10 Cheapest Universities in Costa Rica for International Students

With its beautiful climate and good educational system, Costa Rica has been a popular choice amongst many foreign students. Serviced by several universities, the country offers tertiary education at reasonable costs. In this article, we will be looking at the cheap universities in Costa Rica for international students.

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What is higher education like in Costa Rica?

Costa Rican higher education is categorized according to the type of institution: public, private, and para-university (both state and private). Admittance to any of these requires a Bachillerato (third cycle of secondary education) and passage of an entrance exam.

Do Costa Rican universities offer English-taught programs?

While most of the programs are taught in Spanish, some degrees are taught in the English language.

How much will it cost to study in Costa Rican universities?

Annual tuition can go as low as 1.2 million CRC ($13,710) in public universities, to as much as 24.1 million CRC ($40,250) in private institutions.

What are the teaching languages used in Costa Rican universities?

Spanish is commonly used in universities, although some courses are taught in English.

Cheap Universities in Costa Rica

1. Tecnologico de Costa Rica

  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: about 1.20 million CRC ($2,000) a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 1.91 million CRC ($3,210) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

The Costa Rica Institute of Technology, also known as TEC or ITCR, is a public educational institution based in Cartago, Costa Rica. It also has branches in San Carlos, San Jose, and Santa Clara. Tecnologico de Costa Rica is considered the cheapest university in Costa Rica at $2,000 a year.

It offers undergraduate and postgraduate programs in Engineering, Business Management, and Computer Science.

Applicants to the ITCR may be admitted through 3 processes: through an admission exam, via admission exam waiver, or by joint convention.

2. Veritas University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 1.25 million CRC ($2,100) a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: about 1.5 million CRC ($2,561) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

Based in San Jose, Costa Rica, Veritas University has been of service for 25 years. More than just providing an excellent academic experience, the school also offers a unique cultural and travel-centered journey.

The university offers elective classes in both Spanish and English. These courses range from Arts & Humanities and Biology to Business, Communications, History, Literature, and Social Work, to name a few.

Veritas’ international students are offered homestays with local families, as well as cultural integration programs (soccer, talent shows, student talks, multicultural festivals, city tours, etc.)

3. Universidad de Costa Rica

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 1.27 million CRC ($2,140) a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 1.97 million CRC ($3,254) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

The University of Costa Rica or UCR is the oldest higher educational institution in Costa Rica. Founded in 1940, it is recognized as one of the most prestigious in the Latin American region.

Through its Office of International Affairs and External Cooperation, this affordable university in Costa Rica continues to promote student and faculty mobility.

The admission process for foreign students is similar to that of local applicants. Entrants need to take an entrance exam, which covers the topics of verbal reasoning and math. Apart from this, a diploma that is equal to the Costa Rican MEP is required.

4. Universidad Biblica Latinoamericana

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 1.3 million CRC ($2,200)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 1.9 million CRC ($3,200) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

The Latin American Biblical University, also known as UBL, is an affordable university in Costa Rica that focuses on the Biblical and Theological Sciences. Based in San Jose province, the university is equipped with several classrooms, an auditorium, an event hall, and a hostel.

True to its specialization, UBL offers 2 undergraduate and 2 postgraduate courses in the aforementioned fields. The curriculum also involves projects in Ecological Justice, Gender Justice, and Social Justice.

Apart from these courses, the university also offers professional upgrade certificates and free courses.

5. Universidad Católica de Costa Rica

  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 2.7 million CRC ($4,567)
  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Graduate Programs: 2.7 million CRC ($4,567)

Universidad Católica de Costa Rica is a higher institution based in San Vicente, Costa Rica. While it was only formally named as the country’s official Catholic university in 1993, it traces its roots back to the University of Santo Tomas, which was founded in 1814.

The university offers undergraduate degrees in Business, Systems Engineering, Theology, Education (Special, Physical, Religious), Psychology, and Educational Guidance. It also offers Master’s degrees in Palliative Care, Psychology, and Education, as well as a Doctorate in Educational Sciences.

6. Universidad del Turismo

  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 2.7 million CRC ($4,612)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: N/A (Undergraduate programs only)

Universidad del Turismo was founded in 1996 in response to the country’s need for professionals in the hospitality and tourism industries. Situated in San Jose, Costa Rica, this cheap university in Costa Rica offers undergraduate degrees in Hotel Administration, Food & Beverage Administration, and Ecological Tourism Management.

Foreign applicants need to submit a secondary school certificate (authenticated by the Ministry of Education), a photocopy of the passport, and 2 passport-sized photographs.

Classes start every January, May, and September of each year.

7. University for International Cooperation

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: N/A (Graduate programs only)
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: 3.27 million CRC ($5,500) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

The University for International Cooperation was established in 1994. Based in San Jose, Costa Rica, the school was established to help create Latin American and Caribbean professionals with strong multi-disciplinary training.

The school offers various postgraduate degrees in Management, Environment & Development, Health, and Legal & Social Sciences.

Admission is done through registration and verification, after which, the foreign student is free to enroll in the university. English Language proficiency is required for all applicants.

8. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas, Costa Rica

  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: about 3.5 million CRC ($6,000) a year
  • Estimated Tuition Fee For Graduate Programs: about 3.5 million CRC ($6,000) a year

Next on our list of cheapest universities in Costa Rica is Universidad de Ciencias Médicas, the oldest and largest private medical institution in Costa Rica. Founded in 1976, it is located in La Sabana, San Jose.

As one of the most prestigious medical schools in Latin America, the university offers degrees in Medicine, Pharmacy, Nutrition, Microbiology, and Physiotherapy.

Apart from the basic requirements, foreign applicants need to pass the entrance exam to be admitted to the university. A medical exam and a vocational interview are required as well.

9. Universidad Latinoamericana de Ciencia y Tecnología Costa Rica

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 8.1 million CRC to 8.5 million CRC ($13,710 to 14,440) a year
  • Estimated Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: about 5.18 million CRC ($8,703) a year
  • Tuition Fee Link

The Latin American University for Science and Technology is a private bilingual university based in San Jose. Also known as ULACIT, it offers 53 undergraduate and 42 graduate programs through its 7 academic departments.

Through its Global Education Office, ULACIT promotes international education and multicultural learning. It has an International Business and Latin American Studies program, wherein all courses – except for the Spanish language – are all taught in English.

The university also offers International Certifications, International Internship programs, and Spanish Language immersion programs, to name a few.

10. Earth University

  • Tuition Fee For Undergraduate Programs: 17.8 million CRC ($29,976) a year
  • Tuition Fee for Graduate Programs: N/A (Undergraduate offering only)
  • Tuition Fee Link

The final candidate in our list of cheapest universities in Costa Rica is the Earth University, a multicultural institution with students and faculty from 48 nations. While the majority come from Latin America, there are Caribbean and African students as well.

Established in 1990, Earth University was founded through the joint contributions of USAID, the WK Kellogg Foundation, and the National Government.

As the name suggests, the university only offers an undergraduate degree in Agricultural Science. With the help of its international faculty, the university provides technical and scientific education that focuses on ethics, entrepreneurship, and environmental commitment.

Compared to other institutions, Earth University’s yearly tuition is inclusive of housing and food as well.

 

I hope that this article on the cheap universities in Costa Rica was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Cheap Tuition Category!