School system in Doha


The country's Supreme Education Council and the Ministry of Education direct the educational system in Qatar. The Supreme Education Council is slowly taking over the responsibilities of the Ministry of Education, as the country's educational system is currently in a transitional period.

Public schools are free to all citizens in Qatar, and primary school is obligatory for all children. Schools are normally divided by gender, except in private and international institutions, where they may be co-educational or divided by gender in upper years. The school year in Qatar is from early September to the third week of June and is divided into two terms.

There are five stages of education in Qatar (although these may vary and are sometimes referred to using different vocabulary at private and international schools):

  • Pre-school Stage (Ages 3 to 5) - Preschool is mainly run by the private sector in Qatar.
  • Elementary Stage (Grades 1 to 6) - Admission age is normally 6. Primary education is compulsory.
  • Preparatory Stage (Grades 7 to 9) - Upon completion of preparatory school, children can proceed to a general, commercial or technical secondary school.
  • Secondary Stage (Grades 10 to 12)
  • Post-secondary Stage

Qatar currently has 113 elementary schools: 60 for boys and 53 for girls. It also has 56 preparatory schools: 28 for boys and 28 for girls. Finally, it has 41 secondary schools: 19 for boys and 22 for girls.

Private Schools in Doha

The government of Qatar supports private educational institutions by providing them with free textbooks, healthcare, electricity, and water. It also provides a Qatari headmistress and teacher for every kindergarten. This has led to a huge climb in popularity of private schools in Qatar.

Admission to most private schools in Doha is limited to Qatari nationals. Children of expat's may attend international schools.

Al Bayan Educational Complex for Girls
Phone: +974 4459 1789

The Al Bayan Educational Complex for Girls teaches students ages 4 to Grade 11. It teaches the national Qatari curriculum, offering a National Certificate, and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program. Admission is limited to Qatari nationals.

Al Wakra Independent Secondary School for Boys

Admission is limited to Qatari nationals.

Universities in Qatar

For Qatari citizens and citizens of other GCC countries, government scholarships and/or sponsorships from companies usually cover university tuition. Course length depends on the school and program and vary from 1 to 4 years.

Qatar University
Email: and

Qatar University was founded in 1973 and now includes 8 colleges: Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, Education, Engineering, Law, Pharmacy, Medicine and Sharia and Islamic Studies. In 2014 it had over 14,000 male and female students.

Tuition: Tuition fees range from 400-600 QR per credit hour for undergraduate programs. 1,000-1,250 QR per credit hour for graduate programs.

Qatar Finance and Business Academy

The Qatar Finance and Business Academy (QFBA) was established in 2009 to provide training and development for the financial sector. It offers open and custom programs in subjects from banking to Islamic finance.

Weill Cornell University Satellite Campus (USA)
Phone: +974 4492 8000

The Weill Cornell University in Doha offers pre-medical and medical programs leading to an M.D. degree.

Tuition: $45,130 per year (pre-med program) and $48,500 (M.D. program).

Carnegie Mellon University Satellite Campus (USA)
Phone: +974 4492 8260

Carnegie Mellon University is based in Pennsylvania, USA. In Doha it offers computer science, biological science, computational biology, information systems and business courses.

Tuition: 186,865 QR per year.

Georgetown University Satellite Campus: School of Foreign Service (USA)
Phone: +974 4492 7652

Georgetown University offers three majors through their School of Foreign Service in Doha: International Politics, Culture and Politics, International Economics and International History. Each of these programs is two years long. Students must also undertake a two-year liberal arts preparatory program.

Tuition: 159,888 QR per year.

Virginia Commonwealth University Satellite Campus (USA)
Phone: +974 4402 0530

The Virginia Commonwealth University in Doha offers an MFA in design studies, BFA's in fashion design, graphic design, interior design and painting and printmaking, and a BA in art history. Instruction is in English.

Tuition: 86,355 QR per year (BFA and BA).

Texas A&M University Satellite Campus (USA)
Phone: +974 4492 7369

Opened in 2003, the Texas A&M University in Doha offers a bachelor's degree in chemical, electrical, mechanical and petroleum engineering, as well as instruction in science, mathematics, liberal arts and humanities. Courses are taught in English in a coeducational setting.

College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (Canada)
Phone: +974 4495 2222

The College of the North Atlantic-Qatar opened in 2002 and currently teaches a Canadian curriculum in Health Sciences, Information Technology, Engineering Technology, and Business Studies over 4,600 students. It also has a Security Academy and Centre for Banking and Financial Studies.

Tuition: 20,000 QR per year.

Northwestern University Qatar
Phone: +974 4423 0300

Northwestern University Qatar offers two undergraduate programs in communications and journalism.

Tuition: $23,000 USD per semester.

Qatar Aeronautical College
Phone: +974 4440 8888

The Qatar Aeronautical College offers pilot training, and programs in aircraft maintenance, airport operations, air traffic control, and meteorology.

University of Calgary-Qatar (Canada)
Phone: +974 4406 5200

The University of Calgary-Qatar offers a Bachelor of Nursing Degree and Master of Nursing.

Tuition: 20,189 QR for 5 courses for a non-sponsored student.

Stenden University Satellite Campus (Netherlands)
Phone: +974 4488 8116

Stenden University's Qatar (Doha) campus offers International Hospitality Management, International Tourism Management, and International Business and Management Studies programs, as well as EFL (English as a Foreign Language) programs.

Tuition: 22,000 QR per semester

University College London Satellite Campus (UK)

The University College of London was the first British University to open in Qatar, offering three postgraduate programs: MSc in Conservation Studies (two years), MA in Museum and Gallery Practice (one year), and MA in Archaeology and the Islamic World (two years), each incorporating extended field placements.

Tuition: MA Archaeology and the Islamic World and MSc Conservation Studies, 123,800 QR (for two year programs). MA Museum and Gallery Practice 97,350 QR.

Libraries in Qatar

Qatar's National Library (QNL) is responsible for the National Library, University and Research library, and a digital Metropolitan Public Library. QNL is a not-for-profit organization under the umbrella of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development.

QNL Email:
QNL Website:

QNL's current resources include:

  • Al Manhal: A full-text searchable database of peer-reviewed Arabic language publications in digital format
  • ebrary: Academic eBooks in English
  • eLibrary: Videos, images, eBooks and full-text articles in English for primary to secondary school children
  • Index Islamicus: Abstract and index database on Islamic literature
  • Naxos Music: Streaming access to over 170,000 English tracks
  • SpringerLink: Scientific, medical and technical journals and eBooks in English
  • OverDrive: eBooks for mobile devices in English
  • PQ Central: Full-text database with thousands of periodical titles in English
  • Zinio: Full versions of popular magazines in English

Doha's new library building is expected to open in 2014. Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas it is expected to be an iconic building in the city upon its completion. It will offer public computer workspaces, digital media production facilities, collaborative and individual learning spaces, a children's library, performance spaces, a café, and more facilities open to the general public.

You can register for a library card at You need a Qatar ID or Residence Permit number to apply for a library account.

Update 24/03/2017


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