The 1996 Tippeligaen is the highest football league in Norway. 26 games are played with 3 points given for wins and 1 for draws. Number twelve, thirteen and fourteen are relegated. The winners of the two groups of the first division are promoted, as well as the winner of a play-off match between the two second placed teams in the two groups of the first division. This was the last time the first division was organized into two groups - from 1997 and onwards the first division has had all teams play in the same league.
|Qualified for the UEFA Champions League|
|Qualified for the UEFA Cup|
|Qualified for the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup|
|Qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup|
|Relegated to 1. Divisjon|
- Haugesund, Sogndal and Lyn were promoted.
- Moss, Vålerenga, and Start were relegated.
- Sogndal won play-off against Odd Grenland, 5-1 on aggregate.
- Match 1: Sogndal 4-1 Odd Grenland
- Match 2: Odd Grenland 0-1 Sogndal
- Harald Martin Brattbakk, Rosenborg, 28 goals
- Egil Østenstad, Viking, 23
- Tore André Flo, Brann, 19
- Mons Ivar Mjelde, Brann, 19
- Petter Belsvik, Stabæk, 18
- Geir Frigård, Lillestrøm, 15
- Jahn Ivar "Mini" Jakobsen, Rosenborg, 15
- Sigurd Rushfeldt, Tromsø, 15