Zadar has a centuries-old university tradition, the longest in Croatia: following the tradition of ecclesiastical education, first mentioned in the 10th century, a Dominican higher education institution Studium generale, later known as the Universitas Iadertina, was founded as early as 14 June 1396. The University of Zadar offers a wide range of study programmes at undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate levels, together with two studies conducted as integrated undergraduate and graduate studies.
Study programmes are structured according to the principles of the Bologna Process and the Act on Science and Higher Education, which also included the acceptance of a unique three-cycle study system (undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate specialist and doctoral studies) the introduction of the ECTS system. Study programmes of the University of Zadar passed the Croatian Agency for Science and Higher Education (the member of ENQA). They obtained the Licence from the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Sports in June 2005. The study programmes reformed according to the principles of the Bologna process have been offered at the university since the academic year 2005-2006 when initiated the 1st year of 30 reformed undergraduate study programmes while the enrolment on 35 graduate study programmes started in the academic year 2008-2009.