The university offers diplomas, bachelor and postgraduate degrees. It has over 60,000 students in 34 colleges in the city of Riyadh and in the neighbouring cities, a preparatory year program for all first year undergraduate students, an Arabic Language Institute (for non-speakers of Arabic), a Deanship of Community Service and Continuous Education, and a Community College. It has more than 5000 academic and administrative staff.
The university first existed in 1970 as the first College of Education for women in the Kingdom. Within the following 25 years, there were 102 similar colleges in 72 cities around the country, accommodating 60,000 students. There were 6 colleges in the city of Riyadh alone in the fields of education, social service, science, arts, and home economics.
In 2004, the birth of the first all-women university in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia was announced: Riyadh University for Women and unified all 6 of the original colleges in the city of Riyadh. Other colleges around the Kingdom were unified and expanded in their respected regions into independent universities.
In 2008, the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud inaugurated the campus and changed the university’s name to “Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman University” after Princess Nourah Bint Abdulrahman, the sister of the country’s first king and leader, King Abdulaziz.Nourah in Arabic means “light.” With this launch was the building of the world’s largest and most modern women’s institution of higher education in a self-contained higher education city.
“Women carry a responsibility that is more than a duty, to maintain the stability of society and contribute to building the economy of the nation, and to represent the community and the nation to the highest standards, outside and inside the country. To be the caring mother, exemplary citizen and productive employee. Outside the nation, to be the ambassador of her country and community, and to represent well her religion, faith and our values.”