The Norwegian higher educational system

Norway following the guidelines from the Bologna Process in European higher education.

Public education is free in Norway and, with a few rare exceptions, students will not have to pay tuition at the public institutions. The academic year consists of two semesters. The Autumn semester lasts from August to December and the Spring semester from January to June. The highest responsibility for the educational system lies with the Norwegian Ministry of Education and Research. Acceptance to higher education is offered after finishing upper secondary school with general university admissions certification. There are about 70 public and private institutions of higher learning located throughout Norway, and many of these institutions, particularly the larger ones, offer study programs and a range of individual subjects in English.

The degree system

Norway is following the guidelines from the Bologna Process in European higher education and the system based on Bachelor's (3 years), Masters (2 years) and Ph.D. degrees (3 years) and the ECTS credits system. Adapting to the European standard has made it easier for students attending Norwegian institutions to obtain recognition of their qualifications in other countries.

The full-time workload for one academic year is 60 “studiepoeng”/ECTS credits. Grades are typically awarded according to a graded scale from A (highest) to F (lowest), with E as the minimum pass grade. Some examinations are also awarded simply by a pass/fail mark.

Transfer credits and degrees

In relation to an application process, needed transfer of credits and assessment of academic qualifications will most often take place at the admission office of the institution to which you are applying. If you are in need of a general assessment of your academic qualifications, you can contact the Norwegian Agency for Quality Assurance in Education (NOKUT).

You might also want to read:


Find out where to live in Bergen and how you can get an apartment.

Requirements for international students

There are some actions that are manditory for the majority of international students studying in Norway.

The application process

The application process depends on whether you are coming as an exchange student or for a full degree.