Information about Nepal’s Education System


USEF-Nepal is pleased to be your point of contact for information about Nepal and trends in Nepali student mobility.

Nepal’s Educational System

The following is a brief and generalized description of the educational system in Nepal.

High School

In general, students in Nepal take the nationally administered and monitored School Leaving Certificate (SLC) exam at the end of Grade 10. Known as the “Iron Gate” of the Nepali educational system, in 2015, only 47% of the approximately 405,000 students taking the SLC passed the examination.

The SLC is followed by an Intermediate Level program, a Plus 2 program from Higher Secondary Examination Board (HSEB), or a PCL (Proficiency Certificate Level) program under Tribhuvan University, usually 2 years (but sometimes 3), after which the student has similar credentials to an American high school graduate. There are some secondary schools in Nepal that offer the University of Cambridge (UK)-GCE ‘O’ and ‘A’ level degrees. ‘A’ level is usually regarded as the equivalent of a US high school diploma.

Undergraduate Studies

Bachelor’s programs in Nepal are 3 or 4 year programs (5 years for architecture and certain other fields). Students who complete the latter are eligible to pursue their master’s in the U.S. Students with a three-year bachelor’s are commonly considered by U.S. colleges as missing one year of a typical American undergraduate program. Such students could choose to complete their master’s in Nepal or elsewhere and then consider the U.S. for graduate study. Alternately, they could choose to transfer their credits to an undergraduate program in the U.S., where they would spend between 1 and 3 years obtaining their bachelor’s degree.

Graduate Studies

Most master’s programs in Nepal are 2 years.  M.Phil (1-2 years) and PhD programs (3-5 years) are also available.

Grading System

In terms of grades, most Nepali institutions do not use GPA.  Our percentage system/ system of ‘divisions’ does not convert to GPA.  Colleges in the US that require an accurate conversion usually use the services of a credential evaluating agency.

Nine Universities in Nepal

There are nine universities in Nepal: Tribhuvan University, Nepal Sanskrit University, Kathmandu University, Purbanchal University, Pokhara University, Lumbini Bauddha University, Sudur Paschimanchal University, Madhya Paschimanchal University, and Agriculture and Forestry University. Kathmandu University is the only fully private university.

Additionally, there are three medical institutions: B.P. Koirala Institute of Health Sciences (BPKIHS), National Academy of Medical Sciences (NAMS), and Patan Academy of Health Sciences (PAHS).

The nine universities and three medical institutions are recognized by Nepal’s Ministry of Education – – to grant degrees. Most colleges in Nepal are either constituent campuses of the twelve entities or colleges affiliated to one of the nine universities. Therefore, a student graduating from any college in Nepal is issued a degree under the seal of one of the twelve above mentioned entities.

U.S. Embassy in Nepal

The website of the United States Embassy in Nepal is 

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