Admission requirements for non-EU and non-EEA nationals

General information

For foreign citizens (or students who are officially stateless) to be admitted as full students at an Austrian university, the following requirements must be met:

  • The student must have a place to study their chosen subject at the university concerned.
  • The applicant must hold a school-leaving certificate equivalent to that issued to Austrian school-leavers. Some certificates have been recognised as equivalent under international agreements. The equivalence of other certificates may be determined by the rectorate of the university concerned, subject to certain conditions. Alternatively, the applicant must hold a certificate proving that they have completed at least three years of study at a recognised higher or further education institution.
  • The certificate must entitle the applicant to direct entry to the equivalent of the course they are applying to study in Austria, had they chosen to study that course in the country in which the certificate was issued. Any course-specific requirements (such as entrance tests) must be completed in the country where the school-leaving/proof of eligibility certificate was issued.
  • If there is no equivalent of the student's chosen course of study in the country where the certificate was issued, they must prove they hold the equivalent qualification in the subject area most closely related to their chosen course. This requirement will only be waived if there are no universities in the country where the school-leaving certificate was issued.
  • In addition, the applicant must have a sufficient command of German (or the language in which the course will be delivered) to participate successfully in the course. If the applicant is unable to demonstrate a sufficient knowledge of German, they must sit and pass an additional examination in German as part of a university language course prior to being admitted to the relevant programme of studies. However, students will only be admitted to these language courses if they have already achieved an A2 level of German or equivalent, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) for languages.


The standard application deadlines (5 September or 5 February each year, for admission in the next semester) apply, unless the university concerned has set a different deadline for applicants from outside Austria.

NB: Non-Austrian students who are treated as Austrian for admissions purposes are subject to the same application deadlines as Austrian students.

EU and EEA citizens are treated as if they were Austrian citizens,

as are the following categories of applicants (this list is not exhaustive):

  • Individuals who enjoy privileges and/or immunity in Austria on the basis of international treaties or statutory provisions.
  • Foreign correspondents accredited in, and primarily active in, Austria, as well as their spouses and children.
  • Holders of school-leaving certificates from Austrian schools abroad.
  • Individuals who have either (a) been primarily resident in Austria for at least five continuous years immediately prior to their initial application for a place at university or (b) who have at least one statutory dependent who meets this requirement. 

Students from outside Austria looking to study fine arts are subject to the same application deadlines as Austrian students. Admission will be on the basis of an entrance examination designed to test artistic ability.

Competent authority

The rectorate or admissions department of the relevant university

Further information

All documents submitted must be in the original and accompanied by a German translation. This translation must be officially certified, and approved by the Austrian diplomatic representation in the country concerned. The requirement for final approval by an Austrian diplomatic representation will be waived if Austria recognises officially certified translations issued in that country on the basis of bilateral and/or international agreements.

If you would like more information about school-leaving certificates and examinations, contact the BMBWF.

Further links

Legal basis

Certified Translation
Last update: 31 August 2023

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