University education in Iceland
Universities 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 nationals have the same right as Icelandic nationals to apply for admission to university-level education.
There are seven university operating in Iceland, along with several university centres in rural locations. Five of them 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.
What do you need to know before beginning university study in Iceland?
As a general rule, instruction 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.
Private universities have tuition fees while state universities charge a fee for registration.
The Icelandic Student Loan Fund (LÍN) can grant loans to students during their studies.
Admission to undergraduate university studies
As a general rule, applicants for admission to Icelandic universities must have completed a high school diploma or other final exam at the third qualification level of the secondary school curriculum, or an equivalent qualification from a foreign school. Each university individually sets its own rules concerning exemptions from these rules.
Application deadlines differ between universities, so the information provided by each school needs to be checked carefully.
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.
Admission to postgraduate university studies
All universities in Iceland offer postgraduate studies after completing an undergraduate programme. There are a variety of study programmes to choose from, and information on the programmes and admission requirements is available on the schools’ websites.
Universities in Iceland - Foreign co-operation
Universities in Iceland are active in foreign co-operation, for example, in the Erasmus and Nordplus programmes. The schools' websites provide information about their international co-operation activities. Each school has an international department that can provide more detailed information.
University education in the Nordic countries
More information about higher education in Iceland can be found on the websites of the universities and on the website of the Directorate of Education.
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.