Latvia stands as an independent country of the Baltic region in Northern Europe since 1991 when it separated from the Soviet Union. Since then, Latvia has experienced changes regarding its economy, which is ranked in the Human Development Index as the 41st in the world. It also has an incredibly rich culture. In fact, Riga, its capital, was the European Capital of Culture in 2014.

The word Latvia comes from Latvija, which happens to be the name of Latgalians, an antique tribe of the Indo-European Baltic region. Latvia along with Lithuania is one of the two countries where Baltic languages are still spoken. Actually, Latvian is their official language. The original culture of this country endured time thanks to its language and its folk songs and dances.

Latvia is the perfect place for someone looking for a peaceful and temperate seasonal type of climate. This country is also known for being eco-friendly. It has a privileged flora and panoramas of meadows, forests, swamps, and pastures. When it comes to its fauna, Latvian people have been responsible because the population of deer and elk has increased thanks to conservation measures.

This makes Latvia the perfect destination for those who want to go through their university experience close to nature and within a fascinating culture.

Which degrees can I get at Latvian universities?

There are two types of higher or tertiary education in Latvia: non-university type institutions and university-type institutions.

University-type institutions in Latvia offer Bachelor’s, Master and Doctoral diplomas. Universities have both professional and academic programs. In these Latvian university-type institutions there are universities and colleges that are both public and private.

The structure of Latvian study programs of professional higher education has a system that comprises internships outside educational institutions, study courses, state exams, and the defense of a Bachelor thesis. 

How is the application process at Latvian universities?

In order to be admitted to Latvian universities, international students must fill online application forms. A few universities have entrance exams that usually can be taken online. It is also important to have a validated upper or secondary education certification of studies.

Students must speak and understand well the language of instruction and show proof of it.

So, what is the language of instruction at Latvian universities?

The language of instruction in Latvia’s education system is Latvian, which is the state language. However, there are many possibilities to study in a foreign language.

Universities are used to welcoming international students. That’s why there are many programs that are completely taught in English.

If you’d like to take the challenge, there are language programs of Latvian for international students.

Check Also: Programs in Europe for International Students

Are Latvian universities expensive for international students?

Tuition fees vary from university to university and from major to major. It also depends on the region and your nationality. For example, studying in the capital would be more expensive than studying in the countryside.

In general, most majors cost between 2,000 EUR (2,200 approx.) and 8,000 EUR (8,785 USD approx.) Those related to health are the most expensive and can cost up to 15,000 EUR (16,470 USD approx.) per year. Relatively, there are many cheap universities in Latvia.

Is living in Latvia expensive?

The costs of living in Latvia depend on the area of housing. If you rent a small apartment with only one bedroom, the prices of rent go from 250 EUR (275 USD) to 350 EUR (385 USD). This is true for the capital city, but other regions are much cheaper.

Food is also affordable. Depending on your habits, your monthly budget for groceries should be between 120 EUR (132 USD) and 200 EUR (220 USD). Eating in a fast food restaurant can cost up to 6 USD while having lunch at a restaurant in the business district can cost up to 10 USD.

If you use public transportation every day, 50 EUR (55 USD) should be enough.

Cheapest Universities in Latvia

1. Daugavpils University

Daugavpils University is among the most relevant universities in Latvia. It is a public university founded in 1921 and is a member of the European University Association. It is comprised of five faculties of social sciences, humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, education and management, and music and arts.

In order to apply for degree studies at this cheap university in Latvia, it is needed to fill the Application Form and attach documents. These include a copy of a secondary school diploma, a copy of the passport, a bank confirmation of the registration fee payment (100 EUR or 110 USD), and a document that certifies knowledge of the English language. To learn more and check which programs are available in English, visit the admissions section.

Annual tuition fees for bachelor programs are 2,400 EUR (2,635 USD approx.), for master programs fees are 2,900 EUR (3,185 USD approx.) and doctoral programs cost 3,400 EUR (3,735 USD approx.). Visit the studies and admission section to get more details about immigration procedures, dates, and more.

2. University of Latvia (UL)

The University of Latvia is a public university founded in 1919 and is located in Riga, the capital of Latvia. It is on the list of the 1000 Best Universities of the World, on the 801st position (QS World University Rankings).

Their website has a lot of information about admissions, which includes documents required, legal procedures, etc. Visit their international students’ section to discover more.

Tuition fees depend on your nationality. For EU citizens, these go from 1,900 EUR to 13,000 EUR. For people from other countries, fees for the complete programs (three to six years) go from 6,600 EUR (7,245 USD approx.) to 58,500 (64,235 USD approx.). However, most programs cost less than 12,000 EUR (13,175 USD approx.).        

3. Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technology (LLU)

Latvia University of Life Sciences and Technology (LLU) is also known by its former name of Latvia University of Agriculture. It was founded in 1991 as an official university, but it was born in 1919 as the Department of Agriculture of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Latvia.

The programs at this cheap university in Latvia focus on environmental and sustainable development. It currently has eight faculties of veterinary medicine, agriculture, forest, economics and social development, environment, and civil engineering, information technologies, engineering, and food technologies.

The admission process has eight steps and is explained in detail here. It includes entrance exams and the payment of an application fee (160 EUR or 175 USD). LLU also has student residences. The monthly rent goes from 83 EUR (92 USD) to 135 EUR (150 USD).

Tuition fees are available along with the information on each program. Click on the major you are interested in to see the costs. They go from 2,000 EUR (2,195 USD approx.) and 3,500 EUR (3,845 USD approx.). Visit the FAQ section to learn more.

4. Riga Stradins University (RSU)

 The Riga Stradins University (RSU) started as a medical institute called Riga Medical Institute in 1950, and it wasn’t until 1998 that it became a university. Nowadays it graduates specialists in Medicine and Pharmacy, Nursing, Rehabilitation, Social Sciences, and Public Health.

It has over 9,000 students, 68 study programs, 11 programs in English, 2,200 international students, 150 doctoral students, and 35 study bases.

There are nine faculties of European studies, pharmacy, law, communication, medicine, rehabilitation, public health and social care, dentistry, and continuing education. It also has two departments of international students and humanities, a language center, and a Red Cross Medical College.

Student life is excellent as they have groups of interest, sports clubs, and groups of performing arts.

Application for studies in English at Riga Stradins University can both be in person or via e-mail. A registration fee must be paid and documents must be brought to RSU.

Tuition fees change depending on the year of the program you are studying at this cheap university in Latvia. For first-year students, they go from 1,800 EUR (1,975 USD approx.) to 14,000 EUR (15,370 USD approx.).

5. Riga Technical University (RTU)

Riga Technical University (RTU) is the only polytechnic university in Latvia and is internationally recognized. RTU’s students are educated to conduct advanced research on technology and scientific areas.

RTU has got an amazing student social life structure as it has artistic groups for singing and acting and sports teams. They also have activities such as the Freshman Party and Career Days.

The university is divided into nine faculties of architecture, civil engineering, computer science and information technology, e-learning, technologies and humanities, electronics and telecommunications, power and electrical engineering, engineering economics and management, mechanical engineering, transport and aeronautics, materials science, and applied chemistry.

These faculties offer 15 bachelor programs in English. Check their admissions section to learn more about application procedures. Accommodation is also available. The monthly rent goes from 105 EUR (115 USD) to 189 EUR (207 USD).

Tuition fees depend on your nationality and vary from 2,600 EUR (2,855 USD approx.) to 3,500 EUR per year (3,840 USD approx.).

6. Liepaja University

Liepaja University is located in the Kurzeme region and was founded in 1954. It is comprised of four faculties of management and social sciences, science and engineering, pedagogy and social work, and humanitarian sciences and arts. It also has institutes of management sciences, science and innovative technologies, humanities, and educational sciences.

This cheap university in Latvia offers different programs in English which include three bachelor’s degree programs, three master’s degree programs, and two doctoral degree programs. They also have a center of languages in case you want to take a program in Latvian but don’t speak it yet.

Visit their admissions section to learn how to apply to this university. You will also find information about immigration and visas or different nationalities on their website.

Tuition fees for bachelor degree programs are 2,200 EUR (2,415 USD approx.); for master degree programs they go from 2,800 EUR (3,075 USD approx.) to 3,100 EUR (3,400 USD approx.); and for doctoral degree programs, they go from 4,200 EUR (4,610 USD approx.) to 4,700 EUR (5,160 USD approx.). Contact them to learn more.

7. Art Academy of Latvia

Vilhelm Purvītis was one of the first recognized painters in the country.  He founded the Art Academy of Latvia in 1919 and since then it has been the greatest art institution in Latvia.

Students are taught to become experts in their professional fields, but also to develop useful artistic skills, critical thinking, and a vast range of knowledge on culture and art.

This institution offers study programs for Bachelor, Master, and Doctoral diplomas. The Bachelor’s degree programs last four years, the Master’s degree program in Arts lasts two years and the Doctoral degree program in Arts lasts three.

There are 15 specialties divided into five faculties of visual arts, visual plastic arts, design, audio-visual media art, and art science.

In order to be admitted, prospective students must be nominated by the authority of their previous institution. Only then they may send their application including documents such as their portfolio, a motivation letter, transcript of records, etc. They also have other admission options for international students. Contact them to learn more.

8. Ventspils University College

This institution located in Ventspils was established in 1997 as a scientific institution and autonomous state university college. It has three faculties of Information technologies, economics and management, and translation studies. It runs both Bachelor’s and Master’s study programs.

There are programs in English at affordable prices with opportunities to study majors such as Computer Science, Business Administration, Translation, Languages and Intercultural Communication, and International Business and Export Management. Tuition fees go from 1,700 EUR (1,865 USD approx.) to 2,270 EUR (2,500 USD approx.) and will depend on your nationality.

There is a general application procedure for all English-taught study programs to follow at this cheap university in Latvia. It is compulsory to submit documents such as Secondary or Higher education certificates, English proficiency certificates (IELTS, TOEFL, Longman Language Test, or London Language Test), a copy of the passport, CV, and a photo.

Check their student guides and immigration section to learn more.

9. Latvian Maritime Academy (LMA)

Latvian Maritime Academy became a completely independent institution in 1993 and is the only academy in the country that teaches and instructs on maritime vocational education. 

This institution offers Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. The Bachelor’s degrees given are in Marine Transport – Navigation, Ports and Shipping management, Maritime Transport – Marine Engineering, and Marine Transport – Marine Electrical Automation. The Master’s degree offered is Operation of Marine Transportation.

Latvian Maritime Academy has student residences that cost 63 EUR (70 USD) a month. Dormitories at LMA Maritime School (an affiliated institution of LMA) only cost 28 EUR (30 USD) per month. Contact them to learn more about admissions and tuition fees. 


I hope that this article on cheap universities in Latvia was helpful. To know more about studying abroad, make sure to check out the Available Programs in Europe for International Students!