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Study in Austria

Higher education in Austria

  • Student visas and immigration

  • Scholarships and financial support

  • Number of higher education institutions: 82

  • Number of students in higher education: 372,247 (Statistik Austria, academic year 2014/2015)

  • Number of international students in higher education: 86,862 (academic year 2015/2016)

  • Average length of a full-time higher education programme in Austria:

    • Bachelor’s degree programme: 6 – 8 semesters

    • Master’s degree programme: 2 – 4 semesters

    • Doctorate/PhD: at least 6 semesters​

  • Language of instruction: Most higher education study programmes in Austria are taught in German, but you will find many courses taught in English too. See the Studienwahl website for more information.

  • Typical tuition fees: 
    Tuition fees for students from the European Union:

    • At public universities, EU and EEA member state nationals (who have not exceeded the minimum duration of their study programme, plus two semesters) do not pay tuition fees.

    • The Universities of Applied Sciences are entitled to charge tuition fees. For more details, please contact the institution of your choice directly.

    • Tuition fees at private universities differ at each institution. Please contact the institution directly.

    Tuition fee for non EU-students:

    • At public universities, tuition fees range from €363 – €726,72 per semester.

    • The Universities of Applied Sciences are entitled to charge tuition fees. For more details, please contact the institution of your choice directly.

    • Tuition fees at private universities differ at each institution. Please contact the institution directly

Quick facts

  • Population: 8,690,076 (2016)
  • Capital: Vienna
  • Geographical size: 83,879 km2
  • GDP: €349,493 billion (2016)
  • Official EU language(s): German
  • Currency: Euro


Situated in the heart of Europe, Austria offers great variety, concentrated in a small area. Here you can find a unique quality of life, peace, big city flair and a rich culture.

Austria combines a long tradition of higher education with state-of-the-art research – its higher education institutions have accomplished outstanding achievements and gained international recognition.

Austrian higher education institutions offer an ever-growing number of degree programmes: you can choose between first-class research-based courses, a world-famous education at any of the Arts universities, high-quality practice-oriented degree courses at applied sciences universities, and sound, up-to-date teacher education and innovative courses at private universities.

All in all, Austria offers you a broad spectrum of educational opportunities – not to mention great social security, economic stability and the great Austrian hospitality.

This makes Austria an ideal place for studying and living! 

Learn more about education in Austria:

Education System in Austria

The universities in Austria universities differ greatly from one another – both in terms of size and structure. Students who wish to continue their education in Austria with study programs at classical universities in Vienna, Graz, Innsbruck, Klagenfurt, Linz, and Salzburg cover a broad spectrum of different academic subjects. Specialized universities for education in Austria, for example, the University of Leoben, concentrate on special theoretical and applied disciplines.

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Teaching and research
 are seen as inseparable units at universities in Austria. Courses are available in all academic fields (Humanities, Natural Sciences, Law, Social and Economic Sciences, Medicine, Technology, Mining Sciences, Natural Resources, and Applied Life Sciences and Veterinary Medicine) but more emphasis on interdisciplinary work.

Interdisciplinary research work promotes a university education that aims at developing far-sighted concepts and solutions. The permanent dialogue with trade and industry has led to the establishment of a great number of competence centers in which innovative cooperation between university departments and enterprises takes place.

Degree Types in Austria

In the last few years, the education system in Austria has introduced the European three-tier system of degrees according to the Bologna process. Besides, the old two-tier system still exists in some subject areas and universities (for example Medicine). 

Austria is one of the countries with the high number of universities in Europe, and studying in these universities is almost without the need to pay tuition, and the cost of paying to the university is around 1,500 EUR per year and For Austrian students and students who have the same status as Austrians (i.e. nationals of all EU and EEA member countries) and who have not exceeded the minimum duration of their study program plus two semesters, no fee is payable. Learn more about the Tuition fees and scholarships.


The first higher education qualification in Austria is a Bachelor’s degree. Bachelor programs in Austria are usually set up by universities of Applied sciences and University colleges of Teacher education. Studies usually last for a period of 3 years (180 ECTS credits or 6 to 8 semesters; in some cases, it is 240 credits depending on university or employability requirements.


The second higher education qualification in Austria is the Master’s degree. Studying for a master’s degree in Austria is after completing a bachelor’s degree. Masters programs in Austria on the other hand, require the successful completion of the bachelor study program which lasts about 2-4 semesters. Many postgraduate courses in Austria are offered both in German and in English.


The third higher education qualification in Austria is the PhD degree. The most important requirement for admission to the doctoral program in Austria is the presentation of a master’s degree. PhD programs in Austria last for at least 6 semesters (2 years) and are based on the ability of autonomous research.


Traditional diploma programs (Magistra or Magister) in most disciplines or Diplomingenieur(in) for engineers last for 4-6 years.


University Training Courses in Austria, are further education courses at university. Education levels last from undergraduate to postgraduate and often last 2-4 semesters. The contents, goals, structure, and duration of these courses are determined by the universities, who are responsible for the individual curriculum and provide information about these opportunities. Upon the completion of postgraduate university courses academic titles such as Master of Advanced Studies (MAS) or Master of Business Administration (MBA), among others, may be conferred.


Private Universities in Austria

International students are also offered the option of pursuing their studies in Austria at private universities.

The curriculum of the Austrian private universities, as well as the academic degrees awarded by them, differ from university to university.

These universities offer innovative and high-quality education while providing students with individualized attention. The curriculum includes continuous internal and external evaluation of teaching and research as well as active promotion of the arts focusing on quality universal development. Austrian private universities have refined current degree programs based on future and modern educational needs.

University Colleges for Teacher Education in Austria

There are around fifteen university colleges of teacher education in Austria situated in Vienna, Lower Austria, Upper Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Burgenland, Salzburg, Tyrol, and Vorarlberg. The university colleges of teacher education provide training for primary school, secondary school, and special needs teachers that last for 3 years(6 semesters) with the opportunity to gain practical experience from the very beginning and to put their abilities to work with children to the test. 

The Teacher Education Act 2005 forms the basis for the conversion of the university colleges of teacher education in Austria into academic institutions for teaching professions. An independent profession-related bachelor program has been available to students since 2007.

Universities of the Arts in Austria

Whether it is music, dramatic arts, fine arts, or applied arts you are interested in, the universities of the arts for your education in Austria provide an ideal space for the discussion of art and science for their students. 

Austria, which since the past has always been a meeting point of different artistic traditions and styles, offers numerous opportunities for public performances: the sound festival Ars Electronica in Linz, the Salzburg Festival, which has a strong international culture scene with rich traditions, the jazz big band in Graz, the Viennale film festival, the Baroque palace theatre in Schönbrunn or the Picture Gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts, to name but a few.

Development and opening up of the arts are the universities of the arts in Austria’s counterpart of the academic universities responsibility for research. The interaction between art and science, theory and practice presents a challenge to creativity, innovation, and technical brilliance which is taken up by the universities of the arts.