King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) was officially established by Royal Decree on 5 Jumada I, 1383 H. (23 September 1963). The first students were admitted a year later. On 23 September 1964, when 67 young men enrolled in what was then the College of Petroleum & Minerals (CPM). Since that time, the University enrollment has grown to more than 8,000 students. Several significant events have marked the University's growth. In 1971, at the first graduation ceremony, four men received their baccalaureate degrees in engineering. In 1975, the College of Petroleum & Minerals became the University of Petroleum & Minerals, a change both in name and academic status. In 1986, the University was renamed: King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals.
The successful management of Saudi Arabia's vast petroleum and mineral resources poses a complex and exciting challenge for scientific, technical, and management education in the Kingdom. To meet this challenge, the University has adopted advanced training in the fields of science, engineering, and management as one of its goals in order to promote leadership and service in the Kingdom's petroleum and mineral industries. The University also furthers knowledge through research in these fields.
KFUPM is the highest ranked university in Saudi Arabia, with about 8,232 undergraduate and graduate students.
Ranking: Recently, as of October 2008, Times Higher Education-QS (THE-QS) World University Rankings (WUR) ranked KFUPM amongst the top 400 universities around the world. Exactly, KFUPM is ranked in 338th position. KFUPM is the first and the only University in the Middle East to ever enter this ranking. The Rankings identified 4 pillars upon which a world-class university can be built, and, as a evaluation, used them as criteria under which indicators have been chosen to rank universities globally. These criteria are: Research Quality, Teaching Quality, Employability of Alumni, and International Outlook.
Accreditation: 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.