Higher Education System of Serbia

The Ministry of Education, Science and Technological Development of the Republic of Serbia is responsible for the higher education in Serbia. The National Council of Higher Education (NCHE) handles the matters related to the higher education system of Serbia.

Serbia has been a member of the Bologna Process since 2003. It had undergone a transformation, thus obtained a legal support in 2005 with the implementation of a new Law on Higher Education. This law started the European Credit Transfer System, diploma supplement and 3-study cycle system. 

Higher education in Serbia comprise of 2 types of studies:
  • Academic studies: These are organized at the Serbian universities
  • Vocational/applied profession-oriented studies: These are organized either at universities or at colleges of applied studies in Serbia.

Higher Education Qualifications

Academic Studies

Academic studies in Serbia have a 3-cycle system:

First Cycle: Basic Academic Studies

Bachelor’s studies: This degree programme lasts for 3 to 4 years.
  • ECTS 180 to 240 credits

Second Cycle: 

Master studies: This study last for 1 to 2 years
  • ECTS: 60 to 120 
Specialist academic studies: This study last for 1 year.
  • ECTS: 60 credits

Integrated Studies

Integrated studies comprise of medical science studies. It covers the studies of veterinary medicine, dentistry and medicine.
  • Duration: 6 years
  • ECTS: At least 300
Also, integrated pharmacy studies have been started and it carries 300 ECTS credits.

Third Cycle: Doctoral Studies (PhD)

This study last for at least 3 years 
  • ECTS: 180 credits

Vocational/Applied Studies

Vocational/applied studies consist of 2 levels:

Basic Applied Studies

This study requires 3 years of full-time study
  • ECTS: 180 credits

Specialized Applied Studies

This study requires 1 year of full-time study.
  • ECTS: 60 credits

Higher Education Institutions

In Serbia, there are both state and private higher education institutions. Following are the types of higher education institutions in Serbia:

Universities (univerzitet): These are independent institutions of higher education that provide a wide range of courses at all study levels-bachelor, master and doctoral levels.

Also, there are faculties and art academies, but they are a constituent part of the universities in Serbia.
  • Faculties: These are the members of the universities in Serbia and offer many study programmes.  
  • Academies of Arts: These are also the constituent part of the universities in Serbia and offer study programmes in the field of arts. 
Colleges: These are independent institutions of higher education that provide basic, specialist and master’s degree programmes. There are 2 types of colleges in Serbia:
  • Colleges of applied sciences (visoka skola strukovnih studija)
  • Colleges of academic studies (visoka skola akademskih studija)

Admission Requirements

In order to gain admittance into the first cycle of higher education, students must have completed 4-year secondary education and passed an entrance examination.  To enter the Master’s degree programme, students must have completed bachelor studies, and for doctoral degree programme students must have finished master’s studies. 

Admission requirements vary depending on the study programme, level and institution. To get detailed information on the higher education admission requirements and procedure, click here.

Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance (CAQA)

The Commission for Accreditation and Quality Assurance was established by the National Council of Higher Education to carry out the accreditation and quality assurance of the institutions of higher learning in Serbia.
The commission is also responsible for the accreditation of the academic programmes. For details click here.
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