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General Information

General information

The following link presents the overview with the institutions types and structure of higher education system in Germany. The German universities offer in compare to other countries an academic degree Diploma Supplement.

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The academic year

The academic year is divided into two semesters or terms. The summer semester usually runs from April 1 to September 30, the winter semester lasts from October 1 to March 31. The semester may begin or end one month earlier at some universities of applied science. About a third of the academic year consists of breaks, time away from the lecture halls.



The Bachelor is now the primary professionally - qualifying undergraduate degree. Graduates with a Bachelor’s degree acquire the necessary scientific knowledge, methodological competencies and relevant key qualifications they will need to enter the job market or to continue their studies in a Master programme. While polytechnic universities tend to stress practical approaches, general university study programmes seek to impart a knowledge base, A Bachelor’s degree opens doors to university Masters and Doctoral programmes (Dr.-Ing.), as well as to R&D departments in industry, places where in reality innovative products are conceived.


The Masters degree is the next higher professionally-qualifying university degree. In order to be admitted to a Master programme, the student must already hold a primary, professionally qualifying university degree (e.g. Bachelor or Diplom). The Masters is comparable to the former German Diplom. Students must already hold a Masters to be eligible for doctoral programmes.

Diplom Programme

Traditional Diplom programmes offered by German universities are characterised by a distinct research orientation.

Diplom academic programmes are arranged in four semesters of foundation courses, during which particular emphasis is given to acquiring basic knowledge and skills to help the student choose the most appropriate academic and professional paths. This is followed by six semesters of advanced courses, during which students consolidate their knowledge in their specialist field.

Diploma Supplement

A Diploma Supplement is an addition to the leaving certificate in the academic area of education that was introduced in the course of the Bologna-Process. It is awarded by academies along with the original certificate. The Diploma Supplement describes the courses' properties, contents and type of degree and should be devoid of value judgements, recommendations or approval of any kind. It does not replace the original certificate.