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Study in Croatia

The university has a long tradition in Croatia - the first university was established in Zadar in 1396 and beginnings of Zagreb University date back to 1669, when King Leopold promoted the Zagreb Jesuit Academy to the level of a university. Today, Zagreb University is the largest university in the country and there are also universities in Dubrovnik, Pula, Rijeka, Osijek, Split and Zadar, and a Catholic University in Zagreb.


Why study in Croatia?

1. A range of public and private institutions

Today, the Croatian higher education system encompasses 122 accredited institutions of higher education including 90 public and 32 private. Apart from research oriented universities, in the Croatian education system there are also polytechnics and colleges offering professional programmes. You can find a list of all the accredited higher education institutions here.


2. An international education and programmes in English

Croatian higher education is becoming increasing internationalised with quite a few programmes delivered in foreign languages, the majority of those being delivered in English. Most Croatian higher education institutions have a significant number of bilateral agreements with foreign higher education institutions which support various forms of international cooperation (student and faculty exchange, joint research projects, joint organisation of courses, etc.).


3. Scholarships for overseas students

here are a number of scholarships available to international students through bilateral programmes administered by the Croatian Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, through university bilateral agreements, through programmes such as CEEPUS, Erasmus Mundus as well as through the Erasmus programme managed by the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes.


The higher education system

Study programmes have been aligned with the Bologna structure since 2005. The Croatian higher education system is now structured according to three cycles (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate), and all students graduating in Croatia receive ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits and are entitled to diploma supplements. This makes it easier for international students to study in Croatia and get recognition for study period at their home country.

Croatia has a binary higher education system meaning there is research-oriented and profession-oriented education.

• University studies consisting of academic programmes that are conducted solely at universities

  • • Professional studies consisting of professional programmes conducted at polytechnics or colleges of applied sciences.


University studies

University study programmes qualify students to work in science and higher education, focus on theoretical aspects of the field of study and prepare students for undertaking independent research in the public and private sector.

The programmes have three levels: undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate. Undergraduate programmes normally last three (180 ECTS) to four (240 ECTS) years. Upon completion, students are awarded an academic title of Bachelor (prvostupnik) with reference to a specialisation.

Graduate programmes normally last one (60 ECTS) to two (120 ECTS) years. The total number of credits earned after completing both undergraduate and graduate studies is at least 300 ECTS. Upon completion of both undergraduate and graduate studies, students are awarded an academic title of Master (magistar struke) with reference to a specialisation.

Postgraduate university studies are divided into specialist and doctoral studies. Specialist studies last for one to two years. Upon completion, the student is awarded the title of University Specialist with reference to a specialisation (univ. spec.). Doctoral studies last three years (180 ECTS). Upon completion of doctoral study, the academic title of Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts is awarded (dr. sc. or dr. art.).


Professional studies

Professional study programmes prepare students for particular professions and tend to be more practically-oriented. Professional study programmes are split into: short professional studies, undergraduate professional studies, and specialist graduate professional studies.

Short professional studies last one (60 ECTS) to two (120 ECTS) years. Upon completion, students are awarded a professional title of stručni pristupnik/pristupnica with reference to a specialisation.

Undergraduate professional studies last three (exceptionally four) years and students earn 180-240 ECTS credits. Upon completion of professional studies students are awarded a professional title of stručni pristupnik/pristupnica with a reference to a specialisation.

Specialist professional graduate studies last one to two years and students can earn 60-120 ECTS credits. Upon completion, students are awarded a title of a specialist of the respective profession. The total number of credits earned after completing both undergraduate and graduate professional studies is at least 300 ECTS.


Enrolment criteria

Higher education institutions determine the enrolment criteria, these usually consist of: educational qualifications (type of completed education), achievements from previous education (grades obtained), and results of the National State School Leaving Exam (State matura) exams (or equivalent). For exchange programmes, the selection criteria are not usually based on students’ educational qualifications and grades, but on the applicants’ motivation, usually assessed through a candidate’s application form, motivation letter and an interview.


Useful links

The list of study programmes in foreign languages and general information on admission is available at, a portal specifically geared for foreign students. List of accredited higher education institutions:






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