Funding Overview

Higher Education in the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic has the oldest University in central Europe, the Charles University in Prague, founded in 1348. Prague in particular has a long tradition of academic excellence in teaching and research, particularly in Engineering, the Sciences and Medicine. With a unique central-European lifestyle, culture and a rich history, the Republic is an attractive choice for international students. The Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is working to a strategic plan for the development of the various activities of Higher Education Institutions in the Republic. This includes conforming to the Bologna Process, stimulating enrolment, encouraging the opening of new Higher Education Institutes – chiefly in the private sector – and developing satellite campuses for existing institutions. There is also a commitment to full development of the National Qualifications Framework.
Consider Studying in the Czech Republic
Consider Studying in the Czech Republic

Educational system

In the Czech Republic tertiary education is available in public, state and private institutions. The term Higher Education Institutions, vysoké školy is used to describe all three types of institutions. There are twenty four public HEIs, two state ones and forty-six private ones. HEIs are either university type or non-university type. University type HEIs offer study programmes at all three levels of higher education, while non-university type HEIs offer Bachelor programmes only, although some may.

Public Higher Education Institutions

  • These are the traditional Universities, which offer programmes in all academic disciplines.
  • There are also two Academies for Art, Design and Architecture, and an Academy of Performing Arts, all in Prague.

State Higher Education Institutions

  • There are just two state TEIs.
  • One is the Police Academy of the Czech Republic and the other is the military school, called the University of Defense.

Private Higher Education Institutions

  • The private HEIs are almost all of the non-university type, offering only Bachelor’s programmes, although some may also provide Master’s programmes.
  • Just three private HEIs are university type.
  • Programmes in private institutions are usually more applied, with an emphasis on business and technology programmes.

Admission Procedures

Czech students entering HEIs must have passed the school-leaving examination, the maturitní zkouška, awarded by the various secondary schools. Students entering fine arts programmes are admitted with the absolutorium, which is the leaving certificate received from a conservatory.

HEIs in the Czech Republic have a higher degree of autonomy than in many other EU countries, so additional admission requirements are often set by the rector of the institution or the dean of the faculty being entered. These may include written, oral or aptitude tests, and such admission examinations are common at most HEIs.

Application deadlines are normally set at the end of February or March. Admission examinations are held between June and September. However for institution of arts applications are earlier, in November of the previous year, and admission examinations are held in January.

EU students are admitted on the same basis as in their home country. EU students can enter the Republic with a passport or national identity card. They must also have the European Health Insurance Card or a certified E128 form from their home country.

Foreign students from outside the EU require a student visa. To obtain a visa the applicant must have a letter of acceptance from the HEI, proof of financial resources, a guarantee of accommodation, and health insurance. The student must prove they have no criminal record and must register with the Czech Foreign Police within three days of arriving in the Republic. Foreign students taking courses taught in Czech must have proof of language proficiency to a minimum of B2 level of the Common European Framework. Students taking courses in English must show proficiency in English.

Bachelor’s Degree (first-cycle degrees)

  • This is the entry-level degree for tertiary education.
  • The normal degree awarded is the Bachelor (Bc) while the Bachelor of Arts (BcA) is awarded for degrees in the Arts.
  • Bachelor degrees normally take three or four years to complete.

Master’s Degree (second-cycle degrees)

  • For students holding a Bachelor’s degree a Master’s degree takes one to three years.
  • Entry into a Master’s programme normally requires a Bachelor’s degree.
  • The Advanced Master’s Procedure, rigorózní zkouška, which included the defence of a thesis, is the terminal examination of a Master’s programme.
  • Graduates of Master’s programmes are either a Magistr (Mgr.) or Inženyr (Ing.).
  • However for Law, Medicine, Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, and Dentistry the long-cycle four to six-year Magistr, is entered directly from the secondary school.

Doctorate (third-cycle degrees)

  • The Doktor is offered in most fields. It normally requires three years to complete. Relevant lower degrees – Bachelor’s and Master’s - are required for admission.
  • There is always a requirement for independent, original research and the submission of a thesis.