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The higher education system has largely conformed to the somewhat standard Anglican system with three stages of higher education - Bachelor, Master and Doctor. Higher education is provided through three types of institutions - universities, specialized higher schools and colleges.
The academic year in Bulgaria runs from September to June. Application deadlines are generally September first for fall entry but as an international student, it is always wise to apply in good time. What is notable is that most programs are offered in Bulgarian, and require a good level of Bulgarian proficiency for acceptance. For international students not yet proficient in the language, a one year course in the Bulgarian language followed by an examination is mandatory. If you already speak Bulgarian, you need to pass the Standardised Test in Bulgarian Level B2.
As previously mentioned, degrees offered at Bulgarian institutions of higher education are on three levels; Bachelor, Master and Doctor. A Bachelor degree is the first level, which must be completed to proceed on to the following two. A bachelor degree in Bulgaria is generally four years in length. In some fields bachelor degrees do not exist- instead students study longer and proceed directly on to a master degree.
The second level of study is the master degree or Magistr. This level takes one year after obtaining a bachelor degree or five to six years if commencing master degree studies directly after your secondary education. Usually students are required to complete a thesis and pass a state examination to obtain the degree.
The third and final level of higher education is the doctorate. This is obtained on the basis of individual research and after publicly defending a thesis.