Universities in Vienna, Austria

Picture of a long rectangular building with manicured gardens in front of it

Schönbrunn Palace was the summer residence of the Habsburg rulers (1508-1918), and is in the Baroque style of architecture.

Vienna is the capital and largest city in Austria, a central European country known for its world-leading public infrastructure and stunning natural beauty. With a population of over two million residents, Vienna has been a major European hub for culture, art, politics and music for centuries. Additionally, with an immigrant or foreign-born population of over 40 percent of Vienna residents, the Austrian city is a multicultural space which welcomes international travellers in large numbers every year.

The fact that Vienna is consistently ranked amongst the world’s most liveable cities by the Economist Intelligence Unit proves the city’s excellent public safety levels and facilities. In recent years, Vienna has also taken steps to become a start-up hub and business-friendly venue. Major companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Siemens have based their European headquarters in Vienna, and more than 8,000 new companies are established in the city every year!

Top Universities in Vienna

University of Vienna

Founded in 1365, the University of Vienna is Austria’s largest research institution and one of Europe’s oldest universities. The university has a current total enrollment of over 90,000 students including more than 28,000 international students who form a sizable multicultural community. 

The University of Vienna is located on a truly urban campus, with over sixty buildings across Vienna as well as popular facilities including the Vienna observatory and the Institute for University Sports. The university is especially well-regarded for its degree programmes in the humanities, and counts nine Nobel Prize winners among its alumni.

The University of Vienna ranks in the top 50 globally for its degree offerings in subjects including Law, Philosophy and Geography according to the QS World Rankings. Research institutes at the university include the Research Platform Vienna Metabolomics Centre and the Research Platform Accelerating Photoreaction Discovery.

TU Wien

Originally established in 1815 as the K. K. Polytechnic Institute, TU Wien is a premier research university with specialities in the applied sciences and engineering. The university is home to over 11,500 students including 3,500 international students on its four campuses spread across Vienna.

TU Wien’s high-quality advanced research projects mean that world-leading companies frequently partner with the university on specific research assignments, and this will enable you to secure post-graduation employment through the relationships that you build with world-leading companies and entrepreneurs during your time at the university. TU Wien’s current research includes aspects such as Computational Science and Engineering, Quantum Physics and the environment.

Medical University of Vienna

The Medical University of Vienna offers two undergraduate degree programmes as well as a wide variety of postgraduate medical degrees to its 7,300 enrolled students. The university places special focus on ensuring that students are involved in three key aspects – education, research and vocational training. 

Through the university’s 84 affiliated hospitals, you receive extensive vocational training across the different departments relevant to your degree. This guarantees that you are best-prepared for a professional career in healthcare, and the university’s excellent network of alumni and hospital partners worldwide mean that you will have all the help you require to secure ideal post-graduation employment. 

Research at the Medical University of Vienna is separated into five clusters, which include the Medical Imaging Research Cluster, the Immunology Research Cluster and the Medical Neuroscience Cluster.

Graz University of Technology

Located a two-hour drive south of Vienna in the town of Graz, the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) was founded in 1811. Today, the university maintains many worldwide partnerships such as co-operative programmes with top-ranked Chinese universities, which allow international students to experience top-quality research and education in foreign locations. 

The university is located on three campuses in and around Graz – Alte Technik, Neue Technik and Inffeldgasse. Graz is Austria’s second-largest city, and is a student city full of vibrant cultural hubs and entertainment venues. Research centres at the Graz University of Technology include the Centre of Hydrogen Research and the Graz Centre for Machine Learning.

Vienna Universities World Ranking 2023

Below are the top-ranked Vienna universities for international students, with their ranks in two of the world’s most well-respected international university rankings, the QS 2023 University World rankings and the Times Higher Education 2023 Rankings.

For more information about rankings systems and methodologies see our University rankings explained guide.

UniversityQS World Ranking 2023Times Higher Education Ranking 2023QS Rank in AustriaTHE Rank in Austria
University of Vienna151=12411
Technische Universität Wien (TU Wien)=179401-5007
Medical University of Vienna=1943
Graz University of Technology=284601-800310

List of other top-ranked Colleges & Universities in Vienna

In addition to the four top-ranked Vienna universities for international students, the city and its nearby regions also offer multiple specialised institutes with centuries-old histories, providing degrees and vocational training in a variety of fields including the Arts, IT and business. A few of the top-ranked institutes in and around Vienna for international students are:

  • Vienna University of Economics & Business
  • Vienna University of Technology
  • University of Applied Sciences Campus Vienna
  • University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
  • University of Applied Arts Vienna
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences
  • Academy of Fine Arts Vienna
  • University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna
  • Sigmund Freud University
  • Modul University Vienna
  • Diplomatic Academy of Vienna
  • Lauder Business School
  • Webster Vienna Private University
  • Music and Arts University of the City of Vienna

Tuition and Living Costs in Vienna

International students from the EU/EEA region are only required to pay an incredibly low semester fee of about 40 US Dollars a year as their tuition fees at most top-ranked Vienna universities. As for international students from outside the EU/EEA region, average tuition fees in Vienna vary between 750 to 7,500 US Dollars per year.

Private universities may charge slightly more at up to 20,000 US Dollars per annum, while a few specialised degree programmes such as medicine may be more expensive at up to 30,000-35,000 US Dollars per year. Certain Vienna universities also provide scholarships and tuition fee waivers for international students from developing countries, and you should check to see if your home country is on this list while applying.

As for living expenses, the University of Vienna estimates that international students should budget between 1,000 and 1,300 US Dollars every month. This budget includes 400 to 550 US Dollars for shared accommodation, 250 to 300 US Dollars for food expenses, 30-40 US Dollars for public transport and another 250-300 US Dollars for utilities and entertainment expenses.

Current Austrian student visa rules enable you to work up to 20 hours a week throughout the year, and many international students manage to secure part-time internships and employment in order to offset their living and tuition expenses in Vienna.

Life in Vienna for International Students

Vienna’s proximity to the world-famous Alps mountain range enables international students to make frequent weekend trips and enjoy the fresh mountain air. Meanwhile, international students can travel from their home countries straight to Vienna International Airport, or via major European hubs such as Berlin and Rome.

As for the city of Vienna, it is filled with plenty of museums, cultural venues, concert halls and architectural landmarks for you to enjoy while you explore the city and its history. Vienna truly showcases the best of Europe in terms of its cultural riches as well as the natural beauty of the Austrian countryside which is always just a short drive away from your top-ranked Vienna university. With multiple outdoor parks and riverside venues, you can always relax and enjoy a day in the sun as you unwind from your world-class academics.

Below are a few must-see locations for international students in Vienna:

  • Schonbrunn Palace
  • St. Stephen’s Cathedral
  • The Hofburg
  • Belvedere Palace
  • Vienna Opera House
  • Albertina
  • Prater
  • Schonbrunn Zoo
  • Museum of Natural History Vienna
  • Rathaus
  • Austrian Gallery Belvedere
  • Leopold Museum
  • Museum of Applied Arts
  • Stadtpark
  • House of Music
  • Danube Tower
  • Volksgarten
  • Museum of Military History

Vienna is also well-located for you and your friends to explore Germany, Italy, Switzerland and other countries by road. The city represents an excellent destination for you to live a stress-free life in a safe city, while enjoying the best of European culture and exploring the region during your academic breaks.

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