The Faculty of Arts and Humanities was
established in the academic year 1969/1970 in accordance with a
directive issued by the Consultative Committee of Experts which
forwarded its report to KAU Foundation Board after a minute study
that showed the relationship between the faculty and the Kingdom's
need for competent scholars— for the purpose of providing the
country's different bodies with competent national cadres for
contributing to development plans in different fields.
The Department of English was the first to be launched at the
inception of the Faculty of Arts, and its name was later changed to
Department of European Languages where its first division graduated
Since then, organizational development in the faculty has proceeded
at various stages, the most important ones of which are as follows:
• The separation of the Faculty's Preparatory
Year Program for male and female students from that of the Faculty
of Economics & Administration in the Academic Year 1973-74, where
the program was composed of general, non-specialized courses.
• The ultimate cancellation of the Preparatory
Year Program in both faculties.
• In the Academic Year 1971-72 AH, KAU was
transformed from a private university into
a governmental institution. Consequently, the number of
students admitted began to climb rapidly as follows
- In its first
academic year, 1969-70, after the faculty had been established, 28
male and female students were enrolled.
- In the second academic year,
1970-71, 38 male and female students were enrolled.
- In the third academic year,
1971-72, 66, male and female students were enrolled.
- In the fourth academic year,
1972-73, 162 male and female students were enrolled.
- In the fifth academic year,
1973-74, the number of male and female students enrolled increased
- In the sixth academic year,
1974-75, the number increased to 505 male and female students.
- In the seventh academic year
2000-2001, the number of (regular and external) male and female
students increased to 14,000.
- In the 11th academic year,
2004-05, the number of (regular and external) male and female
students rose sharply to 21,000.
- In the 14th academic year,
2007-08, the number of (regular and external) male and female
students reached 22,067.
Today, the faculty’s programs are no longer confined to theoretical
studies. Well-developed departmental curricula have been evolved in
numerous wide-ranging modern scientific and experimental fields.
This has necessitated the installation of numerous labs and studios
utilizing state-of-the-art equipment. Consequently, the faculty has
become a bastion for the enrichment of intellectual life and new
In conformity to the demands of modern progress, the faculty has
forsaken the technique of rote memorization in social and
humanitarian studies, baggage that has long been abandoned in favor
of experimental application and scientific research so that the
faculty can cope with the universal demands and of the modern age.
In view of the faculty's academic developmental program, various new
curricula have emerged and others have been innovated in some
departments to facilitate the Kingdom's development towards securing
scientifically and practically qualified cadres in accordance with
labor market needs. They are as follows:
1- Translation (Dept. of European Languages and Literature)
2- Tourist Guidance (Dept. of History)
3- Social Work (Dept. of Sociology)
4- Advertising (Dept. of Mass Communication)
5- Four new curricula in the Dept. of Geography were formed as
a) Urban Planning
b) Environmental Studies
c) Resources and Regional Development
d) Geographical Information Systems and Cartography
Within the framework of the faculty's interest in serving scientific
research, a royal decree was issued on 16/3/2009 to establish the
Research Center for Humanities and Social Sciences in the faculty,
which includes twelve research clusters concerned with social issues
and problems in Saudi society through presenting studies, research,
training and consultations for all sectors and institutions of
To insure that the faculty appreciates the importance of adhering
to international quality criteria of education, it attained the ISO
(9001-2000) on 30/11/2008, granted by the Bureau Veritas. In
September 2011, The Board of Trustees of the American Academy for
Liberal Education (AALE) awarded the College the Certificate of
International Accreditation for its study programs. This is in
recognition of the College’s achievement of AALE international
benchmarks for accreditation and the commitment to continually
improving the quality of services provided to students and the
Prof. Al-Ghamdi, the dean of the college, reiterated the fact that
securing the international recognition for the College’s programs
adds impetus to the retention of high academic standards. This can
only be achieved by continuous and comprehensive development of
educational structures and by adopting learning methodologies that
pursue the achievement of quality education