Education System in Poland

PrimaryPrimary School (Szkoła Podstawowa)7–136Duration of compulsory education: from age 6 to 18
MiddleGymnasium (Gimnazjum)7–913–163Świadectwo ukończenia gimnazjum (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Gymnasium)
Middle Basic Vocational School (Zasadnicza Szkoła Zawodowa)16–182Świadectwo ukończenia szkoły zasadniczej (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Basic Vocational School)
SecondaryTechnical Secondary School (Technikum)16–204Świadectwo dojrzalości technikum (Maturity Certificate of the Technical Secondary School) or świadectwo ukończenia technikum (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Technical Secondary School)
SecondaryGeneral Lyceum (Liceum Ogólnokształcące)10–1216–193Świadectwo dojrzalości liceum ogólnokształcącego (Maturity Cetificate of the General Lyceum) or świadectwo ukończenia liceum ogólnokształcącego (Certificate of Completion of Education in the General Lyceum)
SecondarySpecialized Lyceum (Liceum Profilowane)16–193Świadectwo dojrzałości liceum profilowanego (Maturity Certificate of the Specialized Lyceum) or świadectwo ukończenia liceum profilowanego (Certificate of Completion of Education in the Specialized Lyceum)
Post-secondarySzkoły policealne 2Dyplom uzyskania tytułu zawodowego (vocational title diploma) (from 1 to 2.5 years)
Post-secondarySzkoły pomaturalne3Dyplom ukończenia szkoły pomaturalnej (diploma of completion of education in the post-secondary school) (nurses and midwives - 2.5 years)
TertiaryUniversity First-Level (Licentiate)13–153The graduates are awarded the professional title of licencjat (after 3 years of study) or inżynier (after 3.4 or 5 years of study) following a thesis or diploma project.
TertiaryUniversity Second-Level (Magister)16–172Master's-level courses, 5-6 years total or 1.5 - 2 years complementary
TertiaryUniversity Third-Level (Doctorate)18–203Doktor's degree, 3-4 years of graduate study or combination of professional work with academic research and the elaboration of a dissertation
TertiaryDoktor habilitowanyAwarded to candidates who already hold the degree of doktor. can be obtained either by academic staff of higher education institutions and research units, or by persons who combine their research work with other professional activities. The holder of this degree eligible for the academic post of professor at higher education institutions and can be awarded the academic title of professor conferred by the President of the Republic of Poland.

Primary Education

1 year of preschool education to stimulate primary reading skills and mathematics is compulsory. Thereafter children move on to primary school from ages 7 to 12. The first cycle of grades 1 – 3 are beginner phases (with a single teacher), while grades 4 – 6  introduce systemic learning. Subjects include art and music, crafts and technology, Polish, mathematics, .social and natural environment and physical education. Primary and secondary education are free.

Secondary Education

There are 2 streams in secondary education. General schools provide an education designed to dock with university programs. Vocational schools produce qualified workers while also providing general education.

Vocational Education

Should they wish to, students at vocational schools may proceed to post-secondary schools where they are trained as accountants , administrators,  computer specialists, nurses and librarians, to mention but a few.

Tertiary Education

Poland EducationPolish tertiary institutions include universities, economic and agricultural academies, and polytechnics. Warsaw is the primary academic centre in Poland and consequently attracts the largest number of academics.


Poland has a tertiary education tradition that dates back for centuries. The oldest university is the Academy of Kraków founded 1364, and there are 18 more besides. There are also numerous technical, medical and agricultural universities, not to mention subject-specific colleges for teaching, music, theological, economic and maritime skills.

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