Academic recognition of studies abroad
Study and examination achievements obtained at foreign universities are recognized on the occasion of the continuation of studies, the taking of examinations, the commencement of postgraduate studies or the admission to doctoral studies at a university, unless there are substantial differences with regard to the competences acquired. The question of whether there is a substantial difference is generally decided by the competent examination board of the higher education institution at which the applicant wishes to continue studies, take an examination, take up (further) studies or obtain a doctorate. It should be noted that in the event of a rejection of the credit, the university bears the burden of proof that there is a significant difference with regard to the competencies acquired and must justify the rejection.
Special regulations sometimes apply in the degree programs that conclude with a state examination. Please seek advice at the respective university.
Recognition of studies abroad for professional or other purposes
If you have studied abroad and would like to work in Germany, the decisive factor is whether your profession in Germany is one of the so-called regulated professions. This is because official recognition of your degree is only legally required in this case.
A profession is regulated if access to and practice of the profession is tied by legal and administrative regulations to proof of a specific qualification or if the job title is protected by law. In Germany, for example, this includes medical professions or legal professions, but also teachers at state schools. The respective specified professional authorities are responsible for the recognition of a qualification. With the "Recognition Finder" (for link, see "Related Links"), you can find the authority responsible for your matter with just a few clicks. You will also receive all important information on the procedure. Further advice is available from the telephone hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) at +49 30 1815-1111 (at the usual cost to German landlines).
If the profession is not regulated, official recognition is not required by law, i.e. you can apply directly to the German labor market or become self-employed with your foreign qualification. Nevertheless, an evaluation of your foreign qualification may be useful to enable future employers to better assess your qualifications. If you have completed a university degree, you can apply for a certificate evaluation by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).
For more information on the recognition of foreign degrees, see"Professional Recognition; Application".
Recognition of studies abroad for late repatriates
Persons entitled under the Federal Law on Displaced Persons can apply for recognition of their foreign degree.
Examinations and certificates of qualification from higher education that entitled persons under the Federal Expellees Act have taken or acquired in the resettlement areas are to be recognized if they are equivalent to the corresponding examinations or certificates of qualification in the area of application of the Federal Expellees Act (Section 10 (2), Section 7 (2) of the Federal Expellees Act).
These authorities are responsible:
- Insofar as the foreign qualification leads to a regulated profession, the respective specified specialist authorities are responsible. With the "Recognition Finder" (for link, see "Further links"), you can find the authority responsible for your matter with just a few clicks. You will also receive all important information on the procedure. Further advice is available from the telephone hotline of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) at +49 30 1815-1111 (at the usual cost to German landlines).
- Insofar as the foreign degree leads to a non-regulated profession and is comparable to a German degree at the university of applied sciences level , the Nuremberg University of Technology is responsible.
- If the foreign degree leads to a non-regulated profession and is comparable to a German degree at university level , the Bavarian State Ministry of Science and Art is responsible. Under "Forms" you will find the application form with further notes on the procedure and a list of the documents required to carry out the procedure.