The Bosnia and Herzegovina Higher Education System
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, higher education is governed by the Framework on Higher Education Law in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which was adopted in July 2007. The Law defines the basic principles and standards for tertiary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The tertiary education activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina are subjects to cantonal (in the Federation of B&H) or national (Republic Srpska) laws upon tertiary education.
Higher education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is offered by public and private higher education institutions-universities (Univerzitet), academies (Akademija), and colleges (visoka skola).
Main Laws Regulating Tertiary Education in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Law: Higher Education Law and Public Institutions of Zeničko-dobojski kanton Law
Law: Higher Education Law of Hercegbosanska zupanija
Law: Higher Education Law of Kanton Sarajevo and 22/05 Amendment
Law: Higher Education Law of Posavka zupanija
Law: University (Republic Srpska) Law and 12/93; 14/94; 99/04 Amendments
Law: Higher Education Law of Tuzlanski kanton and Amendements 15/0; 5/05
Law: Law on Higher Education of Zapadno-hercegovačka zupanija
Law: University of Bihać - Sanski Kanton Law
Higher Education Institutions
In Bosnia and Herzegovina, higher education is offered by following types of higher education institutions:
- Universities (Univerzitet): Universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina provide academic degrees at all 3 degree levels-undergraduate, master and doctorate.
- Academies (Akademija)
- Colleges (visoka skola): This type of higher education institution offers degrees and diplomas of the first degree level, i.e. undergraduate level.
To get the list of higher education institutions in Bosnia and Herzegovina, click here.
Higher Education Qualifications
First Level: Undergraduate
Admission requisite: Students must have completed secondary education in order to gain admittance to the undergraduate degree programme.
- Duration: 4 to 6 years
- ECTS: 180 and 240 ECTS (For medical sciences-360 credit points)
- Title awarded: Bachelor of Arts or bachelor of Science
Study programmes in the following fields are of 4 years duration: Agriculture, humanities, law, natural and social sciences, fine arts, and pharmacy.
Study programmes in technical sciences, engineering areas, applied technology, architecture and veterinary medicine last for 5 years.
Study programmes in dentistry and medicine last for 6 years.
Second Level: Postgraduate-Master’s Degree
The master’s studies require completion of research, coursework, preparation and defense of a master’s thesis.
- Duration: 1 to 2 years
- ECTS: 60 to 120 credit points
- Title awarded: Masters of Science or Arts
Third Level: Doctoral Degree/PhD
Admission to the doctorate studies in Bosnia and Herzegovina is based on the completion of Master’s degree. Students are required to complete an original research.
- Duration: 3 years
- ECTS: 180 credits
- Title awarded: Doctor of Science or Doctor of Arts (Doktor nauka)
Postgraduate Specialist Courses
Universities in Bosnia and Herzegovina also provide postgraduate specialist programmes in certain specialized disciplines, such as medicine.
Admission to tertiary education in Bosnia and Herzegovina is based on a secondary education diploma and passing of an entrance examination. Pupils who hold a vocational secondary education diploma are also eligible, but are limited to study in areas related to their vocational specializations.
General Admission Requirements
- For admission to the undergraduate degree programme, students must hold a certification of Matura examination.
- For admission to the master’s degree, students must hold an undergraduate degree.
- For admission to the doctoral degree, students must hold a master’s degree in related field or its equivalent.
Students must apply directly to the University of their Choice. Fill in the application form and submit along with the required documents:
- Educational certificates/diplomas
- Matura certificate
- Proof of sufficient financial resources
- A valid copy of passport and photographs
- Recommendation letter
- Research proposal (for doctoral degree programme)
Additional examination may be conducted by the higher education institution in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Contact the respective higher education institution of Bosnia and Herzegovina to know more about the admission procedure and requirements.