A University Fit for a King

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Charles University

Prague's largest and most prestigious university, Charles University, is also its oldest, and the oldest in all of Central and Eastern Europe, beating Krakow's Jagiellonian University by a couple of decades. Founded in 1348 and sanctioned by Charles I himself, the University was multicultural from the start, composed of Czech, Bavarian, Saxon and Polish "nations." Though for some time the University was run by religious sects and declined in its independence and standing, by the middle of the 19th century Protestants and Jews were admitted, and German became a major language of teaching, eventually splitting the University into Czech and German sections.

As with all of Central Europe's universities, Charles underwent major traumas and changes as a result of the Second World War. With the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, the Czech section was closed in 1939, and many of its faculty and student leaders were killed in concentration camps. After the end of the War, the charge of rebuilding soon fell to the new communist government that took over in 1948, and purges, censorship, and repression became the norm. During the Prague Spring, students who hadn't witnessed pre-1939 freedom got their first taste of it, and many of the protests and ideological battles took place right on the Charles University campus. When the Warsaw Pact invasion brutally crushed the liberal reforms, students were hard hit, and one student, Jan Palach, even protested by setting himself on fire.

During the 1970s, the University was "normalized" along with the rest of the nation, but the 1980s, particularly the end of the decade, brought more and more student unrest and protests, cumulating in the Velvet Revolution in 1989, which was partly set off by students and faculty of the University. With the advent of democracy in 1990, Charles University soon evolved into the highly respected Western academic institution it is today.

Courses of Study

Presently, the University is comprised of 17 faculties: 3 Theological Faculties (Catholic, Evangelical, and Hussite), Faculty of Law, 3 Faculties of Medicine, and Faculties of Pharmacy (in Hradec Kralove), Arts, Science, Mathematics and Physics, Education, Social Sciences, Physical Education and Sport, and Humanities. It has graduated some of the most famous Czech leaders and thinkers throughout history, including Max Brod (writer and close friend of Kafka), writers Bohumil Hrabal and Milan Kundera, and physicist Nikola Tesla, among many others. In fact, even Albert Einstein himself taught at the German section of the University before the War.

Studies in English

Being the multicultural institution that it has been throughout the ages, it's no wonder Charles University is very open to international students. And who wouldn't want to study in Prague? Besides its premier academic tradition, there's the culture ever-present in the city, not to mention enough pubs and clubs to make you forget everything you learned at the last lecture. And with Prague's hip, young and liberal atmosphere, it's a virtual student paradise - once your semester or year abroad are over, you still won't want to leave. So, where to start?

Charles University offers preparatory courses, degree studies, and non-degree and summer study abroad programmes (through Erasmus and Socrates exchange networks) in English. For a full listing of courses and degrees, and application details, please refer to the University's website, as courses and degrees offered change every year. But here's a brief look into the degree programmes available to study in English:

Protestant Theological Faculty:
Master's programme: Theology (2 years)

1st Medical Faculty in Prague:
Master's programme: General Medicine (6 years)
Dental Medicine (5 years)

2nd Medical Faculty in Prague
Master's programme: General Medicine (6 years)

3rd Medical Faculty in Prague
Master's programme: General Medicine (6 years)

Faculty of Medicine in Pilsen
Master's programme: General Medicine (6 years)
Dental Medicine (5 years)

Faculty of Medicine in Hradec Kralove
Master's programme: General Medicine (6 years)
Dental Medicine (5 years)

Faculty of Pharmacy
Master's programme: Pharmacy (5 years)

Faculty of Science
Bachelor (3 years) and Master's (2-3 years) programmes: Biology
Environmental Protection

Faculty of Education Bachelor's programme: Teacher Training (3 years) (High School) - combination of the two following:
English Language
Music Education
Instrument Playing (piano or violin only)
Chorus Conducting

Faculty of Social Sciences
Master's programmes: International Economic and Political Studies (IEPS) (2 years)
Economics and Finance (2 years)
PhD. programme in Economics

Faculty of Physical Education and Sport
Bachelor programme: Physiotherapy (3 years)
Physical Education and Sport (3 years)
Master's programme: Physiotherapy (2 years)
Physical Education and Sport (2 years)
PhD. programmes: Kinanthropology

CERGE-EI (The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute)
Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Economics (4 years)

Other Universities in Prague

Besides Charles University, Prague is home to several more specialized institutions:

University of New York in Prague: website
University of New York in Prague provides the best English-language higher and MBA education in Central Europe, with a focus on business, communications, international relations, literature, and psychology. UNYP offers accredited Bachelor's and Master's degree programs in English and MBA study in Prague.

Academy of Performing Arts: website
The Academy of Performing Arts in Prague offers study programmes at three independent schools: Theatre Faculty, Film and TV School, and Music Faculty.

Czech University of Agriculture (also called Czech University of Life Sciences): website
The university offers Bachelors?s, Master?s, and doctoral programmes in the following faculties: Faculty of Economics and Management, Faculty of Agrobiology, Food and Natural Resources, Faculty of Technology, Faculty of Forestry and Environment, Institute of Tropics and Subtropics, and Institute of Education and Communication.

Czech Technical University: website
Offers full degrees and consists of these faculties: Faculty of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, Faculty of Architecture, Faculty of Transportation Sciences, Faculty of Biomedical Engineering.

Institute of Chemical Technology: website
The largest university specializing in chemistry in the Czech Republic, it consists of four faculties: Faculty of Chemical Technology, Faculty of Environmental Technology, Faculty of Food and Biochemical Technology, Faculty of Chemical Engineering.

University of Economics: website
The leading university in the field of management and economics in the Czech Republic, the University of Economics offers courses and degrees in the following faculties: Faculty of Finance and Accounting, Faculty of International Relations, Faculty of Business Administration, Faculty of Informatics and Statistics, Faculty of Economics and Public Administration, Faculty of Management, French-Czech Institute of Management (IFTG), Centre for European Studies (CES).


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Sandra Aguiar Moniz

Gostaria que o meu filho fizesse licenciatura em Engenharia mecânica na vossa Universidade. O que tenho que fazer?

Reply Jun 5th, 2020

Eight scientists – three of them from Charles University – received Neuron Awards at an official ceremony at the National Museum in Prague.

Reply Jan 30th, 2020
Andrea S
El Salvador

I'm really looking forward to attent to this Uni! If anyone knows some scholarship of fiancial aid program for the 1st faculty of medicine please let me know! Im' broke lol

Reply Sep 12th, 2015
New Zealand

Proud to have studied in Charles university in 1960's . Very much enjoyed my studies at the medical faculty. Have good memories .

Reply Aug 2nd, 2012
Giovanni Mandolino

Hello, I'm a hi-tech engineer double degree, I want to make a study trip to Prague for my thesis. I was wondering if there are tables to eat, for foreign university students. tanks

Reply Dec 15th, 2011
Czech Republic

Hi, im a student on Charles unicurrently. This article is not very visited so here are some links for refference on the University: www.cuni.cz/UKENG-1.html English web of the university www.suuk.cz Web of the Student union, search for "kontakty", meaning "contacts", most of the people there speak english and will direct you to info, even thought the web itself isnt in english http://www.ic-cuni.cz/ MOST USEFUL group of students who help international students to get around. hope it helps

Reply Feb 13th, 2011

Hello, I work in Prague and hold a Master Degree in Public Policy and Human Development.I am looking for a PhD program in Social Science, Humanities or Internatioal Studies. If there is any info. on the program and scholarship please advise me. Thank you, Irin

Reply Feb 1st, 2010
Jose David Lapuz

I was privileged to have been invited by the Faculty of Social Science to deliver a lecture on International Politics and Comparative Foreign Policy. I found the university so venerable, honored, ancient and a leading university by world standards. To think that I lectured in the hall on International Relations and Czech Filipino Relationships, constituted a major highlight in my career of delivering addresses and lectures and speeches on Foreign Policy before some of the world leading universities, such as Harvard, Univ. of California in Los Angeles, Moscow University, Univ. of St. Petersburg and the London School of Economics and Political Science. But, University of Prague gets the cake as one of the most prestigious. I will remember the great honor for as long as I live.

Reply Oct 27th, 2009
Bosnia And Herzegovina

Hi, I am a sophomore in Social and Political Sciences and I am interested in studying in Prague :) :)...however, I am not clear if Charles Uni.is offering BA in my field (been on the page of Social sciences faculty but cannot find information on BA :S)...info anyone :( :(

Reply May 27th, 2008
Prague Life team
Czech Republic

Hello, we only offer information on universities in Prague, but we do not represent the universities in any way. For information on courses, tuition, etc, please contact the universities directly at their websites listed above. Thank you.

Reply Oct 15th, 2007
United States

does anyone know if the masters degress one might obtain from Charles University will count back in the USA?

Reply Oct 2nd, 2007
Alison Fletcher
United States

Please show university on a map!

Reply Jun 22nd, 2007