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Interested in studying in Denmark?

Check out our comprehensive guide!

How to Apply to Study in Denmark

Copenhagen

If you want to study at a university that is never more than 50km from the sea, in a country with stunning woodland and lakes, Denmark is the place for you.

In addition to all of its natural beauty, Denmark is home to several historic cities, including Copenhagen, Aarhus and Esbjerg, making it the perfect place to be a student.

If you’re looking to study in Denmark, read on to find out how.

1. Choose a university

Now that you’ve made the decision to study in Denmark, it’s time to choose a university and a course. Five universities in Denmark make the top 400 in the QS World University Rankings 2021, with the University of Copenhagen coming out on top, placing 76th.

Other featured universities in Denmark include: Technical University of Denmark (103rd), Aarhus University (147th), Aalborg University (joint 305th) and University of Southern Denmark (SDU, joint 353rd). 

To find the right course for you, you can find a full list of programs offered by universities in Denmark here. Alternatively, use the course matching tool to find the perfect university for you.

Once you’ve found the right course for you, the QS World University Rankings by Subject will show you the best universities in Denmark to study your chosen subject.

2. Check the admission requirements

By now you’ll have decided on both your university and your course. Before applying, you’ll need to check that your qualifications are recognized by your chosen university.

To gain entry to a Danish university, your qualifications must be the equivalent of a Danish upper secondary school leaving certificate. However, for certain undergraduate programs, a relevant vocational qualification may be sufficient. 

You can find out what your secondary qualifications equate to in the Danish system by using this site run by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science. The Study in Denmark website also gives some helpful information about admission requirements.

Some courses may require additional admissions requirements. These requirements may be certain subjects passed with a particular grade, a passed admissions test or interview, or a diploma that has been passed with a minimum GPA. Check the specific course requirements on the university’s website.

If you don’t meet the requirements, you may be able to take a supplementary course, which will make you eligible for admission. This course, however, will not increase your GPA score.

3. Language skills

English language tests

Many non-Danish applicants apply for programs taught in English. To study a course in English, you must submit proof of English proficiency equivalent to an English level B in Denmark. Universities will usually state the exact scores they require on their websites.

 Find out more about English language tests here.

Danish language tests

If you’re applying to study a course taught in Danish, you will have to pass a Danish language test to prove a level of proficiency. You can take either ‘Danish as a Foreign Language’ (‘Studieprøven i dansk som andetsprog’) or ‘Danish Test 2’ (‘Danskprøve 2’). Some programs may require that you have passed ‘Danish Test 3’ (‘Danskprøve 3’).

If you are a student from one of the Nordic countries you will not be required to pass a Danish test if you studied Danish, Norwegian or Swedish as part of your entry requirement.

Find out more about these tests on the Ministry of Higher Education and Science website.

4. Fees and Funding

For students from the EU/EEA and Switzerland, higher education in Denmark is free for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

If you are from outside the EU/EAA, you will be required to pay tuition fees in Danish universities. These are, on average, US$8,000-21,000 per year.

There are several scholarships on offer, which you can find out more about here.

5. Apply

Applications to study in Denmark should be made through the national admissions site www.optagelse.dk by 15 March, 12 noon (CET).

Here you will apply to universities and attach the relevant documents required by the university you’re applying to.

Signature

To apply, you’ll need a signature and verification of your ID for each of the courses you are applying to.

If you are a Danish citizen or hold a residence permit, this is done with electronic signature NemID, a digital identification tool that will have been issued to you previously.

If you’re an international student, you will be required to print a signature page from optagelse.dk, sign it and send it to the universities you are applying for. The page will contain an application ID which the universities use to download your application 

Other documents

You will need to attach the diploma of your upper secondary education in the ‘attachments’ section of the application. You may also be required to attach a personal essay, but this depends on the course and the institution. 

Applying for courses and receiving responses

You can apply for up to eight programs. You must list these in order of priority and each application must have a signature sent with it. You can change the priority of the universities until July 5.

On July 28, you will receive a single response. This will be in the form of a letter. If you receive an acceptance letter, this may not be from your first choice, if they don’t have a place available for you. It may be from your second choice, or even lower. If you receive a rejection letter, this means you have been rejected from all of your choices. You must respond to this letter by early August.

6. Get Health insurance

Once you’ve accepted your university offer, it’s time to sort out the boring (but incredibly necessary) parts of preparing to study abroad.

If you are an EU/EEA citizen or Swiss national and are staying in Denmark for less than three months, you can use your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to access medically necessary healthcare services. 

If you’re an EU/EEA or Swiss national and plan to stay in Denmark for more than three months, you must register with the Civil Registration System. To do this, you’ll need a S1 Portable Document or a valid EHIC card issued by your statutory health insurance. 

International students will need to purchase travel insurance coverage for the time they’ll be studying in Denmark. However, all non-residents staying in Denmark are entitled to emergency hospital care, free of charge, in event of an accident, childbirth, acute illness or sudden aggravation of chronic disease, under the Danish Health Act. 

7.    Obtain a Visa

If you’re a citizen of Norway, Sweden or Finland, you won’t need any documentation to live, work and study in Denmark. All you’ll need is your Danish personal identification number.

If you’re from the EU/EEA or Switzerland you can study, work and live in Denmark for up to three months without documentation. After this, you will need to get a Danish registration certificate. To get this, you’ll need to present your passport, two passport-sized photos and a letter of admission from your university to the Regional State Administration (Statsforvaltningen). You will then be issued with a personal identification number.

If you’re from outside the EU/EEA or Switzerland, you’ll need to obtain a residence permit if you’ll be studying in Denmark for more than three months. If you’re staying for less than three months you’ll need a tourist visa.

To obtain a residence permit you will need:

  • An acceptance letter from your university
  • Proof of language proficiency
  • Proof that you have the financial resources to support yourself (usually around €1,000 per month [around US$1,080])
  • Proof that you have purchased travel insurance
  • A valid passport
  • Passport photo

8. Sort out accommodation

Once you have your visa, you’ll need to arrange your accommodation. Most students in Denmark live in off-campus student halls of residence, which usually cost around €240-460 per month (approx. US$280-496). Check your university’s website for more information about this.

You can also choose to live in private accommodation. This tends to be more expensive, although this, of course, depends on size, location and number of people you share with. On average, a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Copenhagen costs €1,333 (approx. US$1,444).

9. Enroll

Just before you start your course, you will need to enroll in your university. This is done online, and there will be information sent by your university just before you start about how to do this.

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Written by Chloe Lane
A Content Writer for TopUniversities.com, Chloe has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from the University of Reading and grew up in Leicestershire, UK. 

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