General Bulgarian education consists of two parts: from I to IV grade and from V to VIII grade. These stages of the Bulgarian education are compulsory. Usually the age of entry is 7.
After graduating IVth grade, children are awarded with Basic Education Completion Certificate and with Form IV-Leaving Certificate after finishing their general education.
After graduating VIIth grade children apply for secondary education in three types of schools: comprehensive, profile-oriented and vocational (technical) schools.
The length of the high-school programs is 4, 5 or 6 years, depending on the school and after graduating (usually at the age of 18) children are awarded with Diploma of Completed Secondary Education.
After completing Secondary Education, people in Bulgaria obtain Higher Education through universities, academies and institutes. The qualification of Specialist can be obtained in a three-year course of post-secondary study.
In order to get a Bachelor’s Degree, people are required to study at least four years at university level. Bachelor’s Degree is a prerequisite for Master’s and Doctor’s Degrees.
The second stage of university level education, the Mater’s Degree, can be obtained one year after obtaining Bachelor’s Degree, or five years after obtaining Secondary School Education.
The third and last stage of university level education, the Doctor’s Degree, can be obtained three years after obtaining Master’s Degree. It is based on personal research and defence of a thesis.
The Ministry of Education and Science is responsible for the higher education in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria’s grading system is numeric: 2 – poor, 3 – sufficient, 4 – good, 5 – very good, 6 - excellent. 2 is lowest on scale and 6 is the highest; 3 is the lowest passing grade.