Higher education

Institutions | Requirements | Fees | Academic year

Higher education in Austria is well developed and offers a wide choice of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies.


road sign indicating a car park next to university

Institutions and offers

Programmes are offered by
  • Universities
  • Universities of the Arts
  • Universities of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschulen)
  • University Training Courses / University Level Courses (Universitätslehrgänge)
  • University Colleges of Teacher Education
  • Private Universities


cover a broad range of subjects from “standard” fields like Architecture, Law or Economics to more special interest studies like Egyptology or Byzantine Studies.

Degree programmes are divided into bachelor programmes (BA, undergraduate), master programmes (MA, graduate) and doctoral studies (PhD, postgraduate). Sometimes you can still come across the old two-tier degree system split in diploma and doctoral studies. 

Universities of Applied Sciences

focus on more practice-oriented courses including compulsory placements and practical projects involving commercial enterprises. In addition to full-time study programmes also part-time study programmes for working students are available.

University Training Courses/University Level Courses

are continuing education programmes for degree and non-degree students who wish to acquire specialist knowledge in a certain field.

Private universities

At the moment there are 12 accredited Private Universities in Austria, operating mostly in the fields of medicine, economics and music.


Entrance requirements

  • General
    • school leaving certificate (A-levels) or equivalent
    • proof of knowledge of German for non-native speakers
  • Additional for Non-EU-citizens
    • admission statement (Studienplatznachweis) for the chosen degree programme to prove that you have a place at a university in the same country that issued the school leaving certificate.


  • For some degree programmes like Medicine there are only limited number of places, so you have to sit an entrance exam!
  • There are always restrictions for access at the Universities of Applied Sciences, prepare for an assessment centre!
  • For some degree programmes supplementary qualifications are required.

Please always check with your university of choice for possible entrance exams or additional qualifications needed as well as for admission procedures and deadlines!


Tuition fees

The following universities collect study fees:
University of Vienna,  Vienna University of Economics and Business, Vienna University of Veterinary Medicine; University of Graz, Graz University of Technology;  University of Linz; University Mozarteum Salzburg; University of Innsbruck.

In general the fee ist € 363,36 per semester.
There are various options to get a remission or reimbursement of tuition fees. Terms and conditions vary from university to university, please check with the university you plan to attend.
For example at Vienna University you don't have to pay as long as you complete your studies within the minimum time of the degree programme plus two additional semesters.

Austrian National Students’ Union fee

Note! All students at all universities have to pay an obligatory Austrian National Students’ Union fee and insurance fee of € 17,50 per semester.


Academic year

  • winter semester: October 1st to January 31st
  • summer semester: February 1st to September 30th

Admission period

  • winter semester: June 18th to September 5th
    (extended period of admission September 6th to November 30th)
  • summer semester: January 7th to February 5th
    (extended period of admission February 6th to April 30th)


Photo: Parken in Freiburg im Breisgau © Hartmut910 / pixelio.de
Updated: 15.10.2012