Studying in Denmark

Study in Denmark
Updated 2019-12-18 12:57

Danish students are spoiled with a choice of world-class educational institutions, and luckily, international students are also able to study in Denmark and enjoy the wide selection of universities and institutions. 

Whether you decide to study in capital city Copenhagen or another major university city like Aarhus, there is a range of exciting university programs in both Scandinavian languages and English.  

Denmark's higher education system

Across the various Danish cities that welcome international students, there are different types of higher education institutions:

  • Universities
  • University colleges (also known as ‘professionshøjskoler')
  • Business Academies
  • Art schools (art, design, drama, architecture, dance, music)
  • Schools of maritime education

Most of these institutions offer 3-year bachelor's degree programs, 2-year master's programs, and 3- or 4-year PhD programs. However, most of the bachelor's degree programs are taught in Danish, so most international students who only speak English should aim to enrol in master's degree programs or higher. 

Specific professions such as nursing and business may have different degree programs such as 2-year Academy Profession (AP) programs and 3- or 4-year Professional Bachelor's programs. Do you need more information? Read about the study options in Denmark

Admission requirements in Danish universities

Admission requirements will vary depending on the type of program and institution. Documented proof of a high school finishing exam is required for entry to any bachelor's program, while enrolment to master's and PhD programs will require transcripts from your home university. 

Admission to a master's degree program requires proof of an internationally recognised bachelor's degree, while PhD programs require proof of an internationally recognised master's degree. Find out if your degree is recognised in Denmark by applying for an assessment of your foreign qualification on the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science website. 

Some degree programs might have further specific language or educational requirements. Check with your host institution for more information pertaining to your chosen degree program. Are you planning to do an internship as part of a degree program? See more about the requirements for internship positions

Language requirements for studying in Denmark

Students from non-native English speaking countries must prove English proficiency for admission to any program taught in English. There is usually a minimum score requirement, and only certain certified tests such as TOEFL or IELTS are accepted. Check with the individual institution to find out more. 

Likewise, international students who are applying to a program taught in Danish will need to show documented proof of Danish proficiency. 

Find out more about the ‘studieprøven' (Danish language test) and Danish language tests on the School of Danish website

Registration at Danish universities

Application to degree programs can be made online at your chosen institution or at the website. 

Here are some important deadlines to keep in mind:

  • Deadline for programs starting in August/September: 15 March
  • Deadline for programs starting in January/February: 1 September

*Deadlines for postgraduate studies may differ

Residence permits in Denmark

Residence permits will be granted based on the following criteria:

  • Successful admission to the chosen program
  • Fulfilment of all language requirements (depends on program and institution)
  • Documentation of sufficient funds (either self-funded or in the case of some PhD programs, sufficient wages from the university/company)

Student and PhD residence permits may, in some cases, allow family members to accompany the main applicant. 

Most universities and institutions assist with the application for the correct permits. You can also find more information on the Ny I Danmark website

 Good to know: 

  • Undergraduate/master's degree students may work up to 20 hours per week and full-time in summer (June-August)
  • PhD students may work full-time at the host institution
  • PhD students do not qualify for Danish study grants (SU/SU loans)

 Useful links:

Higher education institutions in Denmark
Study in Denmark – the official website for international students

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.