Application and Admission

What options do I have for studying in Austria?

The Austrian educational system offers a broad spectrum of educational opportunities. Prospective students can choose between study programmes offered by universities, universities of applied sciences, university training courses/university level courses or university colleges of teacher education. Read more about study options in Austria.

What is the difference between universities, universities of applied sciences (UAS) and university colleges of teacher education?

The Austrian education system has three main types of higher education institutions: universities (comprehensive universities, universities of the arts and private universities), universities of applied sciences and university colleges of teacher education.

Apart from the traditional comprehensive universities, which offer a wide variety of disciplines, there are a number of technical and medical specialist universities as well as a university centre for postgraduate education. Austria’s six universities of the arts offer programmes in music, applied arts and performing and fine arts as well as in visual arts and design.

Universities of Applied Sciences offer their students professional-oriented higher education. This is reflected in their curricula, which include mandatory career-oriented practical training units or job-based internships. The number of students per year and programme is limited, and for this reason most of the programmes have an entrance procedure which has to be successfully completed. UASs offer full-time and extra occupational studies. Extra occupational studies are designed for working students and take their specific situation into account. The Austrian University Colleges of Teacher Education offer a three-year (six semester) Bachelor of Education (BEd) degree in combination with a teaching qualification for primary, secondary or special needs schools. Some of them also offer BEd degrees for polytechnic schools and for teaching religious education.

Please refer to our section Hhigher education institution for more information!

Can I apply to OeAD for a study placement in Austria?

No, you can not. Please bear in mind that the OeAD is not an institution of higher education. We do not offer any degree programmes of our own and we do not handle any study applications. We can only offer you general advice on how to get started if you wish to study in Austria. Study applications should be made to the institutions themselves. Please refer to the main section admission.

Which closing dates apply?

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 15, please note that different deadlines apply for specific study programmes. Detailed information can be found on the homepage www.studienbeginn.at (only in German!) or on the website of the university of your choice.

Which documents are usually required for admission?

The best way to submit a complete application is to contact the university of your choice before you submit your application. The university 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.

Usually the following documents are required for admission:

For bachelor’s programmes:

  • Students with EU/EEA school leaving certificate:
    • Proof of nationality (photocopy of your passport)
    • A secondary school leaving certificate that entitles you to admission to university studies in your home country
    • German language proficiency (secondary school leaving certificate confirming German lessons of at least 4 years or a German language diploma or similar documents)
  • Students with non-EU/EEA school leaving certificate:
    • Proof of nationality (photocopy of your passport)
    • An equivalent secondary school leaving certificate
    • Your certificate of special qualification for university studies (orig. Germ.: "Nachweis der besonderen Universitätsreife"): you have to prove that you would be entitled to admission within your chosen degree programme in the country which issued your secondary education diploma.
    • German language proficiency (secondary school leaving certificate confirming German lessons of at least 4 years or a German language diploma or similar documents)

For master's programmes: Successful completion of at least a 6 semester specialised relevant Bachelor’s degree (min 180 ECTS)

For PhD programmes: Master’s degree in the same field of study as your research proposal or equivalent

Programmes with entrance examinations

(e.g. medical universities, universities of the arts, UAS degree programmes): Please enquire in good time about application deadlines, special requirements and dates for the entrance examinations (closing date for application for entrance examinations can be up to 6 months before the beginning of the semester)!

To find out more about the admission process, please check the information on the website: www.studienbeginn.at.

I want to study in a degree programme in Austria, but I do not know the German language. Can I learn it in Austria before enrolling in the university?

The main language of instruction at Austrian universities and UAS is German; only a few programmes are taught in English, see: www.studienwahl.at/en.

In order to be admitted to a degree programme, you have to prove sufficient knowledge of German. At some universities you need proficiency in German corresponding to level B2, at others corresponding to level C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages. There are different diplomas that are accepted, e.g. the "Österreichisches Sprachdiplom Deutsch", Austria’s officially recognised examination system for German as a foreign language with licensed examination centres all over the world: www.osd.at.

Please enquire directly at the university or UAS of your choice to find out whether or not the certificate/diploma you hold is also accepted as sufficient proof.

In addition, many universities offer the possibility to attend language courses in the University Preparation Programmes ("Vorstudienlehrgänge") of the OeAD located in Vienna, Graz and Leoben. By attending these programmes, students can prepare for supplementary examinations (e.g. in mathematics or German, etc.), which must be passed, to be admitted to a degree programme. Students can also begin their studies without knowledge of German and be admitted to university studies after passing the supplementary examination in German (or other subjects). However, we would recommend for you to learn as much German as possible in advance.

I want to study in Austria, but I do not speak sufficient German. Are there any programmes taught in English?

The main language of instruction at Austrian universities and UASs is German; however, there are a few programmes taught in English. In the database www.studienwahl.at/en you can search for programmes taught in languages other than German.

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