Conditions for admission to higher education

General information

A certificate of admission to study in Austria is required the first time you go to study at university or upon resuming studies after a break (not including holidays).


In order to study at university, you will normally be required to have obtained general university entrance qualifications. You must complete the following examinations in order to be entitled to attend university as a general student:

  • Reifeprüfung entrance qualification at an Austrian upper secondary school
    Upper secondary schools include general and vocational upper secondary schools, upper secondary agriculture and forestry schools and nursery school training institutes as well as teacher training institutes. Depending on the type of qualification obtained and the selected course of study, prospective students may have to take additional examinations on top of their entrance qualification examinations.
  • Study entitlement examination
  • Entrance examination for creative courses of study
  • Equivalent foreign certificate
  • Certificate of completion of at least a 3-year course at a recognised post-secondary educational institute
  • An "IB Diploma" obtained according to the regulations of the International Baccalaureate Organization
  • A "European Baccalaureate Diploma" according to the Convention defining the Statute of the European Schools

It is usually possible to be admitted to university based on an entrance qualification certificate alone. If a study entitlement examination must be sat, the examined individual will only be admitted to a particular course of study (or to courses in a related field that are included in the same subject group in accordance with section 64a, paragraph 15 of the Universitätsgesetz.


The pre-enrolment process for higher education introduced in 2011 has now been abolished, and has been replaced by a new general admissions period. The general admissions period for first admission to study for a bachelor's degree or diploma at a public university without any special admission criteria closes on 5 September for the winter semester and on 5 February for the summer semester. This general admission period only applies when starting a new bachelor's degree or diploma or when switching courses. This period may vary according to courses of study with admission procedures, special admission criteria or suitability tests. The system for continuing studies remains the same, whereby a notification of continuation must be submitted by the stipulated deadline.

Competent authority

The relevant university


The rector's office must admit by official notification all individuals who meet the admission criteria based on their application to their chosen course of study.

Upon admission, the prospective student becomes a member of the university as a general or special student. A document certifying admission must be provided in the form of a student card, which may be a picture ID card. This card must feature at least the student's name, date of birth and student number, as well as the card's expiry date. The student card may also be equipped with a storage medium enabling additional functions.

Further information

Further links

Legal basis

Universitätsgesetz (UG)

Means of redress or appeal

Legal protection in respect of admissions procedures: prospective students must be granted the right to inspect assessment documentation and assessment reports from admission procedures if they request to exercise this right within 3 months following announcement of the result. The assessment documentation also includes the questions asked during the relevant procedure. When providing access to these files, it must be ensured that the individual in question can provide feedback on the assessment. Prospective students are entitled to make copies of the assessment documentation. Questions regarding personal suitability are excluded from the right to inspect and copy documents. In addition, multiple choice questions and answers are excluded from the right to copy documents.

There is no limit on the number of times prospective students may undergo admission procedures.

Translated by the European Commission
Last update: 8 May 2022

Responsible for the content: Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research