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Twenty years ago, three researchers from the Institute of Psychology at the Polish Academy of Sciences decided to open the best higher education institution in the country. It was a decision that required a lot of courage and determination. Professors Andrzej Eliasz, Zbigniew Pietrasiński and Janusz Reykowski bonded over a common goal and embarked on a new course in the history of academic education in Poland. Thanks to their efforts and perseverance, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities opened its doors in 1996.

andrzej eliasz Zbigniew Pietrasinski Janusz Reykowski
Prof. dr hab. Andrzej Eliasz, Prof. dr hab. Zbigniew Pietrasiński & Prof. dr hab. Janusz Reykowski

Please view the full history of SWPS University below.

  • SWPS University is established.

    Three researchers, Andrzej Eliasz, Zbigniew Pietrasiński and Janusz Reykowski from Polish Academy of Sciences, establish a new higher education institution, SWPS University of Humanities and Social Sciences.

    The first program of study at SWPS University is Social Psychology.
    500 students are admitted to the University during the first year.

    1996 World Events:

    » The first cloned mammal, sheep Dolly, is born.
    » A Polish poet, Wisława Szymborska, wins the Nobel Prize for Literature.
    » A chess computer Deep Blue defeats world chess champion Garry Kasparow.

  • SWPS University launches professional training and certification programs.

    The programs include Negotiation and Mediation, Management, Market Research and Customer Service.

    Students of SWPS University, under the auspices of Professor Zbigniew Pietrasiński, publish a book entitled Studenci o własnym rozwoju [Students Talk about Personal Development].
    The number of students at SWPS University reaches 1000.

    1997 World Events:

    » The Republic of Poland adopts its new Constitution.
    » NASA’s Pathfinder space probe lands on the surface of Mars
    » The first color photograph appears on the front page of The New York Times.

  • The Laboratory of Experimental Psychology is established.

    It is the first research center at SWPS University. The first research projects conducted there include studies on automatic processing of information and modification of attitudes. Professor Grzegorz Sędek is named the Director of the Laboratory.

    SWPS University launches its Center for Practical Education.
    The number of students reaches 3,000.

    1999 World Events:

    » Poland joins NATO.
    » New currency of the European Union, the Euro, is launched.
    » Napster, a revolutionary music downloading service, debuts.




  • The Psychology Study Program receives Certification of Quality of Education.

    After four years of operation, SWPS University receives the Certificate of Quality of Education for Psychology Study Program from the University Accreditation Committee established by the Conference of Rectors of Polish Universities. SWPS University is the first private higher education institution in Poland, to undergo the assessment procedure by the University Accreditation Committee.

    The University launches new programs of study - Sociology and Cultural Studies.

    2000 World Events:

    » A new millenium begins.
    » The Tate Modern Art Gallery opens in London.
    » A Polish film director, Andrzej Wajda, receives an Oscar for a lifetime achievement in film directing

  • SWPS University opens its new 23,000 m² campus in Warsaw.

    The University is now housed in a historic, carefully renovated building of the High Voltage Apparatus and Devices Factory built in the 1920s, in the iconic Praga district of Warsaw, at Chodakowska Street. The new campus includes computerized library, classrooms, lecture halls, computer labs, and research laboratories with the latest research equipment.

    SWPS University grows to include two faculties - the Faculty of Psychology and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences.
    First SWPS University graduates receive their M.A. Degree Diplomas.

    2001 World Events:

    » Microsoft releases Windows XP
    » Apple introduces the iPod to the world.
    » The world’s first artificial heart is implanted in a patient.


  • Faculty of Psychology launches in Sopot

    SWPS University opens its second campus in Sopot. Professor Alina Kolańczyk is named Dean of the Faculty of Psychology in Sopot..

    SWPS University gains the rights to grant doctoral degrees in Psychology.
    The school launches SWPS Academica Press.
    SWPS University opens a therapeutic center (today the Academic Center for Psychotherapy and Development).

    2002 World Events:

    » Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Golden Jubilee.
    » Several member states of the European Union adopt Euro as their currency.
    » Daniel Kahneman receives the Nobel Prize in Economics for integrating insights from psychological research into economic science.

  • SWPS University opens the Center for East Asian Civilization.

    Professor Krzysztof Gawlikowski is named the Director of the Center and he has been holding this post ever since.

    SWPS University launches a five-year uniform Master’s degree study program in Psychology with English as the main language of instruction. It is the first program of its kind in Poland.
    SWPS University joins the Conference of Rectors of Academic Schools in Poland.
    SWPS University grants the first doctoral degree.

    2003 World Events:

    » China launches its first manned space mission.
    » Mars makes its closest approach to Earth in over 60,000 years.
    » The Concorde makes its last commercial fight, bringing the era of airliner supersonic travel to a close.


  • Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences launches in Wrocław

    SWPS University opens its third campus in Wrocław, which houses the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. Professor Dariusz Doliński is named Dean of the Faculty. Currently, it is the best faculty of its kind in Poland, according to the assessment by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

    The Sociology study program is positively assessed by The Polish Accreditation Committee.
    SWPS University opens the Center for Scandinavian Studies.
    SWPS University joins the European University Association.

    2004 World Events:

    » Poland joins NATO.
    » Google releases Gmail.
    » Facebook launches in February.

  • SWPS University gains the rights to grant post-doctoral degrees (habilitacja).

    The Central Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles approves the right of the Faculty of Psychology in Warsaw to grant post-doctoral degrees in the field of humanities, in Psychology.

    The Psychology program receives the highest grade for the quality of education from The Polish Accreditation Committee.

    2005 World Events:

    » YouTube, the most popular video sharing website, is founded.
    » Surgeons in France carry out the first human face transplant.
    » Eris, the largest known dwarf palnet in the Solar System, is discovered.

  • SWPS University launches Faculty of Languages and Literatures

    The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences is divided to create the Faculty of Languages and Literatures.The Faculty of Languages and Literatures includes the Institute of the English Studies, Institute of Scandinavian Studies, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, and Center for East Asian Civilization. Professor Janusz Danecki is named Dean of the Faculty.

    By 2006, over 1000 students have graduated from SWPS University.

    2006 World Events:

    » Twitter is launched.
    » NASA launches the first space mission to Pluto.
    » The Human Genome Project publishes the last chromosome sequence in Nature magazine.

  • SWPS University gains the rights to grant doctoral degrees in Cultural Studies

    The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Warsaw gains the right to grant doctoral degrees in the field of humanities, in Cultural Studies. As a result, SWPS University becomes the only private higher education institution in Poland with the rights to grant doctoral degrees in two disciplines and to grant post-doctoral degrees.

    The Sociology and Cultural Study programs receive a positive assessment for the quality of education from The Polish Accreditation Committee.

    2007 World Events:

    » Apple launches the iPhone.
    » Poland joins the EU Schengen border-free zone.
    » The Channel Tunnel between the UK and France is opened to passengers.

  • SWPS University gains the right to grant doctoral degrees in Sociology

    WyThe Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Warsaw gains the right to grant doctoral degrees in the field of humanities, in Sociology.As the result, SWPS University is authorized to grant doctoral degrees in three disciplines.

    SWPS University opens additional research centers, including: Center for the Study of Democracy, Center for Polish Literature and Language, Center for Comparative Research on Literature and Art.
    Over 1,700 students graduates from SWPS University.

    2008 World Events:

    » Bill Gates steps down as the Chairman of Microsoft.
    » Barac Obama is elected the 44th president of the United States.
    » The Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, is launched.

  • SWPS University launches the Faculty of Law

    SWPS University extends its educational offer to include Law Studies and launches the Faculty of Law. Professor Teresa Gardocka is named Dean of the Faculty.

    In the ranking by Perspektywy, a Polish influential magazine devoted to educational affairs, SWPS University is ranked as one of the top private higher education institutions in Poland, a position that it maintains to this day.
    Over 11,000 students attend SWPS University.

    2009 World Events:

    » Satoshi Nakamoto introduces bitcoin.
    » UNESCO launches The World Digital Library.
    » European astronomers discover 32 exoplanets.


  • SWPS University opens new campuses in Katowice and Poznań

    The Faculty of Psychology opens in Katowice and Professor Katarzyna Popiołek is named the Dean of the Faculty. The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences opens in Poznań and Professor Janusz Romul is named the Dean of the Faculty.

    High marks in a comprehensive assessment by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education

    The Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wrocław is named the best faculty of its kind in Poland by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education. The Ministry also awards the prestigious first category to the Faculty of Psychology and the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Warsaw.

    200 international students attend SWPS University.

    2010 World Events:

    » Apple launches the iPad.
    » Scientists announce the creation of a functional synthetic genome.
    » The first 24-hour flight by a solar-powered plane is completed by the Solar Impulse.


  • SWPS University grants the title of doctor honoris causa to Professor Philip Zimbardo

    The Senate of SWPS University grants the title of doctor honoris causa to Professor Philip Zimbardo for his outstanding contributions to Psychology and the implementation of psychological research in conflict resolution as well as for the promotion of international scientific cooperation, including SWPS University.

    SWPS Researchers recognized by the Foundation for Polish Science

    Foundation for Polish Science awards MASTER Sabbatical Fellowships to SWPS University researchers, including: Porfessor Leszek Koczanowicz, Professor Aleksandra Łuszczyńska, Professor Grzegorz Sędek and Professor Bogdan Wojciszke.

    Five SWPS University students receive scholarships from the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.

    2011 World Events:

    » The Royal wedding: Prince William marries Catherine Middleton.
    » Poland takes over the Presidency of the Council of the EU for a six-month term.
    » The world’s first artificial organ transplant is achieved, using an artificial windpipe coated with stem cells.

  • SWPS University gains the rights to grant doctoral degrees in the discipline of Law

    The Faculty of Law is the fifth faculty at SWPS University to gain the doctoral degree granting rights.

    Recognition for Design and Psychology Programs

    In an academic competition, organized by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Design Program in Poznań and the Psychology Program in Sopot win 1M PLN for further improvement and development of educational offer

    The Faculty of Law is ranked among the best faculties of its kind in Poland by Rzeczpospolita, a national daily newspaper.
    SWPS Students win awards in Stuendcki Nobel 2012 [Student Nobel Prize] competition, awarded by the Independent Student’s Association, and a Diamond Grant, awarded by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
    The National Science Centre awards the highest number of grants to SWPS University among all private higher education institutions in Poland.

    2012 World Events:

    » After 244 years since its first publication, the Encyclopaedia Britannica discontinues its print edition.
    » Researchers successfully perform the first implantation of an early prototype bionic eye with 24 electrodes.
    » The European Organization for Nuclear Research announces the discovery of a new particle with properties consistent with the Higgs boson.

  • Recognition for the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wrocław

    In a comprehensive assessment by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education, the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Wrocław is awarded the prestigious grade A+, as the faculty with the highest number of points in the country. Only 4% of all institutions assessed this year by the Ministry have received the A+ grade.

    SWPS University grants the title of doctor honoris causa to Professor Robert Cialdini.
    A SWPS University doctoral student wins a Research Award in Social Sciences, funded by Polityka, a Polish weekly news magazine.
    The Law Program at SWPS University is ranked among the best education programs in Poland by the Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
    Young SWPS Researchers receive START scholarships from the Foundation for Polish Science.
    Students of School of Form in Poznań are featured by CNN.

    2013 World Events:

    » The first Polish scientific satellite, Lem, is launched into space.
    » American scientists use a 3D printer to create a living lab-grown ear.
    » A new species of carnivorous mammal, olinguito, is discovered in the Americas.

  • Outstanding Cultural Studies at SWPS University

    Cultural Studies Program at the Faculty of Cultural Studies and Languages receives an Outstanding grade from The Polish Accreditation Committee. It is the first Outstanding grade awarded to a Cultural Studies Program in the history of the Commission.

    SWPS University celebrates 25 years of freedom in Poland
    SWPS University hosts a debate on Polish Democracy - the Account of the Last 25 Years. The topic pertains to the results of the Democratic Audit of Poland, a project led by dr hab. Radosław Markowski, Prof. SWPS University, and Director of the Center for Study of Democracy. The debate is organized under the auspices of Bronisław Komorowski, President of the Republic of Poland.

    2014 World Events:

    » The Eurasian Economic Union comes into effect.
    » For the first time in history a spacecraft lands on a comet.
    » The second Polish scientific satellite, Heweliusz, is launched.

  • SWPS University gains formal "university" designation

    SWPS University gains the rights to grant doctoral degrees in Literary Studies. It is the sixth doctoral designation granted to SWPS University by the Central Commission for Academic Degrees and Titles. With the sixth designation, the school fulfills all requirements to formally be called a “university”.

    SWPS University today:

    » five campuses in major Polish cities: Warsaw, Wrocław, Sopot, Poznań and Katowice
    » over 40 programs of study and close to 90 specializations
    » over 15,000 students
    » the faculty: 75 professors, 59 faculty with post-doctoral degrees (habilitacja), 183 faculty with doctoral degrees
    » SWPS University has granted 153 doctoral degrees and 37 post-doctoral degrees (habilitacja)
    » 6 faculties of SWPS University have the authority to grant doctoral degrees and 3 faculties have the right to grant post-doctoral (habilitacja) degrees
    » In 2014, the researchers at SWPS University conducted 348 research projects, worth 30M PLN
    » 13 projects, worth 23M PLN, funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) under the Operational Program Human Capital spearheaded by the EU

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