Higher education in Poland

Higher Education Programs

The Higher Education System in Poland currently includes the following types of programms:

  • College programs (ISED 5B) classified as tertiary education for international comparisons but not recognized as such in the national legislation;
  • Degree programs (ISED 5A) provided by both public and non-public university-type and non-university higher education institutions, including:

– first-cycle (Bachelor’s degree) programs;
– second-cycle (Master’s degree) programs;
– long-cycle (Master’s degree)programs.

  • Third-cycle or doctoral programmes (ISED 6)


Types of Higher Education Institutions

The Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in Poland are divided into:

  • state (public)
  • private (non-public)

There are two main categories of higher education institutions:

  • university-type
  • non-university institutions.

In the university-type HEIs, at least one unit is authorized to confer the academic degree of Doctor (PhD), i.e. offers at least one doctoral program.

Degreed granted in Polish HEIs


  • Bachelor’s degree (BA, Licencjat)

3-3,5 year-long vocational/technical college studies

  • Bachelor’s degree (BSc, Inżynier)

3,5-4 year-long college studies in technical science, economy and agriculture

  • Master’s degree (MA, MSc, Magister)

Equivalent degrees: Master of Art, Master Engineer, Master Engineer Architect, qualified physician, dental surgeon or veterinarian. Granted following the completion of 5-6 year-long uniform university studies. The MSc may also be obtained following the completion of 2-2,5 year-long supplementary Master’s degree studies which may be taken by person with a college diploma.

  • Doktor (PhD, Doktor)

After passing the doctoral exam and successfully defending dissertation. To qualify for the academic degree of doctor one must hold a master or equivalent degree.



Quality assurance

The Polish State Accreditation Committee is in charge of monitoring and controlling educational standards in Polish institutions of higher education. The Committee is cooperating with accreditation offices in other countries. For more information see: www.pka.edu.pl