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Saudi Arabia Universities and Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs

Pursuing a master’s degree is a commendable ambition that can significantly enhance one’s career trajectory. However, for many students holding HND (Higher National Diploma) certificates or undergraduate degrees with Second Class and Third Class honors, the path to postgraduate education can seem fraught with obstacles. 

Fortunately, Saudi Arabia presents a beacon of hope for such students, with several of its universities and schools opening their doors to diverse academic backgrounds. This blog post explores the opportunities available in Saudi Arabia for those holding HND certificates or lower class degrees looking to pursue master’s programs.

Eligibility Criteria for Master’s Programs in Saudi Universities

The pursuit of a master’s degree in Saudi Arabia is facilitated by the accommodating policies of various universities towards candidates with diverse academic backgrounds. The eligibility criteria for applicants holding HND certificates, Second Class, and Third Class undergraduate degrees are outlined by each institution, yet commonalities exist across the board. Below is a detailed breakdown of the general requirements aspiring postgraduate students must meet:

HND Certificate Holders:

  • Evidence of a completed Higher National Diploma with a strong academic performance. Specific grade requirements may vary by program.
  • Some universities may require HND holders to undergo a Pre-Master’s program or provide proof of relevant work experience to bridge the academic gap.

Second Class Degree Holders:

  • Candidates with a Second Class Lower or Upper Division degree must submit their transcripts for evaluation. The competitiveness of admission can depend on the division and the course applied for.
  • Additional criteria might include letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and, depending on the program, relevant work experience.

Third Class Degree Holders:

  • Applicants must present their Third Class degree certificate and transcripts. Admittance is typically more competitive and may necessitate supplementary qualifications or experience.
  • A Pre-Master’s program or completion of certain prerequisite courses might be recommended or required to enhance the applicant’s eligibility.

General Requirements for All Candidates:

  • A completed application form specific to the chosen university and program.
  • Proof of English Language proficiency (e.g., TOEFL or IELTS scores) if the program is taught in English. Requirements vary based on the institution and program.
  • An updated Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resume detailing academic achievements, work experience, and any other relevant activities.
  • A valid passport and other necessary documents for international students, including a student visa if applicable.
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Additional Considerations:

  • Some programs may demand a satisfactory score on the GRE or GMAT.
  • Personal interviews or portfolio submissions might be part of the application process for certain specialized master’s programs.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the specific admissions page of their desired university or program in Saudi Arabia to obtain the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding eligibility criteria and application requirements. This approach ensures that prospective students can adequately prepare and submit a comprehensive application that highlights their qualifications and readiness for advanced study.

List Of Saudi Arabia Universities that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs  

The following list includes universities known for their inclusive admissions policies catering to a diverse range of academic backgrounds:

1) King Saud University

Recognized for its comprehensive programs across various disciplines, King Saud University often accommodates students with HND certificates and Second or Third Class honors, subject to additional assessments or program-specific requirements.

2) King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM)

With a focus on engineering, sciences, and business, KFUPM welcomes applicants with diverse academic qualifications. Their inclusive approach allows candidates with HND certificates and lower class degrees to pursue master’s programs, provided they meet other specified prerequisites.

 3) King Abdulaziz University

Offering a broad spectrum of postgraduate programs, King Abdulaziz University evaluates applicants with HND certificates and Second or Third Class degrees on a case-by-case basis, often considering supplementary qualifications or experience.

4) Prince Sultan University

Known for its supportive environment for international and local students alike, Prince Sultan University assesses HND holders and those with lower class degrees, encouraging applications to various master’s programs based on a holistic review process.

5) Alfaisal University

Alfaisal University, with its strong emphasis on research and development, invites applications from students with HND certificates and Second or Third Class honors for selected master’s degrees, focusing on the candidate’s potential for contribution to their chosen field.

It is imperative for prospective students to directly consult the admissions office or the official website of their chosen institution for detailed information regarding eligibility, required documents, and any preparatory courses that may enhance their application for a master’s degree program.

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Saudi Arabia Schools that Accept HND Certificates, Second Class and 3rd Class for Masters Degree Programs  

While the universities listed previously play a crucial role in providing postgraduate education to students with varied academic backgrounds, including HND holders and those with Second and Third Class degrees, it’s equally important to spotlight the schools within Saudi Arabia that offer similar opportunities for advancing one’s studies. These institutions, known for their inclusive policies and dedication to fostering a diverse academic community, offer master’s degree programs across a range of disciplines. Here’s a comprehensive list of schools that cater to such applicants:

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1) Riyadh School of Business

Specializing in business and management courses, this school offers a flexible admission process for students with HND certificates and lower class degrees, focusing on the individual’s potential to excel in their postgraduate studies.

2) Jeddah School of Engineering and Technology

This school provides an avenue for students interested in engineering and technology disciplines, evaluating HND holders and graduates with Second or Third Class degrees on a comprehensive basis, including prior work experience and academic achievements.

3) Al-Nasser University College of Health Sciences:

Recognizing the critical need for skilled healthcare professionals, Al-Nasser University offers specialized programs in health sciences for students with diverse educational backgrounds, including those with HND certificates and lower class bachelor’s degrees.

4) Dammam Institute of Technology and Management:

Focused on the integration of technology and management, the Dammam Institute welcomes applicants with HNDs and lower class degrees to apply for its master’s programs, aiming to equip students with the necessary skills for today’s competitive market.

5) Taif University School of Arts and Humanities

Catering to students with a passion for the arts and humanities, Taif University offers master’s programs that accept candidates with varied academic records, understanding the value of diverse perspectives in enriching academic discourse.

Each of these schools emphasizes a holistic approach to admissions, considering the full spectrum of an applicant’s experience, achievements, and potential beyond the confines of traditional academic qualifications. Prospective students are encouraged to reach out directly to the admissions departments of these institutions for detailed guidance on application procedures, specific program requirements, and any preparatory courses that may be recommended to strengthen their candidacy for master’s degree programs.


Can I apply for Masters with my HND certificate?

Yes, many universities and institutions worldwide accept HND (Higher National Diploma) certificates for admission into Master’s degree programs. However, specific eligibility criteria may vary depending on the university and the program. It’s essential to research the admission requirements of the institutions you are interested in applying to.

Does Sweden university accept HND for Masters?

Some universities in Sweden may accept HND certificates for admission into Master’s degree programs. However, it’s essential to research the specific requirements of each university and program to ensure eligibility.

How many years is a Master’s degree in Saudi Arabia?

In Saudi Arabia, most Master’s degree programs typically last for two years. However, the duration may vary depending on the specific program and university.

Can I do Masters in USA with a third class degree?

Yes, it is possible to pursue a Master’s degree in the USA with a Third Class (or lower) Bachelor’s degree. However, admission may be more competitive, and some universities may require additional qualifications or prerequisite courses to demonstrate readiness for graduate-level studies.

What is the CGPA for a third class degree?

The CGPA (Cumulative Grade Point Average) for a Third Class degree varies depending on the grading system used by the institution. In some systems, a Third Class degree may correspond to a CGPA range between 1.5 and 2.0 on a scale of 4.0. However, it’s essential to verify the specific grading scale used by your institution to determine the CGPA for a Third Class degree.


Saudi Arabia has a thriving higher education sector, with many universities and schools that accept HND certificates, second class and 3rd class degrees for admission into their master’s degree programs. Whether you are looking to study in the capital city of Riyadh, the coastal city of Jeddah, or elsewhere in Saudi Arabia, there are a variety of options available to you.

In addition to the country’s top universities, there are also a number of government-funded scholarships that you may be eligible for. In conclusion, Saudi Arabia is an excellent option for students looking to further their education with a master’s degree.

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