College in the United States is getting expensive. As a result, many high school students have started to look at American universities located overseas for a degree abroad. 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 partner institutions 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. This includes American universities in Europe and across the globe.
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 that 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 that are non-profit and that teach courses in the English language.
All prices listed are for undergraduate tuition only. We provided the price in the currency preferred by the national 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
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. In 2016, it achieved accreditation from the Western Association of Schools and Colleges in the United States. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degree study abroad programs. All higher education programs are based upon the American model of higher education. Abu Dhabi University is the largest private university in the United Arab Emirates. It has campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al-Ain, and Dubai.
Tuition Per Year: $11,000
American College Dublin
American College Dublin is a private, not-for-profit liberal arts college. This American university abroad is affiliated with Irish American University and is ideal for a degree abroad. Accredited by the U.S.-based Middle States Commission on Higher Education, American College Dublin is located in Merrion Square. It is situated among a series of Georgian-era homes (one of which was the childhood home of Oscar Wilde). The college offers eight bachelor’s degrees. Study abroad majors span subjects such as Business, Hospitality Management, and Creative Writing, among others.
Tuition Per Year: €9,000 (Non-EU), €6,000 (EU)
The American College of Greece
One of the leading universities in Europe, the American College of Greece is made up of three separate schools. This includes Deree for undergraduate and postgraduate liberal arts, and the Alba Graduate Business School for graduate programs in business. The former is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. It offers higher education 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.”
Tuition Per Year: $11,180
The American University in Cairo
The American University in Cairo is a private research university. This American University abroad 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. This includes many who are studying in Egypt for one semester or one year. The university is accredited in both the U.S. and Egypt. It 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.
Tuition Per Year: $17,640
American University in Dubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates
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 study abroad degrees through their schools of Architecture, Art and Design; Arts and Science; Administration; Communication; Education; and Engineering. This American university abroad also maintains a close relationship with the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta. Thus, many students choose to complete their degree abroad by attending both universities.
Tuition Per Year: AED 92,400
American University of Armenia
Accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, the American University of Armenia is an excellent choice of American school abroad. This is especially true for anyone looking for a prestigious degree abroad at a fraction of the cost. The university was co-founded by the University of California system. As such, it provides a Western-style education with teacher-directed classrooms and research opportunities. Five bachelor’s degrees are offered, along with nine master’s degrees.
Tuition Per Year: 3,700,000 AMD
American University of Beirut
The American University of Beirut is a private, independent university. This American university abroad has been ranked by QS World University Rankings as the best university in the Middle East. The school offers a variety of higher education options featuring experiential learning opportunities. This includes bachelor’s, masters, MD, and Ph.D. degrees. It also collaborates with a slew of top-ranked American universities to do so. Some of the university’s most popular undergraduate offerings include Arab and Middle Eastern History, Epidemiology, and Arabic Language and Literature, among others. As is the case with the other schools on our list, all courses for a degree abroad are taught in English.
Tuition Per Year: $24,167
American University of Paris
One of the top American universities abroad, 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 higher education majors. These include liberal arts education offerings like Literature and History as well as Global Business and Economics, to name a few. Students may also take part in the university’s Cultural Program throughout their entire degree program. This program includes faculty-led study trips and cultural excursions both in Paris and abroad.
Tuition Per Year: €31,456
American University of Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Founded in 2013, American University of Phnom Penh is a private university. As one of the leading American universities abroad, the school offers four-year higher education 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.
Tuition Per Year: $6,000
American University of Rome
American University of Rome is the oldest degree-granting university in Italy. Founded in 1969, it enrolls approximately 500 students. This includes those studying in Rome for a single semester or one year. Because it is accredited in the United States, this is one of the American universities abroad that teaches all classes in English. Ten bachelor’s degrees are on offer, along with four master’s degree programs. Popular programs of study include Archaeology and Classics, Fine Arts, Travel and Tourism Management, and Administration.
Tuition Per Year: $25,200
Prague, Czech Republic
One of our top picks for American universities abroad is Anglo-American University. The school recently celebrated its 30th anniversary as an American-accredited university located in Prague. The private university provides classes in English, and it offers a variety of three-year Bachelor of Art programs. These include International Relations, Politics and Society, Jewish Studies, and Administration, to name but a few. A few master’s programs and professional programs are also available.
Tuition Per Year: CZK 162,000
Bard College Berlin
Enjoying dual accreditation from both the United States and Germany, Bard College Berlin is a private non-profit liberal arts college. As one of the leading American universities abroad, the school grants dual American/German degrees. Approximately 260 full-time students are enrolled at Bard College Berlin. These include students 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.
Tuition Per Year: €20,055
Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar
Among the best American universities abroad, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar is a branch campus of Carnegie Mellon University. The private research university is located in Education City. It is part of 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, Administration, Information Systems, Computational Biology, and Biological Sciences.
Tuition Per Year: $55,816 / QAR 203,728 (based on a fixed exchange rate of QAR 3.65 = $1.00)
Duke Kunshan University
Kunshan, Jiangsu, China
A top American university abroad, 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,. When they graduate from Duke Kunshan University, they receive a dual degree.
Tuition Per Year: $29,088
Franklin University Switzerland
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 this program, 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.
Tuition Per Year: $43,850
Mason Korea — George Mason University
Incheon, South Korea
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.
Tuition Per Year: $20,000
Hult International Business School
Dubai, U.A.E.; Cambridge, England; London, England; Shanghai, China
Hult International Business School is a private school with six campuses in four countries (including the U.S.). It is the only university with the distinction of being an 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.
Tuition Per Year: $42,500
John Cabot University
One of the best private American universities abroad in our ranking, John Cabot University is a liberal arts university in Rome. The school enrolls 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 . These are the university’s three strongest, and most popular, majors. Classes are taught following the American system of education. Still, the culture of the university is more like universities in Europe.
Tuition Per Year: $25,900
McDaniel College Budapest
One of our leading American universities in Europe, 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 degree abroad program, which culminates in a Bachelor of Arts degree. As an alternative, students may may study for a single semester or 1-2 years at McDaniel College Budapest, then transfer their credits to a school in the United States.
Tuition Per Year: €7,200 (1st and 2nd year), €7,800 (3rd and 4th year)
New York University Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
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. Graduate and executive education programs are likely to be available in the future. Students at NYU Abu Dhabi are encouraged to spend at least two semesters studying at one of NYU’s satellite campuses. Options include places like Paris, London, Madrid, Buenos Aires, and Accra, to name but a few options.
Tuition Per Year: $50,686
New York University Shanghai
One of the leading American universities abroad, NYU Shanghai is affiliated with both New York University and East China Normal University. It 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. Like many American international institutions, courses are taught in English.
Tuition Per Year: $50,686
Paris College of Art
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. As one of the top American universities in Europe, professors teach 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).
Tuition Per Year: €28,400
Parsons Paris, The New School
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.
Tuition Per Year: $17,245 – $25,230, depending on degree program
Richmond University – The American International University in London
London, England, United Kingdom
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 — offer a variety of majors and minors. Popular majors include Business, International Relations, Media, and Political Science.
Tuition Per Year: $38,000
Saint Louis University – Madrid Campus
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 these students 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. The university is accredited by the U.S.-based Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition Per Year: €21,100
Schiller International University
Schiller International University is a private, for-profit university with five campuses worldwide. One of these 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. Majors include business administration, hospitality and tourism management, global business, international relations and diplomacy, and management of international technology.
Tuition Per Year: €11,664
Temple University, Japan Campus
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. 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.
Tuition Per Year: 2,191,400 yen
Webster University Geneva
St. Louis, Missouri-based Webster University has approximately 100 campus locations worldwide. One of the top-rated is in Geneva, Switzerland. The independent, non-denominational university enrolls about 500 students, including 275 undergraduates, 85 graduate degree students, and 130 students studying abroad for one semester or one year. Bachelor’s degrees are offered in International Relations, Media Communications, Finance, and Administration, to name but a few. Additionally, the university offers certificates in International Human Rights and Refugee Studies. Both of these are topics preferred by many students who are drawn to Switzerland as a place to study.
Tuition Per Year: CHF 33,280
Webster University Leiden
Leiden, The Netherlands
Like Geneva, Webster University also has a branch in The Netherlands. Webster Leiden acts as an independent university. It is thus accredited in both The Netherlands and the United States. The university offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in subjects like Administration, International Relations, Media Communications, and Psychology.
Tuition Per Year: €16,200
Webster Vienna Private University
Like the last two American universities abroad mentioned in our ranking, Webster Vienna Private University is affiliated with the U.S.-based Webster University. Still, it is a distinct and separate institution. This American university accredited in the United States offers five bachelor’s of art degrees —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. About 20% are Austrian citizens.
Tuition Per Year: €20,900
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This concludes our review of the top American universities abroad.