How to Apply to a University in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)

While your friends might dream of enrolling at universities in a Western country, you might be looking for something different, something out of the ordinary. And you cannot go wrong by applying to a Bachelor’s or Master’s programme in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Often referred to as the Emirates, this beautiful and rich nation keeps attracting over 70,000 international students every year. To become one of them, you first need to discover the university application steps.

Let’s dive right in!

1. Pick a subject to study in the United Arab Emirates

At universities in the UAE, international students can choose from various disciplines taught in English. Here are only some of the most popular options:

2. Find a university in the UAE to apply to

The following are some of the top-ranked universities in the Emirates:

Find other universities in the UAE.

3. Learn where to submit your university application

To enrol at a university in the UAE, follow the procedure on the official website of each institution, as there is no universal application system.

Students can submit their application online, which makes it easy to upload diplomas, certificates, pictures, and other necessary documents. Some online university platforms even allow you to save progress and go through the application process at your own pace. Just make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

Marina Bay, the United Arab Emirates

4. Meet the university entry requirements

These are some of the most common documents you need to provide during your application:

  • completed application form
  • proof of paying the application fee (if applicable)
  • high school diploma (to apply for a Bachelor’s)
  • Bachelor’s diploma (to apply for a Master’s)
  • transcript of records
  • passport-sized photo(s)
  • copy of valid passport and/or personal ID
  • motivation letter

Different disciplines or specialisations can have additional requirements. As always, check the up-to-date information on the study programme or university web page.

Find Master's degrees in the UAE

5. Find out about the language requirements

You cannot study an English-taught degree without first proving your language skills. Universities in the Emirates generally accept one of the following English language tests:

6. Apply before the application deadlines

Application deadlines vary from one university to another. Still, to give you a general idea, there are 2 options:

  • apply for the autumn intake: the application deadline is usually at the end of February or March
  • apply for the spring intake: the application deadline is usually at the end of August or October

We advise you to start applying as soon as possible and not postpone things. You might encounter unexpected problems with your documents, or maybe the visa application, and it would be a shame to miss the university application deadline.

7. Final steps after receiving your acceptance letter

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