College of Science & General Studies: The Setting

Historical Context

The King Faisal Foundation (KFF) which was established in 1976 by the heirs of the late King Faisal launched Alfaisal University as the premier coeducational institution for business, engineering, science, and medical education and research in the Kingdom and the region. The deeply held principle of KFF was that a well-educated population was the foundation for a strong nation. The Foundation has always promoted a pragmatic approach to furthering the opportunities for Saudi youth. The creation of a university that strives to achieve excellence in several fields is yet another important advance towards fulfilling its desire to enrich the country’s enterprising individuals with the ability to compete on a global level. Financial support provided by the King Faisal Foundation has also produced the King Faisal School, Prince Sultan College for Tourism and Business, and Effat College (for women).

Alfaisal University & the College of Science & General Studies

Alfaisal was established with the aim of being a private not-for-profit world-class university that offers its students the latest knowledge in a state-of-the-art environment. Alfaisal espouses all the noble virtues that form the bedrock of the Foundation’s educational activities: to promote learning, research, and the implementation of technology in a manner that promotes the Kingdom’s employment and career objectives for its citizens. Education at Alfaisal is international in approach with instruction in the English language. The programs are student-centered, utilize problem-based learning and foster team-based skills. Alfaisal will enable its graduates to gain internationally recognized qualifications through an exclusive education imparted to them from within the Kingdom itself.

Plans for establishing Alfaisal University began in 1999. The first “Concept Paper” regarding the University was prepared in late 2000 with the support of the Carlyle Group. It was submitted to the Economic Offset Committee in February 2001 to qualify the University under the Economic Offset Program. Approval was received in July 2001. Four non-Saudi multinational companies agreed to become co-founders along with six Saudi organizations. In April 2003 the Offset Committee granted a multiple of eight offset credits to the non-Saudi co-founders for cash contributions. The Board of Trustees negotiated with the Ministry of Higher Education to secure an acceptable Charter that assured the independence of the University. The Charter (#10905) was approved by the Ministry on 10 July 2004 and unanimously ratified by the Board of Trustees on 25 October 2004.

The campus is situated on the beautiful grounds of the late King Faisal’s Palace at Al Maathur in the center of Riyadh, a historical location ideal for academic pursuits. The first two campus buildings (Science and Business) were completed in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Students began University studies in Engineering, Business, and Medicine in October, 2008 with majors in the College of Science and General Studies beginning in September 2011. An MBA was initiated in 2010 and other graduate degrees in Engineering and Medicine were launched in 2012. The first females were admitted in September 2011. Today, the colleges of business, engineering, science, and medicine offer graduate programs within their respective colleges.

The College of Science and General Studies is predominantly a service college providing instruction in the areas of science, humanities, and social sciences for all colleges within Alfaisal University. The College offers this service at three distinct, yet complementary levels: preparatory year and undergraduate & graduate levels. The College offers an undergraduate program in Life Science & a graduate program in Nanoscience & Nanotechnology. Furthermore, a University Preparatory Program (UPP) which started as a separate entity ten years ago is now part of the University and is situated in the College of Science and General Studies.


To become the leading college of arts and sciences in the region and beyond, celebrated for its inspiring education, front-line research, effective outreach services, and excellent preparatory program.


To provide contemporary education in the arts and sciences and to engage in research programs in fields essential to national development. The College is also dedicated to offering superior instruction in our preparatory program and pursuing outreach activities that contribute to the growth of Saudi society and the greater community


Four strategic themes have been derived and are shown in the Figure 1.

Four Themes of the Strategic Plan of COSGS
Figure 1: Four Themes of the Strategic Plan of COSGS


The Life Science Undergraduate Program is in the process of being accredited by The Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) of ABET. This is with the formal approval of NCAAA in KSA. There are four Accreditation Commissions associated with ABET; Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission, Computing Accreditation Commission, Engineering Accreditation Commission, and Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission.  There was a very succefull ANSAC virtual site visit for the Life Sciences program in November 2021. Final decision will be announced in August 2022.