Institute history

Kraków has been the oldest centre of Slavonic studies in Poland. Its origins date back to the early 19th century. During the following two centuries, the name of the Jagiellonian University unit specializing in this field of study has changed several times.

In the early 1970s the Chair of Slavonic Studies was transformed into the Institute of Slavonic Studies, which carries out research into Slavonic languages and literatures, especially of West Slavic and South Slavic regions, together with comparative and contrastive studies. The Institute staff work in close collaboration with other centres of Slavonic studies from both Poland and abroad. To match the European higher education standards, particularly those established by Bologna process, the Institute has offered three-year undergraduate studies (since 2007/2008) and two-year graduate studies (since 2010/2011), instead of the former five-year studies. The main goal of these study programmes, based on the principles of modern philology, is to offer education in linguistics and literary studies, in a broader context of general humanities.

Each year, the Institute of Slavonic Studies runs admissions to five linguistic specialities: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Serbian, and Slovakian. The major goal of the studies is to make the students achieve at least B1 level in a given language after the undergraduate studies, and at least B2 level after the graduate studies. The students also gain vast knowledge about the culture and society of the given countries. In addition to the specialization languages, the students also learn other Slavonic languages: Russian during the undergraduate studies and Slovenian or Macedonian during the graduate studies. They are also required to continue education in the western language they have learnt in secondary school.

The Institute also has a well-stocked Slavonic studies library, which is the oldest institution to hold such a collection in Poland. It also produces multiple publications, including the journal Pamiętnik Słowiański (Slavic Memoir) and the annual Cracow-Vilnius Studies in Humanities, and collaborates with a number of universities from both Poland and abroad. As a distinguished and modern academic centre, the institute plays a prominent role in Slavonic studies in Europe and the whole world.

Websites of grant projects (including vast databases) run by the Institute staff members:




Recently published books by the Institute staff members: