Prague’s oldest university welcomes future world leaders

English-taught degree programs at Charles University’s Institute of Political Studies invite students to impact global change.

Diana Bocco

Written by Diana Bocco Published on 07.03.2022 17:00:00 (updated on 07.03.2022) Reading time: 4 minutes

In the 1930s, Harold Lasswell famously described politics as “who gets what, when, and how.” If you want to understand how this definition encapsulates political behavior around the world, Charles University’s English-taught political science degree programs are now enrolling the world leaders and policymakers of tomorrow.

The Institute of Political Studies (IPS) is located in Prague, the epicenter of political and economic power in the Czech Republic, a country that has long been witness to political turbulence and change from the Cold War to the fall of communism.

Petr Jüptner, the Director of IPS at Faculty of Social Sciences Charles University, confirms that enrollment in the faculty’s political studies programs is currently on the rise. “Applications, especially for English programs, come from all over the world,” he says. “The number of new students is growing consistently.”

Particular interest among international students in studying politics in the Czech Republic could perhaps coincide with the country’s take over of the EU presidency in July 2022.

“It will be interesting not only to watch how the newly formed government will take on the task but also to see our students become practically involved in helping with the organization of this event,” says Jüptner.

Going from a classroom in Prague to the world political stage isn’t such a leap: current NATO ambassador Jakub Landovský is a graduate of the university with many of its alumni going on to leading careers in national administrations and diplomacy, European and international institutions, as well as businesses, NGOs, media, and academia.

IPS’s English-taught Bachelor and Master courses include Bachelor in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics; Master in International Relations; Master in International Security Studies; Master in Geopolitical Studies, and Master in International Economic and Political Studies.

Degree programs focus on a wide range of timely studies.

The Geopolitical Studies Program (GPS) tackles the analysis of interrelated processes that shape global geopolitics and geoeconomics. International Relations (MAIN) develops the analytical skills necessary to understand the international context of politics, economy, and security. International Security Studies (MISS) address security issues ranging from conventional conflicts and wars to unconventional agendas associated with cyberspace.

Politics, Philosophy, and Economics (PPE) is an Oxford-style program that teaches students to analyze complex social, political, and economic problems in a multidisciplinary manner and to solve them from complementary perspectives. The study of philosophy is included in the curriculum to foster critical, creative, and ethical thinking.

International Economic and Political Studies (IEPS) investigates contemporary political, economic, and social issues from a multidisciplinary perspective based on the aforementioned Oxford-style “PPE” with additional focus on exploring their philosophical, historical, legal, and sociological aspects.

All of the university’s degree programs offer a double degree option in cooperation with prestigious partner universities at the University of Konstanz (MAIN and MISS), the National Taiwan University (GPS), and the University of Bayreuth (PPE and IEPS) where selected students have the opportunity to obtain a second diploma in addition to the Master's degree in from Charles University.

Daniela, who graduated from the program in 2020 and landed an internship at the Organization of American States, credits the mix of theoretical and practical coursework that helped further her personal and professional development. “While studying there I discovered how many things are actually connected to security and now I am highly interested in the fight against corruption and impunity,” she says.

Another recent alumnus, David, spoke about the benefits of the dual degree program and the faculty’s diverse teaching staff, representing different cultures from around the world.

“The security studies program at Charles University has positively changed the entire trajectory of my life. Its dual degree program provided me with the outstanding opportunity of obtaining two master’s degrees from two different countries in Europe and ultimately put me on the path of beginning my Ph.D.”

For those not ready to commit to a long-term move, IPS currently has over 40 Erasmus agreements with leading universities throughout Europe, allowing all students to spend a semester abroad at a partner university.

Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of studying at IPS, particularly in this field, is that it’s truly a global program. “International students bring in different outlooks to enrich their learning experience,” says Jüptner.

Tetyana, a master’s student of the International Relations program agrees, is saying: “Studying is not an isolated process, so being part of an international student group, with people coming from around the world, enriched my personal experience and gave me friends for life.”

The application deadline for the Institute of Political Studies (IPS) at Charles University is April 30, 2022 for applicants who do not need to apply for a visa in order to enter the Czech Republic or who already have a valid visa.

This article was written in association with Faculty of Social Sciences, Institute of Political Studies.To read more about our partner content policies see here.

Would you like us to write about your business? Find out more