Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague

The Higher School of Applied Arts (VSUP or UMPRUM) is a prestigious creative higher education institution in Prague for training specialists in the fields of fine arts, design, architecture, photography and animation.

UMPRUM School of Applied Arts is a prestigious creative higher education institution in Prague.


Official name:
Akademie múzických umění v Praze


Type of university: state

Language of instruction: Czech

Faculties: 7

Specialties: 30+

Number of years of study: 4-9 years

Program of study:
Bachelor's degree, Master's degree, Doctoral degree

History of the foundation of VŠUP

The school was founded by Franz Josef in 1885, and at that time it was the only one of its kind. The first students were taught by the most prominent artists in Bohemia, the director was the architect František Skhranov Jr. The first teaching staff included such masters of Czech culture as František Ženiška, Jakub Šikaneder, Gustav Šmoranc, Josef Myslbek, Friedrich Oman and others. They helped students master painting and graphic arts, learn to work with materials (wood, metal), and design. Since its emergence, the university has been a cradle of talented artists and craftsmen. At the junction of the XIX and XX centuries it became one of the centers of Art Nouveau style. During its more than a century-long history, the school has gone through many stages - Nazi occupation, Communist coup d'état, suppression of the Prague Spring. All these events had a serious impact on its activities, but in the end it survived and remains a leader in the field of creative education in the Czech Republic to this day.

At the beginning of March, the admission committee of the Higher School of Applied Arts summarized the results of the entrance exams and announced the names of the lucky students who will start their studies at UMPRUM in September. The maximum number of students for each of the disciplines presented in VŠUP was from 2 to 10 people. To study here means to have honor and dignity. Also intelligence and luck, although the entrance tests are not the most difficult.

What do I need to enter a university in the Czech Republic?

According to the QS World University Rankings it is one of the 100 Best Art Schools in the world. Today the concept of the School is based on 3 principles: theory, technical skills and creativity. Admission to creative specialties is quite different from admission to specialties of any other direction. Firstly, entrance exams are held not in summer, but already in winter. Secondly, there are several stages of enrollment, and also an author's portfolio with works is required.

The school consists of 23 ateliers in 3 departments:

  • Design;
  • Humanities;
  • Graphics and Visual Communication.

The "highlight" of the Higher School of Applied Arts is the bias in the practical part, work in special training ateliers under the careful guidance of teachers. Every year they recruit quite few students with a large number of applicants, because the university prioritizes that its students are the best of the best.

What are the entrance exams for the Bachelor's program at the Graduate School of Applied Arts in Prague?

There are three majors available for admission to the bachelor's program. Each specialty includes several ateliers, from which the applicant has to choose the most interesting one. All specialties last 4 years. These are the specialties:

  • Design
  • Faculty of Design: Industrial Design Studio, Furniture and Interior Design Studio, Product Design Studio.
  • Faculty of Applied Arts: Glass Studio, Ceramics and Porcelain Studio, METAL Studio, Textile Studio, Fashion Design Studio, Fashion and Footwear Design Studio.
  • Humanities
  • Humanities Studio I;
  • Humanities Studio II;
  • Humanities Studio III;
  • Humanities Studio IV.
  • Graphics and Visual Communication
  • Illustration and Graphics Studio;
  • Writing and Typography Studio;
  • Graphic Design and Visual Communication Studio;
  • Animation and Film Studio;
  • Graphic Design and New Media Studio;
  • Studio of Photography II;
  • Studio of Design and Digital Technology.

First of all, the application for studies, popularly known as "přihláška", is submitted. It must be done online on the university's website by November 30 and can only be submitted to one studio. Later, the printed version of the invitation and all required documents must either be sent by post to the student office or brought there in person. These necessary documents are a document confirming that you have paid the application fee, a notarized copy of the secondary school certificate (in case of foreigners: its translated version into Czech), a CV and a letter of motivation.

Foreigners are also required to pass a certificate of proficiency in Czech at a high level. The study takes place in Czech, so you need to know the language well - the competition is high, there are many applicants and no one will keep a student who barely understands what is going on around him. One-year Czech language preparatory courses are successful in preparing the applicant for the realities of studying at a university.

The university then sends a letter with all the necessary information about the entrance exams: where they take place, on what dates, etc. The entrance exams are divided into two stages and last one week.

At the first stage of the entrance exams the applicant submits his/her portfolio in a regulated form. The commission evaluates the portfolio according to the system "pass - fail". At the second stage, a theoretical test on the history of art and general cultural overview is written. In addition, the results of the creative assignments completed by the applicant are evaluated, as well as his or her prerequisites for studying the chosen field, which are verified in interviews with the studio management. During this round, the following are evaluated: an art history test, a portfolio, and 5 art assignments.

For admission to many creative universities in the Czech Republic it is necessary to write a motivation letter. In this article we tell you in detail how to compose such a letter correctly to surprise the admission committee.

How are the entrance exams to the Master's program at VŠUP in Prague?

Master's studies last 2 years (the only exception is the specialty "Architecture" - there you study for 3 years). The Graduate School of Applied Arts has two types of Master's programs: practical and theoretical.

The practical program includes the specialties "Architecture" (ateliers "Architecture I", "Architecture II" "Architecture III" and "Architecture IV"), "Design", "Graphics and Visual Communication" and "Fine Arts". The list of ateliers for the last three majors for the Master's program is the same as for the Bachelor's program.

The theoretical program implies that you have already received a bachelor's degree in one of the specialties of the university and want to deepen your knowledge in the theoretical part and take an internship in one of the ateliers. That's why there is only one specialty - Theory and History of Contemporary Art

The invitation should be submitted by November 30. It should be accompanied by a document confirming the payment of the application, a notarized copy of the diploma of higher education (in our case a notarized copy of the nostrification of the diploma of higher education), a CV and motivation letter and a portfolio with works mandatory for all ateliers.

Submitting an invitation is, in fact, the first stage of the entrance test. The lucky applicants receive a letter with all the necessary information about the second stage: time and venue, what they can bring with them, what will be on the second stage, etc.

The applicant is evaluated for each part, the evaluation is recorded in the protocol and approved by the commission of the department (portfolio and art assignments) and the commission of the Department of Art Theory and History (art history test):

  • 12 - 10 points corresponds to the level of evaluation excellent;
  • 9 - 7 points corresponds to the evaluation level of very good;
  • 6 - 4 points corresponds to the evaluation level of good;
  • 3 - 0 points corresponds to the level of evaluation unsatisfactory.

Based on the results of the second round, the departmental committee proposes individual applicants for admission. Candidates nominated for admission must score at least 60 points and must not have 3 or fewer points for any assignment. In exceptional cases, an applicant may be offered admission to another studio. The ranking is determined by the number of points earned in the studio.

You can get quality preparation for entering a Czech university, learn Czech to level B1 and above, and build your portfolio at the Prague Education Center course. We offer an intensive program of preparation for creative universities, which takes place in Prague and Brno. It is aimed exclusively at preparation for creative specialties, so it starts in July instead of September. This allows students to prepare themselves to the necessary level before they apply for admission to the university (in creative universities the deadline for applications is mostly until the end of November).
Want to learn a creative profession in the Czech Republic? Choose a Prague Education Center course and get started!

Do you want to get a creative education in the Czech Republic? Then you should definitely take a look at Prague! The capital is home to the most famous creative universities in the Czech Republic: UMPRUM, AMU and AVU:

How to create the right portfolio

A well-designed portfolio strongly influences the outcome of admission. Therefore, it is important to know the requirements of different specialties.

Department of Architecture

Architecture I: 

Here you can be creative, because there are no strict restrictions. The works just have to demonstrate your interest in the specialty and talent. The only requirement: no rolls, only works of maximum A1 format nested between the plates. Audiovisual works in CD-DVD format.

Architecture II: 

You are expected to use your portfolio to express your interests, personality and love of architecture. Again, there are no special restrictions: These can be photographs, drawings (maximum A1 format), three-dimensional objects, audiovisual works (in CD format). Number of works: 15-20.

Architecture III: 

Also from 15 to 20 works, but only in printed form, the maximum format is A3. You can show your personal architectural projects.

Architecture IV: 

From 15 to 20 works in the specialty in any technique (photography, drawing, etc.) and in any format. Audio and video in CD.

Department of Design

Industrial Design Studio: 

Works only in printed format, the maximum number: 30 pieces.

Atelier of furniture and interior design: 

The portfolio should contain from 20 to 30 works in the specialty in A4-A3 format only in printed form.

Atelier of product design: 

From 15 to 20 works in the original specialty, large 2D and 3D projects should be captured in photographs.

Department of Fine Arts


20 author's works completed in the last 3 years and a description of the practice related to the specialty.


From 15 to 20 author's works related to the specialty: original drawings, personal color compositions with complementary photo documentation.

Intermedial confrontation:

From 15 to 25 author's works related to the specialty: originals of drawings, plastic works and photographs only in printed form


The portfolio should contain 1-2 collections of photos on a free topic, a photo book, only in the printed version.

Department of Graphics

Atelier of illustration and graphics: 

From 15 to 30 works, of which a maximum of 5 drawings of figures / heads, original drawings must be provided, photographs are possible, only printed versions.

Font creation studio and printing house:

The portfolio should contain a number of author's works in A2 format in the following areas: typography, books, poster. Diaries and sketchbooks are similar, only printed versions.

Graphic Design and Visual Communications Studio:

About 20 author's works in the specialty (typography, posters, visual style, etc.) in A4 — A3 format only in the printed version.

Studio of cinematographic and television graphics:

From 12 to 20 works in the specialty: drawings, animated films, etc. The video can be presented on CD and DVD.

Graphic Design and New Media Studio: 

Up to 20 papers, preferably in A3 format, only related to the specialty. Provide 3D objects in the format of photo documentation. You can include audio and video in your portfolio.

Department of Applied Arts

Atelier of glass:

From 15 to 25 author's works related to the specialty: drawings of figures, heads, plastic works and realizations in photographs only in the printed version.

Ceramics and porcelain Atelier: 

From 15 to 20 works related to the specialty can also be in digital format (but not CD). 

Atelier K. O. V - Concept-Object-Value :

From 15 to 20 author's works related to the specialty in the form of drawings, plastic works only in the printed version.

Fashion Atelier: 

From 15 to 20 author's works related to the specialty, you can provide drawings, color compositions, photographs, but only in printed form.

Clothing and shoe design Studio: 

From 15 to 20 author's works related to the specialty in the form of photographs and drawings. It is advised to make a bias on academic drawings, design sketches and photographs of already implemented models.

Atelier of textile products:

From 15 to 20 author's works related to the specialty - drawings, paintings, compositions, collages, a diary for drawing, sketches, created materials only in printed form.

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