With its rich crude oil reserves and highly-developed economy, Norway is one of the richest countries in Europe. Despite its vast territory, this northern country is sparsely populated. Just over five million people identify themselves as Norwegians and most of them live in the capital, Oslo, and in the country’s second-largest city of Bergen.

The purpose of this article is to establish which are the Norwegian universities with the highest acceptance rates. All in all, there are nine comprehensive universities in Norway, along with eight specialized universities and twenty-three university colleges.

Are Universities in Norway Hard to Get Into?

Yes, universities in Norway are hard to get into but don’t worry too much since the admissions council is not extremely selective. The estimated acceptance rates of institutions in Norway lie between 20% ~ 40%, which means that it is competitive. If you have done well in high school and participated in extracurricular activities, you will have a good chance of being admitted.

For the top-ranking universities in Norway, the acceptance rates fall below 10%, which means that the admissions council is highly selective. If you choose to apply to universities with a low acceptance rate, make sure to prepare a backup plan just in case.

Which University in Norway Has the Highest Acceptance Rate?

Norwegian University of Science and Technology has the highest acceptance rate among Norwegian universities. Also known for short as NTNU, this institution has an estimated acceptance rate of 39%, and closely following NTNU, there is the University of Agder (36%) and the University of Bergen (29%).

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Universities in Norway with High Acceptance Rates

1. Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Norwegian University of Science and Technology is one of Norway’s biggest specialized universities with the main academic focus being on sciences and the development of new technologies. It has got more than 40,000 students who are being trained in many graduate and undergraduate programs in the fields of natural sciences, economics, medicine, and architecture.

Established back in 1910, the is one of the oldest technical schools in Norway. It now has open branches and faculties in the cities of Gjovik, Trondheim, and Alesund. NTNU assumed its current name and status in 1996.

The average acceptance rate of this university is 39%, which is a very high acceptance rate for a university in Norway, and some less popular faculties accepted over 50% of all applicants during the latest admission cycle.


2. University of Agder

This is one of the youngest higher education providers in Norway, founded under its current name as early as in the year 2007. Agder is a relatively small university with just under 12,000 students. The university has a total of six faculties that are distributed over two main campuses – Kristiansand and Grimstad.

Unlike most Norwegian universities, the University of Agder offers a good number of Master’s and Bachelor’s programs taught in English. Some of the most popular ones are Development Studies (Undergraduate), Coastal Ecology (Master’s Degree), and Mechatronics (Master’s Degree). With a high average admission rate of 36%, this university in Norway accepts a lot of students.


3. University of Bergen

Established back in 1946, this is the second biggest and most important university in Norway. There is substantial historical evidence that the University of Bergen established itself as a leading educational center as far back as around the year 1150.

If you are planning to study at this university, keep in mind that none of its Bachelor’s Programs is offered in English. Therefore, the applicants from abroad are required to present their scores of the Norwegian Language Test – Advanced Level (Bergenstesten). This university in Norway has a high average acceptance rate of 29%.


4. University of Stavanger

This university was established in 2005 and currently has just over 11,000 students. The academic focus in on feeding experts and qualified professionals to Norway’s ever-expanding oil industry. Not surprisingly, some of the most popular programs at the university are Petroleum Engineering (Bachelor, 3 years), and two Master’s Programs in the same field for 2 and 3 years respectively.

The university’s Faculty of Health Sciences is also very popular among the young Norwegians, who come here to pursue a degree in Nursing, Paramedicine, and Midwifery. The University of Stavanger has a high acceptance rate of 26%.


5. Nord University

Next on our list of universities in Norway with high acceptance rates is Nord University. Established in 2016, Nord University is one of the newest higher education schools in Norway. This is a relatively small university with just 12,000 students, but it is very open to applicants from abroad.

Some of the most popular Bachelor’s Programs taught in English are Biology, Bachelor in Circumpolar Studies, and Bachelor in English Studies and Culture. During the latest admissions cycle, the university accepted about 4,000 students or about a quarter of all submitted applications.

Many young people also come to this university to earn a Master’s Degree in Bioscience, Business, or in their special program – Nordic Master in Sustainable Production and Utilization of Marine Bioresources. The last one epitomizes the strong bond that the Norwegian people have with the sea and the efforts they make to preserve its resources.


6. University of Oslo

Established back in 1811 under the name of Royal Frederick University, this is the oldest and most prestigious university in Norway. In order to earn a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Oslo, you have to complete one of its three-year undergraduate programs and earn at least 180 credits.

Some program-related courses yield up to 120 credits, while the remaining 60 credits can be earned through freely-elective courses.

All undergraduate programs at the University of Oslo are taught in Norwegian, but there are a few Master’s Degree programs taught in English. Some special programs such as Medicine, Psychology, and Theology take six years to complete and grant special degrees. It has got over 20,000 full-time students and about 17% f them come from abroad.

The University of Oslo: it has its own museum, where the visitors can see three Viking ships, fully restored.


7. Arctic University of Norway

We conclude our list of universities in Norway with high acceptance rates with the Arctic University of Norway. If you are fascinated by the Northern Lights, polar bears, penguins, and the Arctic Circle as a whole, this should be your school of choice.

At the Arctic University of Norway, you can choose from a wide range of graduate and undergraduate programs taught in Norwegian, as well as in English.

This university is mostly famous for its Bachelor’s Program in Arctic Adventure Tourism, as well as the Master’s Programs in Aerospace Control Engineering and Applied Computer Science. The university has just over 16,000 students and about ten percent of them are from abroad.


The average admissions rates listed above have been gathered from local sources or calculated on the basis of the latest available data.


I hope that this article on universities in Norway with high acceptance rates was helpful. If you are interested in studying in Europe, make sure to check out Available Programs in Europe for International Students.

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