Accreditation of coursework completed abroad
Procedures in the Faculties
Procedures for recognizing academic achievements at foreign institutions vary from Faculty to Faculty, so you should seek advice from the respective academic office in due time before going abroad. This page provides initial guidance only and is intended to facilitate your search for the information and contacts you need.
Please note the links under "Kontakte Internationales an den Fakultäten" at www.uni-hamburg.de/internationales/weitere Beratungsstellen.
Faculty of Law
You can find information about regulations in the Faculty of Law related to Freischuss and certificates of achievement (in German) here. ("Freischuss" designates a procedure whereby university and state exams failed upon the first attempt are deemed "not taken." Students may re-take the exam without penalty).
Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences
You can find general information about accreditation here.
The academic offices listed below are responsible for advising students on their programs and providing detailed information about accreditation procedures:
Faculty of Medicine
You can find information about accreditation in the Faculty of Medicine here.
Faculty of Education
For information on accreditation, please contact the Faculty of Education's International Office.
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Humanities
You can find information about accreditation in the Faculty of Humanities here.
Faculty of Mathematics, Informatics and Natural Sciences
- Information from the Department of Biology (PDF) about studying abroad
- Information from the Department of Chemistry
- Students in the Department of Informatics should contact their Team "Student-exchange"
- The ERASMUS Office in the Department of Mathematics offers an overview of how to plan for a period of study abroad, including information about recognition of achievements.
- Students in the Department of Physics should contact their academic advising services.
Faculty of Psychology and Human Movement Science
General information from the ERASMUS Office in the Department of Psychology
Faculty of Business Administration (Hamburg Business School)
Please find information on the international affairs pages of the Faculty of Business Administration.
Legal framework (excerpt from a circular issued by the Section for Quality Assurance and Legal Affairs in the Department of Studies and Teaching)
The European Union's Lisbon Recognition Convention, adopted by German Federal Law in 2007, requires universities to recognize academic achievements from foreign institutions. Such recognition can only be denied if the university can prove that the achievements under consideration are not equivalent.
A fundamental principle of the Lisbon Recognition Convention is that, as a rule, a university qualification must be recognized. The office responsible for recognizing achievements has the burden of proof in cases where an application for recognition does not fulfill criteria due to substantial differences. At Universität Hamburg, this would be the examination committee for the respective program. This principle is set forth in § 40 of the Hamburg Higher Education Act (HmbHG). In accordance with § 40 of the Hamburg Higher Education Act and the Lisbon Recognition Convention, skills acquired both within and outside of higher education institutions must be recognized.
More information for students and faculties
- Website issued by the German Rectors' Conference (HRK), informs students of their rights and responsibilities with regard to recognition of academic achievements from foreign institutions.
These guidelines were created for universities and intended to illuminate the basic principles of the Lisbon Recognition Convention as well as provide recommendations for establishing binding and transparent recognition procedures. They contain information about key elements of the Lisbon Convention (especially with regard to burden of proof and subtantial differences), provide guidance about legally implementing procedures in Germany, and offer tips and recommendations for setting up recognition and quality assurance procedures.
- Anerkennung von im Ausland erworbenen Studien- und Prüfungsleistungen by the HRK—complete text (PDF, in German only)
- Anerkennung von im Ausland erworbenen Studien- und Prüfungsleistungen by the HRK—abridged text (PDF, in German only)