First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague

The First Faculty of Medicine of Charles University (LF1 UK; Czech: 1. lékařská fakulta Univerzity Karlovy) is the oldest medical faculty in Central Europe, located in Prague, the capital city of the Czech Republic. It was founded along with Charles University itself in 1348, making it the 11th oldest medical institution in the world.[1] The faculty is close to the city centre. Prague is sometimes called “The City of One Hundred Spires”. The faculty provides education in all fields of general medicine. This faculty is one of the most prestigious institutes in the world, placed amongst the top 1%.

It is one of the five medical faculties of Charles University in Prague; the others being as follows: Second Faculty; Third Faculty; Faculty in Pilsen and Faculty in Hradec Kralove.[2] The latter two are situated in Bohemia, the former three directly in Prague.


Charles University was established in 1348 and a medieval faculty of medicine was one of the four founding faculties (the Faculty of Arts, Faculty of Law and Faculty of Theology being the others). In the late 19th century, because of the division of the university during the Austro-Hungarian Empire, an additional German faculty was founded. There were now two parallel faculties: a German one and a Czech one, and it remained so until the foundation of the independent state of Czechoslovakia in 1918, when the German faculty was disbanded. In 1953 the former Faculty of Medicine in Prague was divided into three medical faculties: the Faculty of General Medicine, the Faculty of Pediatric Medicine and the Faculty of Hygiene. After the changes in the country resulting from the Velvet Revolution, these three faculties evolved into the First, Second and Third Faculty of Medicine, respectively.

Entry into the Faculty

The admission to medical studies in the faculty is based on performance in high school (Biology, Chemistry and Physics), English proficiency and performance in the competitive entrance exams. Entrance examination is conducted at the university and by some representative offices abroad. The entrance exams are highly competitive due to students from all over the world fighting to secure a place. The entrance exam for the First Faculty of Charles University in Prague is considered to be one of the hardest among all the universities in Europe.[4] After the entrance exams, successful candidates are further scrutinised by conducting interviews.

Most of the international students studying medicine at the institute originate from USA, Canada, UK, Norway, Sweden, Germany, Israel, Malaysia, India and the Middle East.

Ranking and Reputation

The faculty is consistently ranked in the top 200, out of 17000 institutions in the world. This places the faculty (along with the other four faculties under the Charles University) in the top 1% in the world. It is currently ranked 152nd best in the world [5]

The faculty has a global reputation with an alumni presence across the globe. It is the most prestigious faculty in the Czech Republic, providing rigorous medical education and conducts ground breaking research.[6]


About 3400 students are enrolled in the First Faculty of Medicine.[3] Most teaching facilities are located in historical buildings in the center of Prague, near Karlovo náměstí, I. P. Pavlova and Albertov. The majority of clinical instruction takes place at the General University Hospital in Prague, but other teaching hospitals include the Military University Hospital in Prague, Thomayer Teaching Hospital, Bulovka Hospital and Motol University Hospital.

The faculty has various bachelor’s degree programmes (including addictology, occupational therapy, physical therapy and nursing, among others), Master’s degree programmes and several Ph.D. study programmes. The two main study programmes at the First Faculty of Medicine are General Medicine and Dentistry, both being taught in English as well as in Czech, separately. The Medicine program lasts for 6 years, and Dentistry for 5 years.

The students are guided by a teaching staff made up of more than 110 professors, 150 associate professors and more than 700 assistant professors. The fundamental aim of the faculty is to provide prospective doctors a wide medical education with a solid theoretical base, capability of scientific & medical thinking and communication. Teaching and research at the faculty cover almost the entire spectrum of medicine and health professions from the full range of basic sciences through to clinical specialties. Some disciplines are unique to the faculty. Since the faculty is not only a teaching, but also a research institution, the most modern findings and technology is incorporated into the curriculum.


  1. Jump up^ “30 of the Oldest Medical Schools in the World”. 8 May 2014. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
  2. Jump up^ “Faculties and Other Parts of the University”. Charles University in Prague. 4 December 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “Basic Information for Applicants”. First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University in Prague. 29 May 2006. Retrieved 14 April 2014.
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