Guide: study in Norway

Johannes Jansson/



Do you want to study in Norway? Here you can read more about how to apply for higher education in Norway, approval of educational qualifications from another country, the right to student finance, student accommodation, health care services for students, and other relevant matters if you are planning to study in Norway. 

Can you study in Norway?

The Nordic countries have concluded an agreement on equal access to higher education. This means you can apply for admission to higher education in Norway if you have completed an upper secondary education programme in another Nordic country that qualifies you for higher education and if you satisfy the other requirements that apply for the programme you wish to take.

How can you get admitted to a higher education programme or course in Norway?

You generally apply for admission to higher education in Norway through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service, NUCAS (Samordna opptak). When you are admitted to higher education in Norway, your upper secondary grades (school credits) and any age points and additional points will be calculated. 

School credits is the total points you have before NUCAS has added additional points and age points. In the quota for first diplomas this is the number of points with which you compete. 

Competition points is the total points after additional points and age points have been added. In the ordinary quota you compete with your competition points.

The following is a description of how to apply for admission to different education levels in Norway.

Admission to a bachelor’s degree

If you are going to apply for admission to a bachelor’s degree in Norway, you must first familiarise yourself with the entry requirements for the degree programme. Many programmes only require that you have a Higher Education Entrance Qualification (GENS) from upper secondary school, while some require you to have specific subjects from upper secondary school and others may also have an entrance exam.

On the NUCAS website you can find an overview of educational programmes and various subject requirements. NUCAS also has an overview of which foreign upper secondary education programmes give you the Higher Education Entrance Qualification in Norway.

You apply for admission to a bachelor’s degree on the NUCAS website. The application deadline is generally 15 April, but the deadline is 1 March for some educational programmes.


Admission to a one-year programme

A one-year programme is suitable if you have no plans to take an entire degree programme, but wish to study for one year.

Some one-year programmes can be converted to the first year of a bachelor’s degree or serve as admission to a professional degree.

If you want to apply for a one-year course, you must find out about the entry requirements. You can find an overview of entry requirements on the NUCAS website, which is where you apply for the courses.

Admission to a professional degree

Some higher education programmes are called professional degrees. These are generally five-programmes and lead to a specific profession. The biggest difference between a normal course of study and a professional degree is that, with a normal course of study, you usually take a bachelor's degree first, before you possibly take a master’s degree. With a professional degree, you follow a set course plan over several years within a specific subject area.

Examples of professional degrees are psychology, engineering, medicine,  and dentistry. 

If you want to apply for a professional degree, you must find out about the entry requirements. You can find an overview of entry requirements on the NUCAS website, which is where you apply for the programmes.

Admission to a master’s programme

A master’s programme involves more in-depth study within a subject area, and builds on a bachelor’s degree. If you want to apply for admission to a master's degree in Norway, you must therefore have completed a relevant bachelor's degree that qualifies you for admission.

You can find information about master's programmes on the websites of the various universities and colleges. You apply for admission to a master's degree via the university's web portal for applications.

Opportunities for student exchanges in Norway

If you are a student in another Nordic country, you can check whether your university offers exchanges with Norway. Norwegian universities and university colleges often have their own agreements with institutions abroad. There are also exchange schemes such as Erasmus+ and Nordplus.

Can you receive student finance, and how do you finance studies in Norway?

Public higher education is free in Norway, but you need money for study materials, semester fees, as well as accommodation and living costs. In general, you can apply for student finance from the country in which you are a citizen. Check with the authorities in your country whether they support the educational programme you want to take in Norway.

Many students in Norway also get a part-time job so they can pay their bills. When you work in Norway, you must pay tax if you earn more than the exemption card limit, which in 2023 is NOK 70 000.

Can you use your Norwegian education abroad?

In order to practice some professions, you must have special approval or authorisation. You should therefore check that the programme you are planning to study in Norway can be approved for working in your home country or the country in which you want to apply for jobs when you have completed your education.

Must you register in the National Population Register when you are going to study in Norway?

Nordic citizens staying in Norway for less than six months do not have to report the move and register in Norway. If you intend to live in Norway for more than six months, you must report your relocation and register in the National Population Registry in Norway.

Do you need any insurance when you study in Norway?

There is no insurance that you must have while studying in Norway, but it may be a good idea to have travel insurance and possibly contents or damage insurance for your home.

Are there student discounts in Norway?

As a student in Norway, you will receive a student ID that gives you discounts on public transport, can give you cheaper subscriptions, discounts in some shops, and other good offers. Contact the Student Welfare Organisation (Studentsamskipnaden, SiO) at your educational institution to find out more about student discounts there.

How do you apply for student accommodation or find other housing in Norway?

As a student in Norway, you can find accommodation either through the private rental market or through a student association. Student associations have housing at their disposal that is reserved for students. Student housing is often situated close to the university or university college, and is cheaper than housing on the private rental market.

Where are you a member of a national insurance scheme when you are a student in Norway?

If you are registered as living in Norway, you are a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme (folketrygden). When you are studying for less than one year in Norway, you are generally not a member of the Norwegian National Insurance Scheme. If you are not a member, you still have the right to have medical expenses covered according to the National Insurance Act, and you do not need to document this right with a health insurance card. Contact the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration, NAV, if you have questions about national insurance rights in Norway.

What do you do if you become ill while you are studying in Norway?

If you are not registered in the National Population Register, and you become seriously ill or injured, you have the right to receive help from emergency services or equivalent where you live. You are not entitled to a general practitioner (GP) or follow-up in the event of chronic illness and in the specialist health service. If you are entitled to the European health insurance card (EHIC) from your country of residence, you should bring this with you when are a student in Norway.

If you are registered as a resident in Norway, you are entitled to health services and a GP in Norway. Many educational institutions have their own student health service where you can access more affordable treatment from a doctor, psychologist and dentist. Contact the student association at your place of study to find out more about this.

Who can you contact if you have more questions?

Contact the educational institution where you wish to study, or the student association at the educational establishment. You can contact NUCAS if you have specific questions about admission, credit calculations, and admission requirements, etc.

In the guides below, you can read more about what you should think of when moving from another Nordic country. 

Contact agency
Ask Info Norden

Please fill in our contact form if you have any questions or if you have encountered an obstacle in another Nordic country.

NB! If you have questions regarding the processing of a specific case or application, or other personal matters, please contact the relevant authority directly.

Info Norden is the information service of the Nordic Council of Ministers. Here you can find info and tips if you wish to move, work, study, seek support or start a business in the Nordic region.