High educational standards, innovative methods of teaching, and a friendly atmosphere – are several biggest benefits of Norway’s education. The system of higher education in this country is designed to offer applicants a wide range of programs and courses in Norwegian and English.

Those who plan to go to Norway with the view of getting a degree will also get a valuable student experience as a bonus. Apart from working on academic achievements, students are encouraged to indulge in various hobbies and sports activities all year round. Currently, about 15,000 foreigners are studying at Norway universities. They point out the following points that speak in favor of the country:

  • Opportunity to spend a lot of time outdoors enjoying the beauty of the surrounding nature.
  • A way of living that due to the implementation of innovative technologies has long since become better and easier.
  • A diploma from a Norwegian university gives opportunities to find a well-paid job not only in Norway itself but in other countries as well.

Universities in Norway with Low Rates of Acceptance

1. University of Oslo

The University of Oslo is the largest university in Norway that offers lots of educational programs for those who want to get a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. At the core of the university’s activities lies the principle of internalization. In other words, foreign students are welcome to apply. Although the majority of the courses and programs are taught in Norwegian, those who don’t speak the language have a set of opportunities to study in English.

In total, the university has 8 faculties. If you envision a career in the field of law, medicine, business, archeology, literature, linguistics, mathematics, chemistry, physics, informatics, dentistry, or education, you need to pay attention to this university. This university in Norway is very competitive with a very low acceptance rate. So, you need to be a very good applicant to get accepted to this university.

2. University of Tromsø (The Arctic University of Norway)

This University of Tromsø founded in 1968 is believed to be one of the biggest research centers in the country. Research projects carried out here are linked with the following areas: space science and fishery science, linguistics, biotechnology, telemedicine, and epidemiology. The achievements in terms of research and science lead to the official recognition of the university as an international research center.

Throughout its history, the University merged with several other higher educational institutions thus adding campuses to the complex. Today, it has campuses in Alta, Kirkenes, and Hammerfest. The main campus is located in Tromso.

A wide range of education programs in the areas of health, science, technology, education, social sciences, humanities, fine arts, economics, fishery, bioscience, and law makes the university a good choice for applicants with different backgrounds, interests, and plans for a future career. 

3. Nord University

This state university of Norway appeared as a result of several universities merging. Although Nord University is one of the youngest universities in Norway (founded in 2016), it is quite popular among local and foreign students. Recent statistical data show that more than 10,000 choose to study it each year.

The main campus of the university is based in Bodø. Other campuses of the university complex are located in Stokmarknes, Mo i Rana, Nesna, Standnessjoen, Levanger, Steinkjer, Namsos, and Skierde.

Prospective students can choose from a set of 180 academic programs designed across a wide range of areas. For example, aquaculture and ecology, animal science and education, arts and culture, teaching and adaptive learning, nursing and pharmacy, history and media, management and innovation, economic analysis, and accounting. 

4. University of Stavanger

This University of Stavanger was founded back in 2005. It is comprised of three faculties, two national centers of enterprise, and the Museum of Archeology. The university welcomes students from all over the world. About 10% of the students enrolled in it are foreigners. Even though the majority of undergraduate and postgraduate educational programs are taught in Norwegian, the university is focused on expanding the number of courses taught in English. This aim is easy to explain. The fact is that the number of applicants seeking the courses taught in English is constantly growing.

The acceptance rate at this university in Norway is pretty low, estimated to be around 25-30%.

One more thing that should be pointed out has to do with the student exchange program allowing students from other universities to continue their studies at the University of Stavanger. A program is an option only for those who study at one of the US partner universities.

The list of the programs offered by the university covers the following areas: music and dance, education (including early childhood education), sports science, media culture, health, social sciences, engineering, mathematics, industrial economics, and risk management.

You don’t know Norwegian but one of the courses taught in this language seems to be particularly interesting for you. You can complete a preparatory language course to learn and improve your proficiency in Norwegian. Upon completing the course, you will be able to study the courses taught in Norwegian.

5. University of Bergen

The University of Bergen is an internationally recognized research center that emphasizes high-quality education and a diversity of educational programs. The main areas of research are global challenges, marine issues, climate, and energy transition. The university is constantly spreading the knowledge it acquires through research activity. It also aims to imply innovation and an interdisciplinary approach to the educational process.

Foreign languages, informatics, fine arts, earth science, space science, technology, and chemistry – this is the non-complete list of the fields that are covered within numerous educational programs offered by the university.


As you can see, the universities of Norway offer many different options and study programs for prospective applicants. The abovementioned are the universities with the lowest acceptance rates in Norway. The lower the rate, the more selective is the university in terms of the students that are enrolled in it. If studying in Norway is your dream, do not be careless about the preparation process you need to go through so to become one of the students in the chosen university.


*There is no published estimated acceptance of Norwegian universities for international students available. We’ve estimated the acceptance rates of Norwegian universities by their rankings, by the number of international students, and through third-party sources like ranking sites.*


We hope that this article on Norway universities with low acceptance rates was helpful. Make sure to check out the  Study in Norway and the various Available Programs for International Students if interested in studying abroad.

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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