students to achieve the college's vision and its noble mission. 
Mission: The College is dedicated to provide high quality education, localize pioneering researches and to offer professional services to the university and community.
Values: Our core values include; quality, excellence, leadership, holding high spirit of teamwork, Academic freedom, fairness, integrity, transparency, accountability and continued education.
  • College of Pharmacy
The College of Pharmacy was established in the year 2006. During session 39 of the Supreme Council of Higher Education (SCHE), held on 5\10\1426 AH, a royal decree was issued to establish the College of Pharmacy to join the medical colleges (College of Medicine and Faculty of Applied Medical Sciences) at Umm Al-Qura University.[13]
  • College of Applied medical Science
In 1983 A.D., the Universities Supreme Council approved in its first session dated 20.05.1403 A.H., the establishment of the Medical Sciences Department, to be affiliate to the College of Applied Sciences, Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah Al-Mukarramah. The first class was admitted in 1985, consisting of 20 students and the Department became the seed of the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences. In 1986, the late King Fahd Ibn Abdul Aziz, laid down the cornerstone of the new campus of Umm Al-Qura University in Abidiyyah and issued directives to adopt necessary preparations and steps for the establishment of a college for medicine and medical sciences as well as a university hospital for the college students' education and training. In 1995, the resolution of the Universities Higher Council on the conversion of "Medical Sciences Department" to the "College of Medicine and Medical Sciences." The first class of female students was admitted to the College of Medicine and Medical Sciences in 1998. In 2005, the separation between the Medical Sciences Department and the College of Medicine was approved that the Department became an independent college nominated, "College of Medical Applied Sciences" to encompass eight academic specialities:[14]
Laboratory Medicine Program;
Community Health Sciences Program (Clinical nutrition - Environment health);
Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation Program;
Nursing Program;
Health Management Program;
Dentistry and Mouth Health Program;
Radiography Program; and
Clinical Techniques Program.

Famous alumni[edit]


All programs in all the engineering-related colleges were evaluated for "Substantial-Equivalency" recognition by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).[16] They were found substantially equivalent to similar accredited programs in the USA and elsewhere.

In May 2014, all Business and Management degree programs offered by the College of Business (CoB) are formally declared Eligible for Accreditation by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).[17] The CoB is an academic member of AACSB International and EFMD Global.

As of Sept. 2015, all Medical, Dentistry, Nursing, and Pharmacy related academic programs are globally accredited by accrediting bodies in North America and/or European Union.

In addition to these global accreditations, all UQU academic programs are formally declared Eligible for Accreditation by the National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment (NCAAA) of Saudi Arabia. These programs are in advanced stages of getting full accreditation by NCAAA. [18]


  1. ^ "About » Umm Al-Qura University". 
  2. ^ a b c d "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on January 2, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 22, 2011. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on February 29, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 24, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "ABET - ABET accreditation". 
  10. ^ "Home". 
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on September 8, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  12. ^ "About the College of Computers and Information Systems - College of Computers and Information Systems | Umm Al-Qura University". Retrieved 2017-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on May 23, 2015. Retrieved August 13, 2014. 
  15. ^ Biography of Dr. Abdul Aziz al-Harbi on the official website of the Arabic Language Academy. 7 February 2012. Accessed 29 January 2013.
  16. ^ [1] Archived October 22, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  17. ^ "Schools with Business Memberships – ordered by country/region, state, name". AACSB. Retrieved 1 April 2014. 
  18. ^ "National Commission for Academic Accreditation and Assessment". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 21°19′31″N 39°56′42″E / 21.3254°N 39.9451°E / 21.3254; 39.9451