The classic degrees in the study system in the Czech Republic correspond to the degrees of the Bologna Process, whereby the term “Bachelor” has been transferred to Czech (Bakalář) and the old expression Magistr has been retained.
Bachelor / Bakalář
According to searchforpublicschools, bachelor programs (Bakalářšký program) in the Czech Republic qualify for the exercise of a profession or for a postgraduate master’s degree. The Czech Higher Education Act defines 37 different areas of education to which the individual courses are assigned. These are either application-oriented and preparatory to work or, above all, scientifically oriented. Professionally oriented programs usually include compulsory internships of at least twelve weeks.
In the Czech Republic, too, a high school diploma (Vysvědčení o maturitní zkouškou) and successful completion of an entrance examination are prerequisites for taking up a bachelor’s degree. The Czech universities each have their own entrance exams for each subject area – if you apply to more than one university, you must also take the respective entrance examination. While at some universities only the result of the entrance examination is decisive for admission, others also include the Abitur grade in their decision. Depending on the subject area, applicants must meet additional requirements for admission.
In the Czech Republic, too, the bachelor’s degree usually lasts three years, in rare cases four years. Four-year courses are mainly in the fields of engineering and fine arts. The workload during a bachelor’s degree corresponds to a total of 180 ECTS points for three-year programs and 240 ECTS points for four-year programs. Students complete their bachelor’s degree with a state final examination (státní závěrečná zkouška) and the defense of their bachelor’s thesis (baklářská práce). The students then receive their university degree (vysokoškolský diplom) and a diploma supplement (dodatek k diplomu), which gives them the right to use the academic title bakalář (Bc.). This corresponds to the German Bachelor’s degree.
Bachelor degrees customary in the Czech Republic:
- For almost all subjects: Bakalář (Bachelor), abbreviation: Bc.
- For artistic courses at a conservatory (Konzervatoř): Bakalář uměni (Bachelor of Art, not to be confused with Bachelor of Arts), abbreviation: BcA.
In the study system in the Czech Republic there is no distinction between a Bachelor of Science for natural science courses and a Bachelor of Arts for humanities courses.
Master / Magistr
In the Czech Republic, too, a master’s program (Magisterský program) serves to deepen theoretical knowledge and specialize in a certain subject area. They require a bachelor’s degree in the same or a related subject. When applying for a master’s program, an entrance exam is often part of the procedure. Further admission requirements are possible, for example a prescribed number of credits in a certain subject. Those who cannot prove this may have the opportunity to catch up on the relevant courses.
The duration of a Master’s course in the Czech Republic is between one and three years, with the vast majority of courses lasting two years and requiring the acquisition of 120 ECTS points. The master’s degree ends with a state final examination (státní závěrečná zkouška) and the defense of the master’s thesis (diplomová práce).
The Czech master’s programs lead to different degrees, depending on the chosen subject area:
- In economics, engineering and agricultural sciences, forestry and military: Inženýr (engineer), (Ing.)
- Architecture: Inženýr architekt, (Ing.arch.)
- Art: Magistr umění (Master of Art), (MgA.)
- In all other areas (except medicine): Magistr (Master), (Mgr.)
Special feature: unstructured, long master’s programs
In addition to master’s programs that are integrated into the bachelor’s and master’s degree system and for which a bachelor’s degree is a prerequisite for admission, the Czech study system continues to offer “unstructured” master’s programs, also known as “ long-cycle ” master’s programs. However, they are the exception and not the rule. The nature of the course is not suitable for dividing it into a Bachelor and Master area. The long master’s programs are mainly offered in the fields of law, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, pharmacy or teaching. These are subjects of study that are predominantly excluded from the Bachelor-Master structure in Germany as well and that lead to a state examination.
These courses have a minimum length of four years (240 ECTS, mainly elementary school teaching) and a maximum duration of six years (360 ECTS, medicine). The long, unstructured master’s programs generally lead to the same degree, namely the Magistr (Mgr.). Medical courses of study (human, dental and veterinary medicine) are only available in this unstructured form; they conclude with a so-called extended state examination (státní rigorózní zkouška).
The following degrees in medicine are possible:
- Human medicine: Doktor medicíni, abbreviation: MUDr.
- Dentistry: Doktor zubního lékařství, abbreviation: MDDr.
- Veterinary medicine: Doctor veternární medicíny: MVDr.
Doctoral programs have a standard duration of three to four years. The actual average duration of study, however, is five to six years. A doctorate is about independent scientific research and development. It should also be clear from the topic of the dissertation that the processing and solution require an independent academic achievement. The course runs according to an individual study plan under the supervision of a supervisor. It is often common for doctoral students to complete a certain number of hours of teaching.
A master’s degree is usually required for admission. An entrance exam and / or an interview are also not uncommon. The course ends with a state examination, which also includes the presentation and defense of the doctoral thesis. At the end, the graduates receive the academic degree “Doctor” or Ph.D. The specification of the workload in ECTS points is only very rarely used in doctoral programs.