Studying at the University of Copenhagen as a refugee
The University of Copenhagen offers a wide range of studies, and refugees are welcome to apply to the relevant programmes. You can choose between undergraduate programmes (Bachelor’s degree) and graduate programmes (Master’s degree). Learn more about the different programmes at studies.ku.dk.
Here you can find information about
- Assessment of your qualifications
- Study structure
- SU - State Educational Grant and Loan Scheme
- Graduate studies
- Undergraduate studies
Please visit the website of the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education for general information about admission to higher education in Denmark and assessment of qualifications.
It is a good idea to get the agency’s assessment of your foreign qualifications before you apply for admission to higher education.
Each autumn, the University offers a preliminary assessment of your educational credentials. Usually, you can send your diplomas between 1 October and 22 November. In 2020, you will be able to find the exact dates on this page well in advance. The assessment will show to what degree your educational credentials (degrees, diplomas or certificates) meet the University of Copenhagen’s admission requirements for each of your chosen bachelor’s degree programmes. You need to attach all your examination documents in order for us to carry out the assessment. You will receive a detailed assessment within 6-8 weeks from applying. The preliminary assessment is only valid for admission to bachelor’s (undergraduate) programmes at University of Copenhagen.
The study structure at the University of Copenhagen is divided into three levels and follows a 3+2+3 structure. Three years of undergraduate studies lead to a Bachelor’s degree, and an additional two years lead to a Master’s degree. Only the structures of a few degrees differ from this model.
All Master's degrees obtained from the University of Copenhagen can be extended by three more years of postgraduate work leading to a PhD degree.
Refugees who have a temporary residence permit with the possibility of permanent residence are exempted from paying tuition fees for their studies in Denmark and at the University of Copenhagen.
Read more about tuition fees at studyindenmark.dk.
Refugees who have been accepted into a study programme at the University of Copenhagen must apply for equal status with Danish citizens in order to be eligible for educational support (SU).
You can read more about how to receive SU as a foreign citizen at Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education's website.
The University of Copenhagen offers a wide range of Master's degree programmes taught in English. See the full list of programmes.
In general, admission to a Master’s programme requires successful completion of a relevant and recognised university degree equivalent to a Danish Bachelor’s degree in level and content. The admission requirement and procedures for the specific Master's programmes are described in the presentation of the individual programmes.
When and how to apply
Enrolment takes place once or twice a year depending on the Master's programme. Deadlines may vary among the programmes. Please consult the individual programme description for information about deadlines (for the programme you are interested in).
If you wish to apply for admission to a Master's programme, you must use the online application portal. Read more on how to create an application on the online application portal.
Each Master's programme has its own deadlines, admission requirement and regulations for the exact documentation which needs to be provided along with the application. Before you submit your application, please review the website for the programme you wish to apply to.
For more information about Master’s programmes go to studies.ku.dk/masters.
All undergraduate programmes at the University of Copenhagen are taught in Danish.
- See detailed information regarding undergraduate programmes (in Danish)
- See general information about admission requirements for undergraduate programmes (in English)
Below is the most important information:
The Danish admission system is built around upper secondary school education. The University of Copenhagen welcomes applications from students of all nationalities and with upper secondary school/high school diplomas from all countries.
In order to be eligible for admission to a bachelor’s degree programme, you need to fulfil the following admission requirements:
- General admission requirement incl. a grade point average equivalent to the Danish 6.0*
- Specific admission requirements
- Danish language qualifications
* Please note that the grade point average requirement does not apply to theology and musicology.
General admission requirement and quota 2
The general admission requirement is that you have accomplished upper secondary (high) school education. The requirement may vary depending on which country you have obtained your education from. For some countries, the secondary (high) school education is not enough and needs to be supplemented with one or two years of higher education or equivalent supplementary studies.
Please note that it is the country where you have completed your education and not your nationality / citizenship that determines what rules apply to you. Your citizenship is only important in relation to tuition fees.
In addition to having accomplished upper secondary (high) school education, all applicants with an exam outside of EU / EEA countries have to attend a quota 2 test and an oral or written interview in order to apply for admission to a bachelor's degree programme in quota 2. Read about the quota 2 test on our webpage (In Danish only as the test will be conducted in Danish).
You can read more about foreign qualifications for admission to higher education in Denmark at the website of the Danish Agency for Science and Higher Education.
Specific admission requirements
All degree programmes at the University of Copenhagen have some specific requirements, which must be met. These are some certain Danish course levels: A, B and C, corresponding to international advanced level, intermediate level and elementary level respectively. These levels need to be met, either in the upper secondary (high) school education or during further studies at college, university or as supplementary courses.
All applicants need to fulfil the requirement of their mother tongue at the highest level (corresponding to Danish A) and English B-level. The other specific requirements are usually Mathematics A or B, Natural Sciences A or B, History B or foreign languages A or B.
Therefore, all applicants must include information and transcripts of levels obtained in the relevant subjects (for example A/O level, AP-level or European A1-C2 levels). We also need to know the number of years studied in upper secondary (high) school or college / university – and in some cases the number of taught hours in the subject.
Your diploma results will be converted to the Danish subjects and levels according to the rules set by the Danish Agency for Higher Education. Please see their handbook of international examinations for more details (information in Danish only).
See the checklist of the documentation you need to provide and the specific requirements for all study programmes (in Danish only).
Danish language qualifications
As the University of Copenhagen only offers Bachelor's degree programmes taught in Danish, all applicants with foreign examinations need to fulfil Danish language qualifications. This means that you need to have academic language skills in Danish: writing, reading, understanding and speaking Danish at a high level. You can obtain Danish language qualifications by passing the 'Studieprøven i dansk', which is a nationally recognised test for foreign language speakers administered by numerous language schools in Denmark.
When and how to apply
Enrolment for Bachelor’s degree programmes takes place once a year – on 1 September. The only exception is the degree course in Economics where students are usually enrolled twice a year – on 1 September and 1 February.
All applicants with foreign examinations (regardless of nationality) must submit their application before 15 March for enrolment 1 September. You apply for admission to the University of Copenhagen’s Bachelor’s degree programmes via www.optagelse.dk. Please note that the information at www.optagelse.dk regarding the University of Copenhagen is in Danish only, as all of our Bachelor's degree programmes are taught in Danish.
Guide to studying in Denmark
Do you think that the Danish higher education system is a jungle? Student Refugees is a student-driven project guiding potential students with refugee status to navigate within the higher education programmes in Denmark. You can also visit Student Refugees at their Facebook-site here.
Meet Nada from Syria
I'm a student – not a refugee!
Nada Alkis was living a normal life as a student in Damascus when the civil war forced her and her family to flee in 2012. Three years later, she is a student once again. This time at UCPH, where she is studying Pharmaceutical Sciences tuition-free.