Jagiellonian University


King Kazimierz Wielki (Casimir the Great) of Poland founded our prestigious University in 1364. Since then Kraków has become the center of European education, science and culture. Kraków is not only one of the oldest cities in Europe; with a population of almost one million, it is also a large and modern university city that offers many educational and scientific opportunities.

Inauguration walk from the Collegium Maius
   to the Collegium Novum

Jagiellonian University is unique among Polish research and teaching institutions. With over 630 years of history, it is still young with vibrant people and ideas. Its 31,000 students in 11 faculties attend classes in both medieval buildings and modern laboratories. Regarded as a cradle of academic tradition and continuity, the University is in the midst of changing its structure and functioning to meet the requirements of the new market economy.

Moreover, it is the only Polish University that includes the three faculties of the Medical College within its structure. After 45 years of separation ordered by the former communist regime, the Medical College rejoined its Alma Mater in 1993.

The University of Kraków (Alma Mater Cracoviensis) founded in 1364 by King Kazimierz Wielki (Casimir the Great) of Poland, originally had three faculties: Liberal Arts, Law and Medicine. Jagiellonian University, the second university founded in Central Europe, and was established in the center of Kraków.


In 1400, Alma Mater Cracoviensis was re-founded and modernized by Queen St. Jadwiga (Hedwig) and King Władysław Jagiełło (Ladislaus Jagiełło) - hence the school's present name: Jagiellonian University. Following the renovations, a fourth faculty (Theology) was added. The Faculty of Medicine soon began to attract many prominent scholars from Poland and abroad.

Presently, the University is divided into 11 faculties that conduct teaching, research and academic training: Law and Administration, Philosophy, History, Philology, Mathematics and Physics, Biology and Earth Sciences, Chemistry, Medicine, Pharmacy and Nursing. Jagiellonian University has over 3,000 faculty members, including 700 professors and more than 800 faculty members with a "Habilitation" degree. The University is governed by a Rector and Senate, while each Faculty is governed by a Dean and Faculty Council.

The courtyard of the Collegium Maius
The Collegium Novum

Jagiellonian University became an important center of astronomy in the late 15th century. Incidentally, Copernicus began his studies here in 1491. At the beginning of the Renaissance period in Poland, professors and students from Kraków joined early humanist societies.

After a period of decline through the 17th and 18th centuries, the condition of the University improved when the Commission of National Education helped reform the University in 1773. The Commission of National Education, which was the first ministry of education in Europe, reformed the entire Polish educational system during the Enlightenment Era.

Hugo Kołłataj reformed the University and transformed it into a modern academic institution with two faculties: Physical (schools of Mathematics, Physics and Medicine) and Moral (schools of Theology, Law and Literature). Subsequently, the first medical teaching hospital, astronomical observatory, botanical garden and mineral collections in Poland were opened, and books were collected in a central university library.


The final Partition of Poland among Prussia, Russia and Austria in 1795 heralded a difficult period in which the fate of the University depended on European political alliances. The constant scientific and didactic development of the University was an intellectual center of the Polish nation that was preparing young alumni for future independence.

Military action at the outbreak of World War I interrupted classes only briefly. Jagiellonian University was one of only three universities ready to function in Poland when the country regained its independence in 1918. From 1918 through 1939, scholarly growth was matched by the involvement of students and faculty members in public life.

In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, the Nazis captured Kraków. On November 6, they imprisoned the professors in the city and sent them to concentration camps. Admirably the University defied the terror of Nazi occupation by operating underground from 1941, only one year after the underground teaching of medicine began.

After the liberation of Kraków from the Nazis, the University re-opened in March 1945. Within a few years, the government separated the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy from Jagiellonian University. Subsequently, the Medical Academy was formed in 1949. The re-incorporation of the Medical Academy into the University in 1993 (as the Medical College) was a sign of the return to historical roots.

School of Medicine in English


The School of Medicine in English at the Faculty of Medicine of Jagiellonian University was established by a decision of the Senate of the Jagiellonian University on November 24, 1993. It began to function admitting its first students in October 1994.


The courtyard of the Collegium Nowodworskiego

Since then, students have been admitted annually to the medical program in English as the teaching language. The programs offer unique undergraduate medical training to foreign students from professors and teaching staff with long-term training in the US and Canada. Based on tradition and history, the School of Medicine has always adhered to its motto of "Healing and Teaching".

The regulations define the School as a unit of the Faculty of Medicine under the jurisdiction of the Dean. Graduates receive a diploma certifying graduation from the Faculty of Medicine at Jagiellonian University.

The School has its own executive body - the School Council. The Head of the Council is responsible for the School programs. The Council consists of Vice-Rector of the Jagiellonian University, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Vice-Dean for Foreign Student Affairs and nine academic professors elected by the Faculty Council. The School Council prepares the curricula and syllabi, and supervises the educational affairs.

Within its competence is the establishment international contacts, the definition of the School's financial rules, the distribution of the School's resources, the selection of teaching staff, the preparation of reports, the awarding of prizes and the conferment of honors.


Hippocrates on the scepter

Rector's chain

Student life

Studying at the Medical School in English is much more than being among historical buildings, meeting prominent lecturers and attending well-prepared classes. The unique experience combines living in a beautiful and historical educational city with being part of lovely university tradition, meeting other people and making friends.

The School does its best to make its students feel at home and part of the large university family. Students who like the spirit of sports can compete to win the University Vice-Rector Cup skiing competition or take part in a similarly challenging swimming competition. Each academic year begins with a memorable ceremony of the Inauguration Walk, a tradition in which professors, lecturers and students trek from one university building to another.

May 12 is the University Day, which commemorates the institution's establishment in 1364. Each year, university students celebrate this day (called "Juvenalia"), as they are given a symbolic key to the gates of the city. This signals the beginning of several days of joyous festivities (sometimes lasting into the early hours of the morning).

Association of Norwegian Students Abroad

NMF- Norsk medisinstudent forening

ul. Św. Anny 12,
31-008 Kraków
tel. (48 12) 422-04-11 ext. 229

ul. Gołębia 24,
31-007 Kraków
tel. (48 12) 422-10-33 ext. 1171

ul. Badurskiego 15B,
Tel. (48 12) 658-11-58

Bicycle race

Ski Competition

Celebrating the Independence Day

Swimming Contest - April 2000


School of Medicine in English
Faculty of Medicine
Jagiellonian University
Medical College

ul. św. Anny 12
31-008 Kraków, Poland

Phone: (48 12) 422 80 42

Fax: (48 12) 421 28 69

Office hours:

Monday-Friday, 8am-4pm

Admissions information

Monday-Friday, 8am-3pm