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Fields of Study: Anthropology, Earth and Space Sciences, Environmental Studies, and Sociology

The University of Iceland is the leading institution of higher education in Iceland. It offers a full academic curriculum in English. The university excels at creating courses that incorporate and take advantage of the country's rich natural resources making it the ideal location for majors in earth sciences, volcanology, and environmental studies.

Unique study opportunities

  • Get firsthand geological and environmental science experience studying some of the largest glaciers and geothermal pools in Europe.
  • Take a front row seat in classes exploring some of the most active volcanoes in the world.
  • Discover the folktales, beliefs, and popular culture of this Nordic country.


Language of Instruction: English

Icelandic Language Study: Optional

A beginning course in Icelandic language is offered during the semester. While not required, some basic Icelandic may help you interact with locals in everyday activities as you explore the region.

Courses and Credit

Requirements While Abroad

To successfully complete this program:

  • Take a full-time course of study: Three to four courses with a minimum of 24 quarter/16 semester UC units. 
  • If you take three courses, you may take one for pass/no pass credit. If you take four, you may take up to two for pass/no pass credit.
  • Sixty percent of your courses must be in your major; the remainder of your coursework can be in any field.

Current Program Courses

You'll complete your course registration as part of your application to the university after you're accepted and before you go abroad. With 60 percent of your coursework required in your major, this program is best suited for students majoring in anthropology, earth sciences, environmental studies, and sociology. You may also take courses in Icelandic culture and history.


The following Faculties are not open to UCEAP students: Faculties of Medicine, Nursing and Pharmaceutical Sciences; Faculties of Law and Economics; MBA.

Courses taught in Icelandic are generally not open to exchange students.

Catalogs and resources

  • University of Iceland course catalog: Select courses that are listed as undergraduate or undergraduate and graduate. Courses offered in English are displayed with the British flag icon.
  • Campus Credit Abroad: Learn the types of credit (major, minor, general education, elective) students from your campus received at this location.

Academic culture

Classes sizes at the University of Iceland tend to be smaller than at your University of California campus. This gives you a lot of opportunity to engage with instructors and classmates.

To ease exchange students into the University of Iceland, a mentor will provide practical information about the university and Icelandic society as well as introduce you to students and student life. You'll apply for a mentor during the application process.


You'll earn direct UC credit and grades for all coursework. Most courses will require assessment that may include a final exam, project, or paper.

Fall grades are usually available in March. Spring grades are usually available in August.