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Organisation of Study

HEIs provide higher education only in the framework of accredited study programmes. The main teaching language is Slovak, however, there are programmes delivered also in foreign languages (mainly in English), mostly for international students.

Academic Year

The academic year begins on 1 September of the current year and ends on 31 August of the following year. It is composed of 2 semesters (the winter semester lasts from September to January and the summer semester lasts from February to June) or three trimesters. The organisation of the academic year is set by the statute of the faculty or statute of the HEI.

Teaching Process and ECTS

The teaching process includes lectures, seminars, exercises, laboratory work, projects, practical training, consultations, etc. For the assessment of students' achievements, the credit system following the rules of the European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) is used; it was introduced in 2002 for all levels and forms of higher education studies. Student's standard workload is expressed by the number of credits: 60 credits per academic year, 30 credits per semester and 20 credits per trimester. Every HEI determines the total number of credits required for the due completion of the study in its respective stages. Grading is based on the ECTS grading scale:

Levels of Study and Degrees Awarded in the Slovak Republic

Study programmes are usually offered in one of the three levels of higher education, but an HEI may join the first two levels of higher education into a single whole.

The first level of higher education are bachelor study programmes.

Study programmes of the second level of higher education and those of the first two levels of higher education joined into a single whole are:

  • master study programmes,
  • engineer study programmes,
  • doctor study programmes.

Study programmes of the third level of higher education are doctoral (PhD) study programmes.

All study programmes must be accredited following the law.

Higher Education System in the Slovak Republic: 

A variety of lenghts of study in full-time mode, which consist of levels of study (first, second, third or integrated) that have different durations (in academic years). 

first level

second level

third level

integrated first and second level (minimum number of years of study)


In accordance with the level of study, HEIs award the following academic degrees:

  • 1st level – Bachelor (comprising app. 180 credits):
    • “bakalár” (abbr. “Bc.”)
  • 2nd level – Master (comprising app. 120 credits):
    • "magister" (abbr. "Mgr.")
    • "magister umenia" in the field of art (abbr. "Mgr. art.")
    • "inžinier" in technical, agricultural and economic fields of engineer's programmes (abbr. "Ing.")
    • "inžinier architekt" the academic degree in the field of architecture and town planning (abbr. "Ing. arch.")
    • “doktor všeobecného lekárstva” in the field of human medicine (abbr. “MUDr.”)
    • “doktor zubného lekárstva” in the field of dentistry (abbr. “MDDr.”)
    • “doktor veterinárskeho lekárstva” in the field of veterinary medicine (abbr. “MVDr.”)

  • 3rd level – PhD (doctoral level)
    • “philosophiae doctor” (abbr. “PhD.”),
    • “artis doctor” in the field of art (abbr. “ArtD.”)