Located in the heart of Europe, Austria is not only famous for its breathtaking landscapes but also for its exceptional higher education system. With a rich history of highly ranked universities, low tuition fees and high quality of life, Austria is a top choice to pursue your Master’s degree.
Read on to learn the what, how, and when about getting a Master in Austria:
Austria is known for its affordable education. At public institutions, students enjoy the benefit of low tuition fees for Master’s programmes:
The Austrian higher education system distinguishes between universities and universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulen or FH). Universities of applied sciences might charge higher fees for their Masters than those amounts.
Private universities often have substantially higher tuition fees than their public counterparts, regardless of nationality.
Unlike some other countries, there is no centralised platform in Austria to apply for Master’s programmes. Austrian universities each have their own online application processes where all documents must be submitted digitally. Refer to the respective university websites for step-by-step instructions on how to apply.
In some cases, you have to pay an application fee of up to €50. Such application fees are generally non-refundable.
Note: Universities advise you not to work with agencies that offer to process your application! Austrian law prohibits this and applications submitted by agents are generally rejected. If in doubt, contact the university admissions staff.
Commonly required documents for Master’s degrees include:
The exact requirements for documents and the required level of English differ from Master to Master, so make sure to check early what the university is asking for.
It’s possible that you may also have to take an entrance exam to proceed with your application, especially at medical universities, universities of the arts and universities of applied sciences.
The academic year in Austria begins on 1 October (winter semester), and the summer semester begins on 1 March. Public universities mostly only offer a winter semester intake for Masters.
Austria has relatively late application deadlines for Masters compared to other European countries. The exact dates may vary from institution to institution and also depend on your nationality:
Master tuition fees in Austria are very affordable compared to other countries in Europe. However, if you are still worried about the financial aspect of studying abroad, you will be happy to know that there are a few scholarship opportunities for international students.
The Austrian Agency for International Cooperation in Education and Research (OeAD) lists grants in an extensive database.
Additionally, Austrian universities and institutions may have their own scholarships, targeting exceptional talents, outstanding academic achievements, and students from specific countries. Some of these are only partial scholarships, but would certainly help you finance your postgraduate studies.
Depending on your nationality and the duration of your studies, you may need to apply for a visa to study in Austria.
If you have to qualify for the "Residence Permit - Student", one important requirement is proof of sufficient financial means:
Start the visa application process as soon as you get your admission letter ("Zulassungsbescheid") and ideally at least 3 months before you plan to start your studies, to allow for delays. Make sure to gather all necessary documents, such as a valid passport, passport-sized photos, proof of funds, and health insurance coverage.
Once you’ve decided for a Master’s programme and applied for a visa, it’s time to look for accommodation. Start by checking university accommodation options, such as student dormitories. These rooms are often the cheapest options, and the fastest way to immerse yourself in student life in your new home.
In the larger cities like Vienna, Graz, Salzburg, and a few more, universities cooperate with OeAD Student Housing. That is a non-profit student residence provider operated by Austria’s Agency for Education and Internationalisation (OeAD).
For this and other housing options, don’t hesitate to contact the university admissions & welcome staff for advice.
Thanks to its central location in Europe, Austria is very easy to reach for international students with various modes of transport.
Vienna International Airport has hundreds of direct connections with destinations in Europe and elsewhere in the world.
If possible, also consider trains and buses in order to reduce your carbon footprint. Austria’s efficient public transportation system and it’s central location in Europe, makes it very convenient to travel from any of its neighbouring countries. Long-distance buses are also budget-friendly choices. Make use of Austria’s convenient location and visit other countries during your Master’s programme - Germany, Czechia, Hungary, or Italy are popular destinations and worth a visit!
Masters in Austria generally take 2 years to complete. There are a few exceptions of shorter programmes between 1 year and 18 months, mostly at private universities.
At public universities, tuition fees are usually ca. €750 per year for EU/EEA citizens and ca. €1,500 per year for non-EU/EEA international students. At private universities, fees may reach around €10,000 to €15,000 per year.
Ready to study in Austria?