Education system in Lithuania

Education system in Lithuania
Compulsory education in Lithuania starts with the age of 6 until 16. The primary school is for four years, the basic first stage takes 6 years with students being 10 to 17 years old. After this stage, the senior secondary school starts which last for 2 years and where students can finish with the international baccalaureate.


There is also the option of vocational education for students from the age of 14 to 20 at Junior college, or later from 18 to 21. After having passed their baccalaureate, students are admitted to universities.

There is a reform currently in progress for Lithuanian education which is going to be complete by 2010. Its main goal is to link the various types of educational institutions and to give the students the chance to change direction of studies or continuing their studies at any time.

Higher education

Universities and colleges form the two types of higher education institutions in Lithuania, state and non-state.

Non-state higher education institutions can practice their teachings based on a license passed by the government.

Studies at university-level are organized in three stages: first stage (undergraduate), second stage (graduate), and third stage (post-graduate).

The Ministry of Education and Science sets out the programs for studying and the quality is periodically monitored by the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education.

The national credit system is based on the 1600 working hours during an academic year; one credit equals 40 hours per week.

International students must provide a secondary or similar education certificate if they want to apply for undergraduate programs.

For the application of graduate programs, a Bachelor or similar degree is acquired, whereas for the application of post-graduate courses, a Master or equivalent degree is needed. Students compete for admission to all stages as proposed by the Ministry of Education and Science.

Classed are held from September to June during the academic year and the long vacation (for summer programs) is from 1st July till 31st August.

Universities in Lithuania


An undergraduate study lasts 4 to 5.5 years, which means 140 to 180 national credits. For the admission, students should have a Maturity Certificate (Brandos Atestatas) or a similar document.

The first stage ends with the Bachelor (Bakalauras) degree and/or a professional qualification (profesinė kvalifikacija). Having achieved this qualification (Bakalauro diplomas or Aukštojo mokslo diplomas) means also having obtained the right to enter the second stage of university.


The second stage is achieving the Master's Degrees after one-and-a-half to two years, worth 60-80 national credits. In terms of admission, students should provide a certification of the fulfillment of the first stage of university study.

Independent research or artistic or scientific activities form the basis for a Master’s programs. The Ministry of Education and Science proposes the requirements. After having achieved a Master's Degree, the student is eligible to enter the third stage of university.

University postgraduate (third stage) studies take from 2 to 6 years, fulfilling 80 to 240 national credits.

For admission, students should provide an integrated study certification. Doctoral studies are a joint venture of higher education and research institutions.

A doctoral thesis must be submitted and publicly defended by the candidate so that he/she can qualify. For admission, students should provide a Master's degree or a similar certification.

Study abroad in Lithuania

Study abroad option

To study at a university or college in Lithuania, an international student must be enrolled at a Lithuanian institution of higher education. For being admitted, a Maturity Certificate must be provided and there is one an entrance examination must be passed in some cases.

As an international student, you need a study visa or residence permit, which depends on the duration of studying. You must also have a health certificate and be sufficiently insured.

The tuition fees can be a maximum of 6000? and financial guarantees must be provided. Don’t get confused with the grading system from 1 to 10, where 10 means “excellent”, 9 “very good”, and so on where 4-1 are “insufficient” which is not enough to have passed.

Summer programs

There is a range of summer programs in vacation time. Condensed and intensive courses dealing with your subject of choice, with the Lithuanian language and culture are offered at the universities and colleges.

It is a great opportunity to learn a lot about Lithuania and focus on your subject at one time. There are a lot of excursions, workshops, camps, and entertainment on offer which makes it a good mix of studying and having a great holiday from usual life back home. You will get more information via your university or college of choice.

Learning Languages

As far as languages are concerned, international Students must know some Lithuanian, except for those entering programs offered in English, German or Russian or individual studies (e.g. Music, Art).