Doing a doctorate with a foreign degree

Applicants who have obtained a degree abroad may be admitted to a doctoral programme at a German institution with the right to confer doctoral degrees. However, your degree must be recognised.

Doctorate - recognition of foreign degrees

Foreign degrees will be recognised, on request, if they are equivalent to a German degree that makes an individual eligible for doctoral training. Equivalency is decided by the university with due consideration of the equivalency agreements approved by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of the Länder in the Federal Republic of Germany (KMK) and the German Rectors' Conference. More information about equivalency is available from the KMK's Central Office for Foreign Education (ZaB).

If a foreign degree is considered equivalent to a German degree, the responsible doctoral committee may still make admission to a doctoral programme dependent on other admission criteria, such as additional educational requirements that are relevant to the subject area of the dissertation.

It should also be noted that foreign applicants whose native language is not German often have to provide evidence of good German skills if they intend to write their dissertation in German. If the dissertation is to be written in a language other than German, this requirement may not apply. More details can be found in the institution's doctoral regulations.