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Study in Panama in English – 5 Top and Affordable Universities in Panama with Tuition Fees

Do you want to study in Panama in English? Are you wondering which ones are the cheapest universities in Panama for international students? Do you want to know the tuition fees for both foreign and local students and how to apply for admission? Then stop by!

Are you familiar with Panama’s cost of living? No more digging as this article has the answers to the above questions that are troubling your mind. Sit close, please, and explore!

About Panama

Panama is a Central American country. It is bordered to the west by Costa Rica, to the southeast by Colombia (in South America), north by the Caribbean Sea and south by the Pacific Ocean. Panama City is the capital and largest town.

It might sound strange to research in Panama, as it is popularly known for holiday purposes. Despite this, Panama can still boast of prestigious tertiary education institutions. Other international universities or accreditation bodies are affiliated with other universities.

Higher education in Panama consists of two levels; undergraduate and graduate education.

The country has recently been gaining popularity as a destination for studying abroad. At the University of Panama, the country’s leading higher education institution, faculties cover, among other topics, subjects like architecture, law, medicine and education. In order to obtain a bachelor’s degree before going on to obtain a Ph.D from another university, students also attend the University of Panama.

In fact, the university scene in Panama is not very different from that seen in the United States, although in Panama, most of its programs are taught in Spanish.

With regard to quality education, Panama is ranked fourth among Latin American countries.

Tuition Fees in Panama Universities

In Panama, public universities are very cheap. International students at the University of Panama, for instance, only pay USD 200 per semester. You can see that the cheapest universities in Panama are public universities. Before beginning your studies, however, you will have to learn Spanish and most programs are only available in Spanish.

Private universities aren’t as cheap, but relative to universities in other countries, they’re still affordable.

On average tuition can be a bit lower, especially compared to other Latin American countries.

Undergraduate Programs

  • Local students          –          0-1,000 US$  (0-750 Euros)
  • International students   –   2,500-5,000 US$  (1,800-3,700 Euros)

Postgraduate Programs

  • Local students      –  1,000-2,500 US$   (750-1,800 Euros)
  • International students  –   5,000-7,500 US$   (3,700-5,500 Euros)

How Much Does It Cost to Live in Panama while Studying?

The short generic response for foreign students is $1200-$1500/month; this is just an estimate for a typical average student, if you need extra money if your lifestyle is flamboyant.

It is important to note that the ‘Balboa’ (PAB) is the currency of Panama, but the country has a dollarized economy, so dollars are tolerated as well. The value of balboas is in fact equal to dollars, so 1 PAB is equivalent to 1 USD.

It can cost around 750 USD to rent a one-bedroom apartment in the city center, but rent can cost around 520 USD if you go to the suburbs or far from the capital city.

The cost of the basic family basket is USD 280, so about USD 150 per month will be spent on food by an international student. A monthly public transit pass costs USD 30.

List of 5 Top and Cheapest Universities in Panama for International Students to Study in Panama in English

  • Universidad Tecnológica de Panamá
  • Universidad de Panamá
  • Florida State University Panama City
  • Universidad Católica Santa María La Antigua
  • universidad Interamericana de Panamá

Study in Panama in English – Review of Top Cheap Universities in Panama for International Students


1. International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP)

Set up in 2005, the International Maritime University of Panama (UMIP) specializes in port and maritime disciplines. It is known as one of Panama’s cheapest universities.

There are four faculties within UMIP; the Faculty of Nautical Sciences, the Faculty of Marine Sciences, the Faculty of Maritime Transport and the Faculty of Maritime Civil Engineering. They offer 11 programs for bachelor’s degrees.

The university also has a Maritime Language Center (MLC) that offers Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, among others, language education. They concentrate on improving functional and communicative skills that are beneficial for activities related to the port.

Students must request a copy of their passports, an apostilled copy of their birth certificate, two photographs of their passport size, a copy of their high school credits/grades, a copy of their high school diploma, and an already completed form accessible online in order to be accepted. At the Panama Ministry of Education, students even have to check their high school diplomas.

All bachelor’s degree programs cost 8,725 USD with respect to tuition fees.

2. Florida State University (FSU-Panama)

You can study in Panama in English language at Florida State University in Panama, or FSU-Panama, which is the Central American campus of Florida State University. It was founded in 1957, which makes it Panama’s second oldest university.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools accredits all degrees awarded by FSU-Panama (SACS). They sell 88 programs for bachelor’s degrees. On the campus in Panama, students will begin these programs and then complete them on the main campus in Tallahassee. The bright side is that it would be possible for foreign students to do it for far less than the tuition rates at FSU in the U.S.

There are also five bachelor’s degree programmes on the Panama campus that can be completely completed. These are Computer Science, Information Studies, Environmental Studies, Latin America and Caribbean Studies, and Foreign Relations.

It has available student residences which cost USD 2,700 per semester.

The annual tuition fee is USD 8,400, which is why it is known as a cheap university in Panama. You can also apply for the 2+2 scholarship program, in which you can complete your education at the FSU campus in Tallahassee, but pay in-state tuition fees instead of foreign fees, if you are from a Latin American or Caribbean country.

3. Quality Leadership University (QLU)

In 1997, the Quality Leadership University (QLU) was founded to provide education to young people who have contributed to the development of the region.

This cheap Panamanian university has agreements with universities like the University of Louisville, the State University of Illinois, the International University of Florida, the University of Chile, Towson University, and Madrid Polytechnic University.

Students can opt to complete their education at one of those universities through these arrangements and pay in-state tuition fees instead of foreign fees. It is therefore, considered one of Panama’s cheap universities.

Depending on the major and the university, there are various programs. Students may opt to study for one, two or three years in Panama and spend the rest of the time abroad at a university. Some bachelor programs are available that can be fully completed in Panama.

All programs, except for a few exceptions that are also offered in Spanish, are taught in English. Go to their website to read more about tuition, fees, and admissions. As criteria and fees depend on the program and the university where you want to complete the major, we suggest you to check their brochure.

Study in Panama in English – FAQ

How is Panama’s higher education system?

Panama’s higher education system is divided into Superior University institutions and Non-University Superior institutions. The former grants bachelor’s degrees (4 years), master’s degrees and doctoral degrees, while the latter grants professional certificates.

Some big courses last longer, such as engineering (five years), law (five years), and medicine (six years). They also have daytime and nighttime services.

Tree modalities for master degrees; scholarly master degrees, technical master degrees, and executive master degrees.

What is the admissions process at universities in Panama like?

In addition to each university’s individual admissions process, which may include interviews or entrance tests, foreign students may request a student visa.

They must apply with a university acceptance letter, proof of financial stability, proof of payment of tuition, and a university certificate with specific details on the main program.

In order to study in Panama, do I need to know Spanish?

The universities below offer programs that you can study in panama in English. While some courses are offered in English, since there are not many degree programs entirely taught in English, you will probably have to learn Spanish. As fluency in Spanish is compulsory, even for doctoral programs in English.


Conclusion on where to Study in Panama in English

Finally, you can now decide on which school you want to study in; thanks to our article on the topic cheapest universities in Panama for international students to study in Panama in English Language. Share our articles and read more.


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