As one of the most livable countries in the world, Austria is renowned for its higher education. This claim is strengthened by so many things, most notably the nation’s intellectual history. After all, its universities have produced the likes of Sigmund Freud and Erwin Schroedinger, to name a few.

If you want to join the ranks of these bright minds, then you should try to apply to an Austrian university. More than just being world-renowned, some of them are quite affordable too. Listed below are some of the cheapest universities in Austria for international students.

Are there Tuition-Free Universities in Austria for International Students?

The short answer is yes and no. It will really depend on the student’s nationality. If you are from the EU or EEA member state, then many public universities in Austria will not charge you for tuition.

In some special cases, some public universities also provide free tuition such as being a participant in an exchange program, scholars, and students of certain countries. However, these vary per institution, so, it is recommended to directly check with the university to see if they offer such exemptions.

Students from third countries need to pay a small amount of tuition, which is around €730 per semester for public universities and much higher costs for universities of applied sciences and private universities.

Here are some of the free public universities in Austria: the University of Vienna, Johannes Kepler University Linz, University of Graz, Medical University of Vienna, University of Innsbruck, and the University of Leoben.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Can International Students Study in Austria for Free?

Yes, international students can study in Austria for free. As mentioned above, if you fit into the free tuition category for international students, then you are exempted from paying tuition. If you are not, then you have to pay €730 per semester, but that can be easily paid by working part-time during the academic semester and full-time during the break. This will definitely help to lower your academic costs while studying in Austria.

What are the General Requirements to Study in Austria?

Undergraduate students need a high school certificate equivalent to the Austrian Matura Exam Certification. As for graduate applicants, a bachelor’s degree in a related field is necessary. Sufficient German knowledge is required as well.

Other vital application documents include the following:

  • Transcript of Records with Grades
  • Accomplished Application Forms
  • Passport or Identity Card
  • ID Photos

Do Universities in Austria Offer English-taught Programs?

Yes. At the FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences, one semester of undergraduate education is taught in English. Some of its Master’s degree courses are delivered in English as well.

At the University of Vienna, students can take hold of Master’s degrees that are fully taught in English. Some other courses are taught in English as well.

Affordable Universities in Austria for International Students

1. FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences

Founded in 1989 as the Technical School of Vorarlberg, the university has progressed into an institution that provides practice-linked degrees. To date, its students major in bachelor’s and master’s programs that focus on Business, Design, Engineering, and Social Work.

FH Vorarlberg University of Applied Sciences is a tuition-free university in Austria. In addition, the university continues to attract international students with its long list of scholarships and financial grants.

2. BOKU – University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences

The university, which is also known as BOKU, was founded in 1872 as a research center for renewable resources. Currently, it specializes in the fields of Engineering, Natural Science, Biotechnology, Economics, and Social Science.

The strong BOKU student population is immersed in the school’s wide array of bachelor’s and MSc programs. A good percentage comes from foreign backgrounds, who have taken hold of the school’s cheap tuition and many grant offerings.

3. University of Vienna

Known in German as the Universität Wien, this Vienna-based institution is the oldest in the German-speaking world. The University of Vienna is one of the cheapest universities in Austria for international students.

Founded in the year 1365 by Duke Rudolph, it is modeled after the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris. Given its long and illustrious history, it is considered one of the most reputable European universities – especially in the field of Humanities.

The university offers a wide selection of bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs. While most lessons are taught in German, some of them are offered in English to attract students from all around the world. This technique has been more than effective, with around 30% of the university’s student population coming from various parts of the globe.

4. Medical University of Vienna

  • University Website | Tuition Fees
  • Tuition Fee Range: free to EU, EEA, Swiss, and students from developing countries | around € 726/sem (third country)

The Medizinische Universität Wien, a university in Austria, was established in 2004 as the successor of the University of Vienna’s Faculty of Medicine. Despite its year of founding, its roots make it the second-oldest medical faculty after the Charles University of Prague.

As one of the best medical schools in Europe, it is known for its competitive admission – accepting only about 9% of its 8,000 applicants to its programs. These are Medicine, Dentistry, an MA in Medical Informatics, and a Ph.D. in Applied Medical Science.

Despite having only a small population of students, the Medical University of Vienna is home to a lot of foreigners. In fact, 30% of its population comes from various countries all around the world.

5. University of Salzburg

The University of Salzburg, which is based in the fourth-largest city in Austria, was founded in the year 1622. It is named after its founder, the Prince-Archbishop Paris Lodron.

Closed in 1810 and re-established in the year 1962, the university is home to thousands of students coming from across the globe. These international students enroll at the university to study in the following fields of study: Law, Cultural and Social Science, Natural Science, and Catholic Theology.

6. Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien)

Technische Universität Wien, also known as the Vienna University of Technology, is a major institution founded in the year 1815. True to its name, the school is best known for its computer science, engineering, and natural science courses.

As with most Austrian universities, TU Wien is known for its conducive environment for international students. To date, 30% of the school’s 10,400+ students come from various foreign backgrounds.

7. University of Applied Arts Vienna

We end our list of free universities in Austria with the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Known colloquially as the Die Angewandte, the University of Applied Arts Vienna is an institution that specializes in the arts. Founded in 1867 and granted university status in 1970, the predecessor of the Vienna School of Arts & Crafts has produced many influential artists throughout the years.

Although the University of Applied Arts Vienna only has a small number of students, 15% of them come from 70+ countries all around the world. Overseas students are given the opportunity to major in Bachelor’s degrees such as Art Education, Cross-Disciplinary Strategies, Language Arts, and TransArts. Available Master’s degrees include Architecture, Social Design, and Arts & Culture Studies.


We hope that this article on the free universities in Austria was helpful. To know more information like this, check out the Programs in Europe for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hyun is the founder at Global Scholarships. He has received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College as well as $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for his undergraduate degree and has been offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. Read more about his scholarship journey here.

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  1. Iyayi Atekha - Reply

    I wish to apply and how can I?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, to apply to universities in Austria, you need to look at their university website for more information. Since different universities have different requirements, please take a look at the university websites that you are interested in, for information about the admission requirements and apply.

  2. Badejo Alaba - Reply

    I’m interested in studying in any of these universities provided they admit student with HND (Nigeria) for either postgraduate or masters. I had Higer National diploma in Business Administration.
    Thanks for your favourable response.

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, Higher National Diploma is not considered as equivalent to bachelor’s in most places. I don’t think that you will be eligible for Master’s with HND in most places.

  3. Shola - Reply

    I’m interested in study in any of these universities but I don’t know if having HND is not a barrier

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, you will be eligible for undergraduate degree in Austria, but not Master’s with a Higher National Diploma from Nigeria.

  4. Iyayi Atekha - Reply

    I want to study in any of the Austrian University as an international student. How can I apply?

  5. Anthony Zenayele - Reply

    Hi, am Anthony from Ghana. I hold a Top-Up Bachelor of Technology and a Higher National Diploma in civil engineering respectively. Please, do I qualify to apply for Masters degree programme in Austria?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Higher National Diploma is not usually equivalent to a Bachelor’s degree since it is 2 year degree. If you Bachelor of Technology is a 3 or 4 year program, then you should be qualified to apply for Master’s degree in Austria.

  6. Muwanika Hassan - Reply

    Hello, Am an Ugandan who graduated from Indian University. I completed my studies and went back to my country however my transcript and certificate is not legalised yet. Is it possible to get admitted and then legalise my documents since it takes about three months for me to get those stamps?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, most students that apply in their last year of studies do not have finalized documents also, same with your situation, so I believe that your case will be fine. I would ask the your interested Austrian universities though just to make sure.

  7. Rasheed Taiwo Ibrahim - Reply

    I have third class in my Bachelor Certificate. Am I qualify to apply for Masters?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, if your bachelor’s certificate is one or two years, most Austrian universities probably won’t accept your degree for Master’s. If your degree was three or four years, they will accept it, but with a third class degree, you will have a difficult time getting accepted unfortunately.

  8. Faruku Adewale Abiola - Reply

    I am a Nigerian candidate. Can I apply for Master degree with OND and HND Certificate which is 4years course?

    • Hyun Lee - Reply

      Hello, OND is considered equivalent to A-levels, which is a secondary school, and HND is a two-year degree. These are not equivalent to bachelor’s. You cannot apply for a Master’s degree with these in most countries, if not all; you can only apply for a bachelor’s.

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