Masters Study in Israel - A Guide for 2020 |
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Masters Study in Israel - A Guide for 2020

Famous as a cultural melting pot and for its crucial place in different world religions, Israel is also a pioneer in modern science and research. Studying a Masters in Israel will allow you to make the best of both worlds.

Israel supports its internationally-renowned technology sector with world-class education from prestigious specialised universities. International students from around the world head to the country in search of expert teaching, particularly in Engineering and the Sciences.

We've put together a detailed advice guide on everything you need to know about postgraduate study in Israel. Alternatively, you can start searching for an Israeli Masters degree right now.

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Postgraduate opportunities in Israel – what’s on offer for 2020?

Israel is a hotbed and global hub for all major research areas, from Science and Engineering to Theology and Politics. Leading the world in solar energy development, geothermal energy and water conservation, higher education plays a pivotal role in the economic and social development of Israel and the wider region.

Jerusalem’s sacred sites and Tel Aviv’s tech industry attract tourists and entrepreneurs alike, offering something for everyone in this small, yet diverse nation state.

Here are a few of the best reasons to consider a Masters in Israel:

  • World-class institutions – With a well-earned reputation for excellence in Science and Engineering (as well as the Arts and Humanities), Israel is an excellent postgraduate destination.
  • Start-up culture – Israel has a proud start-up culture and encourages entrepreneurial spirit at its many tech companies.
  • 4,000 years of history – You’ll be able to immerse yourself in an array of diverse cultures that have left their mark on Israel over the centuries.
  • International outlook – There are over 10,000 international students in Israel, and many courses are taught entirely in English.

Masters Study in Israel - Key Details
Universities 9
Oldest University Technion – Israel Institute of Technology (1912)
International Students 10,471
Course Length 2 years
Average Fees ILS 36,930-110,800 (USD $10,700-32,050)
Academic Year October to August

Israeli universities

University working days in Israel run from Sunday to Thursday, with Friday used to observe the Shabbat (the Jewish Sabbath, or day of rest).

While Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic, English is a compulsory subject in Israeli schools so many locals speak it to a high standard. Many Masters courses will also be taught in English.

Most Israeli students are over the age of 21 when they begin their studies, after completing compulsory military service. This can make the student atmosphere generally more mature than in British and North American universities, which can suit postgraduate students.

The Council for Higher Education is the government authority for Israeli higher education. It grants accreditation, authorises the awarding of academic degrees, and advises the government on the development and financing of higher education and scientific research.

Public universities

Most universities in Israel are public institutions. The government funds a significant proportion of public university budgets, with the rest coming from tuition fees and private sources.

Despite being largely funded by the state, public universities have control over their own teaching programmes.

All nine public Israeli universities offer Masters programmes. Each institution has built a globally recognised reputation for their specific area of study.

Private colleges

Many of Israel’s private colleges have emerged in recent years and are often specialised in a certain area such as Business or Law. However, these institutions don’t receive funding from the Israeli government, making tuition fees higher than in public universities.

International universities

There are also several active campuses in Israel run by universities around the world. The majority are British and American universities, and their Masters programmes are available to students from both Israel and overseas.

University rankings

Despite the relatively small size of Israel’s higher education system, Israeli institutions perform well across the three main global ranking systems. Three public universities appear in the top 500 of the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, for example.

Top 5 Israeli Universities in 2020
University THE 2020 QS 2020 ARWU 2019
Tel Aviv University =189 =219 151-200
Hebrew University of Jerusalem 201-250 162 101-150
Technion Israel Institute of Technology 401-500 =257 85
Bar-Ilan University 501-600 551-560 401-500
University of Haifa 501-600 651-700 601-700
Information in this table is based on the latest Times Higher Education World University Rankings, QS World University Rankings and Academic Ranking of World Universities. Visit their websites for more information.

Do rankings matter for Masters degrees?

International rankings use all sorts of metrics to assess universities and they aren't all equally relevant to postgraduate study. That's why we've put together a guide to university rankings for Masters students.

University cities

There’s a good selection of cities for postgraduates to choose from in Israel. Whether you’re attracted by Jerusalem’s status as one of the most significant sites in world religion or Tel Aviv’s burgeoning tech-based economy, Israel has something for everyone.

Course types

Regional Politics, Religion, and Middle Eastern Society make for popular topics of Masters study in Israel.

Israeli universities are also notable for attracting postgraduates to study a Masters in Engineering, Science and Technology in particular. With four Nobel Prizes in Chemistry and a reputation for excellence elsewhere in the Sciences, Israel has an impressive track record in STEM subjects.

Israel is also well-known for its start-up culture and innovative tech companies, so it’s also a great place to study a Masters in Business.

Course length

Israel has a two-semester academic year, generally starting in September or October. However, some courses are available with a spring semester start in January or February. Israel follows the model of European and American universities, with Masters programmes commonly lasting two years.

Fees and funding for Masters degrees in Israel

Israeli universities are global contenders in higher education and postgraduate fees are similar to those in Europe and North America.

Israeli universities commonly list their fees for international students in the US Dollar rather than the local currency, the Israeli Shekel (NIS/ILS).

Tuition fees for Masters in Israel

A full year of Masters study in an Israeli public university is usually in the range of ILS 36,930-110,800 (USD $10,700-30,050) for international students.

Tuition fees can normally be paid in several instalments to spread the cost.

You’ll probably also have to pay an application of around ILS 370 (USD $110).

Fortunately, international postgraduates have several opportunities to apply for both government and university allocated scholarships to subsidise their Masters tuition fees.

Government scholarships

The Israeli government offers full and partial scholarships to foreign students for one academic year of research studies.

In addition to covering your tuition fees in part or full, the scholarship also gives students a monthly allowance for one academic year, as well as basic health insurance cover.

For more details on the application process for a full or partial international scholarship, visit the Israeli government’s website.

If you’re a Jewish student but don’t have Israeli citizenship, you might be eligible for a scholarship from Masa Israel.

University scholarships

Many Israeli universities offer scholarships to international students based on prior academic achievements.

Scholarships will often be offered to specific areas of study in the interest of the university. You should check with your chosen institution and faculty which scholarships are available for international Masters students.

Study in Israel, a website run by the Israeli Council for Higher Education, has an excellent list of funding opportunities for international students.

Student living costs in Israel

The cost of student living in Israel for internationals is comparable with Western Europe and North America. Housing can be fairly costly in Israel.

Student accommodation

It is common to find student accommodation on university campuses in Israel, or at least close by. While traditional student accommodation will be in the form of dormitories, some universities also have studio rooms available for international postgraduate students.

The cost of university accommodation in Israel generally depends on which city your university is located.

For example, a dormitory at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa will cost around USD $380 per month, while Tel Aviv University accommodation can cost around USD $800 per month.

Applying for a Masters in Israel

To apply for a Masters degree in Israel you’ll need a relevant undergraduate degree. It is common for universities to expect a B grade average or 3.0 GPA (grade point average). However, some specific programmes may require higher grades.

For MBA applications to Business Schools in Israel, the GRE or GMAT test may be required.

Language requirements

Israel’s official languages are Hebrew and Arabic. Additional courses can be taken at most Israeli universities should you wish to study either language.

If English is not your first language and you wish to study an Israeli Masters degree delivered in English, you will likely need to submit a language test score.

Israeli universities will normally accept either the IELTS (International Language Testing System) or TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) tests.

Score requirements will normally be as follows:

  • An IELTS score of 6.5 or better
  • A TOEFL score of 79 (internet-based)

Want to know more about postgraduate language tests?

Academic language tests are a common part of applications for postgraduate study abroad, but they don't have to be confusing. Our guides to postgraduate language tests cover popular English tests such as the TOEFL and IELTS.

Masters student visas in Israel

Most Masters programmes in Israel will take two years to complete. As such, students will need to get an A/2 student visa before arrival in Israel.

Visa application and fees

When applying for your A/2 student visa, you will need to present the following documents to your local Israeli Embassy or Consulate:

  • A completed application form
  • Two current passport photos
  • An original letter of acceptance from an Israeli university
  • Passport valid for at least a year
  • Proof of sufficient funds to financially support yourself while studying in Israel

There is a non-refundable administrative processing fee of ILS 175 (USD $47). The processing time is approximately two weeks.

The A/2 visa is valid for one year at a time so you will need to extend your visa while you are in Israel.

The student visa allows for multiple entrances and exits to and from the country so you can travel or return home while studying, and be free to re-enter Israel.

However, the A/2 visa and other student visas do not allow international students to work while studying in Israel.

Health insurance

International students are required to have health cover for the duration of their studies.

In some circumstances, the health insurance may be provided by your Israeli university and included within tuition fees. However, you might need to buy a private policy, so check with your institution before arriving in Israel.

Next steps

In recent years, Israel has become a global leader in technology start-ups, making the career opportunities very attractive in this industry.

Innovation and entrepreneurship is everywhere you look in Tel Aviv, so if you’re an engineering or technology postgraduate, you might find that Israel is a great place to start your career.

Alternatively, if you’re looking toward a different sector, your university’s careers adviser will be able to assist you with local industry knowledge.

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Last updated - 21/01/2020

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