Higher education system


Studies at higher education institutions in Lithuania can be of two types: non-university and university studies.

Non-university studies are one-level (undergraduate) professional studies intended for preparation for a professional activity. These studies provide opportunities to acquire professional qualifications on the basis of applied research activities. Beginning from January 1, 2007 some colleges acquired the right to confer a profesinis bakalauras (Professional Bachelor's) degree.

University studies are organized in three cycles:

1st cycle (undergraduate) studies lead to a bakalauras (Bachelor) degree and/or professional qualification and give access to 2nd cycle studies.

2nd cycle (graduate) studies lead to a magistras (Master) degree or to magistras (Master) degree combined with and a professional qualification and give access to 3rd cycle studies.

After full completion of another type of graduate studies - specialized professional studies - a professional qualification is obtained without the right to enter university 3rd cycle studies.

Three different types of 3rd cycle (postgraduate) studies are available: doktorantūra (doctoral studies) - studies leading to a research degree (not more than 4 years nominal duration); rezidentūra (residency) - studies of Medicine, Odontology, and Veterinary Medicine to prepare specialists for practical activities and leading to a professional qualification (3-6 years nominal duration); meno aspirantūra (art studies) - studies devoted to the training and specialization of artists and leading to a meno licenciatas degree.

There are also vientisosios (integrated) university studies (combining 1st and 2nd cycle). After successful completion of integrated studies, Master's degree and/or professional qualification is awarded and access to 3rd cycle (postgraduate) studies is granted. Traditionally, this type of studies is given in the fields of medicine, engineering, law and religious studies. Studies in the field of Medicine, Odontology ant Veterinary Medicine could be more extensive.

Study programmes

According to the content of studies and the qualifications awarded, all consecutive study programmes are divided into 139 study fields. The study fields are grouped into six study areas: humanities, social, physical, biomedical, technological sciences and arts. Almost all study programmes are run in the Lithuanian language. A foreign national seeking access to higher education in Lithuania has to show proficiency in the language of instruction passing the pass/ fail test that is so far administered by Vilnius University (http://www.lsk.flf.vu.lt/). However, a certain number of programmes leading to a degree are available in English, German, French or Russian.

Assesment and grading system

In Lithuania, a criteria-referenced evaluation system is used. Every course in a subject should be assessed by either: examination, graded credit test. All three can be oral or written. A graded credit test is similar to an examination; only the scope of the material covered is usually much narrower than for the examination. An examination and a graded credit test are evaluated by a grade. Credit tests are either pass or fail.

Final examinations and theses / final projects

Universities. Bachelor's programmes are deemed completed after defending of the final work (bachelor's thesis) and/or passing final examinations.

Master's and Doctoral programmes are deemed completed after defending of Master's and Doctoral theses, wich are prepared during the entire period of the programme and defended publicly.

Colleges. Passing the final examination and / or defending the final project complete non-university study programmes.


Each student, upon successful graduation from an institution of higher education, receives a diploma and a diploma supplement testifying the level of education obtained and the results achieved. Graduates of programmes for periods of study receive either an education certificate from the institution or an extract from their course record, specifying the programme graduated, subjects covered and results achieved.

List of recognized higher education institutions:

This information was taken from the website: