I am a German citizen currently studying for my master’s in Germany. I am thinking about pursuing a PhD in physics in Israel (TAU) and I am wondering if the PhD in Israel is fully equivalent to the doctorate in Germany. Will I be able to use Dr. as part of my name when I eventually return back to Germany?

  • Not an answer to your question, but you might want to ask yourself whether this actually matters. I never bothered to get the two letters in my (German) passport. In fact, I renewed mine last week and did not do have them put Dr there, partly because of practical reasons (it seems more confusing then helping as it is not common practice internationally), partly because I think it doesn't belong there (see also ze.tt/…). So I would not factor this in into my decision to study there or not.
    – damian
    Sep 27, 2018 at 10:33
  • @damian Thanks for pointing this out but this was not to what my question was referring to. It was more if I can call myself Dr. And not if I can let it be noted in my passport (I don't care about this)
    – Mark
    Sep 27, 2018 at 16:43
  • Ah, OK. Then I misunderstood.
    – damian
    Sep 28, 2018 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


I would guess possibly, but the only definite answer will come from the relevant authorities.

A quick search turns up the following results:

https://www.anerkennung-in-deutschland.de/html/en/assessment_of_higher_education_certificates.php https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/06-anerkennungd/606684

Leading to: https://www.kmk.org/de/zab/central-office-for-foreign-education.html

This suggests there is a service that will assess foreign degrees regarding their equivalence for a fee. There is also a website (in German) that will allow you to determine if your desired institution is recognised by the German state or not: https://anabin.kmk.org/anabin.html

And lastly: You can always ask your local embassy/passport-issuing office when in doubt. They either know or can find out if the degree is recognised.

(Degrees from other EU countries are normally recognised within the EU without any additional fees.)


Using the search of the Anabin website, "TAU" is listed as "H+". Use the search here to find it: https://anabin.kmk.org/no_cache/filter/institutionen.html

Edit 2: I have "two letters" in my Passport/ID card from a PhD in the UK, nowadays living in France. I did not need to pay any extra fees at the German embassy in France and my PhD Certificate from the University of Leeds was sufficient - which is also classed as "H+" in the database.

  • Your answer would be improved if you provide a definition of the “H+” rating.
    – Dan Romik
    Sep 27, 2018 at 20:37
  • @DanRomik On the website, they provide a not very useful German description which states that "H+" denotes an institution that is accredited in the respective country. However it comes with a disclaimer that the label doesn't guarantee anything and you return to having to inquire with the authorities for a definitive answer. I did consider citing the definition in verbatim, but then left it out at there would be no real benefit.
    – DetlevCM
    Sep 28, 2018 at 5:24

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