How do you choose subjects for graduation

Studying in Germany - Land of Ideas

Each course prepares for a specific university degree. When you decide on a course of study, you not only choose the subject, but also the degree that you want to achieve. The German universities offer suitable courses for all desires and training levels.

You can in Germany

  • start your first degree as a freshman ("undergraduate degree").
  • Gather a few semesters of international experience as part of your studies in your home country.
  • complete further studies after you have already completed a degree.
  • do a doctorate.


You can obtain the following degrees at German universities:

Bachelor (B.A., B.Sc., Bachelor of Engineering or similar)

The Bachelor is the first academic degree that is recognized on the international job market. In bachelor's degree programs, you will learn the basics of a subject in six to eight semesters. Once you have successfully completed your bachelor's degree, you can start your professional life or take the next higher academic degree: the master’s.

Master (M.A., M.Sc., Master of Engineering or similar)

The master’s degree is the second academic degree that you can acquire at German universities. In a master’s degree, you can deepen or expand your knowledge in two to four semesters. Once you have successfully completed your master's degree, you can start your professional life or achieve the next higher academic degree: a doctorate. The prerequisite for the master’s degree is that you have successfully completed a bachelor’s degree (or something comparable).

State examination

If you want to work as a doctor, lawyer, teacher or pharmacist in Germany, you need a state examination. You can take the first state examination after successfully completing your studies in law, medicine and pharmacy as well as a teacher training course. You can then prepare for the second state examination and / or start a doctorate with a job-related, practical training phase. The state examination is not an academic, but a state degree. This means: The examination regulations are not set by the university, but by the federal states. In addition, the exams take place under state supervision. However, you should first check whether the German state examination is recognized in your home country.


The doctoral program ends with the award of the doctorate. During your studies you will write a research paper (dissertation). The duration of your doctorate depends on the respective research topic, usually around two to five years.

In recent years, the courses at German universities have been reformed as part of the Bologna Process. The new Bachelor and Master courses have now replaced the traditional Diplom and Magister Artium courses almost everywhere. You may still find both degrees in your research. They are comparable to the master.

With the diploma, courses in natural, engineering, economic and social sciences as well as artistic subjects end. Above all, humanities courses end with a Magister Artium (M.A.).

Know what fits

It is not at all easy to keep track of the large number of courses. If the decision is difficult for you, you can use tests that are offered on the Internet:

TestAS - test your personal suitability for studying in Germany (free of charge)
Self-Assessment - Especially for technical subjects, test your strengths and weaknesses (free of charge)