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Masters in Romania

by Chantelle Francis

A Masters in Romania can offer a unique experience for students willing to look a little further for postgraduate study.

There are around 17,000 international students currently studying in Romania, so you won’t be alone in your explorations of this diverse landscape. And although you won’t find Dracula himself, you’ll certainly find a means to become inspired, with numerous tourist attractions including Bran Castle to be visited.

This guide explains everything you’ll need to know about Romanian universities and postgraduate degrees, including fees, funding and visa requirements.

Masters Study in Romania - Key Details
Universities 56
Oldest University Alexandru Ioan Cuza University (1860)
International Students 23,500
Course Length 2 years
Typical Fees (Domestic / EU) €1,849 (average)
Academic Year October to July

Why study a Masters in Romania?

With a rich history dating back to the first century, you’ll never be lost for places to explore during your degree.

Romania is a highly diversified country with regards to people, landscape, and culture. Alongside native Romanians, the country is home to a mixture of Hungarians, Gypsies, Germans, Ukrainians and Turks. As a result, Romania is a vibrant melting pot of European cultures and languages.

In fact, as courses are offered in a variety of languages in Romania, it may not be necessary for you to speak Romanian in order to study there.

The capital of Romania is Bucharest, which is home to approximately 15% of the national industrial capacity and around 50% of the country’s students. Other major cities include Iasi, Cluj, Timisoara, Craiova, Brasov and Constanta.

With Romania’s economy expanding at a rapid rate, high-tech domains such as automatics, electronics and the computer industry rank amongst the most popular study areas. Other popular occupations include finance, banking, telecommunications, and trade.

Romania also boasts one of the most prestigious library networks in Europe, meaning you’ll have access to thousands of manuscripts – about 24 million volumes, to be precise - from all over the world to compliment your studies. What’s not to love?

Universities for postgraduate study in Romania

Romania’s higher education system has been in continual growth since the early 19th century, and continues to thrive in the 21st.

The country’s advanced libraries network provides an excellent basis for research, and is a highly valued study resource. A new digitisation project, and excellent communicative channels between libraries, ensures the ongoing exchange of publications on a national and international level.

Extensive networks between Romanian institutions and those across the world also mean that your experience as a postgraduate student in Romania will be vastly internationalised, prestigious, and highly valued when you graduate.

Romanian universities

Romania is part of the European Higher Education Area (EHEA). Its university degrees are organised into a familiar system of First Cycle (Bachelors), Second Cycle (Masters) and Third Cycle (PhD) programmes.

Masters students are therefore categorised as ‘Second Cycle’ students. Courses may be listed as ‘Second Cycle Programmes’ on your institution’s webpage.

Universities may be either public or private, with some more specialised institutions. Currently in Romania there are:

  • 49 public universities
  • 7 military higher education institutions
  • 26 private institutions
  • 6 graduate schools (focussing on postgraduate courses)

All Universities in Romania are licensed to teach international students. Do note, however, that private institutions are able to charge higher tuition. Their application deadlines and term dates may also vary from public universities.

Romanian Masters degrees

Masters courses in Romania can be studied full-time, part-time, or through distance learning. It is possible to exit certain courses at different times to attain different awards, such as Certificates and Postgraduate Diplomas, so you will easily find a programme suited to your needs.

Most Masters programmes last for up to two years and are worth between 90 and 120 ECTS credits.

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, laboratory classes, and project preparation and presentation. Degrees will normally include some compulsory units, as well as optional modules.

Assessment will involve coursework and examination, as relevant to your subject area. Where relevant, examination periods take place in February or in May / June.

As in other countries, Masters students will be required to produce a final dissertation. This will be an original piece of research, usually on a topic of your choosing. Unlike the UK, a Romanian Masters dissertation is usually assessed using an oral exam. You will present your work and answer questions on your findings.

Search for a Masters in Romania

You can use our course listings to search and compare Romanian Masters degree programmes, as well as other opportunities for postgraduate study in Europe.

Applying for a Masters in Romania

Applications are usually made directly to the institution of your choice instead of through online support services. Most Romanian universities have teams dedicated to helping you with your application.

If you are an EU/ EEA or Swiss student, you need to have your current (undergraduate) qualifications recognised by the National Centre for Recognition and Equivalence of Diplomas in Romania (CNERD).

In order for them to do so, you must provide:

  • A copy of the application for recognition;
  • A copy of you’re a-level qualification;
  • A copy of your undergraduate certificate;
  • A copy of your passport (which must be valid);
  • A copy of the receipt for the recognition fee.

Once you have had your qualifications recognised, you will be provided with a certificate of recognition.

Students from other countries may have to undergo other requirements. Contact either the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or your university of choice for more information.

Appication Process

Once you have received your certificate of recognition, you are eligible to apply to your chosen university. When applying, you will need to submit two copies of the certificate, alongside:

  • A copy of your undergraduate qualification;
  • A copy of your academic record translated into either Romanian, English, French, or German (though Romanian is preferred);
  • A certified copy of your birth certificate;
  • A medical certificate;
  • A certified copy of your passport;
  • A language certificate (where your studies will not be in Romanian);
  • Two recent passport-sized photographs.

The time it takes to process your application will vary depending on the institution you apply to. Applications are not generally accepted after the end of July.

Language requirements

Some Romanian Masters programmes are offered in English or other European languages such as French, German or Hungarian. If you are already proficient in one of these – and your course is suitable – you may not need to take an additional language test.

Courses taught in Romanian will require proficiency in that language. You can either demonstrate evidence of this when you apply, or supplement your Masters with preparatory language training.

Romanian language training courses last for 2-8 weeks. They can be taken online, as evening or morning classes, or on certain days. Private language learning is possible on one-to-one tuition or in groups of two – four. Programmes include grammar, communication and development of personalised language learning strategies.

Candidates who can formally prove that they have studied in Romanian for at least four years consecutively do not need to pass the Romanian language test or complete preparatory training.

Health insurance

If you are under 26 years of age, medical/health insurance is included in your tuition fee. If you are over 26, you must apply for medical/health insurance either before or as soon as you arrive in Romania. It costs around €30 ($34 USD) per month for 2-3 months (until you get your residence permit), and €10 ($12 USD) per month once you receive your permit.

Masters student visas in Romania

Visa and immigration requirements for Masters study in Romania will depend on your nationality. Romania is an EU member, so if you are from the EU you do not need to apply for a visa in order to study.

All students will require a residence permit to study in Romania – regardless of whether or not they need a visa.

Who needs a visa to study a Masters in Romania?

Students arriving from the EU countries, the European Economic Area, as well as from Canada, Croatia, Japan, Moldova, South Korea, Switzerland, USA and Serbia do not need a visa to enter Romania.

All other international students are required to apply for a Romanian student visa prior to arrival.

You should begin this process once you have a letter of acceptance from your university. Visas can take up to two months to process, so you must ensure you apply early for your letter of acceptance.

Applications for a Romanian student visa can be made at your closest Romanian embassy or consulate.

How to apply for a Romanian long stay visa

The embassy in your country of origin should be able to help you with applications, so if you are unsure of any part of the process, contact them directly. They will provide you with an application form. Alongside this, you will need:

  • Your passport (the original copy and a certified copy);
  • A letter of acceptance. You can apply for this either directly through your university, or request one from the Ministry of Education;
  • Proof of means of financial support, whether from your parents or through a student loan or other funding (cash is not accepted);
  • Proof that you have obtained health insurance for the duration of your visa;
  • Your birth certificate (original and a certified copy);
  • Proof that you have paid at least your first year of tuition (original and photocopy). Payment must be sent directly to the university as soon as you have received your letter of acceptance.

The length of a long-stay visa is 90 days, thus applying for a residence permit is essential (see below).

Can I work on a student visa?

Yes! You have the right to work during your studies (approx. 4 hours per day). Work placements may also be available as part of your Masters degree. This is particularly likely in professional and vocational subject areas.

Residence Permits – Temporary and Permanent

You’ll also need a residence permit to live and study in Romania. The exact permit you require will depend on your visa.

Applying for a temporary residence permit

All students regardless of their visa requirements will need to apply for a Permit of Temporary Residence. You must contact the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the area in which you plan to live prior to moving. This is to make sure you will be able to get the temporary residence permit in that area. Though a temporary residence permit can allow you to stay for longer than 120 days, this will need renewing yearly. You must make sure you apply for your residence permit within 30 days of the expiry date on your visa.

In order to apply, you must provide:

  • Your passport (original and copy);
  • Proof that you have obtained suitable accommodation;
  • Proof that you have acquired national health insurance.

Applying for a permanent residence permit

International students can apply for both temporary and permanent residence permits. However, you can only obtain a permanent residence permit if you have previously been granted a temporary residence permit, and fulfil the following conditions:

  • You have legally lived in Romania for at least 5 years with no absence of more than 6 months;
  • You have national health insurance;
  • You have means of subsistence (at least the minimum income level guaranteed in Romania);
  • You can prove evidence that you speak the Romanian language at a satisfactory level;
  • You do not hold a criminal record or hold any threat to national security.

Masters fees and funding in Romania

Tuition fees in Romania vary, though most programmes are between €2,000 to €5,000 (€2,235-5,586 USD) per year. Studies in medicine and theatre tend to be higher an average of €6,000 - €10,000 ($6,703-11,171 USD) per year. Social sciences are generally cheapest to study, averaging at €1,900 ($2,123 USD) per year.

The costs of living in Romania are relatively low, and there are many scholarship opportunities available for you to fund your studies.

Paying fees

Students who require a visa to study in Romania must pay for their first year of tuition in one instalment, before completing their visa application. Students who do not need a visa to study can pay either:

  • Once per year;
  • Once per semester; or
  • Trimester instalments.

Additional costs

All universities have an application fee. This must to be paid for each programme you apply to. Upon arrival, you also pay to the University a fee for registration, which is usually around €50 ($56 USD).

Funding and scholarships

There are lots of scholarship opportunities available in Romania, and many of them have been designed to act as a means of strengthening connections between different countries. As a result, you shouldn’t struggle to attain funding simply because you aren’t a Romanian citizen.

Excellent opportunities are available through various government organisations:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarships

These scholarships are especially in favour of young people coming from countries with which Romania has not perfected international cultural relations. The scholarship consists of:

  • Free tuition;
  • Free accommodation (depending on availability, accommodation will be offered free-of-charge in students hostels, in keeping with the higher education regulations);
  • Financial supportamounting to the equivalent of €75 ($84 USD) per month.

Priority will be given to the candidates applying for courses in: political and administrative sciences, education studies, Romanian culture and civilization, journalism, technical studies, oil and gas, agricultural studies, veterinary medicine, architecture, music, arts.

Ministry of Education, Research, Youth and Sports scholarships

Their schemes are designed for foreign citizens with good results obtained during their studies. If you are successful through this scheme, you will be entitled to:

  • Free of charge education;
  • The equivalent of €50 ($56 USD) per month.

This scholarship does not cover personal expenses or international transport. You will be expected to pay for accommodation in the university hostels, but will have priority in gaining university accommodation, should availability allow for this.

Alternative Funding

Some Universities also offer scholarships to students with excellent academic records. You should contact the relevant institution for your programme of study for further details.

Erasmus+ Funding

Romania also participates in the EU’s Erasmus+ programme. This offers funding for joint Masters degrees and short postgraduate placements, as well as a new system of Masters loans.

Find out more about Erasmus funding

The EU's Erasmus+ programme offers various forms of funding for postgraduate courses in Europe. You can find out more with our detailed guide to Erasmus+ Masters funding

Postgraduate living costs in Romania

The cost of living in Romania is relatively low. It will vary slightly depending on where you live and type of accommodation you choose. The tables below outline the average costs of some everyday items and student expenses in Romania:

Item Price (RON) Price ($)
Milk (1 litre) 3.80 1.00
Loaf of bread (500g) 2.00 0.50
Potatoes (1kg) 2.00 0.50
Chicken breasts (1kg) 17.50 4.50
Rice (1kg) 4.20 1.10

Monthly Utilities
Item Price (RON) Price ($)
Monthly travel pass 60 15.10
Broadband internet (10mbps, uncapped) 31.50 8.00
Domestic utilities (Electricity, Heating, Water and Waste) 409.00 103.00

Entertainment and Leisure
Item Price (RON) Price ($)
Cinema ticket 23.00 5.80
Mid-price bottle of wine 15.00 3.80
Cup of coffee 6.00 1.50
Draught beer (0.5 litre) 5.00 1.30
Inexpensive restaurant meal 20.00 5.10

Note Information in the above tables is based on crowd-sourced data collected by Numbeo. Figures are approximate and provided for comparative purposes only. They do not take account of student discounts and may vary over time or between cities.

After graduation – careers and opportunities with a Romanian Masters degree

So what can you do with your newly acquired degree? Well, you could stay in Romania! According to the European Union regulations, every EU/EEA citizen enjoys the same labour rights as the ones accorded Romanian citizens. This means that if you are an EU/EEA student, you do not need to apply for a work permit.

Citizens outside of these categories can work in Romania only after obtaining a work permit, and will subsequently need a long-stay visa to work, as well as a residence permit.

What if you want to move on from Romania?

Having spent 2-3 years studying in a foreign country, you will have gained skills and experiences which others in your field may not. You will be able to enhance your C.V. with the international experiences you will have acquired. These may include new language and interpersonal skills, and a broadening of your perspectives through experiencing a new culture. Because leadership styles differ from one culture or country to the next, you may also have acquired new means of managing a team, or even running a business.

What about studying a PhD in Romania?

If you’re not quite ready to take on the step of full-time employment, you could certainly consider further study! Check out FindAPhD.com and discover hundreds of PhD course from over 600 universities worldwide.

Last updated - 03/11/2016

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