Admissions FAQ

  • This FAQ is intended as a guide for prospective students. It covers general questions about postgraduate programmes across the UNU system.

    For information about a specific programme, please see the FAQ for that programme, visit the programme’s website or contact the relevant focal point.

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    About the University

    • What are UNU institutes, and where are they located?

      The academic work of UNU is undertaken by 15 research and training institutes, located in 13 countries around the world. Each institute has its own areas of focus that guide its research, training and teaching activities. Currently, not all of the UNU institutes offer postgraduate degree programmes.

    • What is the United Nations University (UNU)?

      UNU was established by the UN General Assembly as “international community of scholars, engaged in research, postgraduate training and dissemination of knowledge in furtherance of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations”. UNU is the only United Nations organ mandated by the General Assembly to grant degrees. Through its global family of institutes, UNU offers a growing catalogue of postgraduate-level degree, certificate and advanced-training programmes.

      This website provides a detailed overview of the structure and activities of the global UNU system.

    Degree programmes

    • Can I collaborate with a UNU researcher on a research project that I am currently working on?

      If you wish to contact a UNU faculty member about a proposed academic or research collaboration, please see the Faculty page on this website. There you will find a list of faculty members from across the UNU system, including their contact details and areas of research focus.

    • What are the eligibility requirements?

      Application procedures and requirements differ by programme. For more information about the requirements for the specific programme or course in which you are interested, please see the website of the institute implementing the programme. If you have a detailed question, please contact the focal point for the programme directly.

    • What are the advantages of studying at UNU?

      With its unique identity as an educational institution within the United Nations system, UNU brings together scholars and faculty from both developing and developed countries and provides first-hand research experience that links directly with the work of the United Nations and its specialized agencies, as well as numerous intergovernmental processes. UNU students thus benefit from an experience unavailable anywhere else in the world.

    • How do I apply?

      Due to the diverse nature of the educational programmes offered at UNU and the global dispersion of our institutes, tuition fees, financial support and application procedures differ by programme. Please refer to the programme descriptions on this website and, if a specific programme interests you, visit the website of the institute providing that programme for more information. Contact the focal point for the programme directly if you have a specific question.

    • What can I study at UNU?

      All research, training and teaching carried out at UNU falls under the University’s five thematic clusters:

      • Peace, security and human rights;
      • Development governance;
      • Population and health;
      • Global change and sustainable development;
      • Science, technology and society.
      For further information please see the detailed descriptions of the individual programmes.

    • What educational programmes does UNU offer?

      UNU offers a diverse range of educational programmes for applicants interested in pursuing postgraduate education or furthering their professional skills. UNU academic programmes consist of:

      1. UNU master’s degree programmes
      2. UNU doctoral degree programmes
      3. Non-degree courses
      4. Affiliated degree programmes
      Application procedures, scholarship details and other information differ by programme. Prospective students are thus encouraged to carefully read the admissions section of the website to search for a programme that matches their needs.

    Fees, costs and funding

    • Where can I find information on other scholarships?

      Applicants are encouraged to thoroughly research funding options on an individual basis, and to apply for funding from their home country governments, private foundations or international funding agencies. As UNU accepts students from around the world, and each country has its own system for awarding scholarships, UNU cannot provide a list of available scholarships for each applicant. For information on possible scholarship opportunities, you might try consulting:

      • your undergraduate or graduate university;
      • the website of your home embassy; and
      • the embassy website for the country where the UNU institute is located.

    • Does UNU provide financial support for its students?

      A limited number of UNU scholarships are awarded to outstanding candidates, particularly those from developing countries. Scholarship applications are usually submitted at the time of applying to a programme, and the list of available scholarships differs for each programme. For more information about the scholarships available for a specific programme, please see the website of the institute implementing the programme or contact the focal point for the programme directly.

      Please note that UNU offers such scholarships only for students enrolled in UNU programmes. UNU does not offer scholarships or grants to students studying at other institutions.

    • How much does it cost to study at UNU?

      Tuition fees and scholarship opportunities differ by programme. For more information about the tuition fees for a specific programme, please see the website of the institute implementing the programme. If you have a more detailed question, please contact the focal point for the programme directly.

    Online opportunities


    • Does UNU offer fellowships?

      UNU institutes offer a number of doctoral- and postdoctoral-level fellowships. Generally, an applicant for a doctoral fellowships must be enrolled in a PhD programme at another university, and must be at the dissertation writing stage of his/her degree programme with an accepted research proposal; an applicants for a postdoctoral fellowship must have obtained a PhD (or at least successfully defended the PhD thesis) in a relevant area. Please visit the Fellowships section of this website for more information, including details on application procedures, eligibility requirements and other specific information related to the various opportunities available. If you have a question about a particular fellowship, please contact  the fellowship focal point.

    • Does studying at UNU ensure employment with the United Nations?

      A UNU postgraduate degree provides graduates with the knowledge and skills to make important contributions towards solving global issues, whether through employment by United Nations agencies, other international organizations, governments, civil society or the private sector.You do not need a UNU degree to be employed by the United Nations, and obtaining a UNU degree does not guarantee a job within the United Nations. For information on employment requirements and opportunities with the UN, please visit: