Education System in Bulgaria


 EducationSchool/LevelGradesAgeYearsNotes
PrimaryBasic First Stage1–47–104Grade IV Leaving Certificate - Natchalno utchilischte
SecondaryBasic Second Stage5–810–144Progimnazialno utchilichte
SecondaryProfilirani Gimnazii (form IX to XII - Vocational Secondary)9–1215–194 
SecondaryProfessionalni gimnazii I/ili technikumil (Vocational Secondary Education)15–194Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification.
SecondaryProfessionalni utchilichta (Vocational Secondary)15–194Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education) and Certificate of Professional Qualification
SecondarySecondary Education9–1214–194Gimnazii - Diploma za Zavurcheno Sredno Obrazovanie (Diploma of Completed Secondary Education)
Post-secondaryTechnical/Vocational School3Non university-level post-secondary education generally consists of a 3-year course of study after completion of secondary education and leads to the qualification of Specialist in different fields.
TertiaryBachelor4Bakalavr: University level first stage
TertiaryMaster5–6Magistr - 5/6 years: University level second stage
TertiaryDoctorate3–6Doktor: Obtained on the basis of individual research and after the defense of a thesis - University Level Third Stage
TertiaryTraining of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers4Professional qualification of teacher
TertiaryTraining of secondary school teachers4University or some Academies of Arts with special training in teaching

Primary Education

In Bulgaria, education is compulsory between ages 7 to 16 and free in state owned schools. The ministry of education has prescribed an evolving academic curriculum throughout, consisting of Bulgarian (language and literature), foreign languages, information technologies, maths, natural sciences, social sciences & civics, physical education and sport. Children must attend a one-year pre-school program before embarking on 4 years of primary school.

Middle Education

The final 4 years of elementary education take place at junior high school, where a certificate of elementary education must be obtained before proceeding further at any Bulgarian school.

Secondary Education

There are two secondary education alternatives, namely comprehensive high schools and vocational schools. Pupils must remain at least until age 16. When graduating from the former they must take examinations in Bulgarian, and another subject of their choice.

Vocational Education

Vocational training outside the school system suffers from a high degree of centralization but is currently being reformed. Primary impediments include the absence of an integrated framework, and the capacity of an institutionalized system.

Tertiary Education

Bulgaria EducationHigher education facilities include specialized higher schools, colleges and universities. At universities, undergraduate programs take at least 4 years to complete, and may be complemented by masters degrees and even doctorates. The oldest university was founded in 1888 and is known fully as the Saint Clement of Ohrid University of Sofia.


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