German educational institutions and study programmes

Below, we explain what types of German educational institutions and study programmes there are, and how we check whether they are recognised and/or accredited. We check the and to make sure that the quality is sufficient. We give the necessary information for each type of education:

Secondary education | diplomas

With regard to secondary education programmes, you have to pay special attention to the fact that a student has a recognised diploma. These are the recognised upper secondary education diplomas:

See Secondary education documents for a short explanation of the documents that students receive.

Higher education | educational institutions

In Germany, there are separate educational institutions for research-oriented higher education and higher professional education.

Institutions for research-oriented higher education

Students can follow research-oriented higher education at various Universitäten and specialised Hochschulen:

  • Universitäten
  • Technische Universitäten
  • Technische Hochschulen
  • Wissenschaftliche Hochschulen, zoals:
    • Pädagogische Hochschulen
    • Erziehungswissenschaftliche Hochschulen
    • Medizinische Hochschulen
    • Philosophisch-Theologische Hochschulen
  • Kunst- en Musikhochschulen

Kunst- en Musikhochschulen

In German higher education, Kunst- en ­Musikhochschulen form a separate category. The admission requirements and diplomas of these institutions are often the same as those of the research-oriented Universitäten en Hochschulen. However, the goal of the programme is often more similar to that of Dutch universities of applied sciences ( ). Per study programme, we determine if we can compare the diploma to a Dutch HBO or diploma.

Institutions for higher professional education

Fachhochschulen offer higher professional education. In English, these institutions are called: university of applied sciences.

Checking the recognition of higher education institutions

You can find a search tool for all recognised German higher education institutions on the Hochschulkompass website (in German only).

  • Open the Hochschulkompass search tool.
  • At the section ‘Suchen Sie hier nach Hochschulen’, enter the name of the German higher education institution and click on ‘Treffer anzeigen’.
  • No result? The higher education institution is probably not recognised.

Higher education | study programmes

In Germany, study programmes need to be accredited. You can find accredited study programmes via the Hochschulkompass website (in German only).

  • First, look up the educational institution via the Hochschulkompass search tool. We explain how this can be done above, under the section ‘Checking the recognition of higher education institutions’.
  • You will now see 1 or more search results. Under the name of the educational institution, click on ‘Mehr erfahren.
  • Then click on ‘Studiengänge’.
  • Click on ‘grundständige Studienangebote’ if you are searching for accredited bachelor’s programme or other undergraduate study programmes.
  • Click on ‘weiterführende Studienangebote’ if you are searching for accredited master’s programme or other postgraduate study programmes.
  • Click on ‘komplettes Studienangebot’ if you want an overview of all the accredited study programmes.
  • Is the study programme not listed? It is probably not accredited.