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AMU history and structure

The Academy of Performing Arts (AMU) is a university level school of music, dance, drama, film, TV and multi-media studies. It was founded by the Presidential Decree of October 27, 1945. A year later, in the winter semester of 1946, it was opened for students.

Several prominent artists and writers, namely Jindřich Honzl, Jiří Frejka, František Troster and others, had conceived the idea of the school itself during World War II. Professors of the older Prague Conservatory also supported the idea of transforming the former maestro school into a higher school at university level. Writers, artists and other film creators with practical experience in the film industry (namely Jaroslav Bouček, Karel Plicka, Otakar Vávra, Ivan Olbracht, Vítězslav Nezval, A. M. Brousil and others) watched over the school's future curriculum, trying to make it responsive to new trends in post-war film development. Later the Film studio and the theatre Disk, which belonged to the Faculty of Theatre, were added. The theatre Disk is also used by the Opera Studio of the Faculty of Music. When TV came into being, the Faculty of Film began to serve its needs by offering study programmes for TV specialists.

Structure of the Institution
The Academy of Performing Arts consists of three faculties (i.e. school is in Czech "fakulta" used here in translation) and a rector's office. The faculties are as follows:

Film and TV School
Music Faculty
Theatre Faculty

Besides the theatre Disk and Film Studio, the Academy has some other teaching facilities, e.g., sound and photography studios, laboratories, workshops, dancing and training halls. Recently, in the newly reconstructed Lichtenstein Palace, an impressive concert hall dedicated to the memory of the Czech composer Bohuslav Martinů has been added.

The Academy also owns an out-of-town practice and teaching centre in Poněšice. This centre is in South Bohemia on the river Vltava, 6 km from the well-known Hluboká Castle. It is used for special training programmes, sports and language courses for students and other users.

Organisation of studies
Students may enrol in bachelor, master, and doctoral study programmes. The bachelor study programmes usually last 3 years and, on passing the required examination, the students receive the degree "bakalář umění (i.e. Bachelor of Arts) in abbr. "BcA.". The master study programmes usually take 2 more years. After passing the state examination, the students receive the degree of "magistr umění" (in abbr. "MgA."). This degree is comparable to a Master of Arts (MA) degree.

A doctoral study programme has been established at all the faculties. On passing a doctoral examination and presenting doctoral theses, students are awarded the degree of Doctor ("Ph.D.").

Special courses are also organised. Well-known artists and teachers teach these courses. The tuition varies according to the subject. The participant may receive a certificate of credits. These courses, however, are not part of a regular university study programme.

Student Services
The Academy has its own library. Students are also entitled to use other libraries free of charge, i.e., the University library, the library of the Czech Academy of Sciences, etc. To many cultural events, such as theatres, concerts, exhibitions lectures and films, students of the Academy are admitted free of charge or they are entitled to reduced-price tickets.

There are many types of mutual co-operation between the Academy and similar schools, both at home and abroad. This consists of various artistic competitions and festivals and reciprocal exchange performances.

There are two halls of residence where students can stay. One is in the centre of Prague in Hradební Street, the other, a more modern building, is in the southern outskirts of Prague. The number of rooms in the halls of residence is limited. Meals can be taken in student canteens. The physical education department of the Academy organises various sports for students.

Information for Foreign Students
Foreign students can study at all faculties of the Academy. Foreigners accepted as regular students can study any programme and may graduate with a bachelor or master degree. They can also study a few chosen subjects for a shorter period of time. A limited number of courses are taught in English or in German; for the others a preparatory course in Czech is necessary. Over the years, several hundred foreign students have graduated from all three faculties of the Academy.

Detailed information about the study programmes at all three faculties of the Academy can be obtained directly from the faculties or from the rector's office. It is best to contact these institutions well in advance, since the entrance examination must be taken, and in some cases sample works submitted. The examination takes place in January or February, and the deadline for submitting sample works is December 1st. Most departments offer consultations prior to the entrance examinations. Application forms will be mailed upon request by the Study Departments of the faculties.

Foreign students are enrolled after taking an entrance examination. The purpose of this examination is to find out whether the candidate is talented enough for his/her chosen profession. After having been accepted, foreign students should make some effort to become familiar with the Czech language. They can study privately or take preparatory courses.

The Academy can provide accommodation in student halls of residence and board in student canteens for international students. The accommodation cost in student halls of residence is CZK 2,200 - 4,500 (USD 88 - 180 ) per month for a single room. The cost of board (3 meals daily) is approximately CZK 2220 (USD 89) per month depending on the student canteen..

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