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Admission Requirement for Higher Education Institutions in UAE

The UAE is a home to several institutions of higher education. The admission requirements for these institutions vary depending upon the type of institution-public or private, level of study and study programme. 

General Admission Requirements

To study in the UAE, applicants require: 

A bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited university recognized by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to attend a master’s degree programme

A master’s degree to study a professional doctorate or PhD: The degree must be from an accredited university recognized by the UAE Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, in a field appropriate to the academic discipline to which application is being made.

General Documentation

  • Educational credentials: Secondary school leaving certificate or its equivalent. An applicant must have completed 12 years of schooling.
  • Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) scores: Applicant must take CEPA in English and submit its score 
  • Medical certificate
  • Must obtain an overall GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale

Admission to Federal Institutions

All the Emirati and national secondary school graduates are eligible to study at the UAE federal higher education educations-
  • United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)
  • Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT)
  • Zayed University (ZU)
Students can also apply to technical and vocational institutions that are administered by the Abu Dhabi Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and training (ACTVET)-

Institute of Applied Technology (IAT):
  • Abu Dhabi Polytechnic (AD Poly)
  • Fatima College of Health Sciences (FCHS)
Abu Dhabi Vocational Education & Training Institute (ADVETI):
  • Al Jazirah Institute of Science and Technology in Abu Dhabi
  • Al Jaheli Institute of Science and Technology in Al Ain
  • Baynounah Institute of Science and Technology in Al Gharbia
  • Al Reef Institute of Logistics and Applied Technology in Al Shaham
  • Sharjah Institute of Science and Technology
Or they can apply to specialist teachers’ training college:
  • Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)
The Emirati pupils who attain a high GSC (General School Certificate) scores are eligible to apply for a scholarship in order to go for higher education abroad under the sponsorship of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MOHESR), UAE.

Students can apply to the federal institutions of higher education on-line through the NAPO student portal and submit the required documents.

Eligibility Criteria

Federal Higher Education Institutions

Applicants who wish to apply at the federal institutions must fulfill the general eligibility criteria. The criteria of the respective federal institutions are as follows:

United Arab Emirate University (UAEU)

Applicant must have attained at least average score on the GSC or its equivalent; and must have passed CEPA- exam. 
To know more about the eligibility criteria to the UAEU colleges, contact UAEU admission office. 

 Higher College of Technology (HCT)

Students who wish to go for baccalaureate or applied degree programmes at the HCT must have the following scores:
  • A score of at least 150 on CEPA-English exam with a minimum average of 70% on the GSC exam or its equivalent
  • A score of at least 160 on CEPA-English exam with a minimum average of 60% on the GSC exam or its equivalent
To know more about the eligibility criteria, visit HCT

Zayed University (ZU)

Students who want to attend a baccalaureate (bachelor) programme at the ZU must take a CEPA-English exam and get a score of at least 150. He/she should also achieve a minimum average of 70% on the GSC exam or its equivalent.
To know more about the admission eligibility criteria, visit ZU
 

Technical and Vocational Institutions

Institute of Applied Technology (IAT)

Students must appear for CEPA-English exam. The minimum scores of GSC (General School Certificate) and CEPA-English exam needed are determined by the institution. To know more, visit IAT website. . 

Abu Dhabi Vocational Education & Training Institute (ADVETI)

Students must appear for CEPA-English exam. The minimum scores of GSC (General School Certificate) and CEPA-English exam needed are determined by the institution. To know more, visit ADVETI website

 Specialist Teacher Training College

Emirates College for Advanced Education (ECAE)

 The minimum scores of GSC (General School Certificate) and CEPA-English exam needed are decided by the institution. To get details, visit ECAE
 

Application Procedure for Federal Institutions

Applicants can apply to the above mentioned institutions of higher education online through a student portal NAPO. To register, click here.
 
Applicants must register at the NAPO student portal. Feed in the personal and other required information, such as study preferences, schooling details, etc. Also, attach the required valid official documentation- scan and upload. You can also email the required documents to the NAPO staff member responsible for that education zone; send them by fax at 02 642 7172; or mail them at the following address:

P.O. Box 45372, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Once you’re registered, you will receive an application number. You will get a username and password by email and SMS. To track your application, login with the username and password given to you. 

For other higher education institutions in UAE, contact the international student office of the institution you want to attend. You can apply directly to those institutions. 

Students who get selected will receive a conditional or confirmation letter, which can be used to apply for student visa (if needed). International students who wish to study in UAE institutions of higher education require to have obtained a student visa.

Documentation

Following documents are required:
  • Application form
  • Educational credentials: Secondary school leaving certificate, grades/ scores, marksheets, certified copies of official transcripts from colleges or university attended, and other certificates/diploma. 
  • Copy of a valid passport and photos
  • National ID copy
  • Birth certificate copy
  • Emirates ID copy
  • Statement of Purpose: It should explain your future plans, area of interests, and why you have you chosen this particular institution and course.  
  • Curriculum Vitae:  Mention details about your educational background, awards and accomplishments, work experience (if any), publications (if any), and volunteer services. 
  • English language proficiency certificates
  • Letter of recommendation: At least two recommendation letters are required. One from the teacher/professor and other one can be from your recent employer. 
  • Professional experience letter (if any)
  • Health insurance card

Standardized Tests

Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA) Examination

Common Educational Proficiency Assessment (CEPA-English)

Students who wish to attend higher education at any of the following institutions in UAE are required to take CEPA-English exam.

UAE University: A score of at least 150 is needed
  • UAEU, Men’s Campus
  • UAEU, Women’s Campus
Zayed University: A score of at least 150 is needed
  • ZU Abu Dhabi Men’s Campus
  • ZU Abu Dhabi Women’s Campus
  • ZU Dubai Men’s Campus
  • ZU Dubai Women’s Campus
Higher Colleges of Technology: A score of at least 150 is needed
  • HCT Abu Dhabi Men’s College
  • HCT Abu Dhabi Women’s College
  • HCT Abu Dhabi Khalifa City Women’s College
  • HCT Al Ain Men’s College
  • HCT Al Ain Women’s College
  • HCT Dubai Men’s College
  • HCT Dubai Women’s College
  • HCT Fujairah Men’s College
  • HCT Fujairah Women’s College
  • HCT Madinet Zayed Men’s College
  • HCT Madinet Zayed Women’s College
  • HCT Ras al Khaimah Men’s College
  • HCT Ras al Khaimah Women’s College
  • HCT Ruwais Men’s College
  • HCT Ruwais Women’s College
  • HCT Sharjah Men’s College
  • HCT Sharjah Women’s College
Emirates College for Advanced Education: A score of at least 150 is needed
  • Abu Dhabi Vocational and Technical Institute
  • ADVETI Al Jaheli Campus (Al Ain)
  • ADVETI Al Jazira Campus (Abu Dhabi)
  • ADVETI Baynounah Campus (Al Gharbia)
  • ADVETI Al Reef Campus (Abu Dhabi)

English Language Proficiency

Proof of English language proficiency is required:

TOEFL: A TOEFL minimum score of iBT = 61 / ITP = 500

IELTS: International English Language Testing System is an internationally recognised English language proficiency tests required for entry to higher education institutions in UAE. An IELTS minimum score of 6.0 or higher.

Cambridge Test of Advanced English (CAE): For undergraduate studies, score of 41 and for graduate studies, score of 52 is needed.
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