academic degree

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A university degree is the academic degree or other degree awarded after a university degree through state or church examination. In 2012, a good nine million people in Germany, or just under 13 percent of the population, had a university degree.

In Germany, university degrees can be awarded by state universities , technical colleges , art colleges , technical colleges , etc., as well as state-recognized universities , such as church universities . Berufsakademien , on the other hand, are not universities and award their degrees as state qualifications .

Academic degree

In Germany there are the following academic degrees after passing a university examination . The specified study times are standard study times .

  • Bachelor (also bakkalaureus ) after 3 to 4 years of study at a university.
  • Master's (also Magister ) based on a postgraduate course and a total duration of study (including a previous Bachelor's degree) of usually 5 years.
  • Diploma (DH) after 3 years of study at a dual university (only in Baden-Württemberg) , expiring.
  • Diploma (FH) after 4 years of study at a university of applied sciences, with a few exceptions expiring.
  • Diploma (in Bavaria also Diplom (Univ.) ) After 4 to 5 years of study at a university / technical university, art school or technical university, with a few exceptions expiring.
  • Licentiate , still obtained in Catholic theology as a postgraduate course for certain subject areas (e.g. canon law). It is also a preliminary stage for a doctorate.
  • Magister after 4 to 5 years of study, expiring with a few exceptions.
  • Doctorate after completing a doctorate or a doctoral degree (only possible at universities, technical universities and colleges as well as colleges of equal status and some art colleges and church colleges).
  • Academy letter , abolished after studying art at some art schools .
  • Master class , abolished after further education at art colleges.

State and church degrees

There are also church and state degrees from courses that are not acquired through a university examination and do not lead to an academic degree:

  • First state examination (state examination form),
  • Church exam (ecclesiastical examination form),
  • formerly state engineering exams at German universities of applied sciences.

However, depending on the federal state, universities can also award certain academic degrees based on state or church examinations.


The degree with which a degree program ends depends mainly on the subject .

subjects   Bachelor   master     State examination  
Medicine , dentistry , veterinary medicine and pharmacy As a rule
law Sciences LL.B. (1) LL.M. (1) As a rule
Humanities subjects such as philosophy , history , linguistics or literature BA MA Teaching position
psychology B.Sc. M.Sc Teaching position
Social sciences BA MA Teaching position
Mathematics , computer science and natural sciences B.Sc. M.Sc. Teaching position
Engineering B. Eng. or B.Sc. M.Eng. or M.Sc. Teaching position
Economics BA or B.Sc. MA or M.Sc. or MBA Teaching position
geography BA or B.Sc. MA or M.Sc. Teaching position


• Regular qualifications in the relevant subjects
(1) Degree programs that do not lead to the state examination customary in these subjects , which in turn is a prerequisite for special professional qualifications, such as B. Approval or qualification for judicial office .

Teacher training courses are completed with state exams. However, the graduated Bachelor of Education and Master of Education degrees were newly introduced , for which the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs decided in 2005 key points for mutual recognition. Previously there were already model tests for a Bachelor and Master model for teacher training courses, e.g. B. the Bochum Bachelor / Master model .


In 2012, just under 3.7 million people (5.1 percent of the population) in Germany had a degree from a university of applied sciences and a good 5.5 million people (7.8 percent of the population) had a degree from a university. Taken together, that's a good nine million people or just under 13 percent of the population. In addition, there are almost 0.8 million people (1.1 percent of the population) who have completed a doctorate . These figures from the Federal Statistical Office on the "population by educational qualification" only take into account people aged 15 and over.

Web links

Wiktionary: University degree  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence