Study in Qatar

A guide to the best schools and universities in Qatar 

Qatar has fast become a popular choice for thousands of students looking for a higher education. As the Qatari government continues to invest into their education sector, more and more students are choosing this vibrant and diverse country to study in.

Today, you will find many prestigious universities from around the world that have opened their campuses in Qatar. From Qatar University, the first government-owned university in the country established in 1973, to the private American university Carnegie Mellon, students are able to take advantage of a reputable and distinguished education in a sunnier, more opulent setting.

Qatar University


Qatar University is the first government-owned university in the country, established in 1973. Offering courses in Arabic and English, QU now houses ten colleges ranging from engineering and medicine to social development and economics.

The public university also has a Research Complex that conducts regional research in an array of fields, including environment and energy technologies. The complex works on local and international projects in a facility equipped with advanced research labs, technical equipment’s and a library that carries rare manuscripts.

In regards to its academic programmes, QU offers 47 Bachelors, 29 Masters, 20 Ph.D. programmes, nine Diplomas, and a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD). The programmes they house are tailored to suit the needs of the Qatari society. They have succeeded in their endeavours by graduating over 30,000 students in these various fields.

QU also has a diverse student body that represents 52 nationalities. The student body is made up of 62% Qataris while 38% are international students. With 76% of the whole student body being women, they have facilities separate for them.

The university has around 800 experienced academic staff to educate the next generation of industry leaders.


Qatar University ranks 245 on the QS World University Rankings for 2021, and ranks 5th in the Arab Region rating

Ranks 52 in the Times Higher Education (THE) Asia University Rankings 2020 out of nearly 500 universities

Ranks 38 in Times Higher Education (THE) BRICS & Emerging Economies Rankings 2020

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar



Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC). This accreditation of the Qatar campus is dependent on the accreditation of the main campus in Richmond, Virginia

VCUarts Qatar is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design Council for Interior Design Accreditation

VCUarts Qatar was the first university established in Education City back in 1998. As the name suggests, this university offers degrees and courses in the arts, including a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting & printmaking, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in art history and a Master in Fine Arts degree in design.

The university had initially only accepted women until 2008 when they started accepting male applicants.

In 2010 VCUarts Qatar expanded to twice its size, bringing its graduate programmes under the same roof as the undergraduate programmes. This led to the building of more technical spaces.

Currently, they have 333 students representing 21 nationalities and 718 graduates that represent 50 nationalities. As for their academic faculty and staff, they have 160 employees that represent 44 nationalities.

Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar


This is the first medical school established in Qatar in 2001. WCM-Q offers a six-year integrated medical programme that goes from pre-medical to medical studies. Students receive a University M.D degree upon graduation.

The Qatar branch affiliates include the Hamad Medical Corporation and Qatar Foundation.

The full-time faculty at WCM-Q is only 77, but they have over 600 affiliates, including HMC physicians who hold appointments at Weill Cornell. The student body is over 300 students that represent more than 30 countries.

Students have many opportunities provided that enable them to be part of biomedical investigations locally and internationally.

One of the programmes is The Summer Research Program which gives a select group of students the opportunity to travel to the US and work under the mentorship of leading investigators in Cornell and Weil Cornell.

Other programmes in Qatar are funded by The Undergraduate Research Experience Program of Qatar National Research Fund.


WCM-Q has made many contributions to society, they have a page dedicated to their internationally acclaimed work

Georgetown University in Qatar



Accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and recognised by the State of Qatar local authorities

Re-accredited in Spring of 2012. This process happens every 10 years, and is applied to the entire university

Established in 2002, GU-Q is also located within Education City. They offer four-year programmes that stem from Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service which focuses on culture, politics, and relations.

The programmes they offer grant students a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (BSFS) with the following majors: Culture and Politics, International Economics, International History, and International Politics.

Alongside this, they offer an Arabic minor and a few certificate programmes: The Certificate in American Studies, The Certificate in Arab and Regional Studies, and The Certificate in Media and Politics.

According to the annual report for the 2018-2019 academic year, GU-Q enrolled 289 students. Qataris made up 46% of the student body, and 74% are female. Since their operation, 501 students have graduated. Their 46 full-time faculty members have also contributed to research in the mentioned years.

College of The North Atlantic, Qatar


CNA-Q is recognised for its technical and vocational education in Qatar. Since its establishment in 2002, more than 6,500 people have graduated from its programmes. In the years 2018-2019, the incoming students were 55% males and 45% female.

CNA-Q offers technical majors from three different schools: School of Business Management and Information Technology, School of Engineering Technology and Industrial Trades, and School of Health Sciences. They also have two certification programmes for Industrial Trades that are designed in partnership with Qatar Petroleum.


In 2012, CAN-Q became the only education institution in the GCC to hold 4 certifications

In 2016, CAN-Q Hosts World Robot Olympiad

Texas A&M University at Qatar



In 2007, TAMU-Q received the approval of Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

TAMU-Q was accredited by ABET in 2009

In 2015 it was re-accredited by ABET

The cumulative research funding between 2008-2019 was $256 million

TAMU-Q is an engineering university established in the year 2003 in Education City. They offer four-year programmes that grant students a Bachelor of Science degree.

The programmes offered are Chemical Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Petroleum Engineering. They introduced a Masters in Chemical Engineering and a Master’s of Science in Fall 2011.

According to the annual report, 1,050 students have graduated from TAMU-Q since 2007. In Fall 2019 a total of 538 students enrolled, and 54% of them were Qatari, and 51% female. The university has 78 experienced faculty members teaching the students.

Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar


CMU-Q began operations in 2004 and is located in Education City. The university has a selection of programmes in the fields of science, business, and technology. The majors they offer are Biological Sciences, Business Administration, Computational Biology, Computer Science, and Information Systems.

Over the years the university has gathered around 850 alumni, including the 78 students that graduated in 2019. Qatari students made up 46% of the class, and 41% of the batch participated in research. Female students make up 63% of CMU-Q as a whole, while the males make up 37%.


Ranked 3rd on QS World University Rankings, 2018

Ranked 6 for Undergraduate Business, in the US News & World Report in 2019

Ranked 24 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2018

Ranked 7 Most Innovative University in the US News & World Report in 2019

Northwestern University in Qatar



Ranks 9 in the US News & World Report’s Best National University list in 2020

Ranks 11 on the College/University Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education list in 2020

Ranks 14 Best Value School in the US News & World Report in 2020

Ranks 22 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings in 2020

This is Qatar’s first media school and the latest American university addition to Education City. Operations started in 2008 with majors in Journalism and Communications. NU-Q also offers a Masters in Sports Administration, minors in Middle East Studies, Media and Politics, and a certificate in Strategic Communications.

The university has a range of facilities like a quality newsroom and studios for filming and creating sets.

The student body is diverse, representing over 60 nationalities. NU-Q has gathered over 300 alumni since its operation and currently has over 40 full-time faculty members.

Hamad Bin Khalifa University


HBKU is another homegrown institution that was established in 2010. They mainly focus on graduate studies and research, offering masters and Ph.D. programmes from six colleges: College of Islamic Studies, College of Humanities & Social, College of Science & Engineering, College of Law, College of Health and Life Sciences, and College of Public Policy.

HBKU also has three national research institutes: Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI). These programmes were cultivated to fit into Qatar’s 2030 Vision by providing opportunities to create innovative solutions for global societies.

Since its establishment, HBKU has had over 900 students with 34% of them being Qatari. Over 75 experienced and licenced faculty members are educating students that represent over 60 nationalities.


Accredited by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education Qatar

Sources: All of this information was gathered form the universities main websites and latest annual reports.

Photos: 1 – trevor.patt/Flickr, 2 – typhoonski/Getty Images, 3 – Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar/Facebook, 4 – trevor.patt/Flickr, 5 – Matilde Gattoni/arabianEye, 6- Georgetown University in Qatar/Facebook, 7 – College of The North Atlantic, Qatar/Press photo, 8 – College of The North Atlantic, Qatar/Facebook, 9 – Matilde Gattoni/arabianEye, 10 – Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar/Facebook, 11 – Alex Sergeev, 12,13 – Northwestern University in Qatar/Facebook, 14- Qatar Foundation, 15 – Hamad Bin Khalifa University/Facebook

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