Various Diploma and Degree Programmes offered in Germany

German higher education landscape is very varied. Institutions in Germany provide degrees, diploma, or Staatsexamen depending on the nature of the course of studies.

Following are the higher education-degree programmes offered in Germany:

Bachelor’s Degree

  • Under the Bologna process, the bachelor’s degree has been introduced at German universities. The bachelor's is the first academic degree with professional qualification and  holds the same rights and privileges as Diplom degrees awarded by universities of applied sciences.
  • The course of study must deliver a strong academic foundation, practical skills and career related qualifications. To earn the degree, one requires to achieve  credit points  between 180 and 240 in their course of study.  
  • Duration: 3 to 4 years
  • Depending on the subject, the following degrees can be awarded: Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) or Bachelor of Engineering (BEng) or Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) or Bachelor of Music (B.Mus.) or Bachelor Education (B.Ed.).

Master’s Degree

  • The master's degree is a second, graduate degree with professional qualification. It holds the same rights and privileges as Diplom and Magister degrees awarded by universities and equivalent higher education institutions.
  • Master's degrees gained at universities of applied sciences qualify for admission to "higher civil/public service career paths”. Master's programmes are differentiated based on the profile types, i.e. either they are "more practice oriented" or a "more research oriented". To be eligible for admission to a master's programme, the applicant must hold an  degree with a professional qualification, i.e. Diplom or bachelor's degree.
  • To graduate from a master's programme, students must score an accumulated total of 300 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System )credit points (i.e. total points earned in the master's and the bachelor's course of study).
  • Duration: 1 to 2 years
  • Depending on the subject group in question, the following degree titles can be awarded: Master of Arts (MA) or Master of Science (MSc) or Master of Engineering (MEng) or Master of Laws (LL.M) or Master of Music (M.Mus.) or Master Education (M.Ed.). An MBA(Master in Business Administration) degree may also be awarded for postgraduate programmes in the field of economics/business administration.

Doctorate (Promotion)

  • Holders of doctorate can use the title “Dr” is the  highest academic degree. A doctorate enables holders to get into careers in research and academia. A doctorate involves production of a dissertation, i.e. an independent research paper.
  • Duration:  2 to 5 years ( Depending upon the subject).


  • Is an academic  degree  awarded after successful completion of a course in subjects from the fields: natural sciences, engineering, social sciences, economics, business administration, education etc.
  • Diplom programmes focus mainly on a single  subject. A diplom  can be earned at universities and higher education institutions with comparable responsibilities, at colleges of art and music, and at universities of applied sciences. The degrees awarded by universities of applied sciences are additionally marked (FH), e.g. Diplom-Ingenieur/in (FH).
"Diplom" courses are considered to be undergraduate studies.

Staatsexamen (State Examination)

  • Students of medicine, dentistry and veterinary science/medicine, pharmacy, food chemistry, law, and teaching generally graduate with a Staatsexamen degree. These courses prepare students for state-supervised professions and are tested by the state examination board.
  • Students who gain the Staatsexamen are qualified for admission to an academic profession or to candidate status for a civil/public service career.

Church examination

  • This degree (Kirchliche Prufung) in theology is set on the basis of examinations system issued by the church authorities; however, Diplom and Magister degrees are also awarded in this field.

Magister Artium

  • A Magister Artium is awarded for successful completion of a programme in subjects from the fields of arts and humanities, cultural studies or social sciences.
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