Study in Romania: Top Universities, Cities, Rankings, Fees, Entry Criteria & Visa Details | Top Universities

Do you want to study in a country which has a bit of everything – sandy beaches, wild forests, medieval castles and… vampires? That last one is a joke, but if you fancy all the rest, then maybe consider studying in Romania. This diverse country is full of historic interest, beautiful natural landscapes, friendly people, and a rich combination of European cultures. And, while vampires didn’t really exist here, those with an interest in the field may join the throngs of tourists keen to visit sites such as Bran Castle, considered the real-life inspiration for the spooky home of Bram Stocker’s Dracula.

Universities in Romania

There are 49 public and eight private universities in Romania. Undergraduate courses last three years for sciences, humanities, social and economic, law, political science, fine arts and sport; four years for technological sciences, engineering, agriculture and forestry; and six years for general medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine and architecture. Master’s courses last for two years. Higher education institutions in Romania consist of universities, institutes, academies, conservatories and university colleges.

Four universities in Romania feature in the QS World University Rankings® 2016/17, all of which are ranked 701+*. A further seven institutions are featured in the QS University Rankings: EECA 2016, a ranking of the top universities in Emerging Europe and Central Asia. The top four universities in Romania are:

University of Bucharest

 

The University of Bucharest is the second-oldest higher education institution in the country and the highest-ranked in the global tables. Established in 1864, the university is currently ranked 32nd in the EECA ranking and 701+ in the world. It is home to approximately 32,000 students and 1,300 academic staff. The University of Bucharest has 18 faculties, covering a broad spectrum of subjects. It cooperates with over 50 higher education institutions in 40 countries, and participates in programs such as Erasmus Mundus, Lingua, Leonardo da Vinci, Tempus and others, which promote international collaboration in higher education.

Babes-Bolyai University

 

Babes-Bolyai University is the largest Romanian higher education institution, with over 41,000 students enrolled. It was established in 1919, but underwent a profound process of transformation in 1959. Babes-Bolyai University also features among the world’s top 800 universities and 36th in EECA. Named after prominent Romanian scientist Victor Babeș and Hungarian mathematician János Bolyai, it is a leading research university with 21 faculties. The higher education institution offers courses in Romanian, Hungarian, German, English and French.

Alexandru Ioan Cuza University

 

The oldest Romanian university, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, was established back in 1860 by Prince Alexandru Ioan Cuza. It is one of the most respected universities in Romania, and features in the latest QS University Rankings: EECA in joint 49th place. It teaches about 26,000 students at its campus in Iași. When founded, the university had only three faculties – Philosophy, Law and Theology – but has significantly developed, establishing 12 more. The university is a member of some of the most prominent international higher education networks, including the Coimbra Group and the Utrecht Network.

West University of Timisoara

 

The fourth Romanian university to rank among the world’s top 800 is the West University of Timisoara, which is also joint 59th in the EECA ranking. Established in 1962, it is the youngest of Romania’s internationally ranked institutions. The university is organized in 11 faculties: Mathematics and Informatics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, Geography, History, Theology, Psychology, Economics, Arts, Physical Education, Politics, Philosophy and Law. One of the most notable alumni of the university is Herta Müller, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2009.

*For information about ranking categories, and answers to other frequently asked questions, click here.

Explore other popular study destinations in Europe

Wherever you study in Romania, you’ll find plenty to explore… Like much of Eastern Europe, Romania has in recent years gained a reputation for lively nightlife; you’ll find lots of live music, festivals, bars and nightclubs, as well as a good selection of theatres, galleries and museums. Many visitors to the country are enthralled by areas of natural beauty such as the Carpathian Mountains and the Danube Delta, and you certainly can’t leave without visiting at least a few of the country’s fairytale-like castles and fortresses, especially those in the Transylvania region.

Discover Romania’s major student cities:

 

Bucharest

Romania’s capital and largest city, Bucharest is among the largest cities in the European Union. The country’s communist-era leader, Nicolae Ceausescu, who was toppled in 1989, left a clear mark on the cityscape – most obviously in the creation of the Palace of Parliament, the world’s second-largest building. The Palace is at one end of the Bulevardul Unirii (“Unification Boulevard”), part of the legacy of an attempt to transform Bucharest into a new Paris, along with other famous landmarks such as the Arcul de Triumf. Beyond these grand edifices, Bucharest is a city packed with trendy clubs, bars, cafés and cultural venues; parks in which to relax and find some shade from the often hot weather; hidden pockets of historic architecture; and a large and lively student community.

There are some 16 public universities in Bucharest (as well as almost 20 private institutions), including Romania’s highest ranked, the University of Bucharest.

 

Iași

Another of Romania’s largest and oldest cities, Iași is located in the north-east of the country, close to the border with Moldova. It’s a former national capital (if only for a few years, from 1916 to 1918) and is long established among the leading centers of Romanian cultural and intellectual life. Indeed, Iași (pronounced “Yash”) is sometimes referred to as the “cultural capital of Romania”, and even has its own Palace of Culture, a grand neo-Gothic building which houses four museums. The city is home to Romania’s oldest university, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, which has since been joined by several more, and remains a leading center for higher education and research. The large and internationally diverse student population ensures a lively arts and social scene, and contributes to a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

 

Cluj-Napoca

Commonly known as Cluj, Cluj-Napoca is the second largest city in Romania, and home to the country’s largest university, Babes-Bolyai University – once again, meaning local life is strongly influenced by the major student community. Located towards the north-west of the nation, it makes a good base from which to explore this area’s mountains, forests and medieval sites. Cluj is also full of cool bohemian cafes and bars, and is an important center for the media and cultural sectors, especially renowned as a cinematic hub. Annual highlights in the city’s calendar include the Transylvania International Film Festival, which attracts participants from around the world, and the Transylvania Jazz festival.

 

Timişoara

The third most populous city in Romania, Timişoara is in the west of Romania, close to the national borders with Hungary and Serbia. It city center is full of attractive squares and architecture, much of which reflects its history as part of the Austrian Empire; along with several other European cities, it’s sometimes nicknamed “Little Vienna”. It has a significant student population, thanks to its four public and four private universities, and West University of Timisoara is featured in the international rankings. Annual events include the three-day Plai Music Festival and StudentFest, an arts and cultural festival run by the city’s students.

Read about Romania’s southern neighbor, Bulgaria

 

Applying to study in Romania

In order to apply to study in Romania, you have to be at least 17 years old. The documents you need when applying to Romanian universities include:

  • Application form  for diploma recognition (EU, EEA or Swiss applicants)
  • For undergraduate applicants: certified copy of the Baccalaureate Diploma or equivalent
  • For postgraduate applicants: certified copy of graduation certificate
  • Certified copy of academic record translated into Romanian, English, French or German
  • Certified copy of birth certificate
  • A medical certificate specifying that the candidate does not have any contagious diseases and explaining the applicant's health status
  • Certified copy of passport
  • A statement specifying that the applicant’s high-school diploma (Baccalaureate Diploma) enables him/her to apply for bachelor's degree studies
  • Language certificate, except for applicants coming from countries where the official language is the language of instruction (this certificate can be obtained from the university after passing a test before enrolment)
  • Two recent photos

 

Visas to study in Romania

Students coming from countries within the EU or European Economic Area (EEA), as well as those from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Moldova, South Korea, Switzerland, the US and Serbia do NOT need a visa to study in Romania. All others need to apply for a student visa prior to arrival in Romania. You need a letter of acceptance to study at a university in Romania, from the Ministry of Education, in order to apply. Student visas take up to two months to process. After you arrive in the country, you need to extend your visa and obtain a residence permit. For more information, contact the Romanian Office for Immigration within the Romanian Ministry of Administration and Interior.

Documents you need in order to apply for a student visa:

  • Letter of acceptance from Romanian Ministry of Education
  • Proof of tuition fees payment for one year
  • Proof of sufficient means of support for entire period specified in the visa (approximately €2,500/US$3,153)
  • Criminal record certificate or another document of the same legal value
  • Medical insurance for the entire period of the visa validity
  • Approval of parents or foster parents in connection with the stay on Romanian territory for study purposes, if the student is a minor.

 

Fees and funding

Tuition fees in Romania vary from institution to institution. Usually they are between €2,000 and €5,000 per year (US$2,500 – 6,300) depending on the faculty and the home country of the student. Medicine might be slightly more expensive, reaching about €7,000 per year (US$8,800) at some Romanian universities. Students who need a visa to study in Romania must pay the tuition fee in one instalment before making their visa application each year.  For students who do not need a Romanian student visa, fees can be paid can pay in one, two or three instalments.

Compare the top universities in Romania

Fast Facts

  • Area: 238,391 sq. km
  • Population: 19,942,000
  • Capital and largest city: Bucharest
  • Borders with Bulgaria, Hungary, Serbia, the Black Sea, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldova
  • Main religion: Christian Orthodox
  • Official language: Romanian
  • Currency: Leu (abbreviated to RON; plural Lei)
  • Semi-parliamentary democracy
  • Member state of the EU and NATO
  • After WWII, Romania was a communist state under the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu.
  • It became a democracy in December 1989.
  • The Carpathian Mountains are home to one of the largest undisturbed forests in Europe. 
  • The real Count Dracula (Vlad Draculea), nicknamed Vlad Tepes (Vlad the Impaler), was a Romanian prince and military leader who fought the Turks in the Middle Ages.
  • Romania has the second-largest outdoor museum in the world; Astra Museum in Sibiu features more than 300 buildings.
  • The Parliament Palace is the world's second-largest office building (after the Pentagon) and the world’s third largest building in volume (after Cape Canaveral in the US and the Great Pyramid in Egypt).