There are several types of studies in Poland:
First degree courses – are vocational studies that prepare you to work in a particular profession and end up with a bachelor’s or engineer’s degree. First degree courses last between 6 and 7 semesters. To start studying you must complete high school and take a high school diploma (in Poland or abroad).
Second degree courses – professional studies which result in obtaining a master’s degree, a master’s degree in engineering or an equivalent degree (eg. a doctor, dentist or veterinarian title). Second degree courses last 3-4 semesters. Second degree courses require prior completion of first degree studies (in Poland or abroad).
Uniform MA studies – studies that end in obtaining a master’s degree, a master’s degree in engineering or an equivalent title. Learning in uniform Master’s studies lasts from 9 to 12 semesters and requires a high school diploma obtained in Poland or abroad. Uniform Master’s programs are predominant in faculties such as pharmacy, law, psychology, medicine
There are also public and private universities. Full time courses at public universities are free of charge for Polish citizens, but the extramural and part-time courses may require payment of tuition fees. Private universities require tuition fees.
All foreigners may be admitted to Polish universities, but to study on the same terms as Polish citizens (i.e. free of charge) one of the following criteria must be met by the student:
- holding a permanent residence permit in Poland
- holding a valid Pole’s Card
- having a refugee status
- using temporary protection in Poland
- holding a long-term EU residence permit granted in Poland
- being a citizen of EU Member State, EFTA or a member of their families who have the right of permanent residence.
Other foreigners pay for their studies, or benefit from scholarships that abolish these payments:
- scholarships of the Polish Government
Individuals are admitted to studies on the basis of bilateral agreements, people are exempt from university fees and receive a government scholarship. Persons wishing to obtain a scholarship should apply to consular offices abroad at their place of residence. Necessary condition – Polish origin and good results from exams at the consulate.
- scholarships from the government of another state
Foreigners staying in Poland in connection with full-time course or full-time doctoral studies and foreigners intending to take a preparatory course to study at such studies in Polish may be granted a temporary residence permit for a period longer than 3 months.
However, a graduate of a Polish university can obtain a temporary residence permit, it is granted once, immediately after completing his studies for a period of one year.