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Basic info

Czech higher education dates back six hundred years. In 1348 Emperor Charles IV founded a university in Prague which is the oldest academic institution in Central Europe. It is now called Charles University. Higher education is the highest level of the education system. Since 2001 the three cycle structure has strictly been implemented in higher education (Bachelor´s, Master´s and Doctoral study programmes). The main tuition language is Czech, however the range of programmes delivered in foreign languages (mainly English) is expanding in order to cater for international students.

Bachelor degree programmes

Bachelor study programmes are 3 to 4 year in duration and constitute the first level of higher education. Graduates receive the academic degree bakalár umění (BcA.) in the field of arts, and bakalář (Bc.) in other fields. The study programme must be completed with a final state examination, which usually includes the presentation and defence of a thesis. Successful graduates may enter the labour market or continue their studies in follow-up master´s programmes in related fields.

Master´s degree programmes

Master study programmes may either follow on from bachelor programmes as follow up master programmes (2 to 3 years) or they may be full programmes (4 to 6 years). Programmes focus on the acquisition and application of theoretical knowledge and on the development of creativity and talent. Graduates in master programme have to take a final state examination and publicly present and defend a thesis. Studies in medicine, veterinary medicine and hygiene are completed by a demanding state examination, including the presentation and defence of a rigorous thesis.

Studies in master programmes result in the following degrees:

Ing inženýr engineer in the field of economics, technical sciences and engineering
Ing.arch inženýr architekt architect in the field of architecture
MUDr doktor medicíny doctor of human medicine in the field of medicine
MDDr zubní lékař doctor of human dental medicine in the field of medicine
MVDr doktor veterinární medicíny doctor of veterinary medicine in the field of veterinary medicine
Mgr magistr master of humanities sciences, law, education, pharmacy and theology
MgA magistr umění master of arts

Holders of this degree can sit a demanding state examination in the same field and present and defend a rigorous thesis. Upon successful completion the following academic degrees are awarded

JUDr doktor práv in the field of law
PhDr doktor filozofie in the field of humanities, teacher training and the social sciences
RNDr doktor přírodních věd in the field of natural sciences
ThDr doktor teologie in the field of theology, excluding Catholic theology
PharmDr doktor farmacie in the field of pharamcy
ThLic licenciát teologie in the field of theology

Doctoral Progammes

Doctoral programmes (which normally last 3 years) are intended for graduates from master programmes and focus on independent creative work in research, development or the arts. Doctoral studies are completed by way of a state doctoral examination and the public presentation and defence of a doctoral thesis (dissertation) based on original work, which must be published

Graduates of doctoral study programmes are awarded the academic degree of

PhD Doktor  
ThD Doktor teologie in field of theology

Those academic titles are written after holder´s name.

Higher education institutionsIn terms of the founder the higher education institutions can be public, private or state.
Run institutions (only in the case of military and police academies) in terms of the study programmes they offer, they may be non-university-type (offering all types of study programmes).
There are 26 public, 2 state and 46 private higher education institutions in the CR.

Admission requirements

The principal requirement for entering a Bachelor degree programme or a full Master´s degree programme is the completion of a full secondary general-education of vocational education with a “maturita” school-leaving examination. Admission to a follow-up Master´s degree programme depends on the completion of the relevant Bachelor degree programme or its equivalent. Admission to Doctoral studies depends on the successful completion of a Master´s degree programme.
Students may apply for several study programmes at various institutions and faculties. The deadline for submitting applications is normally the end of February or March. Most higher education institutions offer the option of filing an application in electronic form. The date, content and form (oral or written examination, aptitude test) of the entrance process are decided upon by the dean of the faculty or the rector of the higher education institution. Entrance examinations are normally held between June and September. Examinations at higher education institutions for the arts take place earlier, in January, and deadline for filing applications is normally the end of November. Student administration departments at various faculties can provide information on applications, admission requirements and studies.

Organisation of studies

The academic year lasts 12 months; the start is fixed by the head of the higher education institution (rector). Courses are divided into semesters, years and blocks, which are composed of a period of teaching, an examination period and a vacation.
The structure of the academic year is decided by each institution. It usually begins in October and is divided into two semesters: winter and summer, with approx. five-week examination period after each semester. The summer vacation is in July and August
The frequency and methods of assessing students´ achievements differ according to the field of study. In some cases a system of partial examinations taken after each semester has been introduced in other cases one comprehensive examination after each completed part of studies is prescribed, mostly at the end of a certain module. Performance in examinations and in the defence of the thesis is graded in majority, institutions students are assessed by means of credits. The credit system (ECTS, European Credit Transfer System) has been encouraged since it allows completed parts of studies to be recognised, thus contributing to transferability within the system.

Tuition fees

By law, higher education at public and state institutions is free of charge for citizens of all nationalities, with the following exceptions:

  • Fees for administration of admission proceedings
  • Fees for extending the duration of study beyond a set limit
  • Fees for the study of an additional programme
  • Fees for study in a foreign language

Private institutions of higher education can fix their own fees. The tuition fees differ from 2.000 – 15.000 USD per year and the amount depends on the relevant institution and study programme.

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