PDF with detailed information

Download the PDF with detailed information about the German education system:

Education system Germany‌ (258.81 kB)

Overview of German diplomas

In the overview below you can find the level of German diplomas. You cannot derive any rights from it.

Working in the Netherlands

Do you want to know if you can work in the Netherlands with a certain German diploma? Go to Working in the Netherlands with a foreign diploma.

Studying in the Netherlands

Do you want to know if you can study in the Netherlands with your German diploma? Go to Studying in the Netherlands with a foreign diploma.

Realabschluss/Abschluss/Zeugnis der Klasse 10 der Hauptschule/Sekundarabschluss/Mittlere Reife

  • Comparable to: a VMBO-T diploma (NLQF 1-2/EQF 1-2).
  • Duration of schooling: 6 years.
  • Type of education: secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to upper secondary education.

Fachhochschulreife

  • Comparable to: a HAVO diploma (NLQF 4/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher professional education (Fachhochschule).

Zeugnis der Allgemeinen Hochschulreife

  • Comparable to: a VWO diploma (NLQF 4+/EQF 4).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 to 3 years.
  • Type of education: secondary education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to higher education.

Diploma-Vorprüfungszeugnis (Fachhochschule)

  • Comparable to: 1.5 to 2 years of HBO (NLQF 5/EQF 5).
  • Duration of schooling: 1.5 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the final 1.5 or 2 years of integrated study programmes of the 1st cycle in higher professional education.

Zwischenprüfungszeugnis/Diplom-Vorprüfungszeugnis (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: 2 years of WO (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 2 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to the final 2 years of integrated study programmes of the 1st and 2nd cycle in research-oriented education (Magister, Diploma or Staatsprüfung).

Fachhochschuldiplom (Gesamthochschule)

  • Comparable to: an HBO bachelor's degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the 2nd cycle in higher professional education.

Diplom (Fachhochschule)

  • Comparable to: an HBO bachelor's degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3.5 to 4 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the 2nd cycle in higher professional education.

Bachelor (Fachhochschule)

  • Comparable to: an HBO bachelor's degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: at least 3 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the 2nd cycle in higher education.

Bachelor (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: a WO bachelor's degree (NLQF 6/EQF 6).
  • Duration of schooling: 3 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to further study of the second cycle in research-oriented education.

Magister, Diplom, Lizentiat (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: a WO master's degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 4.5 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Lizentiat (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: a WO master's degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Staatsprüfung (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: an HBO or a WO master's degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: professional or research-oriented.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Master (Fachhochschule)

  • Comparable to: an HBO master's degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: higher professional education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Master (Wissenschaftliche Hochschule)

  • Comparable to: a WO master's degree (NLQF/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 1 to 2 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.

Diplom/Magister (Gesamthochschule)

  • Comparable to: a WO master's degree (NLQF 7/EQF 7).
  • Duration of schooling: 5 years.
  • Type of education: research-oriented education.
  • Purpose of diploma: access to doctorate programmes.