Academic degree

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Academic degrees or university degrees are designations that by authorized universities successfully because of a university examination completed studies are awarded or from a special scientific achievement and a certificate will be documented (graduation).

Bologna Process in Europe

In the European Union , within the framework of the Bologna Process to facilitate the mobility of workers, since 2001 the aim has been to standardize university degrees in a system of three cycles (hierarchical levels) (usually referred to as Bachelor , Master and PhD degrees ). In most European countries with traditional two-cycle systems (e.g. diploma and doctorate ), a change is therefore underway. Many degree programs have already completed this conversion process, while some degree programs with a state or church degree will not be converted for the time being.



In Germany, a course of study is named after the degree or degree it has obtained (e.g. "Magister degree"), and the same degree can be awarded for different subjects . Academic degrees are also legally referred to as university degrees .

Types of degrees

The University Framework Act (HRG) provides in § 18 for the academic diploma degree and the academic diploma degree with the addition (FH). State law can also provide for a master’s degree for universities as well as granting the possibility of “conferring degrees other than the above [above] on the basis of an agreement with a foreign university.” The higher education laws of some federal states provide that the art colleges have other academic degrees (in North Rhine-Westphalia, for example, the academy letter, which is equivalent to the diploma degree). The following also applies: “Otherwise, state law determines which university degrees are awarded.” For example, doctoral degrees and honorary doctorates are regulated in the state university laws.

Section 19 HRG also made it possible to set up courses of study "which lead to an academic bachelor's or bachelor's degree and a master's or master's degree". The Magister as the German form of the Master's degree should not be confused with the traditional German Magister degrees, even if both the diploma and the “old” Magister are generally viewed as equivalent to the “new” Master / Magister.

Academic degrees in the Federal Republic of Germany are

  • in the first cycle
    • the Bachelor, which is awarded at universities,
      • The possible designations have been standardized for the following degrees.
      • Abbreviations: BA (Bachelor of Arts), B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science), B.Eng. ( Bachelor of Engineering ), LL.B. ( Bachelor of Laws ), BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts), B.Mus. (Bachelor of Music), B.Ed. (Bachelor of Education)
      • Standard period of study : 3 years (less often also 3.5 and 4 years)
    • the bachelor's degree ,
      • Abbreviation: B. or bacc., Examples: B. A. (Baccalaureus Artium), bac. jur. (Baccalaureus Juris)
  • in the second cycle
    • the diploma that is or has been awarded at universities,
    • the licentiate ,
      • Abbreviation: lic., Example: lic. theol. (Licentiate in theology)
      • Standard period of study: Bachelor or Magister / Diploma plus 1 to 2 years
    • the master ,
      • Abbreviation: M. or Mag. (Formerly also Mr.), example: MA ( Magister Artium , Magister der Künste). The abbreviation MA also stands for the abbreviation of the academic degree Master of Arts ( MA ), which is awarded in Master’s courses; both degrees should not be confused with one another.
      • Standard period of study: 4.5 to 6 years
    • the master,
    • the master student (at art colleges),
      • Standard period of study: Master's, Diplom or Magister plus a further 1 to 2 years
  • in the third cycle
    • the doctor,
      • Abbreviation: Dr., examples: Dr. rer. nat. ( Doctor of Science ), Dr. phil. (Doctor of Humanities ), Dr. iur. (or jur.) ( Doctor of Law ), Dr.-Ing. ( PhD engineer ), Dr. med. ( Doctor of Medicine ), Dr. rer. medic. (Doctor of Medical Science), etc.Duration of the doctorate : After the previous degree - 2nd cycle: Magister, Diplom, State Examination or Master, and under special conditions also Bachelor and Diploma (FH / DH / BA) - usually another 2 to 5 years. Medical doctorates play a special role. Here the doctorate can already be started during the studies and the doctoral period lasts a few months. As a result of the low academic level of medical dissertations in most cases, the European Research Council (ERC) recognizes the German “Dr. med. ”as a Ph.D. equivalent.

Legal delimitations

Differentiation from other terms

The following names are not academic degrees:

  • The degrees of state vocational academies are state degrees , since they are not universities and therefore no academic degrees may be awarded. This applies to both the diploma (BA) and bachelor degrees of the professional academies. The degrees awarded by (state-recognized) professional academies for accredited training courses are on an equal footing with the academic bachelor's degrees awarded at universities. The Baden-Württemberg Cooperative State University, the successor to the Baden-Württemberg vocational academies, awards academic degrees; However, the qualifications previously acquired at the vocational academies are still not academic degrees. A postgraduate graduation to the "Diplom (DH)" is possible.
  • The state examination , which is passed in teacher training , veterinary medicine , law , food chemistry , medicine and pharmacy courses, is an examination designation and does not represent an academic degree. However, a successful examination can, usually on application, at some German universities an academic degree can be acquired (e.g. in the case of law, the academic degree of a qualified lawyer ). Sometimes additional examinations have to be proven. Nevertheless, the state examination is a completion of the course as an entry requirement for the legal clerkship or the preparatory service .
  • Professor is an official title , but in most federal states it can be continued as an academic dignity (i.e. also without the addition em. For emeritus or a. D. ) after retirement. A habilitation does not entitle the public to be appointed professor; a formal appointment or the extraordinary award of the title “professor”must firsttake place.
  • In addition to these "professors" there is also the official title "director and professor" in civil service law for civil servants who are primarily responsible for scientific research tasks in non-university but scientific research institutions or in offices and institutions with their own scientific research areas. There are no academic requirements for these "directors and professors" that go beyond the general career requirements; in particular, there is no compulsory doctorate. The designation "professor" may not be continued after leaving the function without explicit permission.
  • So-called “ student degrees ” are traditional but unofficial designations such as “stud.” Or “ cand. ”.
Differentiation from titles

The official title "Prof." (professor) is often wrongly referred to as an academic title and the "professor" is often, but just as incorrectly, referred to or understood as the "highest academic degree". State law regulates whether such a title exists in formal legal terms and who may bear the (academic) title of “professor” (e.g. Section 62 (2) sentence 2, Section 65 (3) and Section 69 (5) SächsHSFG). However, the various professor titles are all not academic degrees, but professional or honorary titles.

In the Higher Education Act of Rhineland-Palatinate, there is also the term academic designation for the professor . There it says: “For professors, their official title is also an academic title . It may also be used after leaving the service without the addition 'out of service (a. D.)'. "

Academic degrees are also colloquially referred to as academic titles, which is legally incorrect. The higher education framework law, the higher education laws of the federal states and the examination regulations underlying them use the term academic degree or university degree . Conversely, the definition of title in Germany is not entirely clear.

In accordance with Section 2, Paragraph 1 of the Law on Titles, Medals and Decorations , titles in Germany are awarded by the Federal President, unless otherwise stipulated by law. The powers of the federal states remain unaffected by this law ( Section 1, Paragraph 2). In Rhineland-Palatinate, for example, the titles of judicial councilor or medical councilor are awarded by the state.

Academic degrees must be named

An academic degree does not count as part of a name, therefore there is no general right to be addressed with an academic degree. This fact is applied differently depending on the context.

  • Example civil service law: It does not violate the civil service law requirement of respectful and trustworthy behavior if a civil servant does not address his superior with the academic degree.
  • Example of business dealings: An employee cannot request the use of his academic degree because it does not belong to the name. If the employer wants to do this anyway, he has the right to use it correctly.
  • Example of the Civil Status Act: Previously, there was no obligation to mention, but the option of entering the parents' academic degrees on the birth certificate (of the child). However, with a resolution of September 4, 2013, the BGH made it clear that since the reformed Civil Status Act came into force on January 1, 2009, academic degrees no longer have to be entered in the person register.

Management of academic degrees

The use of academic degrees in Germany is regulated by the higher education laws of the federal states.

Definition of leadership

“Leadership” is understood to mean that the holder of an academic degree reveals himself to the public, e.g. B. by entering the degree on business cards or on business stationery, but also by verbal expression . Anyone who only describes themselves in a small private circle (e.g. at a party) with a non-existent degree may not make themselves liable to prosecution in the sense of unauthorized guidance, under certain circumstances and in individual cases. B. a clear abuse is not evident. Under certain circumstances and in individual cases, when an artist appears in public with a pseudonym in the context of the exercise of artistic freedom and has achieved a certain level of awareness, the use of an academic degree as part of an artist name (e.g. DJ Dr. Motte ) be exempt from punishment. In principle, however, the use of an academic degree under a pseudonym is punishable under Section 132a StGB if, for example, it is not clearly distinguishable or there is a risk of confusion with the real name (e.g. Dr. Müller). For example, Dr. Alban has a stage name, but as a dentist he is under his real name Dr. Alban Uzoma Nwapa holds the doctorate degree.

PhDs do not address each other with a degree, but with their last name.

There is no need for correction if the title has not been awarded a degree by others.

Form of leadership

In general, degrees may only be used in the form that is stipulated by the award certificate or the examination regulations. Was the diploma degree from a university of applied sciences e.g. B. awarded with the addition (FH), this addition may not be omitted when using the degree. In Germany, in contrast to Austria, there is no legal regulation as to whether a degree is added to a name before or after the name. It is common practice, however, for diploma and doctoral degrees to appear in front of the name, master and bachelor / master / PhD degrees after the name.

Special regulations apply to the use of foreign degrees, which can be found in the higher education laws of the federal states. Foreign degrees may generally only be used with an addition of the origin (the name of the awarding university, example: Dr. med. ( Univ. Isfahan )), there are exceptions for university degrees from countries of the European Union and the European Economic Area (also Iceland , Norway , Liechtenstein ) including the Vatican . A literal translation of the foreign degree into German can be added in brackets.

Sometimes you come across the form “Dr. des. ”, which stands for“ Doctor designatus ”or“ Doctrix designata ”. This refers to a person who has successfully submitted their dissertation and has passed all the examinations prescribed in the doctoral procedure, but whose dissertation has not yet been published, or at least has not yet received their doctoral certificate. Some doctoral regulations therefore see permission to use the “Dr. des. "until the doctoral certificate is handed over, in others this option is not provided for or is even explicitly prohibited.

Criminal liability for unauthorized use

Unlike most protected names whose wrongful leadership usually improperly is, the illegitimate leadership of a German or foreign academic degree is a crime according to § 132a of the Criminal Code ( abuse of titles, job titles and badges ) and may even imprisonment are occupied .

This also applies to the use of designations that are confusingly similar to academic degrees. This is to be understood in the sense that it can give the impression to third parties that it is a question of an academic degree, even with terms like "Diplom-Webmaster", "Diplom-Secretary" or "Diplom-Heilpraktiker". Since in Germany z. For example, in the field of continuing vocational training, certificates titled “Diplom” are common and often deliberately academic terms such as “distance learning”, “diploma examination”, “at university level” are used in the same context, the mistake is widespread that one can After receiving such a certificate, put the abbreviation "Dipl." in front of the job title . Ultimately, however, this carelessness can even result in criminal penalties. The terms “Diplom” or “Dipl.”, When used next to the name, always imply an academic degree. Adding the abbreviation of the awarding further training institute as a parenthesis is not suitable to rule out confusion with an academic degree.

Degrees acquired through “title purchase” may in no case be used. Companies and institutions that award or sell academic degrees without corresponding academic performance are also referred to as “ title mills ”.

Entry in official documents

The registration of academic degrees in official documents, e.g. B. in the passport is not provided in Germany in contrast to countries like Austria. An exception is the doctoral degree, which can be entered in abbreviated form on the ID card. In the Berlin “makeshift identity card”, however, there was no entitlement to this. There is no obligation for the holder to hold an academic degree in Germany.

German Democratic Republic (GDR)

  • In the GDR , during the third university reform at the end of the 1960s, an adjustment to the allied eastern foreign countries took place, which was reflected in the “Ordinance on Academic Degrees” of November 6, 1968. Three levels have also been set for old, existing academic subjects. After passing the state examination, you initially only received the professional title (e.g. doctor, chemist), which was not listed as a title on the name in the ID card and did not represent an academic degree.
    • The first academic degree was the diploma. This required a diploma thesis and its successful public defense before representatives of the diploma commission appointed by the faculty. Shortly after the adoption of these regulations, the acquisition of the diploma was made mandatory for all academic university courses. Nevertheless, this led to a loss of image in the population, especially with doctors, because they wanted to be treated by a doctor and not by a medical graduate (Dipl.-Med.) .
    • With the aspirantur or after the university reform 1968 with a three-year research course , the aim of which was the doctorate A , one acquired the second academic degree, the doctor of a branch of science. Since acquiring it was no longer a general study objective and was by no means required to practice as a doctor (granted by license after state examination), this new hurdle was significantly upgraded. As a rule, you needed an inaugural dissertation (i.e. a second thesis) as before and had to defend your results in a public disputation before representatives of a doctoral committee of the faculty. Although own scientific publications were previously useful and common, they usually do not replace the procedure mentioned.
    • The "old" habilitation (example: Dr. med. Habil.) Became the third academic degree Doctor of Sciences = Dr. scientiarum (example: Dr. sc. med.) and thus corresponded to the Soviet model . In a doctoral B procedure, you had to prove your previous academic performance with several noteworthy scientific publications, write a dissertation on doctorate B (third and higher-quality thesis) and defend it in a public meeting in front of faculty members.
  • Academic degrees from diploma were part of the name (title) in ID cards.
  • According to the above-mentioned order, only the highest title was allowed, so in the 1980s there was neither a Dr. med. Dipl.-Med. another Dr. rer. nat. Dipl.-Chem., Provided that the Dipl.-Chem. was acquired as an academic degree in accordance with the aforementioned regulation. Combinations were only possible with several independent specialist degrees (example: Dr. rer. Nat. Dr. med.) And honorary degrees (example: Dr. h. C. Dr.).
  • You were only entitled to teach at universities in the GDR after the facultas had issued a facultas docendi and venia legendi . As a rule, this was only obtained after completing a B.
  • Another prerequisite for academic teaching was a university pedagogical training , which one could strive for after attaining the second academic degree (Dr.).

After the reunification of Germany, the academic degrees acquired in the GDR were generally recognized in accordance with the Unification Treaty and adapted to the West German designations (example: Dr. sc. Med. To Dr. med. Habil.). The facultas docendi was abolished as an independent proof of teaching qualification and included again in the habilitation . The diploma theses of the medical students were dropped again, so that they could start a doctoral thesis earlier.


The classic system of academic titles in Austria has been adapted to the uniform European higher education system in recent years. The most important changes came into effect in 1999 with the introduction of the two-part bachelor's and master 's degree programs through an amendment to the University Studies Act and in 2006 through the changeover to the English-language bachelor and master degrees in the 2002 University Act. Previously awarded academic degrees remain unaffected by the new regulation, those awarded on the basis of baccalaureate and master’s degrees Bakk. and Mag. (but not a Mag. acquired through a diploma course ) can be transferred to the corresponding Bachelor or Master degree upon application.

Types of degrees

The listing of the academic degrees for the completion of regular studies is based on the Bologna system in three levels or cycles. In addition, academic degrees are also awarded for the completion of extraordinary studies in the context of further education (advanced training level), which, however, do not have the same effect as the academic degrees for regular studies, even if they have the same wording in some cases.

First cycle - level 1 (bachelor level)

The prerequisite for access is a successful secondary school qualification, the standard duration of study is 3 to 4 years (180–240 ECTS credits), the qualification entitles to a master’s degree.

  • Bachelor's degree or bachelor's degree
    • Abbreviation: Bakk. as well as a Latin addition indicating the approximate direction of study, example: Bakk. phil. (Baccalaureus philosophiae / Bachelor of Philosophy).
    • Examples: Bakk. phil., Bakk. rer. soc. oec., Bakk. techn.
    • The academic degree of Bakkalaureus or Bakkalaurea was awarded until 2006 and then replaced by the degree of Bachelor . The management of this degree is based on the name, example: “Max Mustermann, Bakk. phil. ".
  • Bachelor
    • Abbreviation: B as well as (before or after) the abbreviation of the respective study group or genre
    • Examples: BSc, BA, B.Ed., B.BA., LL.B.
    • The academic degree Bachelor 2006 sparked the degree Bachelor , and is guided by name, example: "Magdalena Musterfrau, B.Sc.".
Second cycle - level 2 (master level)

For studies on level 2, a distinction is made between diploma and master’s programs. A successful secondary school diploma is required to gain access to diploma courses; the standard course duration is 4 to 6 years (240–360 ECTS credits). To gain access to master’s programs, a successful completion of at least level 1 (bachelor’s level) is required, the standard duration of study is 1 to 2 years (60–120 ECTS credits, i.e. a total of 240–360 ECTS credits). Successfully completed studies on level 2 (master's level) entitle the holder to pursue a doctoral degree, although the standard duration of the doctoral degree can be extended by up to 2 semesters for some diploma or master’s degree programs.

  • Magister or Magistra
    • Abbreviation: Mag. As well as a Latin addition characterizing the approximate direction (the classical faculty) of the study (e.g. Mag. Phil. For Magister philosophiae / Magister of Philosophy).
    • Examples: Mag. Phil., Mag. Rer. soc. oec., Mag. art. or Mag., sometimes also unofficially: Mag a or Mag.a
    • The academic degree Magister or Magistra is awarded in Austria for successfully completed diploma studies as well as for the first master’s degree (forerunner of the master’s degree) in the three-stage Bologna system. With the implementation of the Bologna Process and the associated expiry of the previous diploma studies, this degree has been successively replaced by the Master since 2006 . The use of the degree Magister or Magistra occurs in front of the name, for example: “Mag. Max Mustermann "or" Mag. Magdalena Musterfrau ”.
  • Graduate engineer
    • Abbreviation: Dipl.-Ing. or DI (optional), however, only the university degree counts at the master’s level.
    • Examples: Dipl.-Ing. or DI., sometimes also unofficially: Dipl.Ing in or DI in or
    • The academic degree graduate engineer or graduate engineer is in Austria for successfully completed graduate studies (mostly in technical fields of study), as awarded for Master Studies in Bologna three-stage system. The leadership of the degree graduate engineer or graduate engineer takes place before the name, for example: "Dipl.-Ing. Max Mustermann "or" Dipl.-Ing. Magdalena Musterfrau ”.
  • master
    • Abbreviation: M as well as (before or after) the abbreviation of the respective study group or genre,
    • Examples: MSc, MA, M.Ed., LL.M.
    • The academic degree Master has been gradually replacing the degree Magister since 2006 and is named after the following example: "Max Mustermann, M.Sc.".
  • Doctor of all medicine / Doctor of dentistry
    • Abbreviation: Dr. med. univ. or Dr. med. dent.
    • The academic degrees Dr. med. univ. or Dr. med. dent. have been awarded since 2002 after successfully completing the human and dental studies and correspond to diploma degrees. These degrees are given in front of the name, for example: “Dr. med. univ. Magdalena Musterfrau ”.

In the past, the same degrees were full doctors according to the law, as Austrian medical studies used to be a doctoral degree. This still creates confusion.

Third cycle - level 3 (doctoral level)

The prerequisite for access is a successful completion of a master’s level course (master’s or diploma course); the standard course duration is 2 to 3 years (120–180 ECTS credits).

  • Doctor
    • Abbreviation: Dr. as well as a Latin addition indicating the approximate direction of study (e.g. Dr. techn. for Doctor technicae / Doctor of technical sciences).
    • Examples: Dr. phil., Dr. rer. soc. oec., Dr. techn. or Dr., sometimes unofficially: Dr in or
    • The title Doctor (Dr.) or Doktorin (Dr.) takes place in front of the name, for example: “Dr. techn. John Doe".
    • Note: The academic degrees Dr. med. univ. and Dr. med. dent. correspond to diploma degrees. The correct designation after completing the medical doctoral program is Doctor of All Medicine and Medical Science ( Dr. med. Univ. Et scient. Med. )
  • Doctor of Philosophy
    • Abbreviation: PhD or Ph.D.
    • Since 2006, the PhD can alternatively be awarded instead of the traditional doctoral degree if at least three years of standard study time are planned for the respective doctoral degree.
    • The Doctor of Philosophy degree is based on the name, example: "Magdalena Musterfrau, Ph.D.".
Further education level (master’s degrees in further education)

Master's degrees in further education (“Master of…”, “Master in…”) are awarded after completion of university courses, courses of a university character, courses for further education and university courses. In order to gain access to these extraordinary studies, it is not necessary to have completed a regular course of study, usually only several years of professional experience or the positive completion of an entrance examination are required. The master’s degrees in continuing education are therefore not identical to the master’s degrees due to the completion of regular studies (master’s studies), even if they partly have the same wording. For example, this Master’s degree does not involve admission to a doctoral program. The standard duration of study is 1 to 2 years (60–120 ECTS credits).

  • Examples: MBA, MAS
  • Master’s degrees in further education are given by name, example: "Max Mustermann, MBA.".

Regulations on the university and technical college

In the case of the academic degrees of Bachelor and Master , introduced for Bachelor's and Master's programs , no distinction is made between types of university (university / technical college). In the diploma courses that expire with the implementation of the Bologna Process, there is no differentiation in the way that graduates of a diploma course at a technical college have to add the addition (FH) to their academic degrees.

Management of academic degrees

The use of academic degrees is regulated in Austria by the Universities Act, for private universities by the Private Universities Act and for universities of applied sciences by the University of Applied Sciences Studies Act.

The unauthorized lending, mediation or use of academic degrees is punishable by a fine of up to 15,000 euros. The newly introduced system is regulated by law, but the use of letter combinations after the name is not protected: In addition to the academic degrees, abbreviations for completing various postgraduate courses are also given and offered by private organizations. Arbitrary specification of combinations is also not prohibited for the time being.

In the last few years there have been abbreviations for the female degrees: Mag. A for Magistra or Dr. in for PhD. Recently, the male version of this gender-appropriate spelling has also been found more and more, especially Mag. R for Magister. It should be noted that abbreviated feminine forms such as B. Mag. A or Dr. in may be used. The ÖNORM A 1080, which are intended to regulate the gender-sensitive use of language would not have come about because the was not achieved for a standardization to be achieved broad consensus, the competent authorities in Austria for standardization Austrian Standards said in a statement.

Academic expert title

University courses and university-type courses can give according to § 58 UG names of the form "Academic (r) ...", as "academic real estate expert" These names, however, are not as academic degrees.

Academic degrees as an addition to the name

Academic degrees are not part of the name. However, upon request, they can be entered in the civil status register or in other official documents (e.g. identity cards) in accordance with Section 37 (2) PStG 2013 . There is no registration requirement, only a right to registration. The academic degrees Mag. , Dr. and DI or Dipl.-Ing. the names are preceded by other academic degrees ( BSc. , PhD , Bachelor's and Master's degrees with English names) adjusted (§ 88 para. 2 of the Universities Act). An "ascending" order is common, ie Mag. Hans Müller and not Dr. Mag. Hans Müller. In order not to make subsequent academic degrees appear incorrectly as part of the family name, the Federal Ministry of Science and Research recommends separating subsequent titles from the name with a comma .


The Bologna Declaration has been implemented at Swiss universities since 2001/2002 and a two-tier system with two academic degrees is provided:

  • Bachelor (180 ECTS credit points or three years of full-time study)
  • Master's (90–120 ECTS credits or a further one and a half to two years of full-time study)

A compulsory admission requirement for a consecutive Master’s degree is a completed Bachelor’s degree. A doctorate can be completed at a university with at least a good grade point average. The universities require a good knowledge of the language of instruction.

In the area of ​​continuing education, Swiss universities and colleges offer the title “ Master of Advanced Studies (MAS)” with at least 60 ECTS credit points or one year of full-time study. At the level of economics, the title “ Executive Master of Business Administration ” (Executive MBA as a degree, EMBA as an abbreviation) is awarded. The MAS concept includes the Certificate of Advanced Studies (CAS) (certificate at university level) and the Diploma of Advanced Studies (DAS) (diploma at university level). The MAS does not give entitlement to a dissertation.

The MAS (EMBA and others) is not assessed as an academic university degree in Germany, but is classified as a "postgraduate degree program" at a foreign university. In accordance with the resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) of April 14, 2000, the foreign university degree can be used by specifying the awarding university (see point 1 of the KMK resolution).

Since the Bologna reform has not yet been fully implemented in Switzerland, the universities still award academic titles according to the old system. Afterwards, after four to six years of full-time study, the students receive a licentiate or diploma. If they achieve good final grades, they can write a doctoral thesis at a university.

other countries

French language area

France Current degrees:

  • According to French law, the Baccalauréat , which corresponds to the Abitur or Matura , is the first academic degree
  • License - Abitur + 3 years
  • Master's - Abitur + 5 years
  • Docteur - Abitur + 8 years, doctoral thesis
  • Ingénieur diplomé - high school diploma + 5 years
  • Diplomas
  • Docteur habilité (Dr. habil.) With habilitation

Previous degrees:

  • Diplôme d'études universitaires générales, DEUG - high school diploma + 2 years
  • Maîtrise - high school diploma + 4 years
  • Diplôme d'études supérieures spécialisées, DESS - high school diploma + 5 years
  • Diplôme d'études approfondies , DEA - Abitur + 5 years


  • Candidate - Abitur / Matura + 2 years
  • Bachelier / Gradué - Abitur + 3 years
  • Master / Licencié - Abitur + 4 or 5 years
  • Ingénieur industriel (Ing., Industrial engineer ) - Abitur + 5 years
  • Ingénieur civil (Ir., Civil engineer ) - high school diploma + 5 years
  • Docteur - usually Abitur + 8 years, doctoral thesis

Canada ( Québec Francophone)

  • Diplôme d'études collégiales - vocational training - university entrance qualification + 1 to + 3 years
  • Baccalauréat - Baccalauréat Général: university entrance qualification + 3, others: up to + 4 years, Baccalauréat en droit: up to + 5 years
  • Maîtrise - university entrance qualification + 4 to + 5 years or Baccalauréat + 1 to + 2 years
  • Docteur - university entrance qualification + 2 to + 4 years
  • Certificat / Diplôme - postgraduate professional development - university degree or proof of professional knowledge + 1 to + 3 years

English speaking area

The degrees and duration of study are not standardized and vary between countries, universities, and even the faculties of the same university. There is no consistent “Anglo-American system” of academic degrees.

The basic forms of the most common academic degrees are:

  • Bachelor - 3 or 4 years
  • Bachelor (hons) - 4 years
  • Graduate Certificate - Bachelor + 1 year
  • Graduate Diploma - Bachelor + 2 year
  • Master - Bachelor + 2 years + thesis
  • Doctoral Degree - Master + 3 or 4 years


The basic forms of the most common academic degrees are:

  • National Certificate - 1 year
  • National Diploma - 2 years
  • Bachelor - 3 or 4 years + final exam
  • Bachelor (honors) - 4 years + final examination
  • Graduate Certificate - Bachelor + 1 year
  • Graduate Diploma - Bachelor + 2 year
  • Master - Bachelor + 2 years + final exam
  • Doctoral Degree - Master + 3 or 4 years


The degrees and degrees awarded in Australia are:

  • Diploma - mostly qualifying for a job, can be credited towards the acquisition of a bachelor's degree, entitlement to study + 1 year
  • Advanced Diploma - a professional degree from a university, can be credited towards the acquisition of a Bachelor's degree, eligibility to study + 2 years
  • Associate Degree - in contrast to the Advanced Diploma, it has a more theoretical and general educational focus, entitlement to study + 2 years
  • Bachelor Degree - Eligibility to study + 3 or + 4 years or in the case of Bachelor of Law / Medicine + 4 to + 5 years
  • Bachelor with Honors Degree (consecutive) - increasingly being replaced by a corresponding Master - 3-year bachelor's degree or, in the case of a 4-year bachelor's degree, also as a parallel course from the 4th year + 1 to + 2 years
  • Graduate-entry Bachelor Degree - is mainly awarded in law, medicine, school pedagogy and architecture and qualifies for a special professional training, Bachelor + 2 to + 4 years.
  • Graduate Certificate - specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 to + 1.5 semesters
  • Graduate Diploma / Postgraduate Diploma - specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 to + 2 years
  • Master Degree - Bachelor + 1 or + 2 years or in the case of a "very high research quality" Master: Baccalaureatus Cum Honore degree + 2 to + 3 years
  • Doctoral Degree - Bachelor with Honors or Master + 3 or + 4 years.


  • Diploma / Associate Degree - Eligibility to study + 2 years, for an Advanced Diploma + 3 years
  • Bachelor Degree - Minor / General Bachelor: Eligibility to study + 3 years, in the case of Honors, Specialization and Major Bachelor: + 4 years
  • Bachelor with Honors / Baccalaureatus Cum Honore degree (consecutive) - largely replaced by the corresponding Master - General Bachelor, in the case of a 4-year Bachelor variant also as a parallel course from the 4th year + 1 to + 2 years
  • Graduate Certificate - specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 to + 1.5 semesters
  • Graduate Diploma / Postgraduate Diploma - specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 to + 2 year
  • Master - Bachelor + 1 to + 2 years or in the case of a "very high research quality" Master: Baccalaureatus Cum Honore degree + 2 to + 3 years
  • Professional doctorate (mainly awarded in law as Juris Doctor (JD) and in medicine as Medical Doctor (MD), no doctorate required) - Bachelor + 3 or + 4 years.
  • Doctor - requirement: Baccalaureatus Cum Honore or Master + 3 to + 5 years


The following academic degrees and university degrees are awarded in Namibia :

  • Certificates (various) - qualification levels 1–8
  • Diplomas (various) - qualification levels 5–8
  • Bachelor - qualification level 7
  • Bachelor Honors and Professional Bachelor - qualification level 8
  • Masters Degree - Qualification Level 9
  • Doctoral degree - qualification level 10

South Africa

The following academic degrees and university degrees are awarded on the basis of the Higher Education Act, 1997 ( Act No.101 of 1997 ) in South Africa under the National Qualifications Framework (NQF):

  • Higher Certificate
  • Advanced Certificate
  • Diploma
  • Advanced Diploma
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Postgraduate
  • Bachelor Honors Degree
  • Master's Degree
  • Doctoral degree

United Kingdom

The following degrees and degrees are awarded in the UK:

  • Foundation Degree - Eligibility to study + 2 years
  • Bachelor Degree - now mostly as a Bachelor Honors Degree - study eligibility + 3 or + 4 years, Bachelor of Medicine up to + 6 years.
  • Postgraduate Certificate - practical specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 year
  • Postgraduate Diploma - practical specialization in one subject, Bachelor + 1 or + 2 years
  • Master Degree - Bachelor + 1 year.
  • Doctoral Degree - Master + 2 to + 4 years.

United States

  • Associate Degree - Eligibility to study + 2 years
  • Bachelor - eligibility to study + 3 or + 4 years
  • Master’s degree + 4 to 6 years / Bachelor’s + 1 or + 2 years
  • Engineer's Degree - Special degree in engineering that can be obtained after the Master's, Master + 1 to 2 years
  • Doctor - prerequisite: scientific 4-year Bachelor with a very good grade or Master
    • Titles are, for example, PhD or DPhil (3 to 7 years), DBA (3 to 4 years).
  • Professional doctorate (mainly awarded in law as Juris Doctor (JD) and in medicine as Medical Doctor (MD), no doctorate required) - Bachelor + 3 or + 4 years.

In the USA, the associate degree awarded after two years of college is also an academic degree. In many other countries, especially in Europe, it is not recognized as such, but rather as a university entrance qualification or a technical college degree.

Spanish language area

  • Diplomado (Diplom) - Standard graduate title, Abitur / Matura + 3 years
  • Licenciado (Licentiate) - standard graduate title, high school diploma + 4 or + 5 years
  • Ingeniero (engineer) - standard graduate title, high school diploma + 5 or + 6 years
  • Profesor (professor with teaching license) - Abitur + 6 to + 10 years
  • Maestría - Licenciado / Ingeniero / Profesor / Postgraduate Degree + 1 or 2 years
  • Doctorado (Doktor) - Licenciado / Ingeniero or Profesor + doctoral thesis, usually 2 years
  • Título propio or Diploma propio - University degree or title (Advanced Graduate Level)
  • Arquitecto (Arqu.) - qualified architect
  • Arquitecto técnico (Arqu. Técn.) - corresponds to a civil engineer
  • Maestro (M.)


  • Didactor (Dr./Δρ.) (= PhD)
  • Metaptychiako Diploma Eidikefsis (MDE) 2 years Master (Univ.) (= Master)
  • Diploma (Dipl.) 5 years integrated master's degree (= Bachelor + Master)
  • Ptychio (Pt.) 4 years Bachelor (Univ.) (= Bachelor)
  • Ptychio Technologikis Ekpedefsis (Pt. TE) 4 years Bachelor (University of Applied Sciences)

Holy See - Vatican

  • Baccalaureato / Baccalaureata (Bacc.)
  • Licentiatus / Licentiata (Lic.)
  • Doctor (Dr.)


  • Dottore / Dottoressa (dott./dott.ssa) - maturità (Abitur / Matura) + 3 years (= Bachelor)
  • Master Universitario di primo livello - maturità + approx. 4 years
  • Dottore / Dottoressa magistrale (dott./dott.ssa; sometimes also: dott. Mag./dott.ssa mag.) - maturità + 5 years (= Master)
  • Master Universitario di secondo level - maturità + approx. 6 years
  • Dottore / Dottoressa di Ricerca (DR, Dott. Ric., Ph.D.) - maturità + 8 years (= Ph.D. )


In 1993, a three-cycle system of study was introduced in Lithuania.

  • bakalauras (corresponds to Bachelor), usually 4 years; 5 years for example when studying cath. Theology at the VDU .
  • (diplomuotas) specialistas
  • magistras (corresponds to a master's / university diploma, for postgraduate courses)
  • daktaras (doctor)
  • habilituotas daktaras (habilitation)

The profesijos bakalauras or profesinis bakalauras is not an academic degree, but a professional qualification that is awarded after 3 years of study at Kolegija (colleges or colleges, in the tertiary education sector). The degree does not entitle you to study for a master’s degree at the Lithuanian universities. The professional qualification profesinė kvalifikacija is also not formally an academic degree.

Unlike in German-speaking countries, degrees from doctorate onwards are not referred to as academic degrees, but as scientific degrees .


In the Netherlands, the following degrees are awarded as a result of the Bologna Process:

  • Bachelor - Abitur / Matura + 3 years at a university or Dutch University entrance qualification + 4 years at a hogeschool (university of applied sciences)
  • Master - Bachelor + 1 to 2 years
  • Professional Master - like Master, but does not qualify for a doctorate, as it is purely professional training
  • Doctor (Dr. or Ph.D.) - Doctorate, the degree Ph.D. is usually only awarded to foreign students

Before the introduction of the degrees corresponding to the Bologna Process, the following qualifications were still available in the Netherlands:

  • doctoraal examen - undergraduate degree at universities, not to be confused with the doctoral degree; Considered the equivalent of the German diploma in Germany, although the doctoraal examen oude stijl , which was awarded before a reform in the 1980s and 1990s, was of higher quality than the German diploma
  • getuigschrift HBO - Degree from a Dutch technical college, graduates have the degree baccalaureus , or engineer in engineering

In some cases, the degrees baccalaureus and engineer are not viewed as academic degrees in Germany. This is due to fundamental differences in higher education law in both countries. If the terms academic degree and university degree are used synonymously in Germany, according to Dutch law only the degree from a university is referred to as an academic degree, whereas the degree from a hogeschool (corresponds to the German university of applied sciences) is referred to as a university degree.


The following academic degrees and degrees are awarded in Malaysia :

  • Certificate - qualifying for a job, eligibility to study + 1 or + 2 years
  • Diploma - qualifying for a profession, eligibility to study + 3 years
  • Advanced Diploma - professional qualification, Diploma + 2 years
  • Graduate Certificate / Diploma - practice-related degree at Bachelor level, Bachelor / Diploma + 1 or + 2 years
  • Bachelor Degree - Eligibility to study + 3 or + 4 years
  • Postgraduate Diploma / Postgraduate Certificate - practice-related degree at Master's level, Bachelor + 1 or + 2 years.
  • Master Degree - Bachelor + 1 or + 2 years.
  • Doctoral Degree - Master + 3 or + 4 years.


The following degrees exist in all countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS):

  • kandidat nauk (German: candidate of the sciences) - corresponds to German doctor and the C. Sc. of CzechoslovakiaMain article Aspirantur
  • doktor nauk (German: Doctor of Science) - corresponds to German habilitation or Dr. sc. of the GDR

In all CIS countries except Turkmenistan there are also:

  • bakalawr - corresponds to Bachelor, higher education entrance qualification + 3 or + 4 years
  • magistr - corresponds to master, bakalawr + 1 or + 2 years

The degrees bakalawr and magistr were introduced at the beginning of the 1990s, almost at the same time as the collapse of the Soviet Union , and are therefore still incorporated into the educational systems of almost all CIS countries; the first graduates did not come until after the founding of the CIS.

The only undergraduate degree in Soviet times was against the specialist degree (specialist) , of the magistr is equal and today in Kazakhstan , Russia , Tajikistan , the Ukraine and Belarus will be given. In part, e.g. B. in Russia, it is still the most frequently awarded degree today. The specialist is very similar to the German diploma. In the CIS countries of Armenia , Azerbaijan , Georgia , Kyrgyzstan , Moldova , Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan , the corresponding degree is actually called diplom today and is the only undergraduate degree in Turkmenistan. In several CIS countries, efforts are being made to completely replace the specialist degree with bakalawr and magistr in accordance with the Bologna process.


  • licencjat - corresponds to Bachelor
  • inżynier (inż.) - also corresponds to Bachelor, only in engineering
  • magister (mgr or mgr inż.) - corresponds to a master's / university degree, exists as an undergraduate course and based on licencjat or inżynier
  • lekarz (lek.) - corresponds to a doctor, 6 + 1 years of study, state examination
  • lekarz dentysta (lek. dent.) - corresponds to dentist
  • lekarz weterynarii (lek. wet.) - corresponds to veterinarian
  • doctor
  • doktor habilitowany (habilitation) - unlike in many countries such as the Federal Republic of Germany, it is viewed as an academic degree


Since 2007 Sweden has had the following academic degrees:

Basic training (grundnivå) :

  • Högskoleexamen - 120 CP
  • candidate exam - 180 CP, which corresponds to the Bachelor's degree

Advanced training (avancerad nivå) , which requires a candidate exam :

  • Magister's exam - 60 CP, which corresponds to a one-year master's degree
  • master's exam - 120 LP, which corresponds to a two-year master's degree

Research training (forskarnivå) , which requires a magister (total of 240 LP) or master (total of 300 LP):

  • licentiate exam - 120 CP
  • doctoral examination - 240 CP , corresponds to the doctoral degree

In addition, there are some so-called "professional qualifications" (yrkesexamina) in areas such as teacher training, law or medicine.

Czech Republic and Slovakia

For historical reasons, the degrees in the Czech and Slovak higher education systems are almost identical. The following degrees are awarded:

  • bakalář ( CZ ) / bakalár ( SK ) ( Bc. ) - corresponds to Bachelor, Abitur + i. d. R. 3 years
  • magistr (CZ) / magister (SK) ( Mgr. ) - corresponds to university diploma or Magister or Master; Abitur + i. d. R. 5 years
  • inženýr (CZ) / inžinier (SK) (Ing.) - corresponds to university diploma or master's degree, high school diploma + i. d. R. 5 years
  • so-called medical professional doctoral degrees (MUDr., MDDr., MVDr.) - Abitur + 6 years (human and veterinary medicine) or 5 years (dentistry)
  • so-called small doctoral degrees ( JUDr., PhDr., RNDr. etc.) - Abitur + Mgr. + approx. 1 to 2 semesters so-called rigorous procedure
  • doctor ( Ph.D., PhD .; formerly also Dr. and CSc. ) - corresponds to the German doctoral degree, Abitur + Mgr. or Ing. + at least 3 years of doctoral studies


The tertiary education system in Hungary distinguishes between universities and colleges . The first degree is the főiskolai diploma ( college diploma , equivalent to a bachelor's degree, 3 to 4 years after graduation from secondary school) or the egyetemi diploma (university diploma , equivalent to master, 5 to 6 years after graduation from secondary school). Since the introduction of the Bologna system in higher education policy, the same rules and designations of degrees apply in practice as in the other countries of the European Union with the Bologna system. a .: BA and BSc for the three-year university education, MA and MSc for the next two years.

In the fields of human, dental and veterinary medicine as well as in law , the first academic degrees are the professional doctorates dr. med. , dr. med. dent. , dr. vet. and dr. iur. forgive.

Since the university reform legislation of July 13, 1993, the PhD (doctor) and the DLA (mesterfokozat) are awarded as scientific doctoral degrees .

See also


  • NB Wagner: About degrees, titles and human vanity. In: Bundeswehrverwaltung. 2010, pp. 94-102.
  • Alexandra Kertz-Welzel : Motivation for further training: Masters and Bachelor degrees in the USA. In: Discussion of music education. 29 (2006), pp. 33-35.
  • René Dell'mour, Frank Landler: Academic degrees between dream and reality: influencing factors on academic success . Publishing house of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, 2002.
  • Katrin Hofer: Academic degrees, degrees and titles at art universities . Dissertation. Lang, 1996.
  • Wolfgang Zimmerling: Academic degrees and titles . The administrative requirements for using domestic and foreign degrees and titles; the protection against adverse effects under competition law; with an excursus on the tax deductibility of doctoral costs. Otto Schmidt, Cologne 1995, ISBN 3-504-06121-9 ( Google Books ).
  • Ulrich Karpen: Academic degrees, titles, honors . In: Christian Flämig (Ed.): Handbuch des Wissenschaftsrechts. Springer, 1982, pp. 854-875.
  • Wolfgang Tenbörg: Ecclesiastical right to award doctorates and ecclesiastical academic degrees in the state legal system . Dissertation. Munich 1963.
  • Günther Heyd: Foreign academic degrees in Germany. A contribution to their leadership authorization . Füßlein, Hamburg 1932.
  • Paul Heinrich Joseph Schelling: On the history of the academic degrees . Speech at the beginning of the Vice-Rector of the Royal Bavarian Friedrich-Alexanders-Universität Erlangen on November 4, 1880.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. HRG - § 18 university degrees. In: Retrieved October 28, 2011 .
  2. Common structural specifications for the accreditation of Bachelor's and Master's degree programs (resolution of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of October 10, 2003 as amended on February 4, 2010) (PDF; 46 kB)
  3. Degree program at the University of Kassel .
  4. Ulrike Beisiegel: Doctorate in Medicine . In: Research & Teaching . No. 7 , 2009, p. 491 ( [PDF]).
  5. ERC policy on PhD and equivalent doctoral degrees. (PDF) ERC , accessed on May 24, 2018 .
  6. cf. LHG Baden-Württemberg as amended from January 1, 2005, § 91 (6)
  7. Classification of the bachelor's programs at vocational academies in the consecutive study structure (decision of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of October 15, 2004)
  8. Article “Confession of a False Professor” in Welt, October 22, 2003.
  9. NB Wagner: “About degrees, titles and human vanity”, in: Bundeswehrverwaltung 2010, pp. 94-102.
  10. Wolfgang Zimmerling: On the right to be addressed with the doctoral degree . In: Monthly for German Law . 1997, p. 224 ( ).
  11. Decision of the BGH 1962. Retrieved on November 20, 2009 . ( BGHZ 38, 380, 382 f.).
  12. ^ Resolution of the XII. Civil Senate of September 4, 2013 - XII ZB 526/12 .
  13. Article “Academic titles” on, accessed on January 31, 2017.
  14. Agreement of the federal states in the Federal Republic of Germany on favorable regulations in accordance with section 4 of the "Principles for the regulation of the management of foreign university degrees in the sense of a statutory general license through uniform statutory provisions" of April 14, 2000. (PDF) Conference of Ministers of Education , accessed on May 24 2018 .
  15. BVerwGE 5, 293.
  16. a b c d e f g h i j k l Federal Ministry of Education, Science and Research, Academic Degrees , 2014 .
  17. Human medicine studies at Med Uni Vienna. In: Retrieved May 24, 2018 .
  18. Doctorate at the University of Vienna. Retrieved September 22, 2017 .
  19. Section 54, Paragraph 4 of the 2002 University Act in the version of the Federal Act, Federal Law Gazette I No. 134/2008 ( PDF ).
  20. Designation of the academic degrees ( Memento from July 15, 2007 in the Internet Archive ).
  21. Austrian University Law (UnivG) .
  22. Austrian Private Universities Act (PUG)
  23. ^ Austrian University of Applied Sciences Studies Act (FHStG) .
  24. UG2002 § 116: Penal provisions .
  25. Bernhard Schreglmann: Farewell to the “Magister” . In: Salzburger Nachrichten . April 25, 2009, career, p. 37 ( SN article archive ).  ( Page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  26. ^ Republic of Austria: Management of academic degrees. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  27. "Gender-sensitive use of language" will not become a norm project - AUSTRIAN STANDARDS. Accessed January 30, 2018 .
  28. a b Information from the Ministry of Science on academic degrees in Austria (PDF; 581 kB) .
  29. ^ "Studying in Switzerland" , Rectors' Conference of the Swiss Universities (CRUS), viewed on July 25, 2009.
  30. ^ Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR) - Australian Education International: Courses and qualifications, Higher education, Australia ( Memento of March 10, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Accessed February 21, 2011.
  31. ^ National Qualifications Framework. Namibia Qualifications Authority. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  32. ^ Minister of Education: Government Notice, No. 928: The Higher Education Qualifications Framework . In: Staatskoerant of October 5, 2007, No. 30353 (English)
  33. Directgov: Higher education qualifications ( Memento of October 28, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Accessed February 24, 2011.
  34. Article on the abbreviation of the title “dottore” from the “Accademia della Crusca” ( Memento of March 6, 2012 in the Internet Archive ); the abbreviation is written in lower case, see: Dottore .
  35. ^ Malaysian Qualifications Agency: Malaysian Qualifications Framework ( Memento April 9, 2011 in the Internet Archive ). Accessed February 23, 2011 (English, PDF; 8.9 MB).
  36. ^ Examination rules in Sweden ( Memento of October 16, 2008 in the Internet Archive ).
  37. anabin: Information portal for the recognition of foreign qualifications.


  1. Examples are: H. Cert. (Tourism), H. Cert. (Tourism) (Eco-tourism)
  2. Examples are: Adv. Cert. (Real Estate), Adv. Cert. (Real Estate) (Property Marketing)
  3. Examples are: Dip. (Management), Dip. (Management) (Finance)
  4. Examples are: Adv. Dip (Taxation), Adv. Dip (Communication) (Digital Media)
  5. Examples are: BA, BSc, BSocSci, BCom, LLB, BAgric, IVIBChB, BEd, BBusSci, BSc (Life Sciences), BA (Applied linguistics), BAgric (Animal Science), BCom (Human Resource Management), BBusSci (Actuarial Sciences)
  6. Examples are: PG Dip (Organizational & Management Systems), PG Dip (Gender Studies), PG Dip (Agriculture) (Rural Resource Management)
  7. Examples are: BAHons, BScHons, BSocSciHons, BComHons, BScHons (Microbiology), BAHons (Applied Linguistics)
  8. Examples are: MA, MA (linguistics), MSc, MPhil, MSc (Astrophysics)
  9. Examples are: PhD , DPhil, DEd