College in the United States is getting expensive, and many high school students have started to look at American universities located overseas. According to a 2019 report released by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, the average tuition at four-year public colleges in all 50 American states has increased by 37% in just 10 years. The website FinAid.org further reports that tuition tends to increase about 8% each year. That’s a lot.
Meanwhile, universities accredited by U.S. accreditation boards but located in foreign countries are continuing to provide quality educations, competitive degrees, and a cultural experience for far less than what it would cost in the U.S. No wonder so many American students are enrolling in universities with addresses in France, the United Kingdom, South Korea, and China. That is also why we went on the hunt for the 30 best American universities located overseas.
Methodology for American Universities Overseas
First, a note: by “American Universities,” we are referring to any university which operates on the U.S. academic credit system, and which has been accredited by a U.S. regional accrediting body. As we made our list of American universities overseas that fit this criteria, we also focused on only those universities which are non-profit and which teach courses in the English language.
All prices listed are for undergraduate tuition only. We provided the price in the currency preferred by the university: either local currency or U.S. Dollar. All tuition costs listed are accurate as of March 2020.
Reviewing the Best American Universities Abroad
Abu Dhabi University
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Tuition Per Year: $11,000
Citizens of the United Arab Emirates, along with His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, spent years envisioning “an institution that would be among the best in the UAE and throughout the world.” In 2003, Abu Dhabi University was founded, and in 2016, it achieved accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in the United States. It offers undergraduate and postgraduate study programs, and all degree programs are based upon the American model of higher education. Abu Dhabi University is the largest private university in the United Arab Emirates, with campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, and Dubai.
American College Dublin
Tuition Per Year: €9,000 (Non-EU), €6,000 (EU)
American College Dublin is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college affiliated with Irish American University. Accredited by the U.S.-based Middle States Commission on Higher Education, American College Dublin is located in Merrion Square in a series of Georgian-era homes (one of which was the childhood home of Oscar Wilde). The college offers eight bachelor’s degree programs in subjects such as International Business, Hospitality Management, and Creative Writing, among others.
The American College of Greece
Tuition Per Year: $11,180
The American College of Greece is made up of three separate schools, including Deree for undergraduate and postgraduate liberal arts, and the Alba Graduate Business School. The former is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, and offers degrees in fine and performing arts, psychology, communication, and leadership, to name but a few. The Alba Graduate Business School offers MBA programs in financial services, banking, and shipping. It was described in 2011 by Financial Times as a worthy of a place “on the global business education map.”
The American University in Cairo
Tuition Per Year: $17,640
The American University in Cairo is a private research university that offers American-style learning programs for undergraduates, graduates, and postgraduate students. Approximately 6,500 students from more than 50 countries are enrolled at The American University in Cairo, including many who are studying in Egypt for one semester or one year. The university is accredited in both the U.S. and Egypt, and offers 37 bachelor’s degrees, 44 masters degrees, and two doctoral degrees. QS World University Rankings 2020 ranks The American University in Cairo as the best university in Egypt, the 2nd best in Africa, and the 395th best in the world.
American University in Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
Tuition Per Year: AED 92,400
American University in Dubai has been offering an American-style education to UAE nationals, Americans, and other international students since 1995. Accredited by both the United States and the United Arab Emirates, American University in Dubai offers myriad degree programs through their schools of Architecture, Art and Design; Arts and Science; Business Administration; Communication; Education; and Engineering. The university also maintains a close relationship with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, and many students choose to complete their degrees by attending both universities.
American University of Armenia
Tuition Per Year: 3,700,000 AMD
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the American University of Armenia is an excellent choice of American school abroad for anyone who is looking for a prestigious education at a fraction of the cost. The university was co-founded by the University of California system, and as such, provides a Western-style education with teacher-directed classrooms and research opportunities. Five bachelor’s degree programs are offered, along with nine master’s degree programs.
American University of Beirut
Tuition Per Year: $24,167
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university that has been ranked by QS World University Rankings as the best university in the Middle East. The university offers a variety of bachelor’s, masters, MD, and Ph.D. degrees, and collaborates with a slew of top-ranked American universities to do so. Some of the university’s most popular undergraduate degree programs include Arab and Middle Eastern History, Epidemiology, and Arabic Language and Literature, among others. As as the case with the other schools on our list, all courses are taught in English.
American University of Paris
Tuition Per Year: €31,456
American University of Paris (AUP) is a private liberal arts college that is accredited in the United States. A non-profit educational institution, AUP was founded in 1962 and is one of the oldest American universities in Europe. More than 1,100 students from 100 different countries attend AUP to pursue nearly 30 majors. These include Literature, History, International Business, and Economics, to name but a few. Students may also participate in the university’s Cultural Program, which includes faculty-led study trips and cultural excursions both in Paris and abroad.
American University of Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Tuition Per Year: $6,000
Founded in 2013, American University of Phnom Penh is a private university offering four-year programs in Architecture, Business, Computer Science, Global Affairs, Law, and Tourism and Hospitality Management. All classes are taught in English, and students graduate with dual-degrees from American University of Phnom Penh and University of Arizona or Fort Hays State University.
American University of Rome
Tuition Per Year: $25,200
American University of Rome is the oldest degree-granting university in Italy. Founded in 1969, it enrolls approximately 500 students, including those students studying in Rome for one semester or one year. Because it is accredited in the United States, the university teaches all classes in English. Ten bachelor’s degree programs are offer, along with four master’s degree programs. Popular programs of study include Archaeology and Classics, Fine Arts, Travel and Tourism Management, and Business Administration.
Prague, Czech Republic
Tuition Per Year: CZK 162,000
Anglo-American University — which recently celebrated its 30th anniversary — is an American-accredited university located in Prague. The private university provides classes in English, and offers a variety of three-year Bachelor of Art programs. These include International Relations, Politics and Society, Jewish Studies, and Business Administration, to name but a few. A few master’s programs and professional programs are also available.
Bard College Berlin
Tuition Per Year: €20,055
Accredited by both the United States and Germany, Bard College Berlin is a private non-profit liberal arts colleges which grants duel American/German degrees. Approximately 260 full-time students are enrolled at Bard College Berlin and pursuing either a study abroad semester, a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, Politics, and Social Thought, or a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics, and Social Thought.
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Tuition Per Year: $55,816 / QAR 203,728 (based on a fixed exchange rate of QAR 3.65 = $1.00)
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is a branch campus of Carnegie Mellon University. The private research university is located in Education City, a large campus of international universities situated on the outskirts of Doha. All degrees earned at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar are the same degrees earned by students attending Carnegie Mellon in the United States. Currently, five undergraduate degrees are offered: Computer Science, Business Administration, Information Systems, Computational Biology, and Biological Sciences.
Duke Kunshan University
Kunshan, Jiangsu, China
Tuition Per Year: $29,088
Duke Kunshan University in China’s Jiangsu province is the result of a partnership between Duke University and Wuhan University. The research university provides a liberal arts education in English to students from China, the United States, and all around the world. Students have the opportunity to spend a summer and a semester at Duke University in North Carolina, and when they graduate, they receive a dual degree.
Franklin University Switzerland
Tuition Per Year: $43,850
Accredited in both Switzerland and the United States, Franklin University Switzerland is a private liberal arts university located in Lugano. The university offers Certificate in English Language Teaching degrees, Associate of Arts degrees, and Bachelor of Arts degrees in myriad subjects. Included in Franklin students’ annual tuition is participation in the Academic Travel Program, through which students travel with their class to study on location for two weeks. Former Academic Travel destinations have included Africa, South America, Asia, and other parts of Europe.
Mason Korea — George Mason University
Incheon, South Korea
Tuition Per Year: $20,000
Situated about a two-hour drive from Seoul and a two-hour flight from China and Japan, Mason Korea is a degree-granting campus of George Mason University. Mason Korea is considered by The Commonwealth of Virginia to be “no different than any other Mason campus.” It has the same powers and opportunities, and offers seven undergraduate programs in subjects such as Accounting, Global Affairs, Conflict Analysis, and even Computer Game Design. Students spend their sixth and seventh semesters studying at the main campus in Virginia.
Hult International Business School
Dubai, U.A.E.; Cambridge, England; London, England; Shanghai, China
Tuition Per Year: $42,500
Hult International Business School is a private school with six campuses in four countries (including the U.S.). It is the only American business school accredited in the United States, the European Union, and the United Kingdom. This makes it a top choice for many students interested in careers in international business. Besides an undergraduate business degree, Hult also offers master’s degrees and an MBA program. Some of Hult’s notable alumni include former South African president Thabo Mbeki, Gerdau CEO André Bier Gerdau Johannpeter, and Exterion Media CEO Shaun Gregory.
John Cabot University
Tuition Per Year: $25,900
John Cabot University is a private liberal arts university in Rome. Of its approximately 1,000 students, about half are studying abroad, while the other half are pursuing U.S.-accredited degrees in subjects such as Art History, Business Administration, and International Affairs — the university’s three strongest, and most popular, majors. Classes are taught following the American system of education, though the culture of the university is distinctly European.
McDaniel College Budapest
Tuition Per Year: €7,200 (1st and 2nd year), €7,800 (3rd and 4th year)
McDaniel College Budapest is the Hungary-based college associated with McDaniel College in Maryland. The accredited private liberal arts college offers an American four-year undergraduate program which culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree. Alternatively, students may may study for one semester or 1-2 years at McDaniel College Budapest, then transfer their credits to a school in the United States.
New York University Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Tuition Per Year: $50,686
NYU Abu Dhabi — along with NYU Shanghai and NYU in New York — is one of NYU’s three degree-granting universities. The fully integrated liberal arts and science college currently offers 22 undergraduate programs, though graduate and executive education programs are likely to be available in the future. Students studying at NYU Abu Dhabi are encouraged to spend at least two semesters studying at one of NYU’s satellite campuses in places like Paris, London, Madrid, Buenos Aires, and Accra, to name but a few options.
New York University Shanghai
Tuition Per Year: $50,686
Affiliated with both New York University and East China Normal University, NYU Shanghai is the first American college to receive independent registration status from China’s Ministry of Education. The university offers undergraduates a popular study abroad program, plus a core curriculum, 19 major options, and a slew of multidisciplinary minors. Courses are taught in English.
Paris College of Art
Tuition Per Year: €28,400
For artistically inclined students, studying in the world’s arts capital of Paris, France is a dream come true. Founded in 1981, the Paris College of Art offers U.S.-accredited bachelor degrees in Fine Arts, Interior Design, Photography, Communication Design, Fashion Design, and Design Management. A variety of Master of Arts degrees are also available. The college aims to provide the highest standard of art and design education, and to do so teaches within the American pedagogical paradigm whilst being influenced by French and European culture. Tom Ford is an alum of Paris College of Art, as are Erin Fetherston (fashion designer), Georgia Hardinge (fashion designer), and Ryan Mendoza (artist).
Parsons Paris, The New School
Tuition Per Year: $17,245 – $25,230, depending on degree program
Parsons Paris is the European branch campus of Parsons School of Design in New York. As such, it is affiliated with The New School, the comprehensive NYC-based university dedicated to academic freedom for students. Students may study abroad at Parsons Paris, attend a summer immersion program, or complete an entire bachelor’s or master’s program. Bachelor’s degree programs include Fashion Design, Fashion Studies, and Design and Technology, among others. All courses are taught in English.
Richmond University – The American International University in London
London, England, United Kingdom
Tuition Per Year: $38,000
Formally known as Richmond University – The American International University in London, Richmond is a private liberal arts school located in the London suburbs of Richmond Hill and Kensington. Students graduating from Richmond earn degrees accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, an accrediting body based in Delaware. Three colleges — Richmond Business School, Richmond School of Liberal Arts, and Richmond School of Communications, Arts & Social Sciences — offers a variety of majors and minors. Popular majors include Business, International Relations, Media, and Political Science.
Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus
Tuition Per Year: €21,100
Saint Louis University in Madrid is one of two campuses of Saint Louis University, a top-ranked Jesuit school. About 750 students from 65 countries are enrolled at Saint Louis University in Madrid, many of whom are pursuing one of the nearly 100 offered bachelor’s degrees. Some of the university’s most popular majors include History, Political Science/International Relations, Economics, and Art History. All classes are taught in English, and the university is accredited by the U.S.-based Higher Learning Commission.
Schiller International University
Tuition Per Year: €11,664
Schiller International University is a private, for-profit university with five campuses worldwide, one of which is in Madrid. The university is accredited by both the U.S.-based Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools and the Spain-based Comunidad de Madrid. All programs are taught in English, and include business administration, hospitality and tourism management, international business, international relations and diplomacy, and management of international technology.
Temple University, Japan Campus
Tuition Per Year: 2,191,400 yen
Temple University’s Japan Campus is the country’s oldest and biggest foreign college. While around 40% of students are residents of Japan, the remaining 60% come from more than 60 countries. Classes are taught in English, and degrees offered include A.A.s, B.A.s, M.S.Ed., Ed.D, MBA, Ph.D., and LL.M. Students are also encouraged to study abroad at Temple University in the United States or elsewhere.
Webster University Geneva
Tuition Per Year: CHF 33,280
St. Louis, Missouri-based Webster University has approximately 100 campus locations worldwide, one of the top-rated of which is in Geneva, Switzerland. The independent, non-denominational university enrolls about 500 students, including 275 undergraduates, 85 graduate students, and 130 students studying abroad for one semester or one year. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in International Relations, Media Communications, Finance, and Business Administration, to name but a few. Additionally, the university offers certificates in International Human Rights and Refugee Studies, both of which are topics preferred by many students who are drawn to Switzerland as a place to study.
Webster University Leiden
Leiden, The Netherlands
Tuition Per Year: €16,200
Like Geneva, Webster University also has a branch in The Netherlands. Webster Leiden acts as an independent university, and is therefore accredited in both The Netherlands and the United States. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects like Business Administration, International Relations, Media Communications, and Psychology.
Webster Vienna Private University
Tuition Per Year: €20,900
Like the two aforementioned schools, Webster Vienna Private University is affiliated with the U.S.-based Webster University, but is a distinct and separate institution. An American university accredited in the United States, Webster Vienna offers five bachelor’s of art degrees — Business Administration, International Relations, Management, Media Communications, and Psychology — plus a certificate program in Global Citizenship. About 10% of the university’s full-time student body come from the U.S., while about 20% are Austrian citizens.
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This concludes our review of the top American universities abroad.