The Department of Physics was established in 1384/1385 A.H., corresponding to 1964/1965 A.C., as a 'twin' of the Department of Mathematics. This was when the first bylaw of the College of Education was issued at King Abdul Aziz University, in the Makkah campus. Several classes graduated with the dual specialization (physics and mathematics), and this joint specialization continued for ten years, until the year 1394/1395 A.H. Later on, the Department of Physics became separated from the Department of Mathematics, becoming a stand-alone department that awarded bachelor's degrees in physics and medical physics.
In the year 1396/1397 A.H., the credit hour system was introduced at King Abdulaziz University, in the Makkah campus, and the department started to offer its courses according to the credit hour system, awarding a bachelor's degree in physics. In the year 1400/1401 A.H., Umm Al-Qura University was established in Makkah. After that, the College of Applied Sciences was established, and the department became affiliated with the university. At that time, it awarded a bachelor's degree in physics and medical physics.
The Department of Physics awards a bachelor's degree in the majors of physics and medical physics to the students of the department. The granting of a bachelor’s degree requires the student to pass the courses successfully and obtain the minimum number of accredited units, as follows:
As a prerequisite for a student to obtain a bachelor’s degree in physics according to the current study plan, he/she must successfully pass 130 credit hours, divided into eight levels over four years.
As a prerequisite for a student to obtain a bachelor’s degree in medical physics according to the current study plan, he/she must successfully pass 136 credit hours, divided into eight levels over four years.
The department also grants a master’s degree in several subspecialties with the scientific thesis based program and the research project based program. The master's are as follows:
The Department of Physics has distinct research groups, which rank among the global search centers. It includes a group of faculty members who have published many research papers and research publications in many local and international journals and periodicals. These research groups are linked through distinguished partnerships with many companies, factories, hospitals, public and private medical centers, and business owners in the Saudi Kingdom. These groups provide them with the scientific advice required to solve their research problems, in line with the vision and objectives of the Department of Physics at in the College of Applied Sciences at Umm Al-Qura University.
The programs offered by the Department of Physics include those that keep pace with the spirit of the times and meet the concerns of the society. The graduates of the department can teach in universities and schools, and they can work in health and radiation protection institutions. The physics program, for example, represents the bridge between theoretical physics and its concepts and the practical applications in the field of engineering. The pure physics and medical physics programs are offered to male and female students alike.