This article was adapted from "Bulgaria National Tour", prepared by George Balev and Plamen Dimitrov, in Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).Reprinted from Wedding, D., & Stevens, M. J. (Eds.). (2009). Psychology: IUPsyS Global Resource (Edition 2009) [CD-ROM]. International Journal of Psychology, 44(Suppl. 1).
In Bulgaria psychology has been taught since 1888 when the University of Sofia was founded and in 1904 a laboratory for experimental research was established at the University of Sofia. During the first decades of the twentieth century, psychological preparation was given as part of the specialties of pedagogy and philosophy. A special chair of psychology was founded in 1963, but special departments for training psychologists were not established until 1970.
Research in psychology is conducted in the Universities, in the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and other scientific institutions. During the last decade major fields of scientific research were educational psychology, child psychology, social industrial, sport psychology, neuropsychology, psychology of management, of culture and creativity. Some of the problems studied are: psychology of learning and thinking, interrelations in groups, psychological foundations of labor, sport and creative activities, psychology of individuals under stress conditions, and educational and vocational guidance.
Most Bulgarian psychologists are engaged in teaching in secondary schools where psychology is included as an obligatory subject, in teacher training institutions, and in universities. Next in number are psychologists in industry, transport, medical establishments, NGOs, and in research institutions.
Although psychology is being offered in most of the thirty institutions of higher education, only in the University of Sofia, St. Kliment of Ochrid, and in the New Bulgarian University are there departments for comprehensive training of professional psychologists. The training is done through a five-year course of study following the secondary gymnasium education. Possibilities for further Master and Postgraduate course studies exist in the University of Sofia and the New Bulgarian University, and their branches across the country, and a three-year Ph.D. course of study and research for the PhD / Psychological Studies, and completing additional research and scientific publications (without time limitations) for the Doctor of Science degree.
Every university graduate has the right to practice as a psychologist in teaching or research. There is no general regulation regarding these rights, but there are some for the professional status of psychologists in industry and in schools.
Updated August 2003