Denmark is a very attractive country to study in, not only because of its free tuition and study grant possibility (for EU citizens), but also due to its great study environment, infrastructure and work-life balance. No matter what your motivation to study here is, we compiled some answers to questions we are asked often times. Thus, we’ll talk about basic admission- and application-related info, such as entry requirements, how to apply, possible restrictions and differences between types of higher education institutions and degrees.
Application and entry requirements
Generally, admissions are handled in two quotas: Quota 1 and Quota 2. Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is a major factor that can influence your chances to get admitted.
When receiving quota 1 applications, universities consider the applicants' GPA and rank them based on it. Depending on where you apply, this is not the only criterion looked at. Some universities require additional attachments, such as a motivational letter. After submitting your application, you might have to take a test, interview etc. that also weighs in on your chance to get admitted.
In case you don't get accepted in quota 1, there is still hope: you can apply for quota 2! Through quota 2 universities try to fill their vacant study spots, which is most of the times due to people rejecting their quota 1 admission offer. Quota 2 requires a separate application, so pay attention!
When it comes to what to include in your application, it is usually clearly mentioned on each university's website, so make sure you check those out!
Where do you submit your application?
The applications are submitted through digital application portals. If you are interested in a bachelor's, apply through Optagelse.dk. If a master's is what you're seeking, apply via dans.stads.dk.
The systems work similarly. This is where you upload all your documents, select the program you wish and send the applications. In some cases, you can still apply even if you don’t have all the necessary documentation, but can upload it later on (e.g. high school diploma or English test results). The university will inform you of any missing information.
Application deadline for study start in summer/autumn is 15th of March at noon!
If you get accepted to a study place you will receive an admission offer which you can accept or decline. Your decline opens up spots for quota 2 applications.
If you already hold a degree (from Denmark or another country) and you want to apply for the same type of degree, you might have a disadvantage. For example, when you already have a bachelor’s degree and apply to another bachelor’s program, then those candidates who do not hold such a degree might be prioritized, and you might end up towards the end of the shortlist. This very much depends on the study places available and other requirements, so don’t let it discourage you.
Moreover, you can apply to a limited number of programs. If you apply to more than one, then you have to set your application in the order of priority. Your first priority is the program you prefer the most and so on.
Studying in Danish is also possible, considering that you have proof documenting the required language skills.
University vs university-college vs academy
Until now, we have used the term “universities” to refer to any of these higher education institutions, since the application process is very similar.
However, from an academic point of view, universities rank the highest. University-colleges and academies are lower in the hierarchy. Universities are much more research, academic and theory oriented. They are the main providers of master’s degrees.
In contrast, academies and university-colleges put a focus on real-life practical scenarios, in order to prepare you for the labor market.
If you come from a university-college/academy and want to supplement your studies with a master’s, then you might need to take up some extra courses to fulfill the university’s ECTS points requirements. There is a high chance that if you do, you might have to pay for the extra courses yourself.
AP degree vs Top-up bachelor’s vs Bachelor’s of Science
It is sometimes confusing for foreign students to understand the bachelor’s degree options in Denmark.
For a more theoretical focus you can choose a bachelor’s of science, provided by the universities and which lasts approximately 3 to 3,5 years. If you want more practice, then university-colleges and academies provide AP degrees (undergraduate degree, lasting 2 years) with the option to continue with a top-up bachelor’s degree (usually for 1,5 years). These can also offer full bachelor’s degrees (3,5 years), which again are more practice based.
This is a rather general presentation of the admission process, as there are requirements that vary depending on the university /program you apply for, or even depending on where you are from.
That is why we highly recommend that you also do your own research.
To hear even more about how it is to study a specific program, you can reach out to current students via LinkedIn or through Facebook groups.
In case you need help with your application, you can visit these websites:
Good luck applying!
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