Higher education in Georgia consists of three stages: bachelor program, master program and doctorate program.
Educational program in the institution of higher education during one educational year includes averagely 60 credits. Educational program of first stage of teaching (bachelor) consists of no less than 240 credits. First stage of higher education may include educational program of teacher’s training. Only holders of state certificates confirming full general education or persons equalized with them, have a right to study in a bachelor programs. Educational program of second stage of teaching (master) consists of no less than 120 credits. Only bachelors or persons with degrees equalized with them have a right to study in a master programs. Medical/dentist educational program is one-stage higher educational program which ends with awarding academic degree of certified physician/dentist. Academic degree received after completing educational program of physician with 360 credits or dentist with 300 credits, is equalized with academic degree of master. Third stage of studying (doctorate program) consists of no less than 180 credits. Only masters or persons with degrees equalized with them, have a right to study in doctoral programs.
After completing of each stage of higher education, respective diploma is issued. Institution of higher education is authorized to award student with intermediate qualification, in case of completing a part of educational program. Awarding an intermediate qualification is allowed after reaching of results in studying, defined for completing a part of educational program which should not be less than half of credit number defined for educational program.
In Georgia, three types of higher education institutions are active:
- University – institution of higher education which carries out higher educational programs of all three stages and scintific researches.
- Teaching university – institution of higher education which carries out higher educational program/programs (except doctorate programs). Teaching university necessarily carries out educational programs of second stage – master program/programs.
- College – institution of higher education which carries out only firts stage educational program of higher academic education.
Obtaining of status of institution of higher education and implementation of respective educational activity is possible only in case of authorization of higher education institution defined by the rules of authorization provision. Authorization is a procedure of obtaining of a status of higher education institution purpose of which is to ensure compliance with standards necessary for implementation of respective activity required for issuing of education confirming document recognized by the state. Authorization is carried out by the National Center for Educational Quality Enhancement, according to the rules defined by the authorization provision. The state recognizes only diplomas issued by accredited or equalized with them educational institutions.
In the institutions of higher education, in bachelor, certified physician/dentist educational programs, only those enrollees have a right to study who completed respective Unified National Exams according to the rule defined by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia. In higher educational institutions of Orthodox theologian direction, enrolment of students in bachelor’s theologian educational program is carried out on the basis of proposal presented by Catholicos-Patriarch of Georgia, according to the rule defined by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, on the basis of result obtained in certain subject of Unified National Exams.
National Examinations Center is a legal entity of public law which ensures execution of Unified National and Joint Master Exams, is authorized to carry out national estimations and international researches, carrying out other authorities defined by the Georgian legislation.