Crusader Kings 3 university guide and map

Crusader Kings 3: nobles sit around a games board playing chess
Credit: Paradox Interactive

Crusader Kings 3: nobles sit around a games board playing chess
Credit: Paradox Interactive
March 4, 2024: We've updated our Crusader Kings 3 university guide with everything you need to know about the structure.

Noticed you're able to build a university in Crusader Kings 3, but don't know whether they're worth the time and resources. We've got all the information you'll need to make such a decision, as well as detailing all the benefits and downsides of universities in the game. Also, we'll be providing you with an up-to-date map of all the university locations in the game.

In Crusader Kings 3, there's little that's more frustrating than getting a bad heir. Your character's attributes and traits ultimately determine how successful they'll be, and it always sucks when your child comes of age, and you've forgotten to assign them a guardian. Sending a child to university can entirely resolve this issue, giving them a much better education.

However, sending your child to university comes with a considerable cost to your character, so it's good to know when it's okay to send them away for an education and when it's best to keep them in court. Hopefully, this guide will give you everything you need to know about universities so you can make the best decisions in your campaign.

Crusader Kings 3: teaching courtyard filled with cushions and rugs.
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Credit: Paradox Interactive

Before we get into it, why not check out the best Crusader Kings 3 mods?

What are all the university locations in Crusader Kings 3?

Here, we have several lists detailing the barony locations that can have a university built inside of them, sorted into alphabetical order. We've separated the universities by whether they have to be built by the player or whether they appear in the game from the very start.

Historical university locations

The below list contains all the universities that are always built at the start of your campaign, regardless of what start date you chose.

  • Anuradhapura
  • Kanchipuram
  • Somapur
  • Srinagara
  • Ujjayini
  • Valabhi
Crusader Kings 3: map of all universities
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Credit: Stealth Optional
Our map of all the universities in Crusader Kings 3

Buildable university locations

Below are all the possible baronies in which you can build a university during your campaign. These universities won't exist at the start of any game, irrespective of which start date you choose.

  • Barcelona
  • Bidar
  • Bologna
  • Cambridge
  • Coimbra
  • Dumbarton
  • Ferrara
  • Fes
  • Janakpur
  • Krakow
  • Leipzig
  • Madrida
  • Malappuram
  • Messina
  • Milano
  • Montlhery
  • Napoli
  • Oxford
  • Padua
  • Perugia
  • Pisa
  • Prague
  • Qartajanaa
  • Roztoc
  • Salamanca
  • Sarsar
  • Speyer
  • Turin
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  • Uppsala
  • Wazwan
  • Wien

If you want to build a university yourself, you first must own one of the eligible baronies. Then, you must ensure the county's development is 30 or more and that you've achieved the Exalted Among Men fame level with your character. You won't be able to build a university if one already exists in the barony.

Alternatively, if you're looking for potential university locations near you, you can switch to the economy map mode, which will reveal all the universities on the map, as well as other unique buildings. To do this, press the 'plus' symbol in the bottom right where the different map modes are, and then select the button that reads 'Economy' with the coins on it. Yellow icons show buildings that are already built, while blue icons show baronies where that unique building can be built.

Crusader Kings 3: Economy map mode, showing the unique buildings in northern Italy.
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Credit: Paradox Interactive.
The "Economy" map mode in Crusader Kings 3

Are universities worth it in Crusader Kings 3?

If you're within diplomatic range of a university, you'll gain the option on any of your courtiers between the ages of 6 and 15 to 'Send to University'. When you send a child to a university, they'll gain +12 points towards their education.

This almost always guarantees that when your child becomes 16, they will gain the four-star education trait for whichever attribute they've specialised in, which makes it worthwhile to be close to a university or construct your own.

Sending a child to university won't come cheap, however, as you'll have to fork over 1500 gold per person you send to university. Until you reach the late stages of the game, this is an extraordinary amount of money, and many players simply won't be able to afford this high cost.

However, if you've already built up a war chest, sending an heir to university is a good idea, as it guarantees that they will have half-decent attributes by the time they become an adult.

Additionally, universities can provide bonuses and modifiers to other features of your realm. If you are the owner of a barony that contains a university, you'll unlock the perks listed below.

County effects

  • +0.1 Monthly Development

Realm effects

  • +5% Cultural Fascination Progress
  • +1 Learning per Level of Fame
  • +10% Monthly Lifestyle Experience
  • +0.25 Monthly Renown
Men and women at court in Crusader Kings 3
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Credit: Paradox Interactive

Given that you have to have already reached a Level of Fame of four to build a university, having one in your territory guarantees a +4 minimum boost to your learning stat, which can be powerful for characters going down a scholarly route.

Moreover, the monthly renown boost is also quite substantial, and the bonus to Monthly Lifestyle Experience will help you regardless of your type of character. This makes building a university well worth it whenever you have the decision available.

However, in some cases, there are unique historical universities with bonus stats and modifiers. These universities are always built at the start of the game. The below table details these universities, their baronies, and their special bonus perks as a historical building. They are also subject to the regular university perks detailed above.

University Name
Barony Location
Bonus Perks
Nalanda University
Pataliputra (India)
+1 Stewardship per Level of Fame, +0.3 Monthly development (+0.2 bonus)
Al-Azhar University
Cairo (Egypt)
+1 Diplomacy per Level of Fame, +0.3 Monthly development (+0.2 bonus)
University of Sankore
Tirakka (Mali)
+1 Martial per Level of Fame, +0.3 Monthly development (+0.2 bonus)
University of Siena
Siena (Italy)
+1 Intrigue per Level of Fame, +0.3 Monthly development (+0.2 bonus)

That's all there is to know about universities and whether they're worth building in Crusader Kings 3. For more CK3 content, we've got all the latest updates on the upcoming release of Crusader Kings 3: Legacy of Persia DLC that's due out next year. Also, we've got all the cheat codes for CK3, which you can use to create interesting and unique scenarios.

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