Why should I study in Greece?

The country of democracy, philosophy and famous for its feta cheese…

Studying in Greece

Greece is located in the south-eastern part of Europe, on the Mediterranean Sea. It borders Albania to the west, North Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north and Turkey to the east. The capital of the country is Athens. Other major cities are Thessaloniki, Patras, Iraklion and Piraeus. Since 1981, Greece is a member of the European Union (EU) and since 2001 part of the Eurozone.

Greece’s Higher Education System

The Greek higher education system distinguishes Universities and Technological Educational Institutes (TEIs), which focus on a more applied education and research. Currently, there are 32 Universities and 16 TEIs, all of them are accredited and public.. In addition, there are a number of private for-profit colleges that have to cooperate with foreign institutions to award degrees and have to be accredited by the Ministry of Education.

The academic programmes of the public institutions follow the Bologna scheme: For most disciplines, the basic academic studies have a duration of four years and lead to the acquisition of a Bachelor. Some programmes, like agronomics, forestry, engineering, dentistry, pharmacology and arts the duration takes five years, six years for medical studies. Based on the first degree, a Master can be received after a further study period of one or usually two years. Many postgraduate programmes cooperate with foreign universities and joint degrees to improve international higher education. After another three to four years, the doctoral degree can be acquired.

Greece also uses the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS); one academic year of full-time studies is equivalent to 60 ECTS credits and is divided into two semesters.

For more information about the entire education system in Greece, click here.

Greece’s Higher Education System in international comparison

With a high coverage of 19 Greek higher education institutions, U-Multirank can provide evidence on the performance of the Greek higher education system. For the five U-Multirank dimensions the graphic depicts the national average and shows how many of the Greek institutions perform above the average (receiving an ‘A’ (very good) or ‘B’ (good) score), or below the average (receiving a ‘D’ (below average) or ‘E’ (weak) score).

Among the five U-Multirank dimensions, the Greek higher education institutions participating in U-Multirank perform strongest in “Research”.

National performance: Greece

Percent of all Universities 100% 80% 60% 40% < below Average above > 40% 60% 80% 100% Teaching & Learning 29% 42% Research 18% 53% Knowledge Transfer 60% 32% International Orientation 55% 28% Regional Engagement 59% 20%

How much does it cost to study in Greece?

For Greek students, bachelor programmes are free. Students and fellows from abroad do not have to pay tuition fees, if Greeks in their countries also do not have to pay fees, otherwise they are incurred.  For these, the average fee is 1,500 EUR per academic year.

Tuition fees are also charged by the institutions for most postgraduate programmes.

Addition of information on fees and financial support

Source: Eurydice 
Reference year(s): 2020/2021


In this section we highlight the fees for studying in Greece. The fees are shown in the national currency and address all fee types: tuition, enrolment (part- or full-time, etc.), certification, or other administrative costs. Students that are exempt from fees are also described, as well as information on international student fees if they differ.

  • First-cycle full- and part-time students do not pay fees. Only students of the Hellenic Open University – which provides only distance and part-time studies – pay fees, which range from annual EUR 500 (maximum three courses per year) to EUR 1 500.
  • Second-cycle full- and part-time students may pay fees up to around EUR 7,500 specified by higher education institutions, although in several second-cycle programmes there are no fees.
  • International students, defined as non-EU-students, do not pay fees for first-cycle studies provided in the Greek language. However, fees can be charged to non-EU students who enrol in the newly-founded ‘BA programme in the Archaeology, History and Literature of Ancient Greece’, and, from 2020, in first-cycle programmes provided in a foreign language.

Source: Eurydice - National Student Fees and Support Systems in European Higher Education – 2020/21.

Financial Support

In this section we highlight the financial support system implemented in Greece. The types of support covered in this section include: grants, loans, tax benefits for students' parents (or students themselves) and family allowances.  How these terms are defined, are outlined below:

  • Grants are provided in the national currency and are differentiated between merit-based and need-based (or universal, where applicable). All main public financial support that does not need to be paid back is included, with the exception of grants for study abroad (i.e. mobility grants). Information is also presented on the proportion of students (in the short, first and second cycle) who receive grants.
  • Loans: information focuses on the existence of a student publicly-subsidised loan system and the percentage of students that take out a loan. Information on the interest rate and modalities for the repayment of loans may also be provided.
  • Tax benefit is any tax relief that is granted to parents whose child is a higher education student or to students themselves. The information aims to cover the amount of the tax relief, how it can be claimed and who is eligible to apply.
  • Family allowances for students' parents: this part provides information on their amount and the eligible population.
  • There are no standard grants. Depending on funds available from the state budget, European structural funds or private funds managed by IKY (State Scholarship Foundation), a call for applications for grants is published. In the academic year 2018/19, IKY offered 3 771 first-cycle students a grant for nine months (EUR 200 per month for students studying in their hometown and EUR 380 per month for students studying in another town – these are shown as minimum and maximum in the diagram). Although academic performance is taken into account, these grants are largely need-based. Part-time students are not eligible for IKY grants. In 2018/19, around 1% of first-cycle students received an IKY grant.
  • Grant/scholarships are also offered by research institutions and non-profit foundations to first-, second- and third-cycle students. Eligibility/selection criteria are both need- and merit-based.
  • The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs runs the administrative procedure of legacies grants in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance. These scholarships apply to undergraduate studies in Greece (nine cases). The grants usually amount to EUR 200, to undergraduate students.
  • The scholarships awarded by the Hellenic Open University cover all or part of the student fees per academic year if the student meets a combination of economic, social and academic criteria.
  • Second-cycle students may apply for state-guaranteed loans until the age of 45 if they meet academic and socio-economic criteria. Parents' guarantee for redeeming the loan to credit institutions is requested. Interest charges may be covered by the Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs up to 50%. The terms of the loan are further determined by the credit institutions. There are no data on the number of students who receive loans.
  • Tax benefits: Parents of students who are under 25 years of age, study in Greek public universities and do not have personal income are subject to a lower tax rate as the tax-free rate slightly increases.
  • There are no family allowances, but first-cycle students' parents may claim annual EUR 1-000 housing allowance if the students do not study in their hometown.

What are the entry requirements for Greek Universities?

Access to higher education in Greece differs by subject and is centrally regulated by the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs.  A general university entrance qualification is a prerequisite for admission to study at Greek higher education institutions.  Apart from the university entrance qualification, only the performance in the general entrance exam decides on admission to the study programme. For foreign degree-seeking students, the same regulations apply.

The following specialisations are available in the entrance test: Humanities, Law, Social Sciences; Science and technology; Health and Life Sciences; and Economics and Computer Sciences. For certain courses of study, such as architecture, foreign language philology, sports, and arts the completion of a special subject or other requirements are compulsory. For example, music students must master at least one instrument.  

Candidates have to fill out a study application form with their preferred institutions. Depending on the number of applicants and free study places, the study places are allocated by the Ministry of Education.

Greek language skills are also necessary, as teaching at undergraduate level is mainly in Greek. An increasing number of postgraduate programmes are offered in English. The knowledge of one or more foreign languages is an essential prerequisite for participation in postgraduate programmes. A language proof is issued by the Universities of Athens and Thessaloniki, which organize special language examinations for foreign students twice a year (in June and September / October).

To apply at a Greek university, international students have to submit the required and certified documents in a Greek translation.  The application can be submitted electronically on the website of the Ministry of Education.

How to get a Stipend/Scholarship in Greece?

No matter the reason, paying high tuition fees can be a source of stress for many. However, there are many options for financing your studies, including the use of scholarships. There are various scholarship opportunities available for international students looking to study in Greece. Depending on your country of origin and the level of studies, there are different options for funding. To explore what scholarship options are available, check this scholarship database.

Do I need a Student Visa for Greece?

Students from European Union Member States or the Schengen States are not required to apply for a visa. Students with stays in Greece for more than three months for study purposes must register at the Immigration Office.

Students from other countries require a visa to enter Greece and the EU. This already requires an official letter of admission from the chosen university or TEI in Greece.

A medical certificate is also required for applying for the visa. There must be adequate medical emergency coverage during your stay in Greece.

Information on the visa requirements can be found here.


How do Greek Universities fare in U-Multirank?


  1. In 2022, U-Multirank presents data on 15 Greek higher education institutions
  2. Nine Greek institutions reached five or more top positions (‘A’ scores). The Greece institutions with the highest number of top positions (‘A’ scores) are: The National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (13), University of Crete (8), National Technical University of Athens (6), University of the Aegean (6), and University of Ioannina (6)
  3. National and Kapodistrian University reached 8 out of its 13 top group positions in the dimension of Research and Knowledge Transfer.

Here you can find the full country report on Greece.


Greece's performance in U-Multirank 2022

Top Student Cities in Greece

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