UNIS – study in Svalbard

By taking a semester at the University Centre in Svalbard (UNIS), you will encounter an exciting and international academic environment in Arctic research. The teaching at UNIS is field-based, and nature is used as a laboratory and an arena for learning, observation, collection and analysis of data.

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Are you considering taking a semester on Svalbard? You can apply to study at UNIS Svalbard if you are nominated for an exchange period at University of Stavanger (UiS). Here is some frequently asked questions about studies at UNIS:

The academic fields of expertise at UNIS include Arctic biology, Arctic geology, Arctic geophysics, Arctic technology / environmental technology and Arctic safety.  It is most suitable for students who take courses in these subject areas to apply to UNIS.   

UNIS requires prior knowledge beyond general university and college admission certification to qualify for admission to all courses.  

Read more about admission requirements for each discipline and about general admission requirements for courses.  

Special requirements for prior knowledge to qualify for admission to master's and doctoral level courses are stated in the individual course descriptions.  

Yes, it's possible. You must have a external supervisor for the thesis at your department or faculty at UiS, but can write the thesis as a guest student at UNIS. Find available assignments, application form and information about being a guest student at UNIS.

Note that it is UiS's regulations on rules for studies and examinations, as well as the faculty's rules for bachelor's and master's theses that apply. You must ensure the approval of the thesis by your department in the Collaboration Portal.

Erasmus + / exchange students  can apply complete (parts of) the study (fieldwork/thesis) at UNIS. This requires an UNIS supervisor and a separate application to UNIS. Students need to have a supervisor at UNIS and at the home university. The thesis should be delivered at the students home university. For more information: Guest student opportunities - UNIS

Students who want a study period at UNIS should contact the study consultant/study coordinator in their department for information on the subjects at UNIS that are recommended in your study programme and whether these can be included in your study plan.  

How to apply for UNIS.

The teaching language is English. 

  • 15 February for summer courses
  • 15 April for autumn semester 
  • 15 October for spring semester
  • Summer courses: Between June and August. Course duration varies.  
  • Autumn semester: Start of August – mid-December. (For some master’s degree courses: From mid-June)  
  • Spring Semester: Start of January – early June. 

As a UiS student, you only pay a semester fee, in addition to having to register at UiS before you leave. Travel, housing, insurance, and other costs associated with the stay on Svalbard must be covered by the student. There may also be a small fee for attending field courses with accommodation. You can read more about this here.

After you have taken and passed the exam in the courses at UNIS, you apply for a change in the individual education plan in digital Student Expedition.

The fact that UNIS is a university center and not an independent university means, among other things, that it is UiS that officially gives you the credits you take at UNIS. You must therefore be registered as a student at UiS in order to take courses at UNIS.

No, it is not. A semester at UNIS is not considered an exchange, and you must apply there on your own. By this we mean that you do not have to be nominated to apply. 

Remember to talk to the study adviser/study coordinator about how UNIS courses can be adapted in your curriculum. 

Yes, when you have applied for admission to courses at UINIS, you should apply for a pre-approval of the courses. Your study programme coordinator will then assess whether the courses can taken as a part of your educational plan. The application form is “Application regarding pre-approval of courses from Norway”, and you will find it in the digital service desk.