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Higher education system in the Czech Republic

Olga Tupikova

5 July 2023



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The Czech Republic participates in the Bologna process and has a three-level system of higher education: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree and Doctoral programs.

Bachelor’s degree programs

The standard duration of Bachelor’s degree programs at Czech universities is 3 years. Some programs, such as Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering, take 4 years.

The organization of the educational process is based on the credit system. Each subject has its credit equivalent. Completing a Bachelor’s degree requires earning 180 credits. One year of full-time studies corresponds to 60 credits; one semester is worth 30 credits. Each department sets the minimum amount of credits that a student has to obtain in order to qualify to the next semester.

The use of the credit system facilitates the process of transferring credits earned in exchange programs abroad.

Curricular content is divided into compulsory subjects (which students must study in order to be admitted to the state exam) and elective subjects (which students select from a list of subjects offered by the department). Also, students are able to take classes across all academic disciplines of the university.

Completing a Bachelor’s degree program would require earning 180 credits, passing all compulsory subjects and state final examinations in several specialised disciplines and defending the graduation thesis.

Successful graduates are awarded the Bachelor’s diploma and degree (Bc.) and may begin their professional career or continue their studies in follow-up Master’s programs in related fields.

Master’s degree programs

Graduates with Bachelor’s degree can enrol in a follow-up Master’s program or choose another university, department or field of study. As a rule, successful Bachelor degree graduates are accepted in a follow-up Master’s degree program without any admission tests. Change over to another department usually requires successful passing of the admission exams in several specialised disciplines.

As a rule, Master’s degree programs take 2 years. Completing such a program requires earning 120 credits, passing state final exam and defending a thesis at the end of the study. Graduates of Master’s degree programs obtain a degree and a title Engineer (Ing.) or Master (Mgr.). Read more about Master’s degree programs in the Czech Republic here.

5-6 years of full time study programs

There are exceptions to this three-level system. Some specialisations in the Czech Republic are not divided into Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees programs. General Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy, Law, Teaching at Primary School Level, for example, take 5-6 year of full time study. In other words, after high school graduation, applicants have to study at the university for 5-6 years in order to receive their Master’s degree.

PhD programs

PhD programs are intended for graduates with a Master’s degree. A PhD program is not simply a continuation of a Master’s degree program, but a research based program. As a rule, teaching at the university is not a part of the program.

The program is based on individual research with the necessary guidance of an academic supervisor. The results of research are presented at seminars or international conferences and published in scientific journals. A PhD student is a full-time member of the department and can participate in any grant projects of the department or the university.

PhD programmes in the Czech Republic usually take 3 years. In order to complete the program a student is required to fulfil all the requirements of the individual curriculum, pass state examinations and defend a doctoral thesis. Read more about Doctoral Programs here.

MBA programs

MBA (Master of Business Administration) programs in the Czech Republic are offered by 9 educational institutions, including Prague University of Economics and Business. MBA is a form of education after graduation and first experience in management work. The MBA programs are aimed at the development of management skills which are needed to solve specific problems.

Participation in the MBA program requires at least a Bachelor’s degree and two years of experience in management.

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