King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals (KFUPM) was officially established by Royal Decree on 5 Jumada 1, 1383 (23 September, 1963). The first students were admitted a year later, on 23 September, 1964, when 67 young men enrolled in what was then named the College of Petroleum and Minerals (CPM). Since that time, the University enrollment has grown to over 10,000 by the 2020 academic year.
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 and Minerals became the University of Petroleum and Minerals, a change both in name and academic status. In 1986, the University was renamed: The King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. As a result of the tremendous growth of KFUPM, 38,189 degrees were awarded including 4,906 Master's and 425 Ph.D. degrees by the end of 2018-2019 academic year.
The growth of KFUPM is proportioned to the rapid economic and technical development of the Kingdom. It also reflects the rising expectations of the people of Saudi Arabia, the expanding opportunities for the country's young men, and the increasing importance of the Kingdom as a major source of the world's energy.
The recent transformation of KFUPM's status from a government University to a Non-profit Institute is an initiative for stepping towards achieving Saudi Vision 2030. This transformation, started in October 2019, is an outcome of planning to expand non-profit sector by increasing its contribution to national growth which is one of the core elements of Saudi Vision 2030. The President is the chief academic and executive officer of the University, and member of Board of Trustees. The current chairman of the Board is H.R.H. Prince Abdulaziz Salman who is also serving as Minister of Energy.
The vast petroleum and mineral resources of the Kingdom pose a complex and exciting challenge for scientific, technical, and management education. 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 contributing to national economy. The University focuses on advanced research in the fields of petroleum and minerals, using cutting-edge technology and well-equipped modern laboratories.
In addition, because it derives a distinctive character from its being a technological university in the land of Islam, the University is unreservedly committed to deepening and broadening the faith of its Muslim students and to instilling in them an appreciation of the major contributions of their people to the world of mathematics and science. All areas of KFUPM - facilities, faculty, students, and programs are directed to the attainment of these goals.