Formal recognition of diplomas

Formal recognition of education is a procedure in which the Superintendent of Schools is going to assess your high school diploma to decide if it can be recognized as proof of secondary education that entitles you to pursue higher education in Poland.

When the procedure does not apply:

If you are applying to a postgraduate degree (MA, MSc) and your undergraduate degree (BA, BSc etc.) gives you access to that stage of higher education in its country of issue, it automatically gives you the same right in Poland, as long as the degree was fully accredited and awarded lawfully by an accredited institution functioning within any country's higher education system. You can apply without any additional procedures.

If you are applying to an undergraduate degree (BSc, BA) or uniform master’s degree (Veterinary Medicine), the main document you need to submit is your high school diploma. High school diplomas issued in many countries are automatically recognized by law and they do not need to undergo any additional procedures. Those countries include:

Austria, Australia, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, Croatia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, the UK, and the USA.

When the procedure does apply:

If you are applying to an undergraduate or uniform master’s degree (Veterinary Medicine) and your high school diploma was issued in a country not listed above, this guide is for you. Your education will need to be formally recognized. You have time until the end of your first semester to complete the procedure in order to be able to continue your studies at UPWr.

Checklist of additional documents for the formal recognition of your diploma:

  • the application form (first link HERE  )
  • your original secondary school diploma – legalized/apostilled, OR a notarized copy of your diploma, apostilled (you will still need to submit your original diploma for inspection);
  • official translation into Polish of the above (more details on translation below);
  • the original transcript of grades from school, including the list of subjects taken, grades awarded, and the grading scale, if it is not part of the final diploma;
  • official translation into Polish of the above (more details below);
  • eligibility statement certifying that your diploma gives you the right to pursue higher education in its country of issue, signed by the body that issued your diploma – template available in the second link HERE  
  • official translation into Polish of the above if it was issued in a foreign language (more details below)
  • copy of the first page of your passport with your photo and personal data

In case of doubt, the full list of documents is available for reference in the second link HERE  

Formal recognition of diplomas step by step:

  1.  Apply normally via our application system following Admission Step by Step.
  2. Once you get the offer, follow the rest of the steps. Review the checklist of additional documents provided above and plan how and where to get them.
  3. Prepare documents from Admission Step by Step. Prepare your original final school diploma. Request an official transcript of grades from your school, including the list of subjects, the list of grades awarded, and the grading scale. Request that the institution that issued your final diploma sign the eligibility statement.
  4. Collect all documents. Have your final diploma apostilled/legalized. Keep following the rest of the steps from Admissions Step by Step.
  5. Bring all your documents with you to Poland – it’s usually faster, easier and cheaper than handling them remotely.
  6. Submit the standard set of documents listed in Admission Step by Step to the Admissions Office.
  7. Take your original final diploma in the original language with an apostille/legalization and your original school transcript in the original language. If your eligibility statement is in a language other than Polish, include it as well. Choose a sworn translator (details below) of the appropriate language and request a full certified translation of your documents from the original language into Polish.
  8. Fill in and sign the application form asking to have your diploma recognized as certifying secondary education for the purpose of admission to university.
  9. Gather all documents – the final diploma + translation, the school transcript + translation, the eligibility statement + translation if applicable, and the application form – and submit them to the Superintendent of Schools. During the pandemic it is recommended to do it by post instead of coming in person.
  10. Wait for the decision of the Superintedent of Schools – this can take about a month.
  11. Receive the decision, submit a copy to your Dean’s Office, inform the Admissions Office of your success. You need to complete this step within the first semester of study in order to be able to continue studying.


Documents in English are fine for application purposes, but they will need to be translated from the original language into Polish before being presented to the Superintendent for formal recognition. The translation must be made from the final version of your documents, including all apostilles/legalizations. You will need to find an official sworn translator (“tłumacz przysięgły”) recognized by the Polish Ministry of Justice and request a full certified translation (“tłumaczenie poświadczone”) of your documents. The list of sworn translators appointed in Poland can be found HERE  . You will need to find a translator who works with your desired language and offers acceptable conditions in terms of price and delivery date.

Polish consuls also have the right to act as official translators of the language of the country where they are appointed. For details, please contact the appropriate Polish diplomatic mission in your country.

More information

For more information about the procedure, please visit the website of the Ministry of Education and Science available HERE   or contact our Admissions Team.