Poland has a long and proud tradition of keeping educational institutions available for students even at difficult times.  Have you ever heard about the Polish Flying University? In the late 1800s, universities were heavily controlled and disallowed women admission. Polish scholars began a brave underground movement teaching courses secretly.

To avoid authorities, these meetings held in private homes teaching everything from philosophy or mathematics to arts and science. In order to avoid a possible reveal, the meetings frequently moved from location to location around Warsaw, earning it the name Floating or Flying University. Marie Skłodowska Curie, the Nobel Prize laureate, is a famous graduate of the Flying University

Nowadays, the Polish education system follows the objectives of the Bologna process and offers public and private institutions and offers three types of degrees: Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD. The academic year runs from October to June divided into the winter and spring semesters and you can either choose to study full or part-time.

The higher education Polish grading system is based on a 5-scale as follows:

  • 5: Very Good (bardzo dobry)
  • 4+: Better than good (dobry)
  • 4: Good (dobry)
  • 3+: Better than satisfactory (Dostateczny)
  • 3: Satisfactory (Dostateczny)
  • 2: Unsatisfactory/Fail (Niedostateczny)

Bachelor Degree in Poland:

After finishing the first-cycle Bachelor’s studies in Poland, you can get the professional title of a licencjat (earning a Bachelor of Arts), BSc. (Bachelor of Science) or inżynier (earning a Bachelor of engineering). This degree offering 180-240 ECTS credits lasts around three to four years and aims to prepare you for a future Master’s degree program. Courses also focus in a way on preparing students for future employment.

Bachelor studies are in Polish and English Language. A TOEFL or IELTS language test is may be required to prove your English language for applicants from non-English speaking countries, and with certificates in languages other than English.

Master’s Degree:

A Master’s degree or magister program in Poland lasts around two years and awards 90-120 ECTS credits. After the completion of a Master’s degree, you are eligible for PhD studies. The teaching methods of Master’s studies in Poland include a combination of group sessions, independent study, group and individual assignments and practical laboratory work, if enabled by the discipline. You can find a wide range of Master’s in Poland taught in English.

In order to complete your Master’s degree, you will need to defend your written dissertation.

There is another older type of Master’s degree offered in Poland, the so-called “long-cycle’’ Master degree.

Long-cycle studies in the Polish education system:

In Poland, there are particular fields of study that offer long-cycle programs. These include acting, arts, law, dentistry, medicine, photography and production, pharmacy, psychology and veterinary medicine. Programs in these academic fields can last five to six years with the completion of 270-360 ECTS credits that award a Master’s degree (magister).

Being in a long-cycle integrated program means that you will study both the basics of your field and gain a specialization. As a result, it is like combining a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree together.

PhD degrees in Poland:

A PhD or doctorate degree in Poland normally lasts three to four years and your eligibility depends on the completion of a Master’s degree program. PhD degrees takes place in universities or research institutions for example departments of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Doctorate degrees in Poland are offered free of charge for all students! As a PhD researcher, you will get a scholarship throughout your studies and a normal salary. The amount depends on your evaluation, the institution and the study discipline.

In order to graduate with a PhD in Poland, you have to attend taught classes, undertake up to 60 hours of formal teaching usually for undergraduate students at your university, provide annual progress reports and successfully write and pass your dissertation project.

*source: edited from