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How do I apply for admission to study in Norway?

Find information on how to apply for admission:

Bachelor’s degree programmes

The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) is responsible for processing applications for bachelor’s degree programmes and other undergraduate programmes in Norway that build directly on upper secondary education and training. Applications for admission must be sent to the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS).

Some private institutions have separate admissions processes, where you send your application directly to the institution. Applications for supplementary studies must also be sent directly to the institution.

Master’s programmes

Application for admission to master’s degree programmes must be sent directly to the institution where you want to study. For information about the various programmes, deadlines and admission requirements, please contact the specific institution.

PhD programmes

Applications for admission to PhD programmes must be sent directly to the institution where you want to study. Each institution has its own application procedure for doctoral candidates. For information about the various programmes, deadlines and admission requirements, please contact the specific institution.

Continuing and further education programmes

Many educational institutions offer continuing and further education and training programmes in a variety of disciplines. Programmes, disciplines and the curriculum can vary. The same applies to deadlines and admission requirements. For more detailed information, please contact the institution at which you wish to study.

Tertiary vocational education

Application for admission should normally be sent to the vocational school you want to attend. Please contact the relevant vocational school for more information.

The exception is technical programmes: There is a national admissions process for full-time vocational programmes at county technical vocational schools, visit the website for the National Admissions Office for Vocational Schools (Nasjonalt opptakskontor for fagskolen) for more information. The website also has an overview of county vocational schools, the subjects they teach as well as their scope and depth, and the necessary addresses and telephone numbers.

Upper secondary education and training

If you have taken all or part of your upper secondary education and training abroad and want to apply for admission or acceptance to upper secondary education and training in Norway, you have several options. Please contact the counselling service at the school to which you are applying for advice and guidance with regard to potential recognition of individual subjects (exemption from certain subjects). They can tell you if you can be exempted from entire school years successfully completed abroad, and answer questions about programmes and subjects.

Read more here: Godkjenning av tidligere bestått videregående opplæring i Norge og utlandet Udir-6-2012.


Frequently asked questions

If you want to have your foreign education assessed to see if it can count toward a Norwegian degree programme, you must first apply for admission to the programme you want to study. After you have been admitted to a degree programme, you can apply to the educational institution for an assessment of what can count toward your Norwegian degree. Educational institutions base their decisions on the programmes they offer, and assessments may therefore vary depending on the institution you are attending. We recommend that you contact the institution in advance to find out how much of your previous education will be accepted.

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It is not a legal requirement to have general recognition of an education to apply for admission to higher education in Norway, but an institution may require it nevertheless.

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The GSU-list (Higher Education Entrance Qualification for foreign applicants) is used by Norwegian universities and university colleges in the admission process to higher education. GSU requirements entail that one, two or three years will be deducted from the foreign education when the Norwegian recognition authorities compare it with higher education degrees in Norway. Since there can be significant differences in levels between the Norwegian education system and the education system of the country where you have received your education, the Norwegian authorities deem that the level of education in some countries is below general Norwegian admission requirements.

This means that not all foreign degrees will be recognised, and that not all the years you have studied in another country will count in Norway.

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The language requirements for Norwegian and English can differ in connection with admission to higher education in Norway, and will vary based on whether you are applying to a bachelor’s or master’s programme. The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service (NUCAS) can provide more information.

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The requirements you need to meet to be allowed to study in Norway depend on which country you come from. Among other things, it depends on whether you come from a country within the EEA or if you come from a country outside the EEA. You can find more information at the Norwegian Directorate of Immigration (UDI).

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In Norway, there are over 4,000 educational programmes at around 200 institutions. NOKUT accredits and checks that educational institutions meet programme quality requirements.

Vocational school

All vocational education programmes are approved by NOKUT, and entitle students to financial support from the State Educational Loan Fund. The fact that a programme is approved, means that the quality of education is at a satisfactory level.

Check the list of accredited vocational school programmes

Higher education

NOKUT approves programmes that university colleges are not allowed to start up on their own. NOKUT’s approval of programmes is called accreditation. When a programme is accredited by NOKUT, the quality of education is considered to be at a satisfactory level. You are awarded credits for courses you have passed and you can get financial support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.

Check the list of accredited programmes

If you cannot find your programme in this list, it could be due to one of the following:

  • Universities are entitled to start up programmes in all disciplines and at all levels (bachelor, master and doctoral), and do not need to apply to NOKUT.
  • If a university college has an accredited doctoral program, they can start a new Master’s programme in the same subject without applying for accreditation from NOKUT.
  • Accredited university colleges (those that have been accredited by NOKUT and the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research as university colleges), may set up programmes at the bachelor level without applying to NOKUT. See the institutions to which this applies.
  • Some university colleges had programmes accredited by the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research before NOKUT was created in 2003.View a list of these programmes (pdf).
  • The programme has not been accredited. In such case, you cannot be awarded credits for the programme or financial support from the Norwegian State Educational Loan Fund.
  • The programme may be a tertiary vocational education. See accredited vocational school programmes.
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