Is Di­p­lom-Ma­the­ma­ti­ker equivalent to M.Sc?

  • 1
    In my case (Dipl.-Chem.), my Diplom is equivalent to a M.Sc. in chemistry: I got a so-called supplement which is a certificate stating this equivalence. I haven't seen any such certificates the other way round - it also makes less sense because one of the points in the BSc/MSc system is the equivalence of the degrees across large parts of Europe, so "comparability" of MSc is greater. Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 15:47
  • @cbeleitesunhappywithSX Still, I assume this does not mean you can call yourself an MSc (as asked in the question title).
    – user151413
    Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 17:36
  • @user151413: No, I say "my Diplom is like a M.Sc". The comment was only about the equivalence (as opposed to equality) part of the question (in the body). Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 18:17
  • 3
    To be clear, the question title and body are two different questions that each lead to a different answer. The equivalence of two degrees does not imply that one can use them interchangeably. Related question: Can my UK PhD permit me to use the title “Dr.-Ing.” in Germany? Commented Jul 31, 2020 at 21:27

2 Answers 2


(Note: The answer is primarily referring to the question in the title, which is not quite the same as the one in the text.)

No. Why would you think so?

Diplom-XXX is a title which is, mostly, not awarded any more. The "Diplom" system has been replaced with the BSc/MSc-system. But this does not mean they are equivalent (it is a rather different system), and you certainly cannot call yourself Dipl.-Math..

From a more pragmatic point of view, I would consider it a more or less equivalent degree. But again, this does not mean you can call yourself "Diplom-Mathematiker" if you got an MSc in Maths.


Concerning the question if the Diplom is equivalent to M.Sc.: it mostly is, but in some instances, a Diplom is actually considered inferior to a Masters.

Why? Follwing the Bachelor - Master route compared to the diploma means you have actually completed two separate courses of studies and have written two theses. Master graduates are thus considered (slightly) more proficient in "academic skills" than diploma holders.

As far as I know, this only makes a difference when it comes to becoming a supervisor for students on their bachelor or masters thesis, though. In general, the rule is that you need to have at least the same degree that you want to supervise, e.g. a person with a bachelor can only supervise other bachelors theses. At my university of applied sciences, a person with a diploma cannot supervise a student for their masters thesis, only a person with a masters degree themselves can.

It might be that this is not the same allover Germany, but I know of some other universities with the same practice.

  • 1
    That's the first time I ever hear this stance, and I have quite some experience in the German system (albeit more in a university than university-of-applied-sciences context). The fact that a M.Sc. holder has completed two theses is an argument, but then, a B.Sc. thesis is typically less research-focused than a diploma or M.Sc. thesis, which are generally on the same level. Commented May 26, 2021 at 7:09

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