Admission Procedure and Standards for International Students
Norway’s higher education system follows the 3 2 3 model with three year bachelor’s course of study, two year master’s degree and three year doctoral course of study. Norway provides an array of courses and programs, with minimum fee being charged; hence, the number of international students has significantly increased. The admission procedure and criterion varies from institutions.
Eligibility Criteria for Admissions in Norway
In Norway applicants are admitted to entry-level programs through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service, that ranks qualified students based on a point system that is based on grades and specialization opted during the upper secondary school, as well as age. At Master level, admittance relies upon the grade average at the Bachelor level.
Along with completing academic essentialities, English and Norwegian Language are also essential criteria for admissions.
For International students:
- IELTS: IELTS or International English Language Test. Most universities require international students to take this test.
- TOEFL: TOEFL or Test of English as a Foreign Language is an alternative to IELTS.
An overall score of at least 5.0 in the international English language testing system (IELTS). A score of at least 550 (paper-based) or 170 (computer-based) in the test of English as a foreign language (TOEFL).
For courses where the language of instruction is Norwegian, proficiency in the Norwegian language is mandatory. The Norwegian language is the foremost language of instruction at Norwegian institutions of higher education.
- Bergenstesten: The applicant shall pass test in Norwegian at higher level, 'Bergenstesten' (Advanced level), with a minimum score of 450. The international students must undertake One Year Programme in Norwegian Language and Civilisation.
- Proof of financial backing to fund your expenses and living in Norway are mandatory.
The academic requirements (including evidence of English and Norwegian language skills) will vary depending on the level of study in Norway. Higher education Institutions can have different entry requirements, so read the course information and requirements on their website carefully.Entry requirements for the different levels of study:
Minimum grade point average requirement
- Undergraduate studies (first cycle): To make entry into a Norway undergraduate course you will need to hold Upper Secondary Certificate of Education (Year 12), or the overseas equivalent. Some undergraduate courses may also have specific pre-requisite subjects.
- Master's studies (second cycle): If you are applying for a master's program at an institution in Norway, you are required to hold a relevant bachelor's or equivalent degree diploma.
- Doctoral studies (third cycle): For applying to doctoral studies at an institution in Norway, you are required to hold a master's degree or a corresponding degree from a professional training institution such as a school of Psychology, Dentistry, Medicine or Law.
The Universities and University Colleges in Norway use European Credit transfer and Accumulation System grading scale. Students are ranked based on their grade point average from their previous studies. Thus, students must always check with the university or college of their choice about the minimal passing grade point you need to meet.
If you are planning to apply to a Norwegian university, then you must start at least a few months in advance i.e. before the commencement of the term. Any queries regarding the details of the course must be put forth during the early stages of applying procedure. The applying procedure varies for different levels of study.Below is the general guideline at various stages of study:
Application Process for Bachelor's Studies
If language of instruction is “Norwegian” : The applicants seeking admission to an undergraduate course, where the language of instruction is Norwegian, in that case, the applicant will have to submit an application through the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service – NUCAS.Abide by the following steps:
- Step 1: Fill up the online application form, called nettsoknad, at http://www.samordnaopptak.no/info/soke/logg-inn/velg-innlogging.html You can mention up to 10 courses of study you are interested in, in order of precedence.
- Step 2: Once you are registered at Samordna opptak (The Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service), you will receive a form called "omslagsark" by post. Fill up the information about your educational background and return it with attested copies of other documents like your school leaving certificate, school transcripts, GPA etc.
- Step 3: The University you applied to, will inform you whether you have been accepted to the study program you chose.
If Language of instruction is “English”: The applicants seeking admission to an undergraduate study at a higher education institution in Norway need to check and contact each institution separately. Application forms should be taken from the individual institution. You will be required to submit your application directly to the Norwegian university or college of your choice.
Application Process for Master's Programme
If you’re seeking to study, Master’s program, where the language of instruction is English, you need to visit at http://www.studyinnorway.no/sn/Masters-course-search and browse by subject area. Application forms should be asked from the individual institution. You will be required to submit your application directly to the Norwegian university or college of your choice.
Application Process for Doctoral Programme
The applicants seeking admission to a Ph.D. program in English at a higher education institution in Norway need to check and contact each institution separately. Application forms should be taken from the individual institution. You will be required to submit your application directly to the Norwegian university or college of your choice.
Dates and Deadlines
The applicant must contact each university or university college to know the application process and other necessary information. In general, the deadline for international students is between December 1 to March 15 for classes beginning in the month of august.
You will need to prepare supporting documentation to send with your application. The documents vary depending on the course of study, and institution you're applying to. The most significant documents include:
- Academic Records: This includes scores and official certificates and transcripts.
- Bachelors or Master's Degree certificates.
- English Proficiency certificate (IELTS or ToEFL).
- Norwegian language proficiency certificate
- School/College leaving certificate
- Work history (for postgraduate and doctorate programs)
- Certificates or documents which verify previous study or work experience if you are seeking course credits.
According to Study in Norway, the state (public) universities and university colleges do not charge tuition fees for all the levels of study, be it, undergraduate, master’s or doctoral program. But, Students are required to pay a semester fee of 300-600 NOK per semester. This fee grants the students, a membership in the local student welfare organisation, which in turn entitles to several other benefits such as campus health services, sports facilities, reduced fares on public transport and cultural activities.
There are several financial aid and scholarships available for international students. Acceptance for aid in Norway depends on the student’s academic background, the country in which they live in, and the course they are studying. There are national programs offered by the Norwegian government, as well as several other programs offered by both private and non-profit organisations to provide scholarships and other forms of funding for international students to help support their studies and stay in Norway.
The Norwegian Centre for International Cooperation in Higher Education (SIU) is a public administrative body under the Ministry of Education and Research in Norway that encourages international cooperation in education and research and administrates several programs under which international students are eligible for financial backing.