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The new Bachelor's programmes are intended to allow students to complete their undergraduate studies more quickly than previously. They aim to teach academic principles and qualify graduates for a subsequent career. Most universities of applied sciences offer a three and a half year course leading to a Bachelor's degree, universities offer three year courses.


A Master's Programme can be taken as a continuation of a preceding Bachelor's programme, in which case it is known as a "consecutive course". However, it always requires a first degree in a subject corresponding to the Master's programme. Courses normally last two years.


A Diplom degree course consists of a single subject of study (and in some cases a supplementary subject) and in the past has been the normal degree for science, engineering and technical courses. However, some courses in politics, sociology and business subjects also end with Diplom examinations.
Successful graduates can use the relevant title (f.ex. Graduate in Physics, Graduate Engineer, Graduate in Economics, Graduate in Business).

Magistra/ Magister Artium (M.A.)

The Magister used to be the most common degree in Germany alongside the Diplom. The Magister was the normal first degree in the arts, cultural studies and social sciences courses. A Magister degree normally stipulates specific subject combinations (one main subject and two supplementary subjects or two main subjects). Magister courses have been phased out at almost all institutions and have been replaced by Bachelor's and Master's programmes. Nowadays, you can normally only apply for a Magister course if you are joining at a later study semester.

State examinations

Anyone who studies pharmacy, medicine, dentistry, veterinary medicine, food chemistry or law finishes their studies with the state examination. Their training is divided into two sections: Theoretical training at the institution ends with the first state examination, consisting of oral and written examinations in the major subject and various compulsory subjects.
The practical component is known as a traineeship for lawyers and the practical year (PJ) and residence (AIP) for medics. Students can only take the second state examination and obtain the relevant title after this two year placement period.

Teacher's training

Teaching courses also end with a state examination and consist of two to three school subjects and supplementary educational studies subjects. Training in the institution ends with the first state examination. This is followed by a two year placement in a school. The type of school depends on the choice of course and can therefore be completed at a grammar school, secondary school, comprehensive school or primary school. Teacher training ends with the second state examination.


A doctorate is obtained through further study following the successful completion of a degree. Depending on the institution, a doctorate is obtained by submitting a thesis and passing a disputation (oral defence of the thesis) or viva voce (oral examination in all areas of the subject).



If yet unsure what and where to study, then these links may be helpful to you: (only in German)

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