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Norwegian University of Life Sciences

Norwegian University of Life Sciences

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The Norwegian University of Life Sciences is a public university
Public university
A public university is a university that is predominantly funded by public means through a national or subnational government, as opposed to private universities. A national university may or may not be considered a public university, depending on regions...

 located in Ås
Ås is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Follo traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ås...

, Norway
Norway , officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Nordic unitary constitutional monarchy whose territory comprises the western portion of the Scandinavian Peninsula, Jan Mayen, and the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard and Bouvet Island. Norway has a total area of and a population of about 4.9 million...


It is located at Ås
Ås is a municipality in Akershus county, Norway. It is part of the Follo traditional region. The administrative centre of the municipality is the village of Ås...

 in Akershus
- Geography :The county is conventionally divided into the traditional districts Follo and Romerike, which fill the vast part of the county, as well as the small exclave west of Oslo that consists of Asker and Bærum...

, near Oslo
Oslo is a municipality, as well as the capital and most populous city in Norway. As a municipality , it was established on 1 January 1838. Founded around 1048 by King Harald III of Norway, the city was largely destroyed by fire in 1624. The city was moved under the reign of Denmark–Norway's King...

, and has around 3800 students. The university is known for its beautiful campus, with spectacular, big and old trees, as well as ponds, flowers and bushes.


Established as an agricultural school in 1859, it became a scientific university college
University college
The term "university college" is used in a number of countries to denote college institutions that provide tertiary education but do not have full or independent university status. A university college is often part of a larger university...

 (vitenskapelig høgskole) in 1897 and received university status in 2005. Prior to 2005 it was known as Norges landbrukshøgskole (NLH), also in English as Agricultural University of Norway.


The university is organized into eight departments:

It also includes five centers:

Degree programmes

Bachelor's degree programmes in English
  • Development Studies

Master's degree programmes in English
  • Agroecology
  • Animal Breeding and Genetics

  • Aquaculture
  • Computational Biology
  • Development and Natural Resource Economics
  • Development Studies
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Feed Manufacturing Technology
  • International Environmental Studies
  • Plant Science
  • Radioecology

Bachelor's degree programmes in Norwegian
  • Animal Science
  • Biotechnology

  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Ecology
  • Economics
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Food Science
  • Forest, Environment and Industry
  • Geomatics
  • Landscape Construction and Management
  • Natural Science
  • Plant Science
  • Renewable Energy

Master's degree programmes in Norwegian - 5 years
  • Chemistry and Biotechnology
  • Environmental Physics and Renewable Energy
  • Geomatics
  • Industrial Economics and Technology Management
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Property and Land Law
  • Spatial Planning
  • Structural Engineering and Architecture
  • Urban and regional Planning
  • Teacher Education in Natural Sciences
  • Water and Environmental Technology

Master's degree programmes in Norwegian - 2 years
  • Animal Science
  • Applied Mathematics and Statistics
  • Bioinformatics and Applied Statistics
  • Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Business Administration
  • Chemistry
  • Environment and Natural Resources
  • Food Science
  • Forest Sciences
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Management of Natural Resources
  • Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences
  • Microbiology
  • Nature-based Development and Innovation
  • Packaging
  • Plant Science
  • Public Health
  • Real Estate Development
  • Renewable Energy

PhD studies
Doctoral programmes are based on a continuation in the Norwegian degree system from a master's degree or an equivalent qualification. A doctoral programme consists of course work, (an) individual research project(s) and a dissertation, which is defended in a formal oral examination.

Other programmes in Norwegian
  • One-year Teacher Education programme - part time
  • One-year Teacher Education programme - full time
  • Science

Students do not have to pay tuition. The Norwegian government subsidizes all higher education.

International students

UMB has exchange agreements with more than 80 universities worldwide, including six Nordic, 44 European and eight North American institutions. Institutional partnerships with universities in developing countries are carried out mainly through the Department of International Environmental and Development Studies/Noragric. The objectives of UMB’s cooperation with universities abroad include building strong academic networks, facilitating international exchange and contributing to the competence building with universities in the south.

Cost of living

UMB recommends that students have a minimum budget of NOK 39,740 (about 5,950 USD) per semester and NOK 90,800 (about 12,000 EUR) for a full academic year. According to Norwegian government statistics, the average student spends approximately between NOK 7000 (about 1,000 USD) and NOK 9000 (about 1,340 USD) per month.

Unless a student comes to UMB as a part of an exchange program, the student must prove to the Norwegian government that he or she has the above amounts to obtain a student visa.


Research at UMB includes basic research and applied research, providing a foundation for education, research training and research geared towards the private sector. Research is mainly focused on Environmental Sciences, Food Science, Biotechnology, Aquaculture and Business Development. It also has a strong interdisciplinary and international approach. There is a strong link between research and the UMB study programs; students at the Master and PhD level are often involved in many research activities.
Research is also a joint venture between research institutes in Ås. Together, the university and the institutions represent the largest research environments for life sciences in Norway. UMB is also active through national alliances with other institutions and through institutional partnerships with universities in developing countries. UMB’s health-related research is linked to healthy food, clean water and the environment and the many related challenges in developing countries.

Student life

Student Housing

Most first year students live in the Pentagon, a building south of the UMB campus. The Pentagon enhances the international UMB experience. Up to six people share a flat, which includes a private room and a shared toilet, shower, kitchen and living area. The University Foundation of Student Life (SiÅs) oversees the Pentagon.
Private housing in Ås is also available.


University Foundation for Student Life in Ås (SiÅs)
The University Foundation for Student Life in Ås was established in 1955 under and in pursuance of the Act of 28.06.96 of Student unions. SiÅs shall:
  • provide the students with good and reasonable welfare offers
  • promote the students’ interests
  • contribute do that UMB becomes and attractive place to study and work

SiÅs is in charge of the student accommodations, sports center, bookstore, print shop, restaurant and cafeterias, nursery, kiosk and booking of meeting and function rooms.

Studensamfunnet in Ås
The UMB student community consists of 60-70 clubs and societies that both alone and together offer most students unique and social activities with many challenges. Studentsamfunnet in Ås is the oldest and most powerful society that owns most of the buildings that bring most of the social activities together.

The Student Board
The Student Board (NSO Ås) deals with everything that concerns student democracy, including daily contact with SiÅs and contact with the different student representatives in various boards, assemblies and committees. The Student Board is the administrative head of the Student Parliament, but it is the Student Parliament that controls the Student Board. The Student Committee consists of elected representatives from each department plus elected members of the Student Board. The highest body in the student democracy is the general assembly (Allmøtet). Here, all students have speaking and voting rights. Representatives to the Student Board are elected at the general assembly, which is held every autumn and spring. at the department general assemblies, student representatives on department level are elected. All students have speaking and voting rights on their department’s general assemblies.

International Student Union
The International Student Union (ISU) is an organization composed of international students that attend various universities and Høgskolen throughout Norway and who have particular interest in student politics and international student rights. ISU is a democratic, non-profit, non-religious, multicultural and non-partisan organization that seeks to serve and promote the interests of foreign students who are studying in Norway. ISU represents the voice of international students in political and academic matters and has to main aims:
  • to ensure that the rights and interests of all international students are suitably represented and protected
  • to maintain social welfare

ISU also promotes the relationship between Norwegian and international students and works to sustain the connections with local student organizations. Membership with ISU is free and open to all international students in Norway. Elections are held once a year in September and all international students have the right o run for office and vote.
The members of the board meet in the student post office approximately every two weeks after classes and work as a team to discuss many different aspects of the international student life. ISU is a democracy and each member has the right to propose, suggest and advise.
The highest branch of the ISU is the National Assembly that carries out the working plans and approves budgets for all of the ISU branches. Local branches have the autonomy to decide the conditions for their own activities.


GG-Hallen, the university’s sports hall, offers recreational sports clubs.

Notable graduates

  • Lauri Kristian Relander
    Lauri Kristian Relander
    Lauri Kristian Relander was the second President of Finland . A prominent member of the Agrarian League, he served as a member of Parliament, and as Speaker, before his election as President....

     President Finland

  • Nils H. Nilsson-Ehle Administration Plant Sciences Sweden


  • Lord Boyd Orr
    John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr
    John Boyd Orr, 1st Baron Boyd-Orr CH, DSO, MC, FRS , known as Sir John Boyd Orr from 1935 to 1949, was a Scottish teacher, doctor, biologist and politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize for his scientific research into nutrition and his work as the first Director-General of the United Nations...

     of Brechin Scotland Nobel Peace Prize Winner

  • H. K. Hayes Plant Sciences USA

  • J. Ilvessalo Forestry Finland

  • P. Kästli Dairy Sciences Switzerland

  • S. Mattson Sweden

  • Elias Melin Mycology Sweden

  • Carl. Mar Møller Animal Sciences Denmark

  • H. Møllgaard Physiology Denmark

  • S. J. Wellensiek Holland

  • Norman Borlaug
    Norman Borlaug
    Norman Ernest Borlaug was an American agronomist, humanitarian, and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution". Borlaug was one of only six people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal...

     Plant Sciences USA Nobel Peace Prize Winner

  • Kenneth Blaxter Animal Sciences Scotland

  • Victor Kovdav Soil Sciences Russia

  • Jay Laurence Lush Animal Sciences USA

  • Carl Olof Tamm Forestry Sweden

  • Walter Schwabe Horticulture England

  • Roy Simonsen Soil Sciences USA

  • Alan Robertson Animal Sciences Scotland

  • Gerhardt Bünemann Horticulture

  • Olafur Ragnar Grimsson Social Sciences Iceland

  • Alan Randall Economics Australia

  • Mårten Carlsson Horticulture Sweden

  • Ragnhild Solberg Economics Norway

  • Wangari M. Maathai Nature Management Kenya Nobel Peace Prize Winner

  • Inger Nafstad Veterinarian Norway

  • Dusan Mlinsek Engineering Slovenia

  • Martin Luther Kyomo Animal Sciences Tanzania

  • Edward Patrick Cunningham Animal Sciences Ireland

  • Olavi Junttila Plant Sciences Finland (Norway)

  • Arne Brimi
    Arne Brimi
    Arne Brimi, born 1957, is a famous Norwegian chef and food writer. He is also known for his appearance on the TV-series "Gutta på tur" with Olympic gold medalists Vegard Ulvang, Bjørn Dæhlie, and host Arne Hjeltnes....

     IKBM Norway

  • Sara von Arnold Plant and Environmental Sciences Sweden

  • Donald Broom
    Donald Broom
    Donald Maurice Broom, is an English biologist and emeritus professor of animal welfare at Cambridge University.Donald Broom attended Whitgift School and subsequently St. Catharine's College, Cambridge. He received his BA and MA degrees in zoology and Ph.D. degree in animal behaviour from Cambridge...

    Animal Sciences England

  • Mike Gale Genetics and Plant Sciences England

  • Rattan Lal Soil Sciences India/USA

External links