Access to university education in Iceland

Aðgangur að háskólamenntun á Íslandi
Here you will find information on access to university-level education in Iceland.

Persons intending to study at universities in Iceland must have completed a university entrance diploma or the equivalent. Special admission requirements may also apply for some university programmes and students may be required to take entrance exams or placement tests. Nordic citizens have the same right as Icelandic citizens to apply for admission to university-level education.

University in Iceland (Háskóli)

In Iceland there are seven tertiary-level institutions as well as several university centres in rural locations. Five of these are state universities. All further information on admission requirements and admission rules for university faculties, together with information on courses and curricula, application forms and information on registration and tuition fees is available on the university websites.


Private universities have tuition fees while state universities charge a fee for registration.

Language of instruction

As a general rule, study at Icelandic educational institutions takes place in Icelandic. There are, however, exceptions to this at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. Foreign language studies are for the most part conducted in the respective language and there are a very few undergraduate study programmes taught exclusively in English.

Many universities offer individual courses or entire study programmes in English. Most university institutions and many departments within them also have international representatives who assist overseas students. Study materials in most subjects are in English, although in specifically Iocal programmes, such as law, they are in Icelandic. In certain subjects part of the study material is in Nordic languages.

Distance studies

Several universities offer distance learning programmes. There is extensive distance learning co-operation between local authorities, university and knowledge centres, and lifelong learning and regional education offices throughout Iceland. All further information is available on the website of those departments and institutions offering distance learning.

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