When applying to universities abroad, like Norway, English language competency is a big concern for international students. The world’s preferred English language competency test for higher education and international migration is the International English Language Testing System or IELTS, which is highly esteemed and well-known.

If you are planning to study in Norway, one of the things you should meet is the English requirements, especially if you’re taking an English-taught program. Obtaining a high IELTS score may make it easier for you to get accepted into any Norwegian university. To help you with this, we listed some Norwegian universities and their IELTS band requirements.

Minimum IELTS Band Requirements for Universities in Norway

Most universities in Norway offering degree programs in the English language require IELTS test scores, although the minimum IELTS band requirement varies with each university. Let’s take a look at some of these universities and their IELTS band requirements.

1. University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is a popular public university among domestic and international students. It is considered the country’s oldest university.

An IELTS score of at least band 5.0 is necessary for international prospective students. The university always values potential students who obtain a higher score. The application process is rather straightforward; however, to get admitted, your student portfolio must stand out among the applicants. Most of the overseas students who were granted admission throughout the previous few years had band scores between 6.0 and 6.5. To increase your chance of getting admitted, your score should be comparable to that of a higher score.

2. University of Bergen

Next on our list is the University of Bergen. As of 2021, the institution has over 19,000 students with a blend of academic diversity and high quality. Currently, undergraduate studies at the University of Bergen only offer programs in Norwegian. However, students seeking graduate studies can enroll in one of its several English-taught graduate programs.

Applying for a master’s program will require an IELTS band score of 6.5 to be considered. To gain admission and to be considered for any scholarships offered by the University of Bergen, we advise you to study hard and score higher—roughly a 7 or 7.5.

3. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Another public research institution in Norway that accepts IELTS as proof of English proficiency is the Norwegian Institution of Science and Technology. With around 44,000 students, this is the largest university in terms of enrollment.

Generally, a band 5 on the IELTS is often required for admission. International students who wish to pursue a master’s degree are required to earn at least 6.5. You need to score higher than 7 if you want to stand out from the other students.

4. UiT The Arctic University of Norway

Situated in the country’s north, UiT the Arctic University of Norway is a highly esteemed academic institution in Norway. It is the world’s northernmost university. Due to its strategic location, the university has been at the forefront of research on climate change and the environment. The university specializes in the polar environment, climate research, telemedicine, medical biology, and fishery science. There are over 12,000 students at the university and about 1,200 are international students.

IELTS Academic is required by the university, with a minimum score of 5.0 for those pursuing bachelor’s degrees and a minimum score of 6.5 for those pursuing master’s degrees. Thus, for applicants seeking a bachelor’s degree, we advise band 6, and for those pursuing a master’s degree, a score of 7.5.

5. University of Stavanger

The Norwegian city of Stavanger is home to the University of Stavanger. It was founded in 2005 with the goal of becoming among Norway’s top universities. For students all across the world, the institution provides a variety of master’s programs. International master’s program applicants are generally required to demonstrate advanced English competence via an international exam like the TOEFL, IELTS, etc. They must have a minimum writing section score of 6.0 and an overall band score of 6.5 in IELTS. Therefore, it is recommended that you score 7.5 or more if you are eager to participate in UiS.

6. Oslo Metropolitan University

Oslo Metropolitan University is yet another renowned state university situated in Oslo. With almost 20,000 students, it has some excellent faculty that guarantees prospective students a top-notch education. International applicants must have a minimum cumulative IELTS score of 6, with no component lower than 6. Thus, you should attain to score above a five in all sections if you are planning to enroll at Oslomet; a score of higher than 6 is recommended.

7. Ostfold University College

The university college, which enrolls around 7,000 students, is committed to providing high-quality education to learners everywhere. There are about 100 courses offered at Ostfold University College in brand-new, contemporary facilities. International applicants must have a minimum overall band score of 6.0 to be considered by the university. It is therefore advised that you obtain an IELTS score of 7 or higher to guarantee admission.

8. Norwegian University of Life Sciences

The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public research university in Norway. It was founded in 1859 and is the 2nd oldest educational institution in Norway. Currently, it is home to around 5,000 students collectively. Besides, the Norwegian University of Life Sciences is the only university in Norway that offers degree programs in veterinary education.

NMBU is slightly stricter in admitting foreign nationals compared to other Norwegian schools. Prospective students are expected to have at least a band score of 6 for bachelor’s admissions and a minimum score of 7 for graduate studies.

9. BI Norwegian Business School

BI Norwegian Business School is Norway’s biggest business school and the second biggest in all of Europe. It was founded in 1943 and currently employs almost 900 staff. Besides, it is home to almost 19,000 students.

It is located in Oslo, the capital city of Norway. It is the primary supplier of managerial and economic skills in Norway with alumni comprising 200,000 students. To submit your application to BI Norwegian Business School, an IELTS Band of 6.5 is required.

10. NHH Norwegian School of Economics

Last on our list is the Norwegian School of Economics. It is Norway’s oldest business school, founded in 1936. It is located in the city of Bergen, Norway. Since its inception, the university has been a pioneer in research and innovation in Norway in the field of business administration.

Currently, it is home to more than 3,200 students. Besides, the Norwegian School of Economics has an acceptance rate of just 11%, making it one of the most sought-after universities in the country.

FAQs about Studying in Norway

Do Universities in Norway Consider Students Who Have Not Passed the IELTS Exam?

Applicants need to be mindful of the course requirements for English language competence because most universities and institutions only consider international students who have attained the required minimum band. Typically, a student must get the minimum IELTS language proficiency score of 5 to study in Norway.

If, on the other hand, you are from an English-speaking nation or your prior education was conducted in English, you are exempted from submitting proof of English proficiency, You will only need to provide documentation, such as a passport or certificate/diploma of the institution.


We hope that this article will be useful as you prepare for your studies in Norway! Aside from IELTS, Norwegian universities also accept other English proficiency exams, navigate our page to learn more! Also if you are searching for programs to take, check out the available courses in Europe for international students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

Share this article via

Leave A Comment