Diplom (from Greek Δίπλωμα diploma) is a high level degree awarded for learning. It is awarded in European countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Estonia, Croatia, Serbia, Ukraine, Belarus and Greece. It is a similar award to the Bachelor's and Master's degrees in other countries.
The Diplom was first awarded when the Technische Hochschulen became a university.
The diplom is slowly being replaced by a system that awards Bachelor's and Master's degrees. Bachelor's degrees, sometimes called Bakkalaureus in Germany, are thought of as a "small Diplom".
Germany / Austria[change | change source]
The Diplom may be awarded by the two types of German university. At a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule), the diploma degree is called a Diplom (FH) and normally takes four years to study and gain work experience. At a Universität the degree is called a Diplom or sometimes a Diplom (Univ.) and takes four or five years. These years are called "regular study time" (Regelstudienzeit) but study for the universität normally takes longer.
The Diplom is the first university award for many students. There has been no Bachelor's degree in the German/Austrian educational system.
To win the Diplom certificate, a student must pass the tests for the Hauptstudium (main study time) after the Vordiplom, then one or more Studienarbeit (study research projects), and then write a Diplomarbeit (diploma thesis). The curriculum of diplom studies at a University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) is focused on using (applying) the science. The Universität is focused on learning.
A student must have a Diplom before studying for a PhD (Doctorate). The diplom qualifies a student to study for a doctorate in most other countries.
This chart is a guide to the number of years of university study needed in a diplom system to begin studying for a doctorate:
|1st year||2nd year||3rd year||4th year||5th year||6th year||7th year||8th year||9th year|
|Vordiplom||Diplom (FH) with best grades||additional work||Doctorate|
Note: For the Diplom (FH) a student has to spend two years with a company where he or she does not study before studying for a doctorate. These years are shown as "additional work" in the table.
Also note: A Diplom student can begin the doctorate without the additional work if their work has been good enough. Normally a Master's course is taken before a doctorate.