First steps to studying in Austria

Illustration of five students from various ethnic backgrounds © OeAD/Daniela Bisail

We have tried to sum up all relevant information below to assist you if you are considering applying for higher education in Austria. You will find a lot of useful information in our website. We recommend you to read through all of the issues listed below before starting with your application.

It is very important that you inform yourself as early as possible about the visa/student residence permit requirements and entry requirements of the degree programme courses you want to apply. It is also very important to consider how you will be funding your studies already before you submit any applications. Click on a headline to view specific information.

Find your programme

The main language of instruction at Austrian universities and UAS is German; so if you want to study in Austria you have to prove sufficient knowledge of German. We recommend you to start learning as much German as possible in advance. At you can inform yourself about more than 2000 degree programmes at more than 70 higher education institutions in the heart of Europe. You can also search for English taught programmes.

First of all you should seek out and choose the degree programme options you might be interested in, either by visiting the database or by checking out the individual institutions' websites. Detailed information on the programmes and their entry requirements is available on the institutions' own websites - the links in the database will direct you to the correct pages. On our website you can find general information about the admission process at Austrian institutions of higher education.

Check the admission requirements

The best way to submit a complete application is to contact the institution of your choice before you submit your application. The staff will inform you about all formal and academic requirements. Some institutions offer a "registration of data" via Internet and will then send specific information to you via e-mail. You can find the addresses of all institutions of higher education on our website.

Check the closing dates

Once you have decided which study programmes interest you you should check how and when to submit your application to those programmes. In general, students in a bachelor or diploma programme have to register by September 5th (for the winter semester) or February 5th (for the summer semester). The registration period starts on April 15th, please note that different deadlines apply for specific study programmes.

Detailed information can be found on the website (only in German!) or on the website of the university of your choice. Please bear in mind that some study programmes (e.g. medicine, etc.) have special entrance exams. It is very important that you inform yourself as early as possible about the admission requirements!

Funding your studies

From the beginning on you have to consider how you will finance your studies in Austria. Even when the tuition fee itself is low you still will need to be able to independently cover your everyday living expenses in Austria – so you will need to plan your finances carefully! Please note that there are hardly any scholarships for obtaining a whole degree programme (bachelor, master or PhD) here in Austria. You can search our database for funding possibilities.


What kind of entry documents you need depends on your nationality. When applying for a visa or residence permit you usually need to visit the local Austrian embassy in person. If your home country does not have an Austrian embassy, you usually need to travel to an Austrian embassy in some neighbouring country. Therefore it is very important that you check the visa/student residence permit application procedures well in advance!

It is also VERY IMPORTANT (especially for non-EU/EEA students) to carefully read through the FAQs on visa as well as the information in the OeAD database. You can find all detailed information there. Please read the information thoroughly. The database provides information for visa or residence permits; you can also find all necessary links to application forms, explanation of the application forms in English and contact details of universities and Austrian authorities. Make sure that your application is complete; if the Austrian authority needs to get back to you for further information, the application process might be delayed.

Daily life

Once you have received your official letter of acceptance from an Austrian university or UAS, you can start arranging the practical issues of your student life in Austria. Your Austrian hosting institution can advise you best on local student accommodation options and other such matters. So please first visit the website of the university/UAS you have been accepted into, there you can usually find advice pages for new degree students regarding issues like student registration, welcoming sessions, campus maps, and so on. On our website you will find relevant information concerning various aspects of living in Austria, including accommodation, cost of living, etc.

We hope that this checklist will help you to find your way to studying in Austria. However, please remember that it is essential you carefully check all the details on the admissions pages of the Austrian higher education institution you're applying to. Good luck with your application!