Study in Philippines: the ultimate guide for a Master in 2024

The Ultimate Guide to Studying in Philippines in 2024

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  • Jan-Jan Academic Year
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  • 3,644,000 Students
  • 112,509,000 Population

Study in Philippines

The Philippines is a tropical paradise and a popular study destination, especially for internationals coming from Asia. It also attracts students from other continents who are looking for affordable academic education in an exotic place.

Thanks to English being widely spoken and the government’s decision to invest in study programmes that are beneficial and attractive for international students, you might also consider applying for a degree in the Philippines.

Why study in the Philippines?

1. It’s very affordable to live and study in the Philippines

You won’t need to break the bank in order to study in the Philippines. The country has very low tuition fees when compared to popular study destinations, like the US or the UK. Living costs are also affordable, which means you can invest more money in travelling and exploring the islands.

2. English is a national language

Not speaking the local language can quickly become a problem when studying abroad, especially when English isn’t widely spoken. Luckily, you won’t have this headache in the Philippines. The archipelagic country uses English as the default instruction language in education institutions, all the way from kindergartens to universities.

English is also a national language, alongside Filipino. This means you can easily strike a conversation with locals, ask for directions, or order anything you want on a night out.

3. The Philippines is a tropical paradise

With over 7,000 islands, pristine beaches, and vivid coral reefs, students can enjoy a well-deserved break after their classes. The sunny weather and tropical climate will take all your worries away. If you don’t enjoy the seaside, explore other national treasures like rainforests, mountains, and gorgeous waterfalls.

4. US-based university and college systems

Another aspect worth mentioning is the US-based education system. That’s right. In the Philippines, you get the same American college system, the same benefits and solid structure, but without the student debt and huge tuition fees.

What is it like to study in the Philippines?

In case it’s not already obvious, studying in the Philippines will feel a lot like being on holiday. Classes and exams still demand your attention and effort, but feel free to enjoy yourself in your spare time. You won’t be the only international student there, as young people from other Asian countries and Russia or Brazil also enrol at Philippine universities.

What to study in the Philippines?

The following are some of the most popular academic disciplines among international students in the Philippines:

Which universities to attend in the Philippines?

All over the Philippines, there are plenty of well-established and reputable universities from which you can choose. Here are some of the best universities from the Philippines:

  • University of the Philippines
  • Ateneo de Manila University
  • De La Salle University
  • University of Santo Tomas

How to apply

Each university in the Philippines has its own admission system on their website that allows future students to apply for and enrol in their Bachelor’s or Master’s degree programmes. So, once you select the university of your choice, you can go through their application and submit your materials there.

Here are some documents you might need to submit during your university application:

  • A scan of your diploma (high school or Bachelor’s degree)
  • A transcript/record of your previous courses
  • A scan of your passport and/or birth certificate
  • Your CV
  • Testing scores
  • Evidence of scholarship or funding
  • Letters of recommendation (2 or 3)
  • Portfolio and/or writing samples

How to make sure you qualify for a university in the Philippines

Take preparation courses

This kind of courses enable degree-seeking students to get an extra educational boost just before they start their Master’s degree or other post-graduate degree programmes.

Try a pre-MBA, pre-Law, or pre-Medicine programme, as well as any other foundation or preparation courses that will allow you to study in the degree programme of your choice.

Improve your English through an English-language prep course

If you’re attending a degree programme in the Philippines, you will need to prove that your language skills are good enough to participate in the classes and understand the lectures. These courses will also prepare you for any of the English-language tests that universities require.

English-language tests

To study in the Philippines, you’ll need to provide proof of your English language proficiency. The certificates generally accepted by Philippine universities are:

Still, you should always check your university’s website to be sure what the exact requirements are.

Living in Philippines

You might know that studying in the Philippines is affordable, but when you add living costs in the mix, what kind of budget would you need as a student? Let’s discover by looking at the average tuition fees and living expenses.

Tuition fees at universities in the Philippines

International students will be happy to discover that Philippine universities are very affordable. Both private and public institutions have tuition fees in the range of 500–2,000 EUR per academic year. Some study programmes don’t have fixed costs; for those, the tuition is calculated based on the number of credits or courses.

Living costs in the Philippines

If you want to study in the Philippines, the monthly living costs will vary significantly depending on the city where you study, your spending habits, and the type of rent. Expect to pay anywhere between 650 and 1,000 EUR per month.

Here are some of the average living costs in the Philippines:

  • Rent: 160–600 EUR per month
  • Utilities: 140–170 EUR per month
  • Monthly transportation pass (metro, bus, train): 8–10 EUR
  • Three-course meal for 2 people at a mid-range restaurant: 16 EUR
  • Milk: 1.49 EUR
  • Loaf of bread: 1.02 EUR
  • Cappuccino: 1.99 EUR

Check out other living expenses in the Philippines.

Universities, colleges and schools in Philippines

Interested in scholarships for Philippines? Check out our scholarship search page.

How to Apply to a Master's in Philippines

If you've decided to study a Master's degree at a university in Philippines, you will have to gather the right documents to prove that you fit the university requirements. Provide complete personal information, previous qualifications, financial information, and a personal statement.

What documents do I need to provide to apply in Philippines?

To apply to a university in Philippines you will likely be asked to provide some of the following documents:

  • birth certificate;
  • recent photos;
  • your passport or national identity card;
  • one or more reference letters from past employers or teachers;
  • copies of past diplomas or certificates, including your graduated Bachelor's degree;
  • academic transcripts;
  • letter of intent;
  • Curriculum Vitae;
  • Some form of proof that you can support your stay in the country during your studies.

Depending on the subject or specialization of your chosen Master's, you might also be asked to provide scores for additional tests like the GRE, GMAT or LSAT. Check if your programme requires any of these, or others.

The list of documents depends on the specific requirements of universities in Philippines so you might be asked to include additional documents. It’s also likely you’ll have to provide official English translations of your documents, or translations in the local language.

Prove your English skills

Because you’ll study an international degree in English, you'll have to present a language certificate. Some popular options for international students are IELTS, TOEFL or C1 Advanced language certificates. You’ll have to meet a minimum language score set by the university, and your test scores shouldn’t be older than 1-2 years. If you don’t meet the minimum language requirements, you will have to improve your skills and scores by taking an English preparation course.

Application deadlines for Philippines

The deadlines for applying to a Master's in Philippines are usually during summer (June-July), or in winter (January-February). Keep in mind that some universities don’t have application deadlines, which means you can apply whenever you are ready.

To avoid delays or missed deadlines send your required documents with plenty of time in advance.

Interesting programmes for you

Find Master's Degrees in Philippines

Discover other countries

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Finland is an excellent choice for all internationals and especially for EU/EEA students who can study at local public universities for free. The beautiful Nordic country has one of the best education systems in the world and ranks among the safest and happiest nations in the world. You can also choose from over 400 English-taught programmes. In your spare time, you can explore the breathtaking Finnish nature and landscapes, as well as the numerous lakes that give the country the nickname ‘The Land of a Thousand Lakes.’ From here, you can easily travel to neighbouring countries like Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, or Estonia.
Ireland is among the top countries in the world in terms of quality of life, peace, safety, and development. It represents an appealing blend of beautiful landscapes, English-speaking environments, and a strong, welcoming, and rich culture — of which the Irish people are very proud. International students also enjoy the full support of Irish universities, which hire and train staff that are able to help with accommodation, studies, visa details, or any other challenge.
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United Kingdom
United Kingdom
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United States
United States
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By studying in Australia you will take advantage of the great student environment both inside and outside classrooms. In addition to some of the best business and engineering schools in the world, you will be able to explore a greatly developed country that still retains its wild side with its warm climate, beautiful beaches, and the Great Outback, with over 500 national parks. Many Australian universities provide internships and work placements, preparing students early on for the job market.


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