Education System in Romania
The national pre-university education system is comprised of all state, private, and denominational education institutions that are authorized to operate provisionally or accredited.
Forms of organization: full time, evening and part-time education.
Pre-university education is conducted at the following levels:
a) early education (3 months – 6 years), consisting of preschool education (3 months – 3 years) and kindergarten education (3 – 6 years), both including nursery, middle, and senior groups;
b) primary education, lasting for 5 years, which includes the preparatory class and grades I-IV;
c) lower secondary education, lasting for 4 years, which includes grades V-VIII;
d) upper secondary education, typically lasting for 4 years. In the case of part time education or evening education, the duration of education is 5 years.
Upper secondary education has three distinct streams:
- theoretical with the fields humanities and sciences,
- vocational with the fields military, theological, sports, arts, pedagogy,
- technological with the fields technical, services, natural resources, environmental protection.
e) post-secondary education, including non-tertiary education, with a duration ranging from 1 to 3 years, depending on the complexity of the qualification and the number of ECTS credits in lifelong learning. Foreman schools are post-secondary schools.
Compulsory education includes preschool education, primary education, lower secondary education, and upper secondary education. Compulsory education is full-time education.
Graduates of lower secondary education obtain a graduation diploma and a student record, which are part of their educational portfolio.
After completing grade 11, students can obtain a Level 3 qualification certificate, granting them access to the labor market.
Upon completion of grade 12, students can obtain a Level 4 qualification certificate, which grants them access to the labor market or to post-secondary education.
Technological secondary education beneficiaries have the right to receive a graduation diploma after completing 3 years of study, and they can also participate in the professional qualification certification exam. Upon passing this exam, graduates receive a professional certificate corresponding to Level 3.
Upon successfully passing the national baccalaureate exam, the graduate is awarded the baccalaureate diploma. Passing the baccalaureate exam grants the holder a Level 4 qualification.
Graduates of post-secondary education who successfully complete the exam for professional qualification certificate receive a professional qualification certificate corresponding to Level 5, as established by the National Qualification Framework, along with the descriptive supplement of the certificate in Europass format. Additional information: Legea învățământului preuniversitar nr. 198/2023
The regime of study documents in pre-university education is regulated by Order of the Minister of National Education and Scientific Research No. 3844/2016, approving the Regulation on the regime of study documents and school records managed by pre-university educational units, with subsequent amendments and additions.
The national higher education system includes all accredited higher education institutions. Higher education institutions can be public, private, or denominational. These institutions have legal personality, operate on a non-profit base, and are apolitical.
The legal status of a higher education institution is obtained through establishment and accreditation by law. For more information, visit the webpage of the Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education – www.aracis.ro .
Higher education institutions are legal entities that can be public or private legal entities of public interest. They can be universities, study academies, institutes, higher education schools, collectively referred to as higher education institutions.
Higher education institutions are education providers that carry out teaching activities based on authorized and, where applicable, accredited study programs, in accordance with the law. They offer initial and continuing education programs, operating with the principle of ensuring equality to meet the trust of direct and indirect beneficiaries in society.
Additional information: https://edu.ro/descriere-0
List of Romanian higher education institutions: https://www.edu.ro/institutii-invatamant-superior
Short-Cycle Higher Education Studies
Short-cycle education studies typically correspond to a number of 120 transferable study credits, according to ECTS/SECT, and are completed at Level 5 of the National Qualifications Framework – NQF.
The specific duration of short cycle higher education studies is 2 years, corresponding to a minimum of 60 transferable credits per year study.
The diploma awarded upon completion of a short-cycle study program is called graduation diploma (diploma de absolvire).
Bachelor’s Degree Studies
Bachelor’s degree programs represent the first cycle of university studies and correspond to a number of credits ranging from a minimum of 180 to a maximum of 240 transferable study credits, according to ECTS/SECT, or from a minimum of 240 to a maximum of 300 credits in the case of a double specialization. These studies are completed at Level 6 of the National Qualification Framework – NQF.
The duration of bachelor’s degree programs in the fields of performing arts, engineering sciences, law, and pastoral theology is 4 years. In the filed of music, the duration is either 3 or 4 years, depending on the specialization. For studies in military sciences, intelligence, and public order, the duration is also 3 or 4 years, depending on the branch or service and military specialization.
Within the bachelor’s degree program with a double specialization, a main specialization and a secondary specialization are defined. The secondary specialization is usually chosen from the same fundamental scientific field. The diploma awarded upon completion of a bachelor’s degree program is called a bachelor’s degree (diploma de licenta), engineering diploma (diploma de inginer), architecture diploma (diploma de architect), or, as applicable, urban planning diploma (diploma de urbanist).
Master’s Degree Studies
Master’s degree programs represent the second cycle of university studies and are completed at Level 7 of the European Qualifications Framework, referred to as EQF/CEE, and the National Qualifications Framework – NQF. These programs typically have a duration of 1-2 years and correspond to a minimum of transferable study credits ranging from 60 to 120.
Master’s degree programs can be categorized as follows:
- Professional Master’s Degree: primarily focused on developing professional competencies.
- Research Master’s Degree: primarily focused on developing research skills. Research-based master’s degree programs are organized exclusively in full-time education.
- Teaching Master’s Degree: organized exclusively in full-time education, with a focus on developing teaching competencies.
The diploma awarded upon completion of a master’s degree program and successful defense of the dissertation is called a master’s diploma (diploma de masterat). It includes all the necessary information to describe the completed study program, including the form of education (e.g. full-time, part-time).
For regulated professions, where the first cycle and the second cycle of university studies are combined into a single program with a duration of 5 to 6 years, both a bachelor’s and master’s diploma are awarded.
The bachelor’s diploma obtained by graduates of 5 or 6-year study programs in long-term higher education prior to the implementation of law No. 288/2004 on the organization of university studies, with subsequent amendments and additions, which introduced the Bologna system, is considered equivalent to a master’s degree diploma.
PhD studies represent the third cycle of university studies and allow the acquisition of a qualification at Level 8 of the EQF/CEC and NQF.
PhD degree programs are of two types:
a) scientific PhD, which aims to produce original and internationally relevant scientific knowledge, based on scientific methods, organized only in full-time education. Scientific PhD is a requirement for a professional career in higher education and research.
b) professional PhD, in the fields of arts, sports, military sciences, or for dual higher education, which aims to produce original knowledge through the application of scientific methods, systematic reflection, or applied research on artistic creations, high-level national and international sports performances, or practical topics of importance. This type of PhD provides a foundation for a professional career in higher education and research in the respective fields.
The eligibility criteria for the PhD admission contest require applicants to hold a mater’s degree or its equivalent. Additionally, applicants must have accumulated a minimum of 300 ECTS credits from their undergraduate and graduate studies.
The typical duration od a PhD program is 4 years. In special circumstances, the duration of the program can be extended by 1-2 years. Upon successful completion of a PhD program, graduates are awarded a PhD degree (diploma de doctor), and the diploma specifically mentions the disciplinary or interdisciplinary field of the PhD studies.
The PhD degree confers the title of Doctor of Sciences, abbreviated as Dr., or in a professional field, abbreviated as Dr. P.
Joint/Multiple higher education diplomas
Romanian higher education institutions can organize joint study programs, either within Romania or internationally, in collaboration with recognized higher education institutions. When such programs are conducted abroad, they must comply with the current legal regulations in both Romania and the host country.
Accredited Romanian higher education institutions have the authority to establish integrated study programs in collaboration with other accredited higher education institutions within the European Higher Education Area. These programs can lead to the issuance of a joint or double degree, recognized by the home country, in accordance with a framework methodology adopted through an order by the Ministry oof Education.
Upon completion of integrated study programs, the study documents issued, including joint or double degrees, are legally recognized by the Romanian state.
Higher education institutions organize postgraduate study programs in accordance with the law.
A postgraduate study program is considered legally valid if it is accredited.
Postgraduate study programs include:
a) postdoctoral study programs;
b) postgraduate professional training program for adults;
c) residency postgraduate study programs.
Additional information: Higher Education Law no.199/2023
The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education has the mission of conducting external evaluation of the quality of education provided by higher education institutions and other organizations delivering specific higher education programs operating in Romania.
Additional information: http://www.aracis.ro/
The Romanian Agency for Quality Assurance in Pre-university Education conducts external evaluation of the quality of education provided by pre-university educational institutions and other organizations delivering education, as well as the authorization, accreditation, and periodic evaluation of pre-university educational units.
Additional information: http://beta.aracip.eu/
The National Authority for Qualifications (ANC) regulates and coordinates the overall framework for adult education and continuous vocational training. ANC develops the National Qualifications Framework and manages the National Register of Qualifications for pre-university and higher education.
Additional information: http://www.anc.edu.ro/
The National Qualifications Framework is adopted by Government Decision no. 918/2013, with subsequent modifications and additions – http://legislatie.just.ro/Public/DetaliiDocument/153002
Study in Romania
If you are a Romanian citizen who has studied abroad, or a foreign citizen of Romanian ethnicity, or a foreign citizen wishing to continue your studies in Romania please visit:
To access information on the education system in Romania until October 2023, visit the following link: