Every year, Charles University welcomes large numbers of Czech and international applicants who are attracted by its broad range of degree programmes and by the prestige of Charles University degrees, which open the door to a multitude of rewarding careers on the employment market.
Charles University’s trademark has traditionally been its high-quality teaching, closely linked to research. The University offers degree programmes in a wide variety of fields, many of which – such as Addiction Studies, Egyptology or Climatology – cannot be studied anywhere else in the Czech Republic. Some degree programmes enable students to combine two fields of study, including fields taught at different faculties. Students taking Bachelor's or Master's courses receive credits according to the University’s credit system, which operates in full accordance with the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). The Charles University credit system enables students to choose and attend (as optional subjects) lectures or seminars from other fields than their chosen major, including courses taught at other faculties. This reinforces the varied, interdisciplinary nature of the education offered at Charles University, facilitating cross-curricular links and promoting student mobility between partner institutions.
Charles University is currently home to more than 53,000 students - about one-sixth of all people studying in the Czech Republic. It offers over 300 accredited degree programmes in 642 fields: more than 20,000 undergraduates are studying for Bachelor's degrees, with almost 25,000 students enrolled in Master's programmes and 8,000 in doctoral programmes. More than 7,000 of the University’s students come from abroad. Every year almost 9,000 people graduate from Charles University; our graduates traditionally enjoy one of the highest employment rates of any population segment in the Czech Republic. Every year, a further 16,000 people complete one or more of the University’s various lifelong learning courses.
Charles University is one of the best-performing educational institutions in the Czech Republic. According to the Academic Ranking of World Universities, it ranks among the top 2 per cent of higher education institutions worldwide.
Charles University is one of the oldest universities in Europe and ranks among the world’s most renowned research-focused universities. Our international links contribute significantly to strengthening global awareness of the University. Charles University achieves high standards of excellence in joint international research projects and is a member of many prestigious international organizations and university networks. We also actively support mobility for both students and academic staff.
A crucial role in the University’s international activities is played by exchange programmes supporting student and academic staff mobility.
The European Commission ranks Charles University among Europe’s leading universities in terms of the number of outgoing and incoming students and teachers within the Erasmus programme. Other European Union programmes are also gaining in importance. One of them – the increasingly popular Erasmus Mundus programme – enables students to receive joint Master’s or PhD degrees from more than one university.
Charles University emphasizes the development of international cooperation implemented on the basis of a network of inter-university agreements. This network currently includes almost 200 partner universities from all over the world. Cooperation with partner universities takes place in a wide range of areas – from student and academic staff mobility, through joint research projects, to seminars and summer schools. Charles University also enables PhD students to participate in cotutelle programmes, involving the joint supervision of dissertations by two tutors. At the end of their studies, cotutelle graduates receive two diplomas – one from Charles University and the other from the partner university.
Faculty agreements are another widely used mechanism to support international mobility. These agreements enable Charles University students to participate in a broad spectrum of study activities at partner institutions, as well as providing an excellent opportunity for international students to arrange short-term stays at Charles University.
Charles University also supports activities implemented either via various programmes and foundations or in the form of free mover mobility (i.e. stays arranged independently of existing exchange programmes).
Charles University regularly recruits high-quality international researchers from abroad, helping to strengthen its position as an internationally respected research university. International recruitment of this type is a proactive process and is financially supported by the University, which has set up dedicated programmes such as the International Post-Doc Research Fund for this purpose.
Charles University is an active participant in many prestigious international organizations and networks of universities which collaborate to achieve shared aims while respecting the individual identity of the partner institutions. The University organizes and co-organizes a broad range of important events involving active participation by both students and academic staff.
Lifelong learning has a rich tradition at Czech universities, and its importance and potential are growing all the time to meet the challenges of the modern world. Charles University offers a well-established system of continuing education, with a wealth of lifelong learning programmes building on its standard accredited degree programmes. The University’s philosophy of lifelong learning is based on the natural integration of degree programmes and lifelong learning programmes to create a system that is continually evolving. Thanks to its creative environment, renowned academic staff and excellent technical infrastructure, Charles University offers ideal conditions for lifelong learning, and is able to provide an exciting range of high-quality programmes. This added value is present throughout the University’s entire lifelong learning portfolio, making lifelong learning a viable alternative to our full-time programmes and enabling adult learners to take part in the education process without detracting from their careers or family life. The University offers a wide range of lifelong learning activities to suit various levels of ability, experience, proficiency, ambition and expectations. We also offer programmes targeted at international clients, including professional courses, preparatory courses and general-interest programmes.
The rules and conditions for lifelong learning are set out in the Lifelong Learning Code of Charles University (amended with effect from 1 January 2013), which is in accordance with the Higher Education Act. Lifelong learning is defined as any type of education which complements, enhances, refreshes or expands its recipient’s current knowledge, skills and qualifications. Lifelong learning may be provided as part of accredited degree programmes, or it may be offered separately. Lifelong learning programmes are offered in three modes of study: full-time study, part-time study (also known as ‘combined’ study as it offers a combination of face-to-face and distance learning), or distance learning. Some programmes are taught in English. Participants in lifelong learning courses do not have student status as defined in the Higher Education Act. The University offers a wide range of programmes for various target groups – applicants to study at the University, current students and graduates of the University, teachers, social workers, doctors, civil servants, international clients, and members of the general public.
Lifelong learning programmes can be divided into two types: professional programmes (focusing on participants’ profession or career) and general-interest programmes. This basic division is laid out in the Higher Education Act.
Lifelong learning programmes include short-term and long-term courses plus a range of other events – excursions, seminars, film screenings, discussions and more. The programmes are divided into two basic types: professional programmes (focusing on participants’ profession or career) and general-interest programmes. These types may be further subdivided as follows:
preparatory programmes for University admissions and the ‘maturita’ higher secondary certificate
preparatory studies (courses offered as part of accredited degree programmes in accordance with Section 60 of the Higher Education Act)
long-term general-interest programmes – some of these programmes are offered as part of the University of the Third Age (U3A)
short-term courses (1-day seminars, multi-day seminars etc.)
professional programmes, e.g.:
continuing education for doctors,
continuing education for lawyers,
specialization programmes, e.g.:
programmes for teachers – qualification to teach an additional school subject
supplementary programmes to meet qualification requirements in specific professions, e.g.:
continuing education for education professionals,
continuing education for non-medical health care professionals,
continuing education for civil servants, etc.
short-term courses (1-day seminars, multi-day seminars etc.)
This subdivision will gradually evolve to reflect changing legislative requirements.
The database of lifelong learning programmes at Charles University contains a searchable list of lifelong learning courses run by the faculties and other parts of the University.
The category of lifelong learning also includes post-Master’s examinations (examen rigorosum). For information on these examinations see the relevant page.
Charles University is one of the leading research universities in Central Europe. It sees its raison d'etre as bringing together teaching and research, building on the premise that high-quality education is best ensured when teachers are also active, internationally recognized experts in their respective fields. Research is therefore never regarded as a second-order priority that comes after educational goals, but as an integral, essential part of what a university is and should be.
Charles University - including the German part of the University, when it was split into Czech and German institutions - has been the alma mater or temporary academic home of four Nobel Prize winners (Albert Einstein, Gerty and Carl Cori, Jaroslav Heyrovský), and remains an undisputed leader in Czech research. According to the Web of Science database it is currently the most productive research institution in the country, responsible for about one third of all research results in the Czech Republic and for an even larger share of citations (which are indicators of research quality). In this respect, its only rival is the complex of research institutions run by the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic. The evaluation of the output of research institutions carried out by the government's Research, Development and Innovation Council, the data of the Czech Statistical Office and the recent international audit of research in the Czech Republic all show a very similar picture. The simple fact that the most widely recognized global university rankings place Charles University among the top two per cent of the world's universities testifies first and foremost to the quality and volume of its research.
Among the achievements of Charles University researchers that have recently received considerable publicity are a major contribution to the discovery of the Higgs boson with the aid of the CERN, Atlas detector, the discovery of a unique set of statues of ancient Egyptian high dignitaries buried during the Fifth Dynasty, the successive discoveries of genes responsible for serious hereditary metabolic diseases, and the study of universal species-area relationships in various natural environments.
All research crucially depends on adequate funding. From public finances, Charles University receives what is termed “institutional funding”. The allocated amounts of institutional funding are based on previous research output and are used to finance the Charles University Research Development Schemes (PRVOUK), which are strategically targeted in order to strengthen the principal fields of research at the University. A lesser part of the above-mentioned funds is used as targeted support of (mostly young) researchers at the best-performing CU departments or institutes (see UNCE) and to fund other minor schemes. In addition to these funds, researchers also need specific-purpose grants for individual research projects - whether from national sources (Czech Science Foundation (GAČR), Technology Agency of the Czech Republic (TAČR), Internal Grant Scheme of the Ministry of Healthcare etc.) or from abroad (e.g. EU Framework Programmes including ERC). Independent research by students, especially in doctoral programmes, is funded by the University's own Charles University Grant Agency. To some extent, the funding opportunities are also a function of the institution's potential for transferring new knowledge and technologies into practice, a task entrusted mainly to the University’s Centre for Transfer of Knowledge and Technology.
Another important aspect of research work is the academic advancement of University staff. This section of the website therefore also includes information on habilitations and promotions to full professorship. The highest academic titles of “docent” (doc.) and “profesor” (prof.) awarded by Charles University have traditionally been highly valued by the academic community.
For historical reasons, the various parts of Charles University are scattered over many different locations – not only in Prague, but also in other cities. In view of this situation, the University plans to focus in future on the development of “minicampuses”. The main objectives of building minicampuses are to concentrate related activities at a single site, to provide state-of-the-art facilities for teaching and research, and to harness the synergic potential offered by the close collaboration of experts and students from different fields.
The University’s strategic development goals mean that it must be well prepared not only to respond to developments in Czech tertiary education, but also to play a proactive role in influencing these developments. The same applies to developments on the international level (especially in Europe), in view of the University’s increasing engagement in international organizations (e.g. OECD, EC) and associations (e.g. EUA, UNICA). Given the level of the University’s involvement in international structures of this kind, ad hoc responses or conformance with decisions made by others are no longer viable options for the future. Moreover, the ongoing development of the University itself makes it essential to achieve a carefully judged balance between two parallel requirements: on the one hand the growing number of courses and the widening range of activities pursued at the University’s various faculties and centres, and on the other hand the need to strengthen the cohesion of the University as a unified entity.
Achieving these goals requires detailed analysis of current trends and impacts, including the use of benchmarking methods. One of the foundation stones of the University’s development strategy is its focus on development projects – including projects financed from EU Structural Funds.
Charles University offers a wide range of information and advisory services, including library services and access to e-resources (such as electronic journals) as well as the services provided by the Charles University Information and Advisory Centre and the University’s card service centres (for student and staff identity cards).
University libraries remain an important source of information not only for students, but also for members of the public. The Central Catalogue of Charles University libraries will help you find the publication or document you are looking for, giving details of where it is located and whether it is currently available. The University’s libraries also offer access to a wide range of electronic resources (e-resources), including many of the world’s most prestigious journals (through the University’s paid subscription to electronic versions). The University’s Information and Advisory Centre offers comprehensive information on studying at Charles University as well as a wide range of advisory services and assistance. University identity cards are issued to students, staff and other users of Charles University facilities, and serve as an essential tool for accessing information systems and the University computer network.
Charles University offers a wide range of opportunities for students and staff to pursue their pastimes and hobbies. Besides boasting a plethora of student societies, the University also has several sports complexes and other interesting places where people can meet and spend their free time. Research and teaching at Charles University is scattered over many different sites, complicating the life of the University as a cohesive academic community. However, leisure activities hold a powerful potential to overcome this obstacle. Shared interest in sports, cultural activities and sharing our knowledge and values with other people - these help to unite all members of the University, regardless of which faculty we belong to or what we are studying. They also reinforce the University’s key shared values: our commitment to a common cause, our sense of duty, and our strong sense of collegiality and community.
Dear alumni of Charles University,
Welcome to this site, which has been designed especially for you. You are the people who have chosen to make Charles University your alma mater, and it is you who have helped make us what we are today. The fact that you have already graduated (however long ago) does not mean that you have to break off all your ties with your alma mater. On the contrary – we would be very glad to keep in touch with you and continue to work together.
At Faculty of Arts, Department of Psychology, a new experimental laboratory PLESS (www.pless.cz) has been founded. Both students and other respondents can register into the database of participants and to be invited to various experiments (not only from area of cognitive and social psychology). There is a possibility of financial or material reward for the participation. Some interesting psychological phenomenon or research is always presented to participants at the end. Registration is possible at the page www.pless.cz/orsee. In case of questions please write an e-mail to .
Faculty of Law, Institute of Further Education of Lawyers JURIDIKUM organizes a seminar series on the New Civil Code in Practice for Translators - German Lenguage on Saturdays in November 2013. The course is intended for translators and for alumni of the Faculty of Law, or for other professionals which have to communicate the contents of the Civil Code in German Language. Applications submission deadline is October 25, 2013.
Faculty of Arts implements a project of "children's university" that is oriented to present a university milieu to the youngest generation as an inspiring place for getting know the world and for thinking. For more information see Hledá se Sofie (Looking for Sophia), and a programme of 2013/2014 winter semester lectures.
The joint project of Charles University and Czech Television Vzdělání po síti ("Education via Netowork") is going on. Thanks to this project, the recordings of anniversary celebration of Charles University foundation and 17 lectures spoked by leading experts of the University are available at the intermet portal ČT24 (www.ct24.cz).
Information and features about events at Charles University.
Nursery School (only in Czech)
For children of staff and doctoral students at Charles University.
Charles University Dormitories and Refectories offer accommodation (in Czech) for graduates!
Charles University was founded in 1348, making it one of the oldest universities in the world. Yet it is also renowned as a modern, dynamic, cosmopolitan and prestigious institution of higher education. It is the largest and most renowned Czech university, and is also the best-rated Czech university according to international rankings. There are currently 17 faculties at the University (14 in Prague, 2 in Hradec Králové and 1 in Plzeň), plus 3 institutes, 6 other centres of teaching, research, development and other creative activities, a centre providing information services, 5 facilities serving the whole University, and the Rectorate - which is the executive management body for the whole University.
The key priority of Charles University is to continue to enhance its prestigious status as a research university. To achieve this aim, the University focuses strongly on research activities. Charles University can boast a number of outstanding research teams which are involved in close collaboration with international research institutions. Students can also become involved in the University’s research work at each of the individual faculties. The University is the best-performing research institution in the Czech Republic; this is reflected in the analyses of research output carried out by the Czech Research, Development and Innovation Council. Having amassed almost half a million points for its research activities (according to the current national research assessment methods), Charles University is far ahead of the institution occupying second place.
For many years Charles University has been keen to incorporate the results of its research and development work into its teaching, and to ensure the greatest possible involvement of research staff and students in Czech and international projects. The success of the University’s research policy is reflected in rankings based on research achievement, which demonstrate that the University can compete strongly with many prestigious institutions outside the Czech Republic. Charles University staff have participated in a range of major international research projects – including the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) programme. The University’s world-class research teams include (to name but one) the internationally renowned Czech Institute of Egyptology.
The creativity of the University’s staff and students is reflected in a huge range of research and applied projects, as well as in valuable works of art and a wealth of publications. The University has more than 7,900 employees; of this number, almost 4,500 are academic and research staff.
Charles University has over 53,000 students - roughly a sixth of all students in the Czech Republic – enrolled in more than 300 accredited degree programmes that offer over 642 different courses. More than 20,000 students are studying in Bachelor’s degree programmes, almost 25,000 in Master’s programmes, and 8,000 in PhD programmes. The University has over 7,000 students from other countries. Every year, just under 9,000 students complete their studies; Charles University graduates enjoy one of the highest employment rates of any population segment in the Czech Republic. Every year a diverse range of lifelong learning courses are attended by more than 16,000 participants.
Charles University collaborates with a broad spectrum of renowned universities from all over the world, and one of its priorities is to enable every one of its students interested in studying abroad to spend some time in another country. International cooperation has significantly strengthened the University’s international profile; these international links have also supported the University’s efforts to achieve high standards of excellence in joint international research projects, its participation in many prestigious international organizations and university networks, and its active support for international student and academic staff mobility.
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings for 2011–2012 ranked Charles University in 305th place among its five hundred ranked universities, making it the only Czech university to feature in the top five hundred.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities - the “Shanghai League”, which every year compares more than 1,000 of the world’s best universities (selected from a total of over 17,000 institutions), has repeatedly included Charles University in the third hundred, i.e. among the 2 per cent top universities in the world and one of the 100 best universities in Europe.