7 Cheapest Universities in Estonia for International Students

Located in Northern Europe, Estonia is a small country that will surely surprise anyone who hasn’t heard much about it. Although it is one of the less populous countries in Europe, this nation has one of the fastest-growing economies in the region.

This developed country may sound like a paradise for some: free healthcare and education, a fairly transparent government, a wide variety of e-Services (bye bureaucracy!), and a highly developed science and IT industry. International students that choose one of the cheap universities in Estonia will also benefit from the unique opportunities offered by the hundreds of startups that have chosen Estonia as their headquarters!

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How is higher education in Estonia?

1. Estonian universities have existed for almost four centuries

The oldest university in Estonia was established in 1632, which means higher education has been available for almost four centuries. However, the system has evolved and changed significantly since then.

They are now part of the Bologna Process, so they offer bachelor, master, and doctoral degrees, and have a credit-based system. However, some majors like medicine or architecture combine both bachelor’s and master’s degree levels of studies in their programs.

There are universities and institutions of applied sciences. Universities are autonomous, and the areas of sciences and IT are probably among the most popular ones because of the growing number of industries.


2. However, there aren’t many universities

Estonia is well-known for the quality of its universities, not for the quantity. This country has three public comprehensive universities and six private universities. They also have 10 public specialized universities that focus on one field of studies, like arts, applied sciences, or life sciences.

We know this might seem like a disadvantage for some, but we are sure you’ll a program for the major you’d like to pursue at Estonian universities.


3. Learning Estonian is not a must, but it surely is a great advantage!

Their official language is Estonian. However, English is widely spoken by both young and older citizens. This is also true for universities: many of them offer programs in English. Another common language is Russian and programs in this language are also available.

However, learning Estonian might be a great idea if you’d like to study for free. All programs in Estonian are free for international students, even if they aren’t from the European Union.


4. Even if it isn’t free, higher education is still really affordable because of the cheap universities in Estonia!

Tuition fees for international students range from USD 1,000 to USD 6,000 per academic year. Certain programs, like medicine, or choosing to study at some private institutions, like business schools, may increase tuition fees by up to USD 13,000 per academic year.

However, there are many ways that you can study in Estonia for free. Check the article to see ways that you can achieve this goal.


Cheap Universities in Estonia

1. Tallinn University (TU)

  • Tuition Fee: From USD 1,000 to USD 2,500 Per Semester.

Located in the capital city of Estonia, Tallinn University (TU) was originally founded in 1919, but it became a university in 2005. It is ranked among the top 1000 universities in the QS World University Ranking and is one of the biggest.

TU is divided into six schools of humanities, educational sciences, natural sciences and health, governance, law and society, digital technologies, and film, media, arts, and communication. It also has a college, six centers for excellence, and four research institutes.

With over 8,000 students, around 9% of TU’s student population is comprised of international students. This cheap university in Estonia has hundreds of study agreements with universities around the world and has one of the few film schools with English-taught programs in the region.

Tuition fees for international students go from EUR 1,650 (USD 1,800 approx.) to EUR 2,000 (USD 2,200 approx.) per semester for bachelor’s degree programs. Master degree programs go from EUR 913 (USD 1,000 approx.) to EUR 2,250 (USD 2,500 approx.). Doctoral degree programs are completely free for all students, and many scholarships are available for international students.

2. Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS)

  • Estimated Tuition Fee: Between USD 3,500 and USD 5,000 Per Year.

Our next cheap university in Estonia is the Estonian Entrepreneurship University of Applied Sciences (EUAS), a private university that started its operations in 1992. It is located in the capital city, in a business park called Ülemiste City.

EUAS offers both bachelor’s and master’s degree programs to its 1,600 students. These programs are available in English, Estonian, and Russian. You’ll find majors in fields that include game design and development, start-up entrepreneurship, software development, international business administration, and creativity and business innovation.

EUAS has many agreements of cooperation with higher education institutions in the region and also works to connect students with companies in their fields of study.

3. Estonian Business School (EBS)

  • Tuition Fee: From USD 2,500 to USD 3,900 Per Semester.

Another option for those that would like to pursue a major in the economic field is the Estonian Business School (EBS), which was founded in 1988. It is well-known among business schools worldwide and has international accreditation for all of its programs.

This affordable university in Estonia offers two bachelor’s degrees with different specializations, a one-year master’s degree program, and two two-year master degree programs with two specializations.

EBS also has a Management Training Center and has partnership programs with more than 70 universities abroad that are available for its more than 1,500 students. This university has another campus in Helsinki, Finland.

Tuition fees for bachelor’s degree programs go from EUR 2,300 (USD 2,500 approx.) to EUR 3,200 (USD 3,500 approx.) per semester. Master degree programs cost between EUR 2,750 (around USD 3,000) and EUR 3,500 (around USD 3,900). Admission fees include an application fee of USD 130.

4. Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech)

  • Tuition Fee: From USD 4,900 to USD 9,000 Per Academic Year.

Next on our list of cheapest universities in Estonia is TalTech. Founded in 1918, the Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech) is one of the best-ranked universities in Estonia, being between the 601 and 650th best universities according to the QS World University Ranking.

Besides its main campus in Tallinn, TalTech has two branch colleges in the cities of Tartu and Kohtla-Järve. TalTech is divided into four schools business, engineering, information technology, and science. It also has a maritime academy and four institutes.

This technical university has 30 English-taught programs. These include four bachelor’s degree programs, 16 master’s degree programs, and 10 doctoral degree programs. It also has two master’s degree programs that are offered in affiliation with other Estonian universities.

Every year, over 10,000 students and 1,600 international students receive education in these programs.

Tuition fees here are calculated per credit. The cost per credit for English-taught programs goes from EUR 55 (USD 60) to EUR 100 (USD 110). This means that if you take 60 credits per academic year, tuition fees would go from USD 3,600 to USD 6,670.

In some schools, students have to pay an additional fee that goes from EUR 1,200 (USD 1,315 approx.) to EUR 3,000 (USD 3,300 approx.) depending on the program. EU students are exempted from paying tuition fees in most programs.

5. University of Tartu (UT)

  • Tuition Fee: Between USD 4,200 and USD 13,150 Per Year.

The University of Tartu (UT) is the oldest, biggest, and best-ranked university in Estonia. It was originally founded during the times of the Swedish Empire, in 1632, as the Academia Gustavia. After several transformations, it became the University of Tartu (UT) in 1919.

UT has ranked 301st place in the QS World University Ranking, which makes it the best one in Estonia. It has buildings throughout the city of Tartu, which include botanical gardens, museums, and several sports facilities.

This affordable university in Estonia is divided into four big faculties of medicine, science and technology, arts and humanities, and medicine. These faculties have different schools and institutes. English-taught programs include three bachelor’s degree programs, 24 master’s degree programs, and 35 doctoral degree programs. Half of the research performed in the country is done at UT.

Tuition fees go from EUR 3,800 (USD 4,200 approx.) and EUR 6,000 (USD 6,570 approx.) per academic year. The only exception is for the program in medicine that costs EUR 12,000 (around USD 13,150) per year. The best applicants receive scholarships upon admissions and other financial aid options are also available.

6. Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA)

  • Tuition Fee: Between USD 1,100 and USD 4,300 Per Year.

With 1,200 students, the Estonian Academy of Arts (EKA) is a public university that offers degree programs specialized in different areas of art, which include design, architecture, media, conservation and restoration, history, fine arts, and animation. It is located in Tallinn, the capital city.

Regarding programs fully taught in English, This cheap university in Estonia has eight master’s degree programs and two Ph.D. programs. There’s also a bachelor’s degree program taught in Russian.

Tuition fees for non-EU citizens go from EUR 1,000 (USD 1,100 approx.) to EUR 3,900 (USD 4,300 approx.) per year. In the case of EU citizens, education could be completely free or cost EUR 2,500 (around USD 2,750) per year.

7. Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMÜ)

  • Tuition Fee: From USD 1,150 to USD 4,815 Per Semester

Located in the city of Tartu, the Estonian University of Life Sciences (EMÜ) specializes in environmental and agricultural studies. It focuses on research related to sustainable development and is among the best universities in the category of agriculture and forestry.

It is divided into five institutes of economics and social sciences, technology, agricultural and environmental sciences, forestry and rural engineering, and veterinary medicine and animal sciences.

Tuition fees or English-taught programs go from EUR 1,050 to EUR 4,400 per semester. Some programs are cheaper for EU citizens.


I hope that this article was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!