First cycle studies (bachelor's)
If you have successfully completed upper secondary studies in one of the signatory countries of the Lisbon Convention, are in possession of a valid school leaving certificate and qualify for higher education studies in your home country, you may also qualify for higher education studies in Iceland. However, you are requested to prove your level of knowledge of Icelandic and/or English. In some cases, you are also requested to take additional qualifying courses.
Second cycle studies (master's)
If you are applying for a master's program at university in Iceland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant bachelor's or equivalent degree diploma.
Third cycle studies (PhD)
In the event you are applying for doctoral studies at university in Iceland, you are required to be in possession of a relevant diploma or master's degree program.
Language requirements for studies at universities in Iceland
Icelandic is the main language of instruction at higher education institutions in Iceland. Therefore, you will be requested to prove your level of command of Icelandic. In general, you are expected to have a level of command of Icelandic corresponding to, at least, B2 in the European Language Passport.
Do you need to learn or improve your Icelandic? [Learn Icelandic online (service provided by the University of Iceland)]
If your study program or course is taught in English, you will be required to prove your level of command of English by presenting the results you received at English courses. Please, always check with your university whether your English studies are sufficient for you to meet this requirement.
Specific admission tests
For some study programs, such as those related to Arts or Health, you are required to pass a competitive examination. Therefore, we recommend you contact the higher education institution you are interested in to learn whether you must pass the specific admission test to be eligible to apply for the study program of your choice.
Minimum grade point requirement to access higher education studies in Iceland
Some study programs may be very competitive and have limited study places. Therefore, applicants are ranked based on the grades they received from previous studies. Should this be the case, you may need to meet a minimum grade point or cut-off point in order for you to be eligible to apply for higher education studies in Iceland. Please, note that the grading scale in Iceland ranges from a minimum grade point of 5 to a maximum of 10.
[Learn more about the grading system in Iceland]
You may also use the European grades comparison chart to learn how you would score in Europe.
The Icelandic school leaving examination: stúdentspróf
Upon completion of upper secondary studies, Icelandic students take the stúdentspróf. The purpose of this exam is to check the level of maturity and knowledge of students. After passing the stúdentspróf, students are able to apply for higher education studies.
If you have not taken or passed the university entrance exam in your home country and would like to apply for undergraduate studies in Iceland, you may need to take the Icelandic stúdentspróf.
Are you uncertain whether you have to take the Icelandic stúdentspróf?
If you are not sure whether you should be taking the Icelandic stúdentspróf in order to qualify for higher education studies in Iceland, we recommend you contact the university, college or institute you are interested in and ask about your specific situation.
[List of accredited higher education institutions in Iceland]
Sources: Eurydice database (Eurydice is an international educational database developed by the European Commission and Member States of the European Union with the aim of facilitating and improving the understanding of the different educational systems in Europe)
The Icelandic Higher Education Institutions Act nr. 63/2006
Iceland Ministry of Education, Science and Culture