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Masters in Austria

Austria, a beautiful country located in the heart of Europe, is known for its scenic landscapes and rich cultural heritage that is reflected in the quality of its higher education.

Study Masters in Austria

Austria has produced Pioneers, renowned thinkers, and artists as diverse as Mozart, Freud, and Schubert, which makes it a popular destination for students pursuing higher education. Austria is also home to 70 top-class universities, some of them dating back to the 14th century.  Whether it is soaking the rich culture of the country or enriching your academic life with state of the art research facilities, studying for Masters in Austria would leave you with some of the most unforgettable experiences of your life. 

Almost 25% of students in Austria are international students, a figure that displays the welcoming nature of the country. It also ranks consistently at the top of life indices and with good reason, it’s housing, healthcare, and environmental quality is one of the best in the world. 

Austrian universities can be found in all the major global ranking systems, fitting of the country whose universities and cities are some of the most historic institutions of Europe.

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Why study your Masters in Austria?

Why study masters in Austria

Opting to study in a  country with rich historical heritage and world-class range of cultural activities may seem like an alluring option for many, but if you need some more convincing, here are some of the top reasons why you should choose Austria for your study Masters  abroad:

  • Austria’s university system is a member of the Bologna Process meaning Austrian students have ease of mobility all across the European union and mutual recognition of the degree. You can study in Austria and work anywhere in the European Union. 
  • Just like many of its European counterparts, Austria also showcases a lot of generosity to its students in terms of their tuition fees. If you are an EU/EEA national, you can study in Austria for free. And even if you are not, you would be paying a relatively small amount per semester.
  • Austria is home to some of the world’s oldest universities and a great number of high-quality education institutions that boast a long academic tradition and learning atmosphere.
  • Being located in the heart of Europe, Austria offers great mobility as it is just a train ride away from the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, Slovakia, Slovenia, Switzerland. Students can travel to these countries without any additional restrictions.
  • German is the official language of Austria and even though it is the primary mode of education, non-german speakers have the opportunity of enrolling in one of the 200+ English courses offered in the country. 92% of the Austrian population speaks English so conversing and socializing won’t be a problem for international students. 
  • Austrian universities provide a lot of variety in terms of both size and structure and their educational offerings reflect this diversity as well. Research and teaching are seen as inseparable entities at Austrian universities all academic fields aim at fostering interdisciplinarity.

Academic calendar of Austrian universities

The academic year in Austria begins on October 1st and ends on September 30th of the next year. It primarily consists of two semesters:

  • Winter semester (October 1st to January 30th),
  • Summer semester (March 1st to September 30th)

There are also periods during which no lectures are held (Christmas, semester breaks, and summer breaks).

Applying for a Masters in Austria

Apply for masters in Austria

Austria doesn’t have a central system of application for international students to apply to the universities. In most cases, you’d be required to find a suitable program of your choice and then apply directly to the university providing it. 

The deadline for applications is usually September before the beginning of your course but the application window remains open until the start of the academic year. 

This may seem quite relaxed but remember that international students are required to complete a separate visa process and supply translated documents and transcripts related to their academic record. So it is advisable to start your application process well ahead of the deadline ideally a summer before the start of your academic year.

Eligibility requirements

Austrian universities expect postgraduate applicants to hold an undergraduate degree (or be in the process of completing one). Your qualification should be a Bachelor’s degree or its equivalent, worth at least 180 ECTS (European credit transfer and accumulation system) credits. This qualification should be in a subject related to your Master’s. In some cases, the University might also confirm your bachelor’s degree by calculating a certain number of credits earned,  to be deemed eligible for your chosen postgraduate subject or specialism. Particularly selective (and competitive) programs may set additional entry exams – or ask for scores from common postgraduate admissions tests such as the GMAT or GRE.

Application Process 

You should begin your application process by contacting the university responsible for your Master’s Programme.  In most cases, you’d be required to submit the following documents:

  • A degree certificate (for applicants who have completed their degree). Students who are in the process of completing their degrees can apply only if they are going to graduate after the deadline but before the start of their master’s program. 
  • Official transcripts of all courses and units of study completed as part of your first-degree program, including grades, weekly hours, and ECTS credits. If your degree was earned in a country working within the Bologna Process you can provide a diploma supplement as well. 
  • Evidence of German or English language proficiency.
  • A copy of your passport (this is required to confirm your nationality and determine your fee status).
  • Some courses may also request graduate entry test scores, a CV, a personal statement, academic references, or an artistic portfolio, as relevant.

All of these documents submitted in the application process must be official and have the official stamp of the institution that awarded them. Documents not awarded or published in German would have to be translated to German prior to submission. Universities usually have preferred centers for this process so you’d be required to contact the mentioned center.

Language Requirements

The official language of Austria is German and it is also the mode of education for various courses offered in the country. But due to the rising popularity of Austria as a study abroad destination, It has also started offering various English courses, especially at the postgraduate level.

The specific language requirements depend on the requirements set for the course you applied for.

  • If you are opting to study for a Master’s degree delivered partly or completely in German, you will be required to provide evidence of German proficiency, generally a minimum of a DSH II level.
  • If you are opting for a Master’s program delivered in English and you are not a native speaker, you will have to provide evidence of English proficiency, through a TOEFL or IELTS certificate.

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Top Universities in  Austria for Masters Degree

Top universities for masters in Austria

Austria is home to over 50 higher education institutions. There are three types of Universities offering masters programs in the country:

  • Public universities: There are 22 public universities in Austria. They carry out academic research in a range of fields and offer a full range of postgraduate degree programs. 
  • Private universities:  There are in total There are 16 private universities in Austria.  These universities are free to design courses, set fees, and manage admissions according to their own policies. 
  • University of Applied Sciences: There are 21 universities of applied sciences in Austria. Their programs are vocationally orientated and include some Master’s degrees and other postgraduate qualifications with a professional focus.

Even though Austria is a small country, it is rich and abundant with a good selection of vibrant student cities and prestigious universities.  Austrian universities consistently rank in three major global ranking systems. Its highest-ranking university, University of Vienna, is also the country’s oldest one.  

A basic university degree in Austria is called Magister and it can take up to 4 semesters of full-time study, including the time spent in research or writing a dissertation. The two years of a typical program are divided by a three-month summer break. You can use this break to gain additional study or work experience – or to complete a placement or exchange program elsewhere. 

The curriculum in those semesters is divided into two cycles: first for the acquisition of basic skills and theoretical knowledge and second for the focus on specialization. Austrian Master’s degrees also provide the opportunity to develop research skills through coursework and writing a thesis or dissertation.

 The top 10 universities in Austria for masters  include:

1. University of Vienna

University of Vienna masters in Austria

The University of Vienna is the highest-ranking university in Austria holding a rank of 154th in the world in the QS world ranking system. It is the largest university in Austria and the oldest in the German-speaking world established in 1365. Some of the world-renowned courses offered by the University of Vienna are:

  • Masters in Anglophone Literatures and Cultures.
  • Masters in Banking and Finance.
  • Masters in Communication Science.
  • M.A. East Asian Economy and Society.
  • Masters in Economics.

2. Vienna University of Technology

Vienna University of Technology masters in Austria

Austria’s second representative in the world ranking is Vienna University of Technology, at the rank of 182. Established in 1815, it’s one of the most prestigious technical institutions in Europe. Some of the well-known courses offered by the university include: 

  • MSc Environmental Technology and International Affairs
  • MSc Healthcare Facilities
  • MSc Real Estate- Investment and Evaluation
  • Professional MBA Automotive Industry
  • Professional MBA Entrepreneurship and Innovation

3. Universität Innsbruck

University of innsbruck masters in Austria

Ranked 186th in the world, the University of Innsbruck is renowned as a major snowsports hub. It outperforms even the University of Vienna when it comes to internationalization being in the top 35 for its populace of international students. Its facilities are spread throughout Innsbruck- a beautiful mountainous city. Some of the top courses offered by the university are: 

  • MSc Strategic management
  • MSc Applied Economics
  • MSc Environmental Management of Mountain Areas
  • MSc Environmental Meteorology
  • MSc Astromundus-AstroPhysics

4. Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz

Why study masters in Austria

Commonly known as the University of Graz, it is the second oldest university in Austria, established in 1585. It is also the second-largest university of Austria and ranks within the world’s top 480 higher education institutions. Some of the sought after courses offered by the university are:

  • Master’s in Advanced Material science
  • Master’s in Geosciences
  • Master’s in Production science and management
  • Master’s in Software engineering and management
  • Master’s in Computer Science

5. Johannes Kepler University Linz

Johannes kepler university linz masters in Austria

Even though a young university, established in 1966, in a very short time Johannes Kepler university has acquired a global rank of 362 and an immaculate reputation for offering future-oriented academic degree programs and excellence in teaching and research. Some of the well-known courses offered by the university include:

  • Master’s in Digital Business Management
  • Master’s in Mechatronics
  • Master’s in Nanosciences and Technology
  • Master’s in Molecular Biology
  • Master’s in Industrial Mathematics

 6. University of Salzburg

University of salzburg university masters in Austria

Located in the beautiful city of Salzburg, Paris Lodron University of Salzburg was established by Prince Archbishop Paris von Lodron in 1622. It is divided into four faculties: Law, Humanities, Natural sciences, and Catholic Theology. It offers around 5600 courses annually including various free online and diploma courses. Some of the interesting courses offered by the university are:

  • Copernicus Master in Digital Earth
  • MSc in Human-Computer interaction
  • MA in Jewish Cultural History
  • MA in Romance Language Sciences
  • MA in Musicology and Dance studies

7. Sigmund Freud University, Vienna

Sigmund freud university vienna masters in Austria

Sigmund Freud University is an accredited private university. SFU offers an alternative to prevalent approaches to psychology as belonging to natural sciences. The approach of psychology taught at SFU is embedded in cultural and social sciences. It is divided into four faculties: Psychotherapy Science, Psychology, Medicine, and Law. Some of the unique and interesting courses offered by the university are:

  • MSc Psychology
  • MS Human medicine
  • MS Dental medicine
  • MS Psychotherapy science
  • Master’s in Law

8. Danube University, Krems

Why study masters in Austria

Danube University Krems is a leading public university in Austria as well as the world. It is committed to tackling social challenges with its excellence in teaching and research. The teaching curriculum is centered around contemporary and future challenges. They are building bridges between basic research and practice-oriented applications. Some of the interesting courses offered by the university are:

  • Master’s in Action-oriented Media Pedagogy
  • Master’s in Chiropractic
  • MA in Cultural Property Protection
  • MS In Ecological Garden and Landscape Management
  • MA in Game Studies

9. University of Klagenfurt, Klagenfurt

University of klagenfurt masters in Austria

The University of Klagenfurt is a young, lively university located in the Austrian state of Carinthia. It is Carinthia’s largest university and a hub in terms of knowledge, exchange and transfer. It is split into four faculties and 34 departments and is renowned for providing a space that nurtures gender equality and the advancement of women. Some of the sought after courses offered by the university include:

  • MS in Artificial Intelligence and Cybersecurity
  • MS Information Management
  • MS Mathematics
  • MA Media and convergence management
  • MS Game studies and engineering

10. St. Polten University of Applied Sciences

StPolten university of applied sciences masters in Austria

St Polten University of Applied Sciences is a public university that is locally anchored and globally connected and is committed to providing high-quality tertiary education. It is future-oriented and has a steadily growing frequency of programs offered. It provides a strong interdisciplinary collaboration between research and curriculum. Some of the courses offered by the university include:

  • Master’s in Digital design
  • Master’s in Applied Research and Innovation in Computer Science
  • Master’s in Interactive Technologies
  • Master’s in Cyber-security and resilience
  • Master’s in Economic and financial communications

Masters program fee and funding in Austria

Masters in Austria fees and funding options

Austria is a generous country and their generosity is expressed in their approach to tuition fees at their public universities. EU or EEA natives can study in Austria for free and other international students are required to pay a relatively small amount per semester. In addition to that, Austria also provides various scholarships and grants to aid international students in their studies, so if you have trouble financing your studies, you can check their requirements and apply for the various scholarships offered by the country.

Fee requirements

EU or EEA citizens can study their Master’s in Austria for free, provided they complete the program on time. They are provided free education for the minimum duration of their program as well as two additional semesters for completing their program.  After this, they will be charged €363.36 per semester.

Students from other countries are charged €726.72 per semester. This puts the cost of a typical two year (four semesters) Master’s program in Austria at €2,906.88. 

Whether or not you are charged tuition fees for your Master’s in Austria, you will need to pay some additional administrative costs. These include a student union membership fee (ÖH-Beitrag), set at €18.70 a semester, meaning that the total cost across a two-year Master’s will be €74.80. This fee includes the price for Austria’s compulsory student accident insurance

Funding Options for Masters in Austria

Fortunately, there is a wide range of scholarships available for postgraduate study in Austria. Some of the main sources include:

  • Austrian universities may offer merit-based or need-based scholarships. You’d have to contact your individual institution for further information on the process and eligibility requirements. Merit-based scholarships are often granted annually to current students with an outstanding academic record.
  • The Austrian Government offers a wide range of grants and scholarships.
  • The European commission’s Erasmus program offers various forms of support as a part of its Erasmus+ scheme. They include scholarships for Joint Master’s degrees and short mobility grants as well as Master’s loan projects. 

Austria Student Visa process 

Austria student visa application masters in Austria

Visa process of postgraduate study in Austria depends on the student’s nationality:

  • If you are a citizen of the EU, EEA or  Switzerland, you may enter Austria freely and reside there for up to three months. After this, you will need to apply for Confirmation of Registration.
  • Students from other countries will need to apply for an entry visa and a Student Residence Permit. Unlike some countries, Austria requires students to apply for a Residence Permit before they enter the country.

All students are also required to register separately as residents in their local area – this could be done at your nearest Registration Office. If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland you will need both a visa and a Student Residence Permit to enter Austria.

There are two types of visas for entry into universities in  Austria as an international student:

  • A Visa C will entitle you to enter Austria and reside there for up to three months (90 days)
  • A Visa D will entitle you to enter Austria and reside there for up to six months (180 days).

You should begin your application for an Austrian visa and Residence Permit at an Austrian consulate or embassy in your home country. In most cases the following documents will be required in addition to completed application forms:

  •  Your passport along with two recent passport-sized photos (to be used for record-keeping and/or on official permit certificates and documents).
  • Your birth certificate
  • Proof of financial resources to support yourself whilst living and studying in Austria. This can take various forms, including evidence of a scholarship, evidence of savings, or a guarantee of support from someone living in Austria. The amount you will need to demonstrate will depend on your age and circumstances:
    • Students under the age of 24 should have access to €534 per month. 
    • Students over the age of 24 should have access to €967 per month
  • Proof of accommodation such as a tenancy agreement or similar document. 
  • Proof of health insurance 
  • Proof of university admission confirming your acceptance and enrollment onto a recognized postgraduate degree program.

International students in Austria are also required to have a valid health insurance policy. Your requirements will depend on your nationality:

  • Students from within the EU or EEA will be insured if they hold a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) (demonstrating a reciprocal healthcare agreement between their country and Austria).
  • Students without reciprocal healthcare cover will either need to confirm that their existing private health insurance cover is valid in Austria or take out a policy with a local public health care provider in Austria. This can cost up to  €61.43 a month.
  •  Students from certain other countries will be insured by separate reciprocal healthcare agreements with Austria. If that is the case,  you would be required to  acquire an A3 form from the national health insurance provider in your home country and then exchange that for an Austrian healthcare form 

Student life and Cost of Living in Austria

Why study masters in Austria

Austria is recognized, throughout the world, for its rich cultural past and present. This wealth of artistic achievements is represented in its architectural monuments and the great pioneers and thinkers born in the country. 

Austria also has an extensive program of art exhibitions, theatre, concerts, festivals, and folklore events and you’d find various sports facilities throughout the country. There are numerous reduced price tickets for various shows and events available for students. Even Cinemas, clubs and museums offer student discounts.  It is truly a magnificent country and you won’t get bored with all the cultural events and picturesque landscapes that it has to offer.

Although Austria is counted amongst the richest countries in the world, the cost of living in the country is relatively low as compared to many other European countries. The average monthly living expenses for a student in Austria comes down to approximately 950 euros. This may vary a bit, depending on your study location,  for example, accommodation and other living costs are going to be higher in Vienna other larger cities than smaller cities like Wr.Neustadt. Of course, the amount of money you will need depends on your own personal lifestyle.

Austria is not only a scenic paradise with its lush landscapes and rich cultural heritage but it is also renowned globally for being home to some of the world’s oldest universities and high-quality education institutions, that boast a long academic tradition and learning atmosphere. Austria offers rich culture and diversity as well as an unforgettable social experience to its international students.

With its high quality of life, low crime rate, high level of social security, and attractive recreational infrastructure, Austria is a safe and supportive learning environment for all native and international students. Its excellent academic infrastructure, research-focused programs, and a glorious academic tradition has given birth to various pioneers and thinkers of the society and continues to do so. One truly can’t go wrong with the prestigious universities and amazing quality of education that this country has to offer. 

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