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Admission to university

Requirements for admission to studying

For many subjects on offer at public universities, students may enrol, without an admission examination, during the general admission period – which they can find out from the university of their choice. It should however be noted that admission criteria are different for non-EU and non-EEA citizens; these will be shown on the individual university's website. There are normally admission procedures in place at universities of applied sciences and private universities.

Admission periods for studying

Throughout Austria, the general admission period for initial admission to a public university on a bachelor’s or diploma course without any special admission conditions ends on 5 September for the winter semester and 5 February for the summer semester. This general admission period only applies to beginning or changing to a bachelor’s or diploma course. These deadlines do not apply to courses with admission procedures, special admission conditions or aptitude tests.

Students may continue on their courses as previously, provided they submit a registration for the continuation of studies within the required period. Each university sets its own timescales for admission and registration for continuation, and for payment of students’ fees (ÖH-Beiträge) and tuition fees. These periods must last for at least 4 weeks and end at least 4 weeks before the semester starts.
It is recommended that, in order to prevent students missing these deadlines, the deadlines be available for reference on the University’s website and/or in the course catalogue.

It should also be noted that there are special deadlines for admission to courses at universities of applied sciences and at university colleges of teacher education. These can be found on each establishment’s website.

Semester start and end

The academic year begins on 1 October and ends on 30 September of the following year. The winter semester begins on 1 October, and the summer semester usually begins on 1 March. The universities set these semester start dates themselves.

Courses begin at the start of the semester, and students must enrol for these electronically within a given period.

Rules on holidays

Summer holidays normally last three months and cover July, August and September. Except for university summer schools, university non-degree courses, excursions and work placements, no courses run during the holidays.
However, it is possible in principle to run courses during the holiday months. Exams also take place at the beginning and end of holidays.
Each university sets its own Christmas, semester and Easter breaks.
Days on which universities will not open (besides holidays, Sundays and statutory bank holidays) are:

  • One day either side of Whitsun (Pfingsten).
  • 2 November (All Souls’ Day).
  • The saint’s day for the patron saint of the federal state in which the university is located.
  • A specific day to be determined by the Rectorate (Vice-Chancellor’s Day).