As one of the most prosperous countries in the Caribbean region, the Bahamas have 7 organisations of higher education that offer at least a Bachelor degree mainly structured into colleges (Bahamas Baptist Community College, Success Training College, Atlantic College, Omega College, Galilee College) and universities (University of the Bahamas, University of the West Indies Open Campus). One of them, the University of West Indies Open Campus, spreads across the Caribbean region and, thus, does not only refer to the Bahamas. For further information on their tertiary education please access the Ministry of Education website: https://www.ministryofeducationbahamas.com/.
Even though the educational system in the Bahamas follows the usual structure in cycles of Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD, the majority of the institutions has only Associates or Bachelor’s degrees. For example, at the Baptist College there’s only 2 Bachelor’s programs offered: Early Childhood Education and Primary Education. The rest of the colleges have subjects like Business and Administration, Human Resource, Accounting, Economy, Finance, Computer Information Technology or Management. Bachelor’s will usually last between three to four years to be completed and earn a degree. The two universities have a wider range of degrees, and you can even pursue a PhD in Education at the University of the West Indies. Similarly, to the US higher educational system, students can choose a minor and a major. Master’s will last between one to two years. Students earn 30 credits per year or 3 credits per course.
The academic year starts in August and will usually end in June after three semesters: Fall, Spring and Summer. Undergraduate applicants who are interested in studying in the Bahamas should provide a high school transcript with a GPA of 3.00 or higher, a combined score of at least 1000 on the Mathematics and Verbal components of the SAT if taken after 2005, or equivalents for ACT, IB and BGSCE, or have completed an Academic Enhancement programme. Apart from the general requirements, students might be asked for further examinations in degrees like Arts, Music, Nursing, Education or Mathematics. Application to Master’s studies is subject to evidence of a completed undergraduate course in the same area. Similarly, application to a doctoral programme requires evidence of a completed Master’s degree. Applications can be made either online, where possible, or personally at the university.
Tuition fees will differ from institution to institution and course to course. Generally, courses are estimated based on their level: 100 & 200 level courses are about $415 while 300 & 400 level courses are $500. A student should be expected to spend a full tuition of up to $35,400. There are lots of other costs involved so it is better to check the university’s website beforehand. Moreover, tuition fees for international students are more expensive than for native students.
Information for International Students
The Bahamas are known for their excellent touristic atmosphere so living costs might be more expensive than usual. Renting an apartment in the city centre is about $866 per month, while a single person’s estimated monthly costs are $2,955. Overall, the Bahamas are the 2nd most expensive country in Latin America and the cost of living is more expensive than in 96% of countries in the World. Nevertheless, most of the institutions will either offer scholarships, grants or discounts for tuition fees.
The Bahamas are a group of wonderful islands. Studying in such a place is going to create unique experiences. Even though the institutions are not extremely internationally recognised, for the Caribbean region they stand out.