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Khalifa University

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  • Cost of LivingAED 46,584
  • Tuition Fee FromAED 89,181
  • Country Rank#2
  • Batch Strength2,946
  • Global Diversity21%
  • Gender Ratio57 : 43



Khalifa University is a public research university located in the capital of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. The university traces its roots back to 1989 when it was established as the Etisalat College of Engineering to supply the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation with a technologically trained workforce with the university campus located in Sharjah. Fast forward 18 years, Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUTSAR) was birthed by a Presidential decree issued by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan. The Etisalat University College was acquired by the university and in 2017, the UAE President decided to merge The Petroleum Institute, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and KUTSAR to form the Khalifa University of Science and Technology. 


The university comprises three colleges which provide BSc programmes, MSc programmes, PhD programmes and a Doctor of Medicine programme. The courses offered at Khalifa fall under the umbrella of engineering, arts, sciences, medicine and health sciences. The university's endeavours are centred on excellence in research and teaching across its three colleges. 


  • College of Engineering
  • College of Arts and Sciences
  • College of Medicine and Health Sciences


The Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA) by the UAE Ministry of Education has licensed and accredited all of the university’s programmes. The College of Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET). Programmes in the areas of aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, industrial and systems engineering, mechanical engineering, and petroleum engineering are accredited by the commission. The Applied and Natural Science Accreditation Commission (ANSAC) of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology has accredited the programme of Petroleum Geosciences under the College of Arts and Sciences. 


The university also boasts over 50 alliances and strategic partnerships with key players in a wide variety of fields which include a large number of public, private and academic organisations. Some of the university’s initiatives include Ankabut, UAE Graduate Students Research Conference 2022, Khalifa Innovation Centre, Young Future Energy Leaders Sandoow Al Watan, and Emirates ITC Innovation Centre. 


Khalifa opens its doors to a large number of students each year who are looking to realise their dreams in technology and innovation. One can find students from different parts of the Arab World as well as varied countries across the globe. The Khalifa University acceptance rate is just between 5% and 10% as the university has a stringent admissions policy.


QS World University Ranking 2024:

Khalifa University has shown excellence by securing 251–300 spot on the global scale.

Over the years, Khalifa has risen in its rankings to become one of the most prominent universities in the region and among the most technologically driven universities in the world. Part of its success is due to its contribution in the areas of science, engineering and technology in different parts of the United Arab Emirates and part of it is due to its extensive research endeavours in those areas. Some of its research achievements include 200+ patents issued, 1,01,000+ citations and 475+ invention disclosures among others. Rankings awarded to the university have been by independent ranking bodies, education journals and research publications. 


Some of the Khalifa University rankings by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings are mentioned as follows:


  • 351 - 400 - World University Rankings (2022)
  • 42nd - Asia University Rankings (2022)
  • 21st - Emerging Economies Ranking (2022)
  • 54th - Young University Rankings (2022)


In terms of course-wise rankings, the university ranks as follows for the year 2021.

  • 151 - 175 - Engineering and Technology (THE World University Rankings)
  • Ranked #1 in terms of best global education subjects in the United Arab Emirates
  • #123 in Electrical & Electronic Engineering (TIE)
  • #217 in Computer Science (TIE)


QS Ranks

US News Ranks








While pursuing excellence in academics, Khalifa is known for striving for excellence in varied areas of research as well. It is known for its contributions in the areas of science, engineering and technology that have helped organisations progress thereby helping the country progress by leaps and bounds. Some of its collaborations with fellow educational institutions include Georgia Tech, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), the University of Tokyo and Tsinghua University among others. Its partnerships with public and private organisations across the country include the International Atomic Energy Agency,  ADNOC, BP, Boeing, Total, Emirates Global Aluminium, Etihad Airways and Yahsat. 

Some of the Khalifa University facilities include a Student Council that helps open up channels of communication among students, faculty and university authorities. Clubs and associations at the university include the Nippon Club, the Astronomy Club, the Literature Club and the Jjyang (Korean) Club. Some of the Student Events at Khalifa include UAE National Day Celebrations, KU Global Day, Abu Dhabi Inter-University Sports League and Health Awareness Campaigns among others.

Notable Alumni

Linda Zou
Linda Zou
Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi
Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi
Minister of Education of United Arab Emirates
Ahmed Subrati
Ahmed Subrati



Regardless of the programme you are studying, there are several scholarship opportunities provided by Khalifa University as well as other organisations. With so many scholarships available now, overseas students can greatly lower the financial burden of studying in a new country. You can apply for scholarships to study at the university through UniScholars. You can find the following types of scholarships based on your academic performance and financial situation:


  • Merit-based scholarships
  • Need-based scholarships
  • Country-specific scholarships
  • College-specific scholarships
  • Student-specific scholarships


Most international students are obligated to show proof of sufficient funds in order to obtain a visa. While some students may have the opportunity to make use of scholarships, not all students cut the eligibility to get a scholarship or a grant. Moreover, not all scholarships cover 100% of your study abroad expenses. At such times, most students resort to acquiring education loans to avoid the financial hassles associated with studying at Khalifa University. For Indian students, UniCreds is the ideal education loan marketplace if you’re looking for low-interest rates and free consultation services!


There are several student housing options available for students planning to attend Khalifa University. You may select from a wide choice of affordable yet elegant student flats, halls of residence, studios, ensuites, and more! You have the option of staying on campus in the university halls of residence or in a private residence. Because of their proximity to the university, on-campus housing options may be ideal; nevertheless, they tend to fill up fast and are more expensive.


UniAcco simplifies the process of finding student housing and offers a variety of options. As a result, students can select from a wide range of available student accommodations near the university, such as luxury studios, en-suites, and shared apartments that are more inexpensive and student-friendly.

Cost of Living

In terms of cost of living, the United Arab Emirates is on average quite high. The cost of living in Abu Dhabi strikes a balance with costs not being too high or too low.  For students though, living costs tend to be a bit steep considering they are just taking charge of their finances. It is always tricky to learn to keep track of finances while at university. Students are always advised to build a budget to help keep track of their daily, weekly and/or monthly expenses during university. Below mentioned are the average costs a student might incur while studying at Khalifa University. 



Expenses (per month)

Off-campus accommodation

AED 1210

On-campus accommodation

AED 2080


AED 85


AED 1860


AED 374


AED 238


AED 374


AED 262

Total Cost of Living with Off-Campus Accommodation

AED 4318

Total Cost of Living with On-Campus Accommodation

AED 5188

Khalifa University Entry Requirements

Eligibility criteria to get into any university can be found true in educational institutions throughout the world. With a low acceptance rate, Khalifa sticks to a strict admissions policy which takes into account past academic records of a student and their current test scores. The Khalifa University entry requirements vary from undergraduate to postgraduate programmes to professional courses provided by the university. Along with taking into account previous academic records, there are certain other specifications to keep in mind while applying for admission to the university. 

  • Before applying to the university, the candidate must know which programme they want to pursue and be aware of the application deadline for the same. 
  • Minimum emSAT qualifications include Math, Physics, Computer Science, Chemistry or Biology, and English. 
  • For international students who have completed their schooling outside the UAE, minimum qualifications must include scores in the subjects of Math, Physics and Chemistry. 
  • The accepted English language proficiency tests include IELTS and TOEFL. 
  • For students seeking admission to the university’s postgraduate programmes, a recognised Bachelor’s degree in the relevant subject(s) is required.


Khalifa University Fees

Unlike universities further west, most higher education institutions in the Arab Region have different fee determinants. While nationality of the student, the course they wish to pursue and at what level are the primary fee determinants for the former, tuition fees comprise of credit hours opted for in the case of the latter. The Khalifa University fees are segregated into three categories; preparatory or undergraduate fees for which tuition fees per credit hour are AED 3,333; master’s for which fees are AED 5,000 per credit hour, and doctoral fees which are AED 6,666 per credit hour. 

Khalifa University Placements

Khalifa University placements comprise the Career and Alumni Services department at the university which is driven towards helping its students find the right employment opportunities after graduation. Aiding in career development and presenting its students with the right networking opportunities helps the university’s alumni see their education dreams come to fruition. Its many impressive partnerships, collaborations and initiatives give students the chance to land an internship and part-time employment opportunities while still enrolled at the university. There is also a Career Fair Day at Khalifa University which helps students engage with prospective employers hailing from public and private organisations from all across the region.