Study in Austria


1. preface

The situation for students with non-Austrian passports is anything but rosy. Many foreign students have to pay double tuition fees, not to mention the 7,000 euros that you have to prove in your bank account in order to be allowed to enroll. In addition, as a non-Austrian _ you are hardly allowed to work in order to earn at least a little money. Money that has to be spent quickly on language courses, tuition, rent, food, books and tickets for transportation.
We hope that your studies will be a socially, academically and culturally enriching experience. If you have any problems, you can always contact the ÖH. It is your advocacy group and not only advocates for the removal of barriers for international students, but at the same time is already trying to help you overcome existing barriers. If you need advice or have questions, just contact your ÖH.

2. checklist for study preparation

Your checklist for study preparation and for the first steps at an Austrian university.

2.1 Before arrival:

  • Select field of study and university. Information about the different fields of study and the duration of studies can be found on the websites of the universities.
  • Apply for admission (apply for a place at the university). You can get forms directly from the university’s study and examination department or via the Internet. If necessary, you should have the required documents translated and notarized.
  • Application for a residence permit for students. After you have received an admission from the university, you may apply (at the Austrian representative authority in your country) for an entry permit. Please also note the other requirements that are required by the authority in addition to a license. For more information, see chapter 2. residence permit.

2.2 After entering Austria:

  • Filling out a registration form at the magistrate’s district office or at the municipal office (within three days)
  • Enrollment: First-time registration (Inskription) at the university. When you enroll, you will receive your student ID and a payment slip for the tuition fees or for the fee for a German course.
  • Enrollment for continuation of studies: This takes place every semester, note the enrollment deadlines at your university.

3. possible studies and academic degrees

There are numerous higher education institutions in Austria; in addition to universities and private universities, programs are also offered at universities of applied sciences and studies at colleges of education. You can find information on or read about offers in our brochure “Unizulassung” Download/Order

4. general conditions of admission

Basically, the entrance requirement is the general university entrance qualification (Matura, Berufsreifeprüfung, university entrance qualification examination) or a study-relevant professional qualification, passport and a photo. Depending on the higher education institution, the requirements are different. In further we give you the information about the admission to the art universities, universities of applied sciences and universities in Austria. You can always contact us with specific questions.

4.1 General admission periods

  • As a rule, the application for admission to study at a university must be
  • for the winter semester by September 5 at the latest.
  • for the summer semester by February 5 at the latest.
  • of each calendar year for the following semester must be received by the respective university management and be complete.

Applications submitted late will not be considered until the following semester, subject to space availability.

ATTENTION: Some fields of study have admission procedures, therefore it is important to inform yourself beforehand. Admission procedure and registration is usually carried out in the spring

ATTENTION: Since 1.10.2022, the University Act allows individual universities to set their own deadlines – please check the respective university’s website.


4.2 Admission to the University of Applied Sciences

Basically, the entrance requirement for a university of applied sciences degree program:

  • the general university entrance qualification (Matura, Berufsreifeprüfung, university entrance qualification examination) or a study-relevant professional qualification.
  • First-year students with relevant professional qualifications must take additional examinations if this is required by the educational objective of the relevant degree program.
  • All applicants _ inside who wish to be admitted to a UAS program must take an entrance examination at the UAS. This varies from UAS program to UAS program and usually includes the following selection criteria: written application, written test and presentation, and usually also an admission interview. All applicants must also prove that they have sufficient knowledge of German.
  • If the school-leaving examination was not taken in Austria, the equivalence must be given either on the basis of an intergovernmental agreement or on the basis of a nostrification by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture. If neither is the case, the program director may determine equivalency on a case-by-case basis.

4.3 Admission to the University of Arts

  • the general university entrance qualification (school leaving certificate)
  • Passport
  • One photo
  • Application. An admissions process is conducted at the University of the Arts. This is an interview and submission of a portfolio of previous projects.

4.4 Admission to the university

  • Proof of university entrance qualification (Matura)
  • Passport
  • one photo
  • German language skills at A2 level

For a proper study you need C1 level. Either you already have the certificate, or you attend pre-study course (VWU) in Austria.
Persons whose native language is not German must provide proof of knowledge of the German language. Proof is provided in particular by a school leaving certificate based on instruction in the German language. If the evidence cannot be provided, the rector shall prescribe the taking of a supplementary examination (VWU), which must be taken prior to admission. See “Pre-study Course” for more details.
NOTE: All documents and translations (non-German language documents must be translated!) must be certified by the authorities of the issuing country and by the Austrian representative authority according to the respective applicable regulations.

ATTENTION! There are different regulations depending on the country of origin! see translation and certification.

Court-certified interpreters are responsible for translations of documents in Austria.

On the basis of the documents submitted, the _ rector _ in decides whether the _ applicant _ in will be admitted as a regular _ r student _ r immediately or only after necessary supplementary examinations. The decision will be communicated to the _ applicant _ in writing.

Attention New:

Applicants with a bachelor’s or master’s degree from the U.S. also do not require proof of enrollment.

For some fields of study, selection procedures have been introduced. For more information, please contact the study and examination department at your university.

5. pre-study courses

In the cities of Graz, Leoben, Vienna, Linz, Salzburg, Innsbruck and Klagenfurt, the universities offer a pre-study course for all foreign students who have to take supplementary examinations from German and/or supplementary examinations from other subjects. Foreign applicants have the opportunity to prepare specifically for taking the required examinations within the framework of these courses. Courses run each winter semester (October to January) and summer semester (March to June).

In principle, the prerequisite for attending the pre-study course is a positive letter of admission. The amount of the tuition fee is between EUR 480 and 1. 204.

Each exam can be repeated a maximum of three times (with some exceptions, e.g. Vienna, four times). However, you can sit for the exam even if you have not taken any courses.

ATTENTION! A certificate of attendance from the prerequisite course is required in order for you to be eligible for discounted student health insurance. Health insurance with the regional health insurance funds is one of the requirements for the extension of the residence permit!

Students taking the pre-college course do not have to pay tuition, only the course fee for the pre-college course. Due to the high number of students, the pre-study course in Vienna works with three cooperation partners: the Language Center of the University of Vienna, the consultants and the German College of the Austrian Oriental Society.
The courses of these three cooperation partners all have the same scope (320 teaching units) and the same contents. There are certain criteria whether you can attend the courses directly at the VWU for the subsidized course fee of currently EUR 480,- or at a cooperation partner for the fee of currently EUR 1.204,-, see

WEBTIP: More information at oead. and from the study units of the universities.

Pre-study courses:


Josef Heissl Street 26
8700 Leoben
T +43 3842 402-8000


Neubaugasse 10, 1st floor
8020 Graz
T +43 316 8314-96
F +43 316 8314-96-11


Sechshauser Street 33A
1150 Vienna
Tel: 01/319 99 91


Altenberger Street 69
4040 Linz
Tel: +43 732 2468-0


Erzabt-Klotz-Straße 1
5020 Salzburg
Tel: +3 662 8044-0


Innrain 52
6020 Innsbruck

Tel: +43 512 507-0


Alps-Adriatic University Klagenfurt
University Street 65-67
9020 Klagenfurt on Lake Wörthersee
Tel: +43 463 2700

6. translation and certification

Documents that are necessary for the admission procedure (school leaving certificate, certificates of studies already completed, proof of place of study) and are not issued in German must be submitted in a notarized German translation.

For which documents is the certification necessary?

Matriculation certificates, certificates of studies already completed and proof of place of study must be submitted as part of the admission procedure, if they are not issued in Austria, in official certification. Copies of the original are accepted only if they are also officially certified. In the case of documents issued in Turkey, only originals can be accepted.

What are the conditions of certification for each state?

For each individual country, the conditions for certification are set by the Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture.

For the following countries, notarization is required only if you do not present the original document:

Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden

Due to intergovernmental agreements (Hague Convention), documents of some countries do not require a full certification, but only a final certification (apostille) in the country of issue of the document. You can get this apostille at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country.

The following countries have signed the Hague Convention:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Australia, Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Brunei, Cap Verde, Chile, China (but only Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions), Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Dominica, Djibouti, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Georgia, Grenada, Greece, United Kingdom, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Jamaica, Japan, Kazakhstan, Colombia, Korea, Lesotho, Latvia, Liberia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Morocco, Marshall Islands, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Namibia, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niue, Oman, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Portugal, Russia, Solomon Islands, Samoa, San Marino, Sao Tome and Príncipe, Seychelles, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland, Seychelles, Singapore, South Africa, Suriname, Swaziland, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, Uruguay, USA, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Cyprus.

For documents from countries with which there is no agreement, full certification of the documents is required. You must obtain confirmations from the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of your home country for the necessary document. With these confirmations you contact the Austrian representative authority (embassy, consulate) of your home country.

For more information on the requirements for certification for individual states, please contact the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy and NARIC (National Academic Recognition Information Centre). AUSTRIA.

7. nostrification

Nostrification is the recognition of a foreign degree as equivalent to the degree of a domestic bachelor’s, master’s, diploma or doctoral degree by the body responsible for study matters or of a Fachhochschule degree program by the Fachhochschulkollegium.

This means full equality with the Austrian degree, the right to use the corresponding Austrian academic degree, and the right to practice a profession associated with a degree in Austria.

For example, anyone wishing to exercise the profession of a physician must prove, among other things, that he _ she has successfully completed the Austrian medical studies, that he _ she is directly entitled to exercise the profession on the basis of EU law or – if all this is not the case – that his _ her completed foreign medical studies have been nostrified in Austria.

Who can apply for nostrification?

The applicant must prove that nostrification is a mandatory requirement (see: “What must be submitted?”) for his/her intended activity in Austria. In all other cases, the evaluation of the foreign studies is anyway the responsibility of _ the employer or service _ in.

Where to apply for nostrification?

Nostrification can be applied for at any university where a comparable Austrian degree program is established or at the Fachhochschulkollegium. In many cases, therefore, several universities may be considered. At which university the _ applicant _ applies for the procedure in such a case is left to his _ her choice. However, the same nostrification application can only be submitted to one university; it is also not possible to withdraw it and submit it again to another university.

What to submit?

  • Passport
  • Proof of the status of the foreign university, college or other post-secondary educational institution.
  • as detailed as possible documents about the foreign studies, e.g. study plan, study book, study guide, examination certificates, scientific papers, degree certificates …
  • Certificate of graduation and awarding of the academic degree
  • Indication of the intended professional activity.
  • These documents must be presented either in the original or as a certified copy, the award certificate always in the original. Foreign language documents must be accompanied by certified translations. All foreign documents must be properly authenticated.
  • It is advisable to contact the responsible office before submitting the application to clarify the completeness of the required documents.

What does the nostrification cost?

The nostrification tax is currently EUR 150 and must be paid in advance. Since you must be enrolled as an associate _ r student _ in during the nostrification process, you must also pay the tuition fees. Depending on your country of origin and the university where you have the nostrification procedure, this is 363,36 Euro or 726,72 Euro!

What is the procedure?

The criteria for the review are the content, scope and requirements of the Austrian degree with which equivalence is being applied for. If individual requirements do not apply, they may be completed as an associate _ r student. All conditions are prescribed by notice. If the applicant has fulfilled all additional conditions or if no conditions have been imposed, the competent body shall declare the nostrification by decision.

If the nostrification cannot take place

If nostrification cannot take place because the differences to the Austrian study program are too great, admission to the Austrian study program can be applied for and, after admission has taken place, recognition of examinations from the foreign study program, insofar as they are equivalent to the Austrian ones, can be applied for. After that, the Austrian studies can be continued and completed.

Special procedures

Special procedures exist for certain degrees from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, Croatia, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro, Slovenia, and from Papal universities. Here, the recognition procedure for certain fields of study is simplified due to special agreements.

Contact persons _ Contact persons

The offices responsible at each university and university of applied sciences can be found at

Information is provided on general nostrification issues:

Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Culture
Teinfaltstraße 8, 1014 Vienna
Tel: +43/1/531 20-5921
Fax: +43/1/531 20-7890

8. tuition fees

Since the winter semester 2001/02, domestic and foreign students have to pay a so-called “tuition fee” (Studienbeitrag) for studying at Austrian universities and universities of the arts. However, some students are exempt.

For foreign students this is

  • for nationals from EU and EEA member states and Switzerland as well as equivalent third-country nationals, the tuition fee is EUR 0 for the mind study period plus two tolerance semesters per section (one semester for PHs). After that, a tuition fee in the amount of EUR 363.36 must be paid. In any case, the ÖH fee must be paid.
  • for all other students, including stateless persons and those with unclear citizenship: EUR 726.72 per semester plus ÖH fee.

General admission deadline is by the end of October or by the end of March at most universities. The grace period is until the end of November or until the end of April.

Within the grace period, tuition will increase by 10 percent.

Who doesn’t pay tuition?

  • Students who only attend university courses pay the designated course fee and the ÖH fee including insurance contribution, but no tuition fee.
  • Students at universities of the arts who only participate in preparatory courses only pay the ÖH fee including insurance contribution, but no tuition fee.
  • Students who are on leave of absence only pay the ÖH fee including the insurance contribution, but no tuition fee.

Tuition is further waived for the following students:

  • regular foreign students from the least developed countries (according to the tuition fee regulation see list below).
  • Students of Austrian universities who complete studies or practical periods abroad within the framework of transnational, EU, state or university mobility programs.
  • Students of Austrian universities who study abroad due to mandatory provisions in the curriculum.
  • Students from foreign universities who complete studies or practical periods at domestic universities within the framework of transnational, EU, state or university mobility programs.
  • regular foreign students whose last university attended there has concluded a university partnership agreement with the Austrian university or universities, which also provides for the mutual waiver of the tuition fee.
  • Convention refugees (within the non-contributory period)
  • Holders of a victim identification card or an official certificate as defined in Section 10 of the Victim Welfare Act.
  • Students to whom the tuition fee is to be waived based on provisions of the University’s bylaws.

The application for tuition remission must be submitted before the end of the grace period for the semester in question. The form or instructions on how to apply are available from the Department of Studies and Examinations. In addition, appropriate evidence (confirmation of participation in the mobility program, proof of refugee status, victim ID, etc.) must be attached to the application for waiver of the tuition fee.

Students who have had their tuition waived due to study abroad as part of a mobility program or curriculum obligation must provide proof to their university(s) upon return that they actually studied (practiced) abroad. Otherwise, the tuition fee must be paid in arrears.

Overview of the least developed countries:

Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Djibouti, Eritrea, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kampuchea, Kiribati, Comoros, Congo (Democratic Republic of), Laos, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Yemen, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Zambia, Sao Tome and Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, Togo, Chad, Tuvalu, Uganda, Central African Republic

ÖH advocates the abolition of tuition fees for all students.

Arguably contrary to the idea of a cosmopolitan and internationally recognized university is the fact that students with non-Austrian or non-EEA citizenship have to pay double the tuition fees. Plain discrimination is when the same administrative act costs twice as much for foreign students

9. leave of absence

Students are to be granted leave of absence upon application if one of the following reasons is proven: Completion of military or civilian service, pregnancy or care of own children, study-impeding illness or impairment in connection with a disability, completion of a voluntary social year. Other occasions may be provided for in the university’s bylaws.

During the leave of absence, the student’s admission to the course of study remains valid; participation in courses, taking examinations, and the submission and evaluation of scientific papers and artistic master’s and diploma theses are not permitted. Leaves of absence do not extend the transition period to a new curriculum.

If you are admitted to other universities at the same time, you must also apply for or report the waiver of tuition fees or the leave of absence to these universities. Please always pay attention to the deadlines. Mostly they are for the WS until the end of September and for the SoSe until the end of February.

If the renewal date of the residence permit falls in a semester with leave of absence, the residence authority assumes that no studies are taking place and does not renew the residence title. Also, a leave of absence does not relieve the student of the obligation to provide full evidence of academic success per academic year.