12 Free and Cheap Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students

In Saudi Arabia, there are a lot of affordable universities that you can find. Enrolling in these schools will help you fulfill your dream of studying in Saudi Arabia without paying a lot. These institutions also provide well-rounded academic programs and curriculums, allowing students to earn a degree with less burden on their pockets.

Now, if you’re planning to study in Saudi Arabia, you’ll have a lot of school options, as they are home to 39 universities. But if you’re looking for cheap universities in Saudi Arabia, make sure to read more!

How do I get admission to affordable universities in Saudi Arabia?

Saudi Arabia is home to 9,634 international students, and a lot of them enjoy quality education without paying high costs!

Applying to cheap universities in Saudi Arabia requires you to complete different requirements depending on your degree and chosen university. These usually include admission forms, language proficiency scores, and a visa. Check out our full guide to studying in Saudi Arabia for a more comprehensive guide!

What can I study at Best affordable universities in Saudi Arabia?

International students can study a variety of programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels in Saudi Arabia. For example, one of the best affordable schools in Saudi Arabia is the Al Yamamah University, which offers Industrial Engineering, Software Engineering, and Architecture to students seeking a bachelor’s degree. At the master’s level, the Al Yamamah University offers Business Administration, Business Law, and Human Resource Management.

Cheap Bachelor's Colleges and Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in Saudi Arabia ordered by their tuition fee for international bachelor's students.

University Annual Bachelor’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Jouf University 0 SAR 100%
Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University 18,400 SAR 66%
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 45,000 SAR 16%
University of Business and Technology 51,500 SAR - 80,400 SAR 4%
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University 58,000 SAR -8%
Al Yamamah University 65,000 SAR -21%
Effat University 70,000 SAR - 90,000 SAR -30%
Dar Al-Hekma University 80,000 SAR - 90,000 SAR -49%
Alfaisal University 94,000 SAR -75%

* Average Bachelor’s International Tuition is 53,600 SAR for universities in Saudi Arabia.

1. Jouf University

Jouf University, sometimes referred to as Al-Jouf University, is a public university located in the city of Sakaka in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia and is currently the only university that serves the whole region. It offers free tuition for all its students and also provides financial support for its students who need it, both Saudi and international students.

2. Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Formerly a part of King Faisal University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University separated to become a thriving independent university. It is among the best universities in Saudi Arabia and has distinguished itself in research by churning out impactful articles in high-quality international journals yearly. As a growing university, it seeks to add new colleges and offer new programs, including unique multidisciplinary courses.

3. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) is a leading institution in Saudi Arabia that offers courses in engineering, science, and business fields but specializes in Petroleum and Minerals. Since its inception in 1963, the university has helped develop the petroleum and petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia by providing innovative solutions and training highly competent professionals.

Students of KFUPM view the institution as a center of cutting-edge research and transformative education that tries its best to keep up with global best practices. In addition, the university aims to become an international powerhouse not only in petroleum engineering but also in renewable energy research.

4. University of Business and Technology

The University of Business and Technology is a private institution located in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia that originally started as the Institute of Business Administration in 2000. It is a young university that prides itself in training professionals with strong skills who go on to have strong reputations in the world of employment. The school has two campuses, a male campus, and a female campus, both in Jeddah.

5. Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University was established by the former governor of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia and is one of the most prestigious universities in the region and globally. It is made up of seven colleges and offers 25 majors in various fields including engineering and business. The university has a globally integrated student body as well as staff, having students from up to 29 countries.

6. Al Yamamah University

Al Yamamah University provides a warm environment for students to study and cultivate their talents. The university applies practical learning in its educational programs in order to produce well-rounded professionals according to the highest standards. Its mission is to instill leadership skills and critical thinking among its students through research and experience-based learning.

7. Effat University

Effat University was established as a private university for women in 1999 and is considered the first private women’s college in Saudi Arabia. It opened its doors to male students in 2022 but still considers itself primarily a women’s college. The university’s core values are based on the teachings of Islam, specifically from the Quran, and include lifelong research, ethical social and educational values, responsible and creative leadership, and effective communication and outreach.

8. Dar Al-Hekma University

Dar Al-Hekma University is a private university that offers higher education specifically for women in Saudi Arabia. It is a high-ranking institution, ranking first among private institutions in Saudi Arabia. The university prides itself in providing a well-equipped environment for nurturing its students’ personal development and creativity, as well as building scientific research and taking social responsibility. It recently opened its Master’s programs to men as well.

9. Alfaisal University

Founded in 2002 by the King Faisal Foundation, Alfaisal University is a private non-profit institution in Riyadh with five colleges. While it is a small university compared to the large public universities present in Saudi Arabia, it is still immensely prestigious and among the top universities in the Kingdom. According to Times Higher Education, it is ranked 9th among the world’s best small universities and is known for adopting global best practices in its teaching methods and curricula.

Cheap Master's Colleges and Universities in Saudi Arabia for International Students

Here is the list of affordable institutions in Saudi Arabia ordered by their tuition fee for international master's students.

University Annual Master’s International Tuition % Cheaper than Average*
Jouf University 0 SAR 100%
King Abdullah University of Science and Technology 0 SAR 100%
Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University 18,400 SAR 59%
Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University 25,000 SAR - 40,000 SAR 44%
King Khalid University 30,000 SAR - 40,000 SAR 32%
King Saud University 35,000 SAR - 50,000 SAR 21%
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 45,000 SAR - 130,000 SAR -2%
Effat University 65,000 SAR - 70,000 SAR -47%
University of Business and Technology 67,200 SAR - 70,100 SAR -52%
Dar Al-Hekma University 71,400 SAR - 91,200 SAR -61%
Al Yamamah University 72,000 SAR - 94,500 SAR -63%
Alfaisal University 100,000 SAR -126%

* Average Master’s International Tuition is 44,100 SAR for universities in saudi arabia.

1. Jouf University

Jouf University, sometimes referred to as Al-Jouf University, is a public university located in the city of Sakaka in the Al Jouf region of Saudi Arabia and is currently the only university that serves the whole region. It offers free tuition for all its students and also provides financial support for its students who need it, both Saudi and international students.

If you're looking to save the most on your graduate studies abroad, Jouf University should be at the top of your list. International students here pay only 0 SAR annually for their master's degree.

2. King Abdullah University of Science and Technology

One of the universities you should definitely check out for practical reasons is King Abdullah University of Science and Technology. Here, you can finish your master's degree with minimal stress on your finances. After all, the tuition rate for graduate studies at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology is 0 SAR.

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology has a multicultural academic environment that seeks to develop high-caliber students and help them create their mark in research and the academe. The university seeks to transform society through breakthrough discoveries and new technologies. More than its excellent reputation, the university focuses on offering a student-friendly education that allows individuals to chase their passion in the most productive way without limiting them from their potential to be future professionals in the industry.

3. Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University

Formerly a part of King Faisal University, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University separated to become a thriving independent university. It is among the best universities in Saudi Arabia and has distinguished itself in research by churning out impactful articles in high-quality international journals yearly. As a growing university, it seeks to add new colleges and offer new programs, including unique multidisciplinary courses.

The tuition fee at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University for incoming international master’s students is 18,400 SAR. With its cheap rates, you can guarantee you’ll get a quality education without breaking the bank!

4. Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University

Another affordable university to consider in Saudi Arabia is Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University.

Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University was established by the former governor of the Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia and is one of the most prestigious universities in the region and globally. It is made up of seven colleges and offers 25 majors in various fields including engineering and business. The university has a globally integrated student body as well as staff, having students from up to 29 countries.

The tuition fee in Prince Mohammad Bin Fahd University for master’s program for foreign students starts from 25,000 SAR.

5. King Khalid University

Aside from its outstanding quality of education, King Khalid University has some of the lowest tuition fee prices for foreign students who are planning to take a master's degree here. International master's students only pay as low as 30,000 SAR yearly.

King Khalid University was established with the mission of providing a conducive academic environment that allows holistic teaching, learning, and research, and also promotes the development of society. The university is well known for its many outstanding achievements which include awards for local advancement, research, scientific studies, and government integration, among others. It upholds the values of honesty, commitment, respect, excellence, innovation, and transparency in its approach toward being a highly regarded university.

6. King Saud University

King Saud University is one of the most reputable educational institutions in the country. It is known for its excellence in areas of instruction, research, and professional training, which leads to the creation of new knowledge for outstanding future experts in society. As a large public university, it offers a lot of academic opportunities that allow students to gain experience in and out of Saudi Arabia.

7. King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals

King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) is a leading institution in Saudi Arabia that offers courses in engineering, science, and business fields but specializes in Petroleum and Minerals. Since its inception in 1963, the university has helped develop the petroleum and petrochemical industry in Saudi Arabia by providing innovative solutions and training highly competent professionals.

Students of KFUPM view the institution as a center of cutting-edge research and transformative education that tries its best to keep up with global best practices. In addition, the university aims to become an international powerhouse not only in petroleum engineering but also in renewable energy research.

8. Effat University

Effat University was established as a private university for women in 1999 and is considered the first private women’s college in Saudi Arabia. It opened its doors to male students in 2022 but still considers itself primarily a women’s college. The university’s core values are based on the teachings of Islam, specifically from the Quran, and include lifelong research, ethical social and educational values, responsible and creative leadership, and effective communication and outreach.

9. University of Business and Technology

The University of Business and Technology is a private institution located in the city of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia that originally started as the Institute of Business Administration in 2000. It is a young university that prides itself in training professionals with strong skills who go on to have strong reputations in the world of employment. The school has two campuses, a male campus, and a female campus, both in Jeddah.

10. Dar Al-Hekma University

Dar Al-Hekma University is a private university that offers higher education specifically for women in Saudi Arabia. It is a high-ranking institution, ranking first among private institutions in Saudi Arabia. The university prides itself in providing a well-equipped environment for nurturing its students’ personal development and creativity, as well as building scientific research and taking social responsibility. It recently opened its Master’s programs to men as well.

11. Al Yamamah University

Al Yamamah University provides a warm environment for students to study and cultivate their talents. The university applies practical learning in its educational programs in order to produce well-rounded professionals according to the highest standards. Its mission is to instill leadership skills and critical thinking among its students through research and experience-based learning.

12. Alfaisal University

Founded in 2002 by the King Faisal Foundation, Alfaisal University is a private non-profit institution in Riyadh with five colleges. While it is a small university compared to the large public universities present in Saudi Arabia, it is still immensely prestigious and among the top universities in the Kingdom. According to Times Higher Education, it is ranked 9th among the world’s best small universities and is known for adopting global best practices in its teaching methods and curricula.


It's important to take a look at all your options when selecting where to attend post-secondary school. With so many different types of schools, degrees, and universities in Saudi Arabia, it can be tough to know where to start looking.

So, make sure to explore the best public universities in Saudi Arabia as well if you're looking for affordable education!

We hope that this article on free and affordable institutions in Saudi Arabia for international students was helpful!