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Nostrification of diplomasPrint

Nostrification is the procedure of  recognition of diplomas obtained at foreign universities.

Recognition of diplomas obtained is required for countries with which Poland has not signed bilateral agreements on recognition of diplomas and titles obtained abroad as equivalent to education acquired in Poland.

Nostrification (recognition) procedure

The recognition of foreign university diplomas (recognition of a diploma obtained abroad) is conducted by councils of organizational units at Polish universities entitled to grant PhDs in the field whose completion by the foreigner is confirmed by the diploma/degree obtained abroad. 

For example: this means that a person who has been granted a sociology degree at a foreign university and wants to nostrify the said degree in Poland may apply to the Council of the Faculty of Philosophy and Sociology at the University of Warsaw, because this university is authorized to confer doctoral degrees in sociology. 

If recognition is sought for a university diploma in a field which is divided at Polish universities between more than one faculty, or is run as an interdisciplinary multi-faculty programme, a person wishing to apply for nostrification should submit a letter to the rector with information to this effect. In this case, the rector shall designate the competent council to conduct the recognition proceedings. 

A person applying for the recognition of a university diploma should submit an application together with the following attachments to the chosen department/scientific council:

  • an original copy of the diploma obtained abroad that is to be nostrified,
  • a copy of the school certificate/school leaving certificate on whose basis the applicant was accepted into the institution that issued the diploma to be nostrified,
  • a Curriculum Vitae written in Polish,
  • a declaration that the diploma obtained abroad has not undergone any recognition (nostrification) proceedings at another Polish university

Before passing a resolution regarding the recognition of a diploma obtained abroad, rhe faculty council may also pass a resolution on the necessity of completing certain classes or passing specific examinations by the candidate. 

Recognition proceedings are finished within three months of the day the candidate presents all of the necessary documents; in case the candidate must pass additional examinations, they are completed within one month of the day of the submission of documents confirming that fact. 

If the application for nostrification is rejected, the applicant may appeal to the rector of the institution in question. There are no set deadlines for submission of such an appeal. 

In case of passing a resolution on recognition of the diploma, the relevant council issues a certificate confirming the equal status of the diploma obtained abroad with one obtained within the country. This certificate should be presented together with the original of the diploma obtained abroad. 

Attention: The procedure for recognition of a diploma may in practice be problematic, complicated and expensive. For example, the institution may ask for a translation of the master's thesis / Ph.D. dissertation into Polish. The diploma recognition process may in fact take more than a year. There can also be problems with completing the internships required by Polish law, such as for a nursing degree, which are not remunerated and last for a year. In addition, some of the academic titles acquired abroad cannot be nostrified in Poland. For example, a master's degree obtained in one year is not considered a full-fledged master's degree because of its short duration.

Fees

The head of the organizational unit (university or department) whose council conducts the recognition proceedings determines the fee to be paid for the proceedings, taking into account the possible costs of completion of additional classes and passing of supplementary examinations. The cost of nostrification depends, therefore, on the relevant educational institution, but generally varies between 2000-6000 PLN. The fee must be paid regardless of the outcome of the recognition procedure. 

In case the applicant is experiencing financial difficulties, the head of the council conducting nostrification may, at the applicant’s request, reduce or waive the fee altogether.

Exemptions from the nostrification procedure

The department (or other relevant organizational unit) of an academic institution to whch an individual applies for nostrification of a diploma can exempt the applicant from the nostrification of diplomas obtained in foreign academic institutions. An official application for exemption must be submitted lto the faculty council/scientific council of the educational institution in question. 

The application should include documents similar to those required in the nostrification process (information on documents required in the nostrification process can be found above). 

The decision on exemption of an applicant from the requirement of recognition of a diploma is taken by the council of the organizational unit of the institution or the council of the scientific body where the applicant wishes to be admitted to study. 

Therefore, in order to be exempt from the nostrification of the diploma, an application for exemption from the recognition procedure must be submitted, together with all the above attachments and a certificate confirming that the given diploma entitles the applicant to admission to the second and / or third-cycle studies in the country where it was issued. Such an application should be submitted to the faculty council. The certificate may be issued by the relevant educational authorities, the diplomatic or consular mission of an EU member state or EFTA member state (parties to the EEA Agreement), or by the competent Polish consul. In addition, the council may require a translation of the certificate. The translation may be certified by a sworn translator or the competent Polish consul. The cost of a sworn translation (for 1125 characters) varies between 30 to 60 PLN.

Also, individuals applying for doctoral programmes are exempt from nostrification if the university diplomas they possess:

  • were issued by a competent institution in an EU or EFTA Member State or in Switzerland – parties to the EEA agreement;
  • authorize them to apply for PhD programmes in the country where the diploma was issued.
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