Local prefect Edmond Velcani said the bus driver was among the people killed.
The bus had been heading from the city of Elbasan to the southern city of Saranda. Police spokeswoman Klejda Plangarica said the bus fell some 80 meters (yards) off the road in Qafa e Vishes near the town of Himare, 137 miles (220 kilometers) south of the capital, Tirana, on Friday afternoon. Eight of the injured students were in serious condition and were flown by helicopter to Tirana's military hospital.
University officials said two buses had been taking 75 third-year language and literature students and three professors on a trip to Saranda before their graduation.
It was not clear what caused the crash.
Prime Minister Sali Berisha sent condolences to the families of the casualties, speaking from Chicago, where he was attending a NATO summit. Several ministers and other top officials were heading to the crash site.