The Pedagogical University of Krakow was established in 1946, and the first permission to grant a doctoral degree was obtained in 1959. An organized form of doctoral education was first launched in 1963. Several doctoral programs had existed at the University before a major reform of Poland’s higher education in 2018/2019 paved the way for the current Doctoral School.
Doctoral education at the School runs for 8 semesters and covers 13 disciplines: Literary Studies, Linguistics, History, Philosophy, Political Science and Public Administration, Social and Economic Geography and Land Management, Pedagogy, Security Sciences, Mathematics, Biological Sciences, Physical Sciences, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Fine Arts and Art Conservation. Doctoral students receive general training in academic and social skills, specialized training in the chosen discipline, and training in interdisciplinary approaches. Supervisors (Polish or international) are appointed strictly on the basis of their research competence and experience in the area of the doctoral student’s project.
The University ranks among top 20 Polish universities for research excellence and first among pedagogical universities. It holds the right to grant a doctoral degree in the fields of Humanities, Social Sciences, Exact and Natural Sciences, and Fine Arts and Art Conservation. The highest quality of doctoral research is assured by: 1) the appointment of the most qualified supervisors; 2) research-oriented training; 3) the support of the University’s research community; 4) access to research infrastructure ‘at home’ and at partner institutions; 5) university-based research funding; 6) grant opportunities; 7) wide internationalization opportunities; 8) multiple evaluation and feedback procedures, and more.
PhD degrees granted by Poland’s public universities are widely recognized internationally and allow the degree holder to find employment at research and education institutions as well as in any other sector, depending on the field of specialization. Career planning is part of the doctoral training itself, while an emphasis on soft skills prepares the candidates for work in diverse environments. Internationalization opportunities contribute to developing a network of academic contacts, helpful in the candidate’s further career. The Doctoral School’s curriculum includes very practical aspects, such as internships and course teaching at the university level.
The most important offices from the point of view of a prospective doctoral student include:
Every doctoral student is entitled to receive a low-priced room in one of the Pedagogical University’s accommodation facilities. The University offers four modern and conveniently located dormitories or ‘student houses’. Since Krakow is a city of many universities, there are numerous other accommodation opportunities, such as other universities’ dormitories, private rentals, etc. The Doctoral School makes sure all accommodation formalities are completed before a foreign doctoral student arrives in Krakow.
The Library combines traditional services with a focus on digitalization, networking and modern, technology-mediated research instruments. Doctoral students are individually assisted in library searches and in accessing the materials needed. Importantly, doctoral students have access to the libraries of all universities in Krakow, primarily that of the top-ranking Jagiellonian University.
The Pedagogical University’s runs advanced ICT systems for digitalized administration, teaching and research. Wi-Fi is availalble on all university premises, including the accommodation facilities. Computers are available at various areas: library rooms, classrooms, offices, staff rooms, corridors.
All doctoral students are covered by Poland’s National Health Insurance and thus entitled to use the free-of-charge public healthcare facilities. Additionally, the University cooperates with a private healthcare company, located close to the main campus. There are no on-campus healthcare facilities as such.
A large part of the University, including the Doctoral School Office (and a canteen), is located on the main campus. The campus itself is located within a 20-minute walk from Krakow’s central historical area and 8-10 minutes from the two main dormitories. While the University owns half a dozen other buildings in Krakow, doctoral students will not in principle be required to commute to any of them. If, on a particular occasion, they need to reach a place other than the main campus, the well-developed city transport can easily take them wherever needed.
The Pedagogical University’s sports facilities include a swimming pool and a fitness club (with instructors). Doctoral students can also sign up for net ball, basket ball and futsal activities. Outside the University itsef, the city of Krakow has a rich offer of all kinds of sports facilities.
Any doctoral student may join the Doctoral Student Council, which plays an important role in various procedures concerning doctoral students’ training and welfare. It also organizes academic and cultural events, integration meetings, etc. On the more general level, the University’s BAKALARZ student club offers a variety of events, including live concerts, theatre and stand-up performances, holiday parties, integration meetings, talks, contests, and more. Additionally, the University maintains a small choir consisting mostly of the University’s students. It is good to know that Krakow itself is the ‘cultural capital of Poland’ and the cultural and social activities it offers are innumerable.
The Pedagogical University of Krakow is a state-accredited public university. The awarding of degrees by all Polish higher education institutions is currently overseen by the Polish Accreditation Committee (PKA).