Keystone logo

Study Master in Colombia 2024

Study in Colombia

Higher Education in Colombia
Colombia does not have colleges, only universities and other educational institutes that offer professional, technical or technological diplomas to prepare students for a given profession. Undergraduate programs last for up to five years for most programs. Technical and technological institutions offer only undergraduate degrees, while universities offer both undergraduate and graduate programs, including doctorate degrees. In addition, universities or technological institutes offer undergraduate degrees and master’s programs.

Why Study in Colombia?
Colombia provides a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, high-quality academic environment for international students. Colombia is also a great place to learn or perfect Spanish skills for non-native speakers, as the Spanish spoken in the country is standardized, very clear, and easy for foreigners to understand. Since Spanish is the second most widely spoken language for international communications, those proficient in the language will be highly sought after by international corporations. Its location also makes it a good jumping-off point for those who want to travel to North America, Central America, South America, and even Caribbean countries.

Universities in Colombia
Colombia has 20 accredited universities, and both public and private institutes of higher education exist. Master’s degrees are offered in a wide range of academic disciplines, including engineering, marketing, finance, and public health, just to name a few. Nearly all programs are taught in Spanish.

Tuition and Program Duration
Average tuition at Colombian universities is about $US 6,000 per year and can be as high as $US 14,000 per year. Most master’s degree programs take two years to complete, but some can be completed in as little as one year.

Academic Year
Most institutions and programs use the semester system. There are two calendars, “A” and “B,” although A is the predominant calendar. The first semester for the A calendar begins in February and ends in June and the second semester begins in July and ends in November. The first semester of the B calendar runs from September through December and the second semester runs from January through June.

Post-Graduate Opportunities
Colombian citizens will find a wide range of opportunities for employment or doctoral research studies once they complete their master's programs. However, post-graduate employment options for foreign nationals in Colombia are available only in some industries, such as the petroleum industry and other industries that are international in nature.

Visa Requirements
International students must be enrolled in a program of study that requires at least 10 hours per week and have a Temporary Student Visa (TE). The student may obtain this visa from the Colombian embassy or consulate in their home country. The Visa is granted for a maximum term of one year and may be renewed. To obtain the visa, the student must provide proof of admission to a legal education institution in Colombia, proof of financial solvency and proof that the program of study requires a minimum of 10 hours per week. The student must obtain the visa in person at the embassy or consulate and all documents submitted must be translated into Spanish if they are in another language.

Health Insurance
The Colombian healthcare system is dominated by private insurance. Students should obtain insurance in their home country that is valid in Colombia. Even with insurance, many doctors and hospitals will still require an up-front cash payment, although some may accept credit cards.

Some Colombian cities are at very high elevations, in particular Bogota, which is at nearly 3,000 meters. Students studying in or traveling to high elevations should take precautions such as maintaining hydration and allowing the body to adjust gradually to the higher elevation.

Students not already proficient in Spanish may want to consider learning Spanish in Colombia before applying for master’s degree programs.

Change currency

Basic monthly living cost

  • Rent in a shared flat

  • Share of utilities

  • Internet subscription

  • Local transportation


Sample lifestyle cost

  • Fast food combo

  • Cinema ticket

  • Pint of local beer


About Colombia

Colombia is bordered on the northwest by Panama, on the east by Venezuela and Brazil, and on the southwest by Peru and Ecuador.In recent years Colombia's economic growth has been impressive, reaching 8.2% in 2007, one of the highest rates of growth in Latin America.

Colombia is a South American country located in the northern part of the continent. The country shares borders with Panama to the northwest, Venezuela and Brazil to the east, and Ecuador and Peru to the south.

Colombia also has coastlines along the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. The country is the second largest (by population) Spanish-speaking country in the world. Major industries include coffee, flowers, emeralds, textiles, chemicals, plastics, steel, coal, petroleum and financial services. Colombia offers a diversity of landscapes from beaches and jungles to mountains. Spanish is the official language and Colombian Peso is the currency.

Colombia has five major geographical regions – the Andes Mountains (Bogata, Medellin, and Cali), the Caribbean coast (Cartagena), the Pacific coast, the Orinoco plains, and the Amazon forest. Although Colombia is located almost on the equator, the country still sees a wide range of climatic conditions due to differences in elevation. Most of the country is warm year-round, with an average temperature of about 24 degrees C. Areas with elevations of 2000-3000 meters have an average temperature of 12 degrees C and elevations above 4500 meters have snow. The country is usually rainy, with a dry season from December to March in most parts except for the coast, which is always rainy.

Because of its location, Colombian culture has been influenced by a wide range of cultures, including Native American, Spanish, African, Caribbean and even Middle Eastern. Until recently, the country’s rugged terrain made travel difficult, so various areas in Colombia have developed strong regional identities and cultures as well. In general, Colombians have a fun-loving culture that offers dancing and some of the best salsa music in the world. In addition to delicious cuisine, Colombian culture include painting, sculpture, literature, music, theater and film. Sports are also very popular, with soccer being by far the most popular. Other popular sports include cycling, baseball, car racing and Taekwondo.

Cost of Living
Despite its world-class infrastructure, the cost of living in Colombia is low. Apartments can be rented in major cities for under $US 500 per month and other living expenses are low as well; a student can expect to live in the country for about $US 1,000 per month, exclusive of tuition. Student visas do not generally allow international students to work.

Visa Requirements

  • Migrant visa of category 9 (M-9 visa) - replacing the old TP-3 visa as of December 15, 2017.
  • If your course lasts less than 6 months, you may be able to use a tourist visa.

What type of Visa do you need?

Visa name

Migrant visa of category 9 (M-9 visa); Tourist Visa

Price and currency

The visa fee will depend on your nationality. For US applicants, the cost for the M-9 student visa is $67 USD.

Who can apply for the visa?

To qualify for the Colombia Student Visa you need to have enrolled in a qualified educational institution in Colombia with a class intensity of at least 10 hours per week.

All universities require you to have a Student Visa if you are enrolling on a course for 3 months or longer.

Citizens of several countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States do not need a visa to enter Colombia as a tourist for up to 90 days. A Colombian “tourist” visa isn’t a formal visa. It’s just a stamp in your passport. Furthermore, a “tourist” visa can be extended by 90 days at any Migración Colombia office in the country. If you are studying at a non accredited school for a period shorter than 180 days, you can do so under a normal Tourist Permit (PIP-5) and don't need to apply for a visa.

Where can you make the application?

Colombian consulate or online

You can apply for a Colombia student visa at a Colombian consulate or online.


How to make the application?

If you are applying online, you will need the following:

  • Photocopy of the first page of your valid passport with your personal data.
  • Photocopy of the page of your passport with the last stamp of entry to or departure from Colombia.
  • If you’ve had a previous Colombian visa, a photocopy of this visa.
  • Photocopy of university registration form signed by a school official.
  • Certification or document from the school, stating that the class timetable is a minimum of ten (10) hours per week.
  • Photocopy of “certificate of existence and legal representation” from the university.
  • Authorization of the parents and designation of the person responsible for the student during his/her stay in Colombia, authenticated by a Colombian notary or consul in the case of minors.
  • A letter (in Spanish) from the person with economic responsibility for the student guaranteeing the expenses of the student and documents showing economic solvency. If you are a student, the letter should say you will be financially responsible for yourself while in Colombia. To show “economic solvency” you could use a bank “certificate” showing the average balance over the past six months is greater than 10 times the legal minimum wage in Colombia or 7,812,420 pesos ($2,605 at an exchange rate of 3,000 pesos to the USD) in 2018. And this certificate should be notarized and translated. Or you can provide six months of bank statements with no need for translation. Also, credit card statements that show a sufficient available balance can be used.
  • Passport style face photo with a white background, sized at 3 cm width X 4 cm height, the maximum size of 300 kb jpg file for online application.

If your consulate does not allow you to apply online, then take the documents mentioned above to the consulate at the time of your appointment and complete the process they indicate.​ If you apply in-person, the agent will ask you questions, fill out the online application for you, scan all your documents and return them to you as well as take your photo with a digital camera.

Once you receive your electronic visa, you must go to a Colombian consulate to get it stamped on your passport.

After you have successfully received your Colombia Student Visa you will have a maximum of 15 days to register your visa with Migración Colombia to get a Cedula de Extranjeria (Colombian ID for foreigners). This must be done in-person.

When should you apply?

The length of time given for the Colombian student visa depends on the length of your planned enrollment and can be up to three years.

Processing time

Work opportunities

With the M-9 student visa, you are not permitted to work in Colombia.

Hours per week


Why do you need this type of visa?

Your visa application may be rejected if you are not able to show proof of the required funds, or if you provide incorrect or incomplete documents.