How to qualify for higher education

This is a short guide on how to qualify for higher education in Norway. The target audience is refugees and immigrants with foreign educational background living in Norway.

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Higher Education in Norway

This guide includes information for applicants who have completed a degree in their home country, have started an undergraduate degree but were not able to finish, or are planning to apply for higher education for the first time.

The first step is to gain general knowledge on education in Norway.  The webpages of Study in Norway and NOKUT are relevant sources of information:

What do you want to study? 

UiB offers a number of bachelor's and master's programmes as well as professional studies. All of our bachelor's programmes and professional studies are taught in Norwegian and proficiency in both Norwegian and English is required. Most master's programmes are also taught in Norwegian, but UiB offers around 30 master's programmes taught in English. 

Undergraduate studies

Do you wish to apply for a bachelor’s degree programme?

All bachelor’s programmes at UiB are taught in Norwegian. You apply through Samordna Opptak  (the Norwegian Universities and Colleges Admission Service). Most of the information on their website is available in Norwegian only, but they offer some general information in English.

1. General entrance requirements

The general entrance requirements to qualify are:

Search the GSU list to find the requirements that applies to your educational background. On the SO website you will also find elaborate information (in Norwegian only).

UiB also offers additional information on admission to bachelor’s degree programmes.

2. Specific entrance requirements

In addition to the general entrance requirements, some study programmes require that you have completed specific subjects at upper secondary school level. At UiB this is relevant for study programmes within the fields of medicine, dentistry, natural sciences and teacher's education.

Submit a query to the admission's office or the relevant faculty for detailed information about courses and programmes.

Graduate studies

Do you wish to apply for a master’s degree programme?

UiB offers a number of master's programmes (2 years), most of which are taught in Norwegian. However, UiB offers around 30 master's programmes taught in English.

1. General entrance requirements
The general entrance requirements to qualify are:

  • Normally a completed Bachelor’s degree of minimum 3 years (or equivalent) which must include courses of at least 1.5 years of full-time studies in a relevant subject (depending on the programme you apply for).
  • Proficiency in English (for all master’s programmes)
  • Proficiency in Norwegian (for master’s programmes taught in Norwegian)
  • Other requirements, like GPA, admission test, motivation letter or similar

Search the country list to find the requirements that applies to your educational background.

Academic requirements

If you have obtained a bachelor’s degree or similar, but do not meet the academic requirements listed above, you can do one of the following:

  1. Contact the relevant faculty and ask for an evaluation of your previous education
  2. Apply for admission to undergraduate studies through Samordna opptak and take the courses you need to be qualified. 

Post graduate studies

Do you wish to apply for post graduate studies?

PhD positions are advertised as vacancies or based on individual evaluation.

See our website on doctoral education for more information.

Regulated professions

Do you wish to apply for a regulated profession? 

UiB offers admission to 14 regulated profession studies, all taught in Norwegian. Amongst these are law, medical studies, dentistry, social economics, psychology and different teacher educations. You can find the complete list (in Norwegian only) on our website.

Note that many of the professional studies, like medicine and dentistry, have very high GPA requirements and specific entrance requirements.

You apply for professional studies through Samordna opptak.

You can find more information about regulated professions at NOKUT

General recognition of documentation

Recognition of previous studies

We recommend that you send your documents to NOKUT for a recognition of previous studies. This is a general recognition, but it might be advantageous when you apply for a master's degree. The process may take some time, so you should start as soon as possible.

If NOKUT recognises your education as equal to parts of Norwegian higher education, you should contact the relevant faculty and apply to have these courses recognised as part of your study programme at UiB. Note that you have to be granted admission to a study programme before courses can be formally recognised and you can be awarded credits.

Procedure for persons without verifiable documentation

This procedure is meant for applicants with foreign higher education at university / university college level, who cannot be granted general recognition due to missing, insufficient or unverifiable documentation.

Norwegian language courses

UiB offers Norwegian language courses for students, employees and spouses and a fixed number of places per semester are reserved for refugees and immigrants with a permanent residence permit and who fulfil the basic general entrance requirements for post-secondary studies in Norway.