The Kingdom of Thailand is popular for its pristine beaches, diverse wildlife, intriguing ancient temples, and delicious cuisine. In addition, Thailand’s open culture and receptiveness to foreigners benefit tourists and international students alike.
Today, an increasing number of higher education institutions in Thailand are offering degree and post-degree programs in English. And while most Thai universities charge higher fees for international students, a degree from Thailand is still considerably cheaper than in other places due to the lower cost of living in the country.
Thailand currently has 156 higher education institutions (HEIs) divided into three categories: autonomous, public, and private. Tuition fees vary across universities and programs, but a master’s degree program at a public university costs around $1,000 to $2,000 per year. The following universities are some of the most affordable universities in Thailand.
Cheap Universities in Thailand
1. Chiang Mai University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 32,000 Baht – 70,000 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 50,000 Baht – 70,000 Baht
Chiang Mai University (CMU) is the most affordable university in Thailand for international students. Located in the country’s second-largest city, this university is in Thailand’s top three higher educational institutions. Its departments of engineering, agriculture, and medicine attract many Thai and international students.
Ranked 601 – 650 in the 2021 QS World Rankings, CMU offers 87 bachelor’s programs and 163 postgraduate programs. CMU also has two international Bachelors programs and 18 international post-degree programs.
2. Mahasarakham University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 45,200 Baht – 69,500 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 29,700 Baht – 109,400 Baht
Mahasarakham University started in the 1960s as a teacher’s training college. It gradually expanded its course offerings and became a regional campus of Srinakharinwirot University before gaining its status as a University in 1994.
Today, it has become a comprehensive university with 18 faculties, two colleges, and nine research centers. It has almost 40,000 students across two campuses.
This cheap university in Thailand offers three international undergraduate programs – Bachelor of Arts in English for International Communication, Bachelor of Arts in International Tourism and Hotel Management, and Bachelor of Business Administration in International Business. It also offers seven international master’s degree programs and six doctorate programs.
3. Rangsit University International College
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 100,000 Baht – 192,500 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 105,000 Baht – 196,000 Baht
Rangsit University International College (RSU) is a private university in Pathumthani Province, a short 30-minute drive from Bangkok. Since its establishment in 1986, RSU has expanded its course offerings to 87 undergraduate programs, 36 master programs, and 11 doctoral degrees. In addition to degree programs in Thai, RSU offers 15 undergraduate and five specially-designed international postgraduate programs. These programs are taught in English, English-Chinese, and Chinese.
On top of the tuition fees, RSU undergraduate students pay a one-time entrance fee of 3,600 Baht and a refundable deposit of 8,000 Baht. And all students pay an academic service fee of 10,000 Baht and a health insurance fee of 3,000 Baht every semester.
4. Khon Kaen University – International College
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 100,000 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 100,000 Baht
Khon Kaen University International College (KKIC) is another affordable university in Thailand for international students. It was established in 2008 in the Northeastern part of Thailand and specializes in business and social sciences, and all programs are taught in English.
KKIC offers seven undergraduate courses, including International Entrepreneurship, Global Business, International Affairs, Tourism Management, I₩nternational Marketing, International Journalism, and Creative Media Technology. KKIC also offers two postgraduate programs; Biodiversity and Environmental Management and International Technology Innovation and Management.
International students in undergraduate and postgraduate programs pay a tuition fee of 50,000 Baht per semester. In addition, international undergraduate students also pay a one-time admission fee of 10,000 Baht, while postgraduate students pay an international student fee of 15,000 Baht per semester.
5. Srinakharinwirot University
- Annual Undergraduate Tuition Fee: 108,000 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 114,000 Baht – 639,132 Baht
Srinakharinwirot University was born from the merger of the Advanced Teacher Training School and the College of Education. Today, it is a multi-disciplinary university with four colleges and 17 faculties across two campuses located in Bangkok and Ongkharak.
Srinakharinwirot’s College of Creative Industry, Faculty of Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture, and College of Social Communication Innovation offer bilingual undergraduate programs taught in Thai and English. The university also has seven international bachelor’s degree programs taught in English in the fields of tourism, language, communications, economics, and engineering.
The two master programs taught in English are Master of Arts in English and Master of Science in Creative Brand Management. And the sole Graduate Diploma offered in English is the Graduate Diploma in Education.
6. Chulalongkorn University
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 123,000 Baht – 167,750 Baht
- Annual Graduate Program Tuition Fee: 160,000 Baht – 218,750 Baht
Chulalongkorn University is one of the top public universities in Thailand. It ranked 208th in the QS World Rankings of 2021. When it opened in 1917, Chula had only four faculties. Through the years, it has expanded to 42 faculties, schools, colleges, and institutes, offering 441 academic programs.
The tuition fee for international students at this affordable Thai university is divided into two categories: (1) STEM and medicine-related programs and (2) liberal arts and management programs. The tuition fees for STEM and medicine-related programs are higher than those in the other category. Undergraduate students in STEM and medicine-related programs pay 65,500 Baht per semester, while their liberal counterparts pay 61,500 Baht per semester. At the graduate level, those in the STEM and medicine-related programs pay 86,500 Baht per semester, while their liberal arts counterparts only pay 80,000 Baht per semester.
7. Assumption University of Thailand
- Annual Undergraduate Program Tuition Fee: 126,000 Baht – 833,200 Baht
The Assumption University of Thailand is a Catholic university managed by the Montfort Brothers of St. Gabriel. The university uses English as a medium of instruction and has almost 20,000 students.
This cheap university in Thailand offers more than 30 undergraduate programs, including a bachelor’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering (Commercial Pilot) and Aeronautical Engineering (Aircraft Maintenance). It also has 28 master’s degree programs and 16 doctoral degree programs.