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Charles University Faculty of Arts

Charles University Faculty of Arts

Charles University Faculty of Arts


“Since the beginning of my studies, I made it my principle that whenever I find a more correct opinion, I will immediately abandon my own, less correct opinion and joyfully embrace the opinion which is more justified, knowing that all we know is merely an infinitesimal fragment of what we do not know.”

Jan Hus, philosopher and Church reformer, an alumnus of the Faculty of Arts

The Faculty of Arts at Charles University is currently one of the largest and most important research and educational institutions in the arts and humanities in Central Europe. The Faculty was founded in 1348 by the Czech king and later Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV who established it as one of the four faculties of the Prague university, later named after him Charles University – the oldest university in Central Europe east of France and north of the Alps. Ever since it has been the intellectual center of the Czech lands: alumni of the Faculty, their deeds, and ideas, have been shaping the Czech society and culture and at the crucial moments of Czech history, the Faculty of Arts has always been at the very heart of the events.

Did you know that…

… the Department of Egyptian Studies has been working in Egypt for the last fifty years and has made significant discoveries? Their discovery of the tomb of an unknown Egyptian queen in Abusir in autumn 2014 was voted one of the 10 greatest archaeological finds in 2014.

… in 2014, Professor Tomáš Halík was awarded the prestigious Templeton Prize, given to people who “made an exceptional contribution to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”?

… Professor Martin Hilský translated the complete works of William Shakespeare into Czech?


The Faculty of Arts was founded as one of the four original faculties of Charles University – the oldest institution of higher learning in Central Europe – by the issue of the Foundation Charter on 7 April 1348. Charles IV, in pursuit of his state and dynastic policy, strove to establish the Kingdom of Bohemia as the center of the Holy Roman Empire. His plan was to concentrate scholars from home and abroad in Prague, which became his residential city and thus bolster the base of his power. In pre-Hussite times, two-thirds of all students of the university were students of the Artistic Faculty where they acquired the knowledge needed to be able to study at the other three faculties (theology, medicine, law). One of the privileges enjoyed by the faculty was the right to confer master’s and doctoral degrees which entitled their bearers to teach at any European university.

During the two centuries following the Hussite wars, the Faculty of Liberal Arts was the heart of the whole university. Since the seventeenth century, it was called the Philosophical Faculty. From the beginning until the mid-nineteenth century, it served as a faculty whose program was designed to provide preparatory higher education for the future students of the other faculties. From the eighteenth century onwards, the number of academic disciplines started to increase: besides philosophy, it was possible to study aesthetics, mathematics, astronomy, natural sciences, engineering, economics, education, and history. In the nineteenth century, apart from oriental studies, archaeology, and religious studies, significant developments took place in the realm of philology, and degrees in Czech, Italian, French, English, and Hebrew were introduced. After the reforms of 1849–1850, the faculty was liberated from its propaedeutic function and acquired an equal with the other faculties. In 1897, women were allowed to study at the Philosophical Faculty.

The Faculty retained its significance in the Czech lands even after the division of the Prague University into a Czech part and a German part in 1882. During the so-called First Czechoslovak Republic (1918–1938), the life of the university was shaped especially by the secession of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in 1920 and by the acquisition of a new building on the Vltava embankment – the one where you still find most of the departments and lecture halls. The closure of the Faculty by the Nazi occupation in 1939 was followed by brutal persecution of both teachers and students. The productive, enthusiastic years after the end of the Second World War came to a violent end in 1948 with the communist coup d’ état and the following forty years of the communist regime. The forced departure of dozens of outstanding teachers and the introduction of Marxist-Leninist subjects resulted in the rapid decline of research and teaching. Hopes for a widespread social change in the LATE 1960s, the so-called “Prague Spring” during which the Faculty started to invite back significant personalities of that time, such as the philosopher Jan Patočka, were crushed by the Soviet invasion in August 1968. In January 1969, Jan Palach, a student of the Faculty, committed suicide by self-immolation in political protest. The square where the main building is located and the Faculty of Arts central library bear his name. After the fall of the communist regime and the departure of its compromised followers in 1989, the Faculty established itself once again as one of the most prestigious institutions in the humanities both in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe.


Study at the Faculty of Arts

In compliance with the Bologna system, the Faculty of Arts currently offers bachelor’s degrees (3 years, BA), master’s degrees (2 years, MA) and doctoral degrees (3-8 years, Ph.D.). These degrees are internationally recognised and respected, as Charles University is among the top 2% of world’s Universities.

The individual types of degree programmes are designated for:

  • applicants for a bachelor’s degree programme who have completed their higher secondary education and achieved the final secondary school certificate – maturita;
  • applicants for a following two-year master’s degree programme who have achieved their bachelor’s degrees, and
  • applicants for PhD degree programmes who have achieved their master’s degrees.

If the required education level has been achieved elsewhere than in the Czech or Slovak Republics, the applicants, if accepted, must submit a document proving the equivalence of their certificates (nostrification); without such proof, the applicant cannot be enrolled.

Certian programmes are available both as single subject and combinable with a second subject, while others can only be studied in combination.

For most of the bachelor’s and master’s programmes, subjects are taught and examinations taken in Czech. Nevertheless, a growing number of departments is offering courses in English and other major languages (for some, it has been the rule for many years) and for the doctoral programmes, depending on the subject, knowledge of Czech may not be a prerequisite.

The Institute for Language and Preparatory Studies and The Institute of Czech Studies offer a large selection of Czech courses.


An Open Day is held in the main Faculty building every January, usually on the second Saturday of the month, providing applicants with an opportunity to hear more detailed information from representatives of the individual subject areas both on entrance exam requirements, and on the actual courses and graduate career options. The Open Day timetable is announced not later than December of the preceding year.

The deadline for submitting applications is usually 28th February for bachelor’s, 31st March for following two-year master’s degree programmes, and 30th April for PhD degree programmes. The applications are submitted electronically using the online application system of the University. A non-reimbursable administrative fee is charged for the application; the payment receipt slip is always attached to the application. With the exception of requests for waiver of a part of the entrance exam or of the whole exam, or requests for a modification of the entrance exam due the special needs of the applicant (in both cases a good cause must be shown and supported by relevant documents), the applications for bachelor’s and master’s degree programmes do not contain any other attached document. Applications for doctoral degree programmes must contain an attached C.V., dissertation project including bibliography and a professional resume (publishing and research activity etc.).


Entrance exams take place through the months of May and June; each applicant will receive an invitation not later than 28 days before the date of the exam. The entrance exam can be a sing-round exam (written or oral) or two rounds (written and oral); the entrance exam for doctoral degree programmes is only one round – oral. The decision on acceptance or non-acceptance is delivered to applicants personally by mail, usually by the end of July. Information on entrance proceedings (exam dates and results) is also available on the web.

Together with the admission decision the accepted applicants will receive information concerning enrolment.

An application for review of the non-admission decision may be submitted in the case when the applicant has not been accepted. The review proceedings will investigate whether the Dean’s decision has been issued in accordance with the relevant rules; the Dean or Rector may change the decision only if it has been issued in violation of the rules and terms, not however in the case when an insufficient number of accepted applicants enrol for a course.

The entrance requirements are defined for each academic year and that is accessible to the public; the requirements specify the manner of submitting applications, the administrative fees, the conditions that have to be met for acceptance, the fields of study open in the particular year and the content and form of the entrance exams. The requirements may be further specified by provisions announced by the Dean (the organisation and execution of the entrance exam, arrangements allowing applicants to see their marked tests etc.).

If you need more information on admission procedures for bachelor’s, following master’s and PhD degree programmes and subjects, feel free to contact the relevant admissions officer or the constituent part of the Faculty that provides the courses in the relevant subject.


Applicants accepted into courses have the right to enrol within the stipulated dates; enrolment takes place during the month of September. The students will receive a study record passport (“index”) serving as a proof of attestations passed during the course of their studies; another important document is the student identity card. Following enrolment, the student registers electronically at the beginning of each semester for individual subjects (see CU Information System). At the end of every phase of the course (year of study), the fulfilment of study obligations (credit points) is checked by the office for undergraduate, postgraduate and doctoral studies; enrolment into the second and further year of the course can also be done electronically.

Study within the individual bachelor and master subject areas is implemented also through study plans, which define the mandatory and mandatorily electable subjects for the relevant study plan; normally, electable subjects account for 10% of the study plan. The study plan allocates the teaching time for the individual subjects in the study plan (the scope dedicated to the subject during the course of study), the attestation/s and number of credits awarded for successful attendance of the subject; it may also stipulate the mutual requirements, co-requirements and incompatibility of individual subjects included in the study plan. In the case when a student studies two subject areas (two majors), the student follows the two study plans (one for each field); the number of credits is divided equally between the two fields.

The recommended study plan of the specific field of study stipulates the best possible passage through the course, enabling the student to complete his/her course within the standard time of study

Every semester, a teaching timetable is adopted in accordance with the recommended study plan and posted not later than two weeks before the start of the semester on the relevant web pages of the individual constituent parts of the Faculty that teach the respective discipline; it is also available now in the information system.

Students studying under a combined regime have the same rights and duties as full-time students. The same study plan applies to them with the exception of physical education (in the bachelor’s degree programme). Most departments and institutes offering a combined regime of study hold informational meetings at the start of the academic year where the students are informed about the requirements, organisation and actual manner of execution of the combined form of study.

Study under doctoral degree programmes is governed by individual study plans under the guidance of a supervisor. Besides containing a list of specific study duties of the individual student, the individual study plan also stipulates the exact dates by which these have to be met; there is normally no regular timetable of lessons, with the exception of doctoral seminars. The course of study is monitored and assessed on a continuous basis by the subject area board; periodic evaluation takes place once a year, in September.

The Academic Year

The academic year is divided into two semesters, winter and summer, followed by a five-week examination period; July and August are holiday months, and the examination period continues in September. Besides continuous attestations, the examination period is the time of the final “State” exams.

The Information System (IS)

The Information System (IS) is an integral part of study the Faculty. Electronic registration of subjects in the Study Information System (SIS) is obligatory for all students enrolled from 2003/2004 onwards in bachelor’s, following master’s and doctoral degree programmes including foreign students studying under exchange programmes; students use the Information System to enlist for attestations; students enrolled in the academic year 2006/2007 and later use the SIS to register for all the succeeding academic years, with the exception of the first year.


On graduation, students who have completed studies in their field in the regular manner receive a Diploma and Annex to the Diploma containing information on the completed degree programme and field of study, including excerpts of all the subjects the student had studied.


Internal students whose time of study has not exceeded the standard time allocated for the degree programme by more than one year may receive, during their studies, the following types of scholarships:

  • Scholarship for excellent study results;
  • Single-purpose scholarship: (i) for outstanding scientific, research, development, sport, artistic or other creative achievement, (ii) in the case of extraordinary personal circumstances, (iii) in support of study abroad or to allow work practice on the territory of the CR, or (iv) in case of an exceptionally worthy cause;
  • PhD scholarship awarded automatically to all full-time doctoral students for a period of not more than 3 years; it is paid out monthly;
  • Accommodation allowance;
  • Student support.

The single-purpose scholarship must be endorsed by the Dean on the basis of an agreement reached by the Faculty Bursary. The accommodation allowance and student support is awarded by the Rector on the basis of an assessment of the social circumstances of the applying student.

Immatriculations and Graduation Ceremonies

The tradition of immatriculations and graduation ceremonies is one of the centuries-old transition rituals observed by Charles University. Immatriculation is a solemn event during which the student is entered into the Faculty register (“immatriculated”) on taking an oath of observance of study obligations and ethical commitment to the school, its rules and the decisions of its academic dignitaries. Immatriculations usually take place in October and are designated for students only.

Graduation is a solemn farewell ceremony dedicated to graduates who have succeeded in completing their studies; the graduates take an academic oath in Latin and receive a diploma entitling them to use the relevant academic; the diploma is presented by the Dean or one of the Vice-Deans. Unlike immatriculation, graduation ceremonies are attended by family and friends and take place thrice a year (following the dates of final exams); PhD ceremonies take place twice a year, in March and October.

Both ceremonies are usually held in the Large Aula of the Carolinum (with the exception of bachelor graduations that take place in the aula of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in the Lesser Town Square [Malostranské náměstí]); university and faculty insignia – mace and chains of office – and ceremonial gowns are worn by the attending academic dignitaries.

Scholarships and Funding

Offers of Grants and Scholarships

This page gives important information on the procedure for grant applications and details of how to register Charles University in relevant databases.

Applications for International grants – Charles University Registration Details

  • Ensure you always enter the correct official details of Charles University in relevant databases. The address should always be that of the University: Ovocný trh 3/5, 116 36 Praha 1; it is NOT the address of your faculty or institute. The same details must be given in all international applications, regardless of whether the agency is situated within or outside the EU and regardless of whether the grant is funded via an EU programme or not.

  • Please do not register yourself in any database as an employee of Charles University without informing the Research Department at the Rectorate; by doing so you will probably make it impossible for other applicants at the University to register their own grant applications.

  • If (e.g. due to time pressure) you are forced to register Charles University with an agency, please inform the Research Department at the Rectorate of this fact without delay.

Applications for Grants from the USA

If you encounter any of the acronyms given below when completing an application for a grant from an agency based in the United States, please give the following details for Charles University:

Note: If it is not set otherwise the overheads are counted as a flat rate 20%.

DUNS number


“Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number“



NATO Codification System - NATO Commercial and Government Entity Code


System for Award Management

registration pending


IPF (IPC) Code


Charles university is registered with NIH eRA Commons

Charles University is registered




Marketing Partner Identification Number


611310 (Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools)

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS)

International Visegrad Fund

The International Visegrad Fund (IVF) was established on 9 June 2000. Its member states (collectively known as the ‘V4’) are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The Fund’s supreme bodies are the Conference of Ministers of Foreign Affairs and the Council of Ambassadors. Responsibility for day-to-day operations rests with the Executive Director, who is based at the Fund’s head office in Bratislava. The Fund’s official language is English. The purpose of the International Visegrad Fund is to contribute to close cooperation among member states and to strengthen links in culture, research, education, youth exchanges, tourism and cross-border cooperation. The Fund’s budget is made up of four equal annual contributions, one from each member state.

International Visegrad Fund Programmes

Small Grants:

  • Small grants support cooperation projects involving entities from the V4 countries (culture, research, education, youth exchanges, cross-border cooperation and tourism);

  • The deadlines for submitting applications are 1 March, 1 June, 1 September and 1 December each year;

  • The maximum sum allocated to any project is 4000 EUR (the IVF’s contribution cannot exceed 50 % of the total project implementation costs) and the grant is provided for a maximum of 6 months (though the implementation phase may last longer).

Standard Grants:

  • Standard grants support cooperation projects involving entities from the V4 countries in the same fields as small grants, but each project is allocated over 4000 EUR and the project implementation period is 12 months (the IVF’s contribution cannot exceed 50 % of the total project implementation costs);

  • The deadlines for submitting applications are 1 March and 1 September each year.

Visegrad University Studies Grant:

  • This grant is designed to support the creation of new courses or degree programmes related to issues affecting the V4 countries.

Visegrad Strategic Programme - Strategic Grants:

  • Strategic grants support major long-term strategic projects involving institutions from all four Visegrad countries;

  • The projects must be focused on the priorities set for the given year;

  • The deadlines for submitting applications are 15 February and 15 May each year;

  • The grants are provided for a maximum of 3 years (each project is typically allocated around 50 000 EUR); as with the other types, the IVF’s contribution cannot exceed 50 % of the total project implementation costs.

Visegrad Scholarships:

Visegrad Scholarships support students of Master’s degree programmes and those involved in post-Master’s studies or research for a period of 1 – 4 semesters at all accredited public or private universities or accredited units of Academies of Sciences in the V4 countries (or other countries – see below). The deadline for submitting scholarship applications is once a year (31 January).

Types of scholarships:

  • In-coming scholarships for applicants from Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia/FYROM, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine, enabling applicants to study at a V4 university. The same rules apply to applicants from Kosovo;

  • Intra-Visegrad scholarships, provided to applicants from V4 countries wishing to study or pursue research in another V4 country;

  • Out-going scholarships, provided to applicants from V4 countries wishing to study or pursue research in any of these countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Georgia, Macedonia/FYROM, Montenegro, the Russian Federation, Serbia and Ukraine, enabling applicants to study at a V4 university. The same rules apply to applicants from Kosovo.

Visegrad Artist Residency Programme:

Artists who are citizens of the V4 countries can apply for grants to implement artistic projects in a V4 country (except their country of permanent residence). The residency grant is provided for 3 months. Each applicant must find a receiving organization in the V4 country in which he/she wishes to implement the project; a letter of invitation must be provided.

Detailed information on these grants and scholarships, including scholarship application forms, can be found on the website of the International Visegrad Fund together with more information on the Visegrad Group.

European Commission Grant Programmes

ESPON – European Observation Network, Territorial Development and Cohesion - Information for Czech applicants can be found here

CIP – Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (DG Enterprise)

European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT)

The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) – Lifelong Learning Programme, Erasmus Mundus Programme, Tempus Programme, etc.

Life+ (DG Environment)

Marco Polo (DG Transport & Energy)

Public health (DG Health & Consumer Protection)

Joint Research Centre - JRC

EuropeAid – Development aid projects

European Science Foundation

COST – European Cooperation in Science and Technology - Czech Ministry of Education website on the COST programme

EUREKA – Cooperation in applied and industrial research

EIROforum – Cooperation among inter-governmental research organizations

European Defence Agency - EDA obranná agentura

European Space Agency - ESA

Human Frontier Science Programme – Funding basic research in life sciences (G7, Australia, Korea)

Science for Peace & Security Program (NATO)

Norway / EEA Financial Mechanisms

Technology platforms

Research Fund for Coal and Steel (DG Research)

Digital Content (DG Information & Communication)


  • Prague

    Faculty of Arts Charles University in Prague Jan Palach Square 2 116 38 Prague 1, , Prague


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