Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP)


 The Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) (Khmer: សាកលវិទ្យាល័យភូមិន្ទភ្នំពេញ) is Cambodia’s oldest and largest university located in the capital Phnom Penh. It hosts more than 10000 students across a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programs. It offers degrees in fields such as the sciences, humanities and social sciences, as well as vocational courses in fields such as information technology, electronics, psychology and tourism. RUPP also provides Cambodia’s foremost degree-level language programs through the Institute of Foreign Languages. RUPP has full membership of the ASEAN University Network (AUN).

RUPP has over 420 full-time staff. All of its 294 academic staff hold tertiary qualifications, including 15 PhDs and 132 Masters degrees. They are supported by 140 administrative and maintenance staff. In addition, the university maintains vast linkage networks with Cambodian and international NGOs, universities and government ministries. As a result, various international and non-government organizations and government offices regularly contribute adjunct faculty members to help expand RUPP’s capacity.


The Royal University of Phnom Penh began as the Royal Khmer University in 1960. It opened during a period of intense growth in Cambodia and expanded rapidly to include a National Institute of Judicial and Economic Studies, a Royal School of Medicine, a National School of Commerce, a National Pedagogical Institute, a Faculty of Letters and Human Sciences, and a Faculty of Science and Technology. The language of instruction during this period was French.

With the growth of Cambodia's economy and an assertion of its historical role, modern buildings for that time were constructed in the style of the New Khmer Architecture, which has influences of Bauhaus, European post-modern architecture and traditions from Angkor.

With the establishment of the Khmer Republic in 1970, the Royal Khmer University became the Phnom Penh University. Between 1965 and 1975 there were nine faculties, namely the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Higher Normal College), Letters and Humanities, Science, Pharmacy, Law and Economics, Medicine and Dentistry, Commerce, Pedagogy, and the Languages Institute.

The Democratic Kampuchea period of 1975-1979 saw the closure and destruction of schools, the decimation of the teaching service and the cessation of formal education. During this period the Phnom Penh University, as well as all other educational institutions in Cambodia, were closed down. Under this regime an education was perceived as a dangerous asset - hence the educated were targeted, and most of the University's faculty were killed. Of the educated people who survived, few remained in Cambodia once the borders reopened. Deserted for almost five years, the abandoned campus became another victim of the grim civil war. This period was a dark time for education and progress in Cambodia and produced many repercussions that are still being felt today.

In 1980, the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Higher Normal College) reopened, again teaching predominantly in French. In 1981, the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL) began, initially training students to become Vietnamese and Russian teachers. The purpose of both colleges was to provide surviving graduates of primary school or above with crash courses in teaching.

In 1988, the college and the IFL merged to create Phnom Penh University, and in 1996 the name was changed to the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

During the past decade, the University has grown and now includes the Faculty of Science, Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, and the Institute of Foreign Languages. In 2001, the University began its first postgraduate degrees with the Graduate Diploma and Master's Courses in Tourism Development.

Co-operation with Royal Government of Cambodia

The support of the Royal Government of Cambodia, particularly the Ministry of Education Youth and Sports (MOEYS) is critical to the life of RUPP. All degrees and course programs at RUPP have been recommended and supported by the Government, which also covers electricity and utility costs, provides staff salaries (approximately US$25/month), and provides important resources such as computers. The Prime Minister and other government representatives have also participated in the University's graduation, cultural and opening ceremonies.


There are three main faculties:
  • Faculty of Sciences includes:
    • Biology
    • Chemistry
    • Computer Science
    • Environmental Science
    • Mathematics
    • Physics
  • Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
    • Geography
    • History
    • Khmer Literature
    • Social Work
    • Linguistics
    • Media and Communication
    • Philosophy
    • Psychology
    • Sociology
    • Tourism
  • Institute of Foreign Languages
    • Department of English
    • Department of French
    • Department of Japanese
    • Department of Korean
    • Khmer for Foreigners..
    • Thai Language Course
    • Chinese Language Course
Enrolling for Degree Courses

The Royal University of Phnom Penh accepts two kinds of students for its degree and non-degree programs:
   •    Non fee-paying students (scholarship);
   •    Fee-paying students (private).
Fee-paying students can be admitted to the following courses:
   •   Bachelor of Arts in English (English for Work Skills);
   •   Bachelor of Arts in Geography and Land Management;
   •   Bachelor of Arts in Khmer Literature;
   •   Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy;
   •   Bachelor of Arts in Psychology;
   •   Bachelor of Arts in Sociology;
   •   Bachelor of Science in Biology;
   •   Bachelor of Science in Chemistry;
   •   Bachelor of Science in Computer Science;
   •   Bachelor of Science in Mathematics;
   •   Bachelor of Science in Physics;
   •   All Masters’ level courses;
   •   All non-degree programs.
All applicants for degree courses, whether non fee-paying or fee-paying, must have a High School Certificate or a Diploma from another institution of higher education. Some departments require further specialized knowledge, such as in English or computer literacy.

Important Dates for New Enrollments (2007-2008)

*Please check with the Studies Office, Room 117, Campus I to confirm.
August 2007
Lists of students selected for scholarship grants available at Campus I
Early SeptemberRegistration at Study Office, Room 117, Campus I: nominate and the degree you wish to apply for(depending on Grade 12 examination results) and bring the required application documents as outlined below.
Early SeptemberRegister for and sit the National University Entrance Examination(for IFL & DMC only)
Mid-SeptemberFirst Semester classes begin
OctoberStudents must accept the placements they are offered or their placement will be cancelled

Obtaining a Non Fee-Paying Scholarship

As entrance to the University is highly competitive, each department has an admission quota set by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS). To gain admission to study for a degree at the Royal University of Phnom Penh on scholarship, applicants must hold a high school certificate. Since 2002, high school students have gained direct entrance to the University based on the results of their year 12 examination.
Admission Requirements

Students who completed high school after 2007 may enroll for scholarship places in RUPP courses. Prospective students must bring the following documents to the University Studies Office, Room 117, Campus I:
   •    Photocopy of high school certificate or equivalent;
   •    Two passport photographs;
   •    Completed biography form (2 copies);
   •    Completed personal memorandum form.
Applicants must also pay the following fees:
   •    2000 Riel for the application form, including a government stamp;
   •    2000 Riel for the receipt of payment for examination.
August 2007
Number of Scholarships Priority Subjects Minimum Grade and/or Examinations Required
Social Sciences and Humanities
Khmer Literature80Khmer Literature and History D
History45History and Khmer Literature D
Philosophy45Philosophy and Khmer Literature D
Geography45Geography and Mathematics D
Media Management30 D
English and Khmer Culture
Written English
Sociology45Khmer Literature and Mathematics D
Psychology45Mathematics and Biology D
Tourism45 C
Mathematics80Mathematics and Physics D
Chemistry45Chemistry and Mathematics D
Computer Science35Mathematics and Physics C
Physics45Physics and Mathematics D
Biology45Biology and Chemistry D
Environmental Science40Chemistry and Biology D
Institute of Foreign Languages
English80Moral and Civic Education C
French80Moral and Civic Education E
Japanese30Moral and Civic Education General Knowledge Interview
Korean30Moral and Civic Education General Knowledge Interview


Students who withdraw from a year of study for an approved reason (illness or pregnancy) and wish to be reaccepted the following year must complete an application form as soon as possible and send it, along with a letter of recommendation from a public hospital, to the Department of Higher Education for approval. The Department will then inform the student and the University if they have permission to recommence their studies the following year. These forms are available from the University Study Office, Room 117, Campus I. Please note that year one students are not permitted to withdraw. All students wishing to continue their study in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year at RUPP must complete a form (accompany with the certificate of Foundation Studies for entry into Year II) and pay the 20,000 riel enrolment fee in the first week of the new study year. Application forms are available from the University Study Office, Room 117, Campus I.

Continuing Students

All students wishing to continue their study in 2nd, 3rd, or 4th year at RUPP must complete a form (accompany with the certificate of Foundation Studies for entry into Year II) and pay the 20,000 riel enrolment fee in the first week of the new study year. Application forms are available from the University Study Office, Room 117, Campus I. 

Course Fees

Fees for Scholarship Students

All students on non fee-paying scholarships are required to pay a registration fee of 20,000 riel per year, except for students enrolled in the Bachelor of Education in English (TEFL), Bachelor of Arts in Media Management and Bachelor of Arts in Japanese, who must pay US$80 per year. The Japanese non-degree public course, also available to scholarship holders, costs US$35 per year. The University currently offers fee-paying (non-scholarship) placements in the programs outlined in the table below. The University plans to accept non-scholarship students across more disciplines in the future. Please contact the departments for more information.

Fees for Non-Degree Courses

Fees apply for all non-degree courses at the University. Please contact the course administrators for further information.
Undergraduate DepartmentDegree OfferedCost for Fee-Paying Student
Department of Biology Bachelor of Science in Biology US$300/year
Department of Chemistry Bachelor of Science in Chemistry
Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry
Bachelor of Science in Food Technology
Department of Computer Science Bachelor of Science in Computer Science US$450/year
Department of English, IFL Bachelor of Arts in English US$450/year
Department of French, IFL Bachelor of Arts in French Please contact department
Department of Geography & Land Management Bachelor of Arts in Geography US$250/year
Department of History Bachelor of Arts in History US$250/year
Department of Khmer Literature Bachelor of Arts in Khmer Literature US$250/year
Department of Mathematics Bachelor of Science in Mathematics US$250/year
Department of Philosophy Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy US$250/year
Department of Physics Bachelor of Arts in Physics US$250/year
Department of Psychology Bachelor of Arts in Psychology US$250/year
Department of Sociology Bachelor of Arts in Sociology US$250/year

Postgraduate Degrees
Master of Education Please contact department for prices of all Masters degrees
Master of Arts in Development Studies
Department of Biology Master of Science in Biodiversity Conservation
Department of Chemistry Master of Science in Chemistry
Department of Computer Science Master of Science in Information Technology
Department of English, IFL Master of Arts in TESOL
Department of French, IFL Master of Translation Science
Department of Linguistics Master of Arts in Linguistics
Department of Mathematics Master of Science in Mathematics
Department of Sociology Master of Arts in Sociology-Anthropology


Applying for an Overseas Scholarship
Undergraduate students who wish to apply for an overseas scholarship are required to submit an application and sit an examination set by MoEYS. The dates of application vary according to the country and study program. Postgraduate students must sit either the TOEFL (English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) test depending on the country and institution. The required scores for entrance to an overseas institution are generally 550 for TOEFL and 6.5 for IELTS. For further information contact staff at the Academic Advising Center, Room 103, Campus I.
Biology National University of Singapore, Singapore NUS-AUN Study Award, Singare
Thailand Faculty & Student Exchange
Khon Kaen University, Thailand Faculty & Student Exchange
Sherbrooke University, Canada PhD Scholarship
UST, Korea Masters Degree Scholarship
Center for Population Thailand Rockefeller Scholarship
Master's Degree
Australia Australian Government Scholarship - Masters Degree;UNFPA
Chemistry Mea Fah Lung University, Thailand 2x Bachelor's Degree Scholarship
De La Salle University, Philippines PhD Scholarship: United Board
New York University PhD Scholarship
USA Fulbright Scholarship
Computer Science Pittsburgh University, USA Masters Degree Scholarship
DMC Korea International College Student Exchange Program, 2006
Ohio University, USA 2x PhD Scholarship
ELSU De La Salle University, Philippines PhD Scholarship: United Board
Nortern Illinois University, USA PhD Scholarship
Ohio University, USA Maryknoll NGO & Ohio University Scholarship for Masters Degree
Albany University, USA PhD Scholarship
Christ College, Indiar Masters Degree Scholarship
English Korea International College Student Exchange
Belgium Technical University, Belgium Masters Degree Scholarship
De La Salle University, Philippines Masters Degree Scholarship
JICE JDS, Japan Masters Degree Scholarship
Australia Australian Government Scholarship - Masters Degree
United States Fulbright Program Scholarships, Masters Degree Scholarship
Environmental Science Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) PhD Scholarship: CIDA & DANIDA
Masters Scholarship: SIDA, ADB
National University of Singapore, Singapore PhD Scholarship
French France French Government Scholarship for Masters Degree
University Paris VII, France Masters Degree Scholarship
AUF, France Masters Degree Scholarship
History Japan International Exchange Program
Singapore NUS-AUN Study Award, Singapore
Hun Sen Library Curtin University of Technology Masters Degree Scholarship
Japanese Waseda University, Japan JASSO Scholarship
Khmer Literature Korea ASEAN Rok Academic Exchange Program 2005
Khon Kaen University, Thailand Faculty & Student Exchange
Mathematics Singapore NUS-AUN Study Award
Le Centre International de Mathematiques Pures et Applications(CIMPA), France Training Lecturers & Students, Bachelor and Master Degree
Kansas University, USA Master Degree Scholarship
Philosophy Ateneo de Manila University, Philippines Master Degree Scholarship:New Humanity
Assumption University, Thailand PhD Scholarship: United Board
Physics King Mongkut’s University of Technology, Thailand Masters Degree Scholarship
Psychology Japan International Exchange Program
University of Malaya, Malaysia Asian Emporium Course, Malaysia
Quality Assurance Unit Australia Australian Government Scholarship; PhD
Sociology Japan PhD Scholarship: International Exchange Program
Italy Masters Degree Scholarship: New Humanity
Tourism University of Malaya, Malaysia SEASREP
CIDA, Canada PhD Scholarship
Germany German Academic Exchange Service – PhD Scholarship
Chulalongkorn University, Thailand UMAP
Japan Masters Degree Scholarship: JICA
Assumption University, Thailand Masters Degree Scholarship: United Board
International Students

Foreign students who are interested in studying in Cambodia should first approach their national government. The government of the sending institution usually arranges directly with the Ministry of Education Youth and Sport (MoEYS) for entrance into RUPP. Upon acceptance to RUPP, foreign students usually attend a period of language study before attending lectures of other disciplines. Students who complete their full degree at RUPP receive a degree from RUPP. Students who complete a part of their degree at RUPP receive their degree from their home institution.

Recent International Students at RUPP (2007-2008)

CountryNumber of Students
Vietnam 47
Laos 22
Korea 04
Japan 01
Students' Association

Executive for 2006-2007:

President: Mr Chantha Nasak (Biology)
Vice President: Miss Yun Sotheare (Khmer Literature)
Secretary: Miss Ly Rattana (Biology)
Cashier: Mr. Meas Sambath (Mathematics)
Accountant: Mr Kim Chem (Physics)
Ground Floor, Campus I
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 2-5 pm.
                          Monday Morning: 7-11am.

A Students' Association was first initiated at the Royal University of Phnom Penh in the early 1970s. From 1980 it was called the Association of Youth and was responsible for on-campus political activities. From 1988-1994 it was called the College of Youth, until the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) changed the organization to its current format and name, in 1993. The Students' Association is responsible for organizing university sports activities and tournaments, and assists the President of the university in organizing study programs and national celebrations. It has also supported the Royal Government of Cambodia by initiating tree-planting programs within university grounds. The Students' Association is supported by a small 20,000 riel subscription, paid annually by each RUPP student. It also undertakes considerable fundraising programs which improve the student experience of students from poorer families. The Students' Association provides financial support to students who suffer from adverse circumstances including illness and injury, housing and family difficulties, and also supplements rice rations for students living in pagodas. The Students' Association is currently raising money to refurbish its offices, including the purchase of a computer and door plaque. The Association hopes that such moves will encourage better organization and increase student awareness of the Association's activities. The Students' Association Executive is chosen by student elections every two years. A ten member Students' Committee also takes part in the Association's consultative process.

Careers Advising Office

Director: Mr. Thou Reno
Tel: (855) 23- 884-320/ (855) 16-842-886
Fax: (855) 23-880-116,
Room 112B, Campus I
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday: 7-11am; 2-5pm.
•    Creates partnerships for student internship programs;
•    Arranges seminars by inviting speakers from various institutions/NGOs/companies to deliver lectures relevant to job opportunities;
•    Arranges annual workshops on searching for jobs for students in years III & IV;
•    Provides students with computer services to produce CVs, cover letters and academic papers;
•    Provides printing at the lowest prices for RUPP students;
•    Searches for information related to job opportunities and makes employment announcements.

Academic Advising Center

Director: Mr. Hang Chan Thon
Tel: (855) 23-884-320, Fax: (855) 23-880-116
Room 103, Campus I
Opening Hours: Monday – Friday 7-11am; 2-5.30pm
The center assists students and staff who are looking to apply for overseas study, particularly in the United States. It can: •    Advise on opportunities for students to study abroad; •    Provide information on overseas scholarships; •    Provide information on the TOEFL, GRE and iBT TOEFL English Proficiency exams; •    Advise on how to apply for colleges and universities in the United States; •    Provide information on research opportunities at overseas institutions; •    Teach students and staff to use reference material to find information on further study.

Counseling Service

The Department of Psychology runs a free-of-charge Counseling Service, which is available to all students and staff of the university. Those who feel mentally stressed from difficult situations such as poverty, domestic violence, living away from their family or other demanding situations are encouraged to seek assistance from the service. Close friends of students and staff may also be offered counseling free of charge. The Counseling Service is located in Room #302B, Campus I. Patients who require further care or medication are referred to the Department’s partner organizations, such as the Transcultural Psychology Organization (TPO), which operates in ten countries worldwide.

Medical Center

Head Doctor: Dr. Diep Piner
Medical Assistant: Mr. Meas Samoeun
Nurse: Ms. Som Sarun
Room 213, Campus I
The University Medical Center is available free of charge to students and staff for health assessments and check-ups and basic medical treatments. It is sponsored by the French Association des Etudiants de Monde and the Sungsin Women’s University in Korea.

IFL Debate Club

Recognizing the need for students to develop strong English communication skills in order to compete in the international arena, the Department of English within the Institute of Foreign Languages founded the Debate Club in February 2001. All students in the B.A. (English for Work Skills) and B.Ed. (TEFL) courses are welcome to join. The club’s members improve their English language competence, general knowledge about ASEAN nations and the rest of the world, and their reasoning, analytical and critical thinking skills. They exchange ideas and experiences with one another and develop confidence in public speaking, particularly expressing and defending ideas before large audiences. The Debate Club aims to develop students’ skills in education, business, communication and networking, and involve students in ASEAN events such as the ASEAN Varsities’ Debate, the All Asians’ Debate, and the Austral-Asian Intervarsity Debate Championship.

IFL Dance Club

The IFL Dance Club, now in its fifth year, aims to provide IFL students with the opportunity to participate in extra-curricular activities and to socialize with their fellow students across different year levels.

The Club meets every Saturday morning from 8:00 to 11:00. Prior to 2006, the Club normally conducted a dance class in which participants learned Khmer popular dance. In the 2006-2007 academic year, however, three separate classes were introduced: music (flute), Flag Dance, and Ploy. These three classes were run mainly to prepare students for their performance during the 2006-2007 Khmer Culture Day and New Year celebration and the 5th ASEAN Youth Forum in August, 2007.

The Club employs four instructors, three from the Royal University of Fine Art and one from the Royal University of Phnom Penh.

Sporting Activities

Organized by the Students’ Association, the Royal University of Phnom Penh fields teams for three competitive sports – football, volleyball (male and female teams) and athletics. These teams compete in inter-varsity games organized by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MOEYS). Each year twelve students are selected for volleyball, eighteen for football and four athletes, two males and two females, are selected for competition.

In 2002, a new bocce/ boules court was set up for competition on the university grounds. This has proved immensely popular with both students and staff.