Education Stages in Albania

The education system in Albania comprises of preschool, 9-year compulsory basic education combining elementary and lower secondary education; secondary education and tertiary education. Here given in brief different levels of education stages in Albania.

Preschool Education

Preschool education in Albania is offered by kindergarten and nurseries. This educational level provides basic arithmetic and language skills, and also prepares children for further studies. 
  • Nurseries in Albania cater to children up to 3 years old 
  • Kindergarten in Albania cater to children aged 3-6 years

Basic Education

Basic education in Albania is compulsory.
  • Duration: 9 years
  • Ages: 6-15
This education level is divided into two levels:
  • Elementary education:  Elementary education in Albania last for 5 years. Children at the age of 6 through 11 attend elementary education. 
  • Lower secondary education: This educational level last for 4 years. Children aged 11-15 attend the lower secondary schools in Albania. 
Core Curriculum: History, Albanian language, chemistry, Foreign language (lower secondary level), geography, reading and literature, physics, physical education, nature studies, work education, biology, mathematics, art, history, civic education, and music. 

Certificate awarded: At the end of basic education, students are required to undertake a school leaving examination, and those who pass the exam are awarded a certificate of completed basic education/Certificate of Leaving (Defese Lirimi).

Secondary Education

Secondary education in Albania is offered in gymnasia or high schools, vocational and technical schools; foreign language, arts, sports and pedagogical schools. 

Admission requisite: Students must hold a leaving certificate from a 9-year compulsory school in order to gain admittance into the secondary education school. 

Gymnasium (General Secondary Education)

The gymnasium deepens the knowledge received at the basic educational level. This educational level last for 3 years, and prepares students for university.  

Curriculum: Social sciences covering economy, sociology, politics, ethics and psychology; mathematics, physical education; literature, geography; the natural sciences covering physics, chemistry and biology; music, native language, informatics, logic, foreign languages, art, history, and philosophy.

Secondary Vocational Education

The secondary vocational schools in Albania focus on training the pupils for acquiring the professional knowledge and skills. Pupils who graduate from the secondary vocational schools are trained professionals to work, and also able to pursue the tertiary education. The secondary vocational course of study last for 2-5 years, depending on the field.


At the end of secondary education, students must take a State Matura exam (Matura Shteterore). Students who pass the exam are awarded the Maturity certificate (Deftese Pjekurie), and are eligible to attend university education in Albania

Tertiary/Higher Education

Higher/tertiary education in Albania is offered at higher education institutions designated as university, academy or higher institutes/non-university higher schools. Universities and academies in Albania offer studies at three levels: bachelor, master and doctorate/PhD, while the non-university higher schools/institutes offer programmes up to master’s level. 

Higher education institutions in Albania offer undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate studies. 

Undergraduate degree programmes last for 3-4 years lead to bachelor/diploma. Graduate studies are of two types:

Graduate studies cover specialisation certificate and master's degree programmes. 
  • Specialization certificate (Deshmi Specializimi): These programmes last for 1-3 years
  • Master’s programmes: These programmes last for 1-2 years.
Postgraduate studies cover doctorate/PhD studies. The Doctor of Science (Doktor I Shkencave) is the highest academic degree awarded by the higher education institutions in Albania. This qualification last for 3 years, and is based on an original research. 
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