Prague in Depth: Education - Higher Education

Get to know the Czech education system

Prague has been renowned for its higher education since 1348 when Karel IV (Charles IV) opened Central Europe's first university, and the country has remained committed to a tradition of high-quality education since then.

PS -- Universities and higher educational institutions refer to their various departments as "faculties," which are often spread out around the city. In Prague, for instance, Univerzita Karlova's (Charles University's) theology faculty is located near the Rudolfinum in Prague 1, while the humanities faculty is in Prague 5, the medical faculties are in Prague 2, Prague 5 and Prague 10...

As well as a university education, Czech students have several other further education options comparable to colleges or institutes in the US.

These include private colleges and other specialized higher education institutions. They mainly offer bachelor's programs, but may also provide master's programs and carry out scholarly research, or other developmental, artistic or creative activities.

One example is the Akademie múzických umění v Praze (AMU; Academy of Performing Arts in Prague), whose tertiary education programs are as well respected as those of any Czech university.

AMU's three main faculties are DAMU, FAMU and HAMU, each of which also provides programs for foreign students.

Divadelní fakulta Akademie múzických umění (DAMU)
(Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts)

DAMU offers a wide range of theatre programs, taught by departments dedicated to dramatic theatre, alternative and puppet theatre, stage design, arts management, drama in education, authorship and pedagogy (acting), and theory and criticism. The courses offered include bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs and some classes are available to foreign students.

Filmová a televizní fakulta Akademie múzických umění (FAMU)
(Film and Television Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts)

Concentrated on directing, screenwriting and cinematography, FAMU offers both bachelor's (six terms) and master's (10 terms) programs. Because it's the Czech Republic's only publicly funded film academy, FAMU's alumni include many of the country's most influential screen professionals, among them Miloš Forman and Jiří Menzel. There's also a one-year program specifically for international students, taught in English.

Hudební fakulta Akademie múzických umění (HAMU)
(Music Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts

HAMU teaches a variety of music-related disciplines, including composition, conducting, theory, history, production and the study of a particular musical instrument, plus several dance courses. Foreign students who wish to study tuition-free, as Czechs do, must pass their entrance exams in Czech. HAMU offers bachelor's, master's and doctoral programs, as well as short-term study programs.

Other higher-education institutes include:

Akademie vytvarnych umění (AVU; Academy of Fine Arts)
Established in 1799, AVU's Czech-language master's and doctoral programs include courses in painting, drawing and printmaking, sculpture, intermedia studies, new media, restoration of artworks, and architecture.

Collegium Hieronymi Pragensis
A liberal arts college named after the Czech medieval philosopher, preacher and religious reformer Jeroným Pražský (Jerome of Prague).

Pražská konzervatoř (Prague Conservatory)
Established more than 200 years ago, the Prague Conservatory has long been one of the world's most respected music schools and, as a result, is highly selective about which students it accepts. Many of the country's most renowned musicians studied or taught here, including the composers Antonín Dvořák and Bohuslav Martinů. For foreign students who pass the entrance exam and also speak adequate Czech, tuitition is free throughout the entire six-year curriculum. Foreign students without the necessary Czech-language skills can enroll in one of the English-language "special studies" programs.

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