Can I go for Phd in USA, Canada, Australia or any other European country with my master's degree from a German Fachhochschule? I am planning to work for two years as a lecturer and researcher in my home country (Pakistan) and look for PhD fundings/admissions from there. I believe the experience gained during these two years will make my application stronger.

Secondly, is there something I should do before leaving Germany (extra courses for more CPs, degree recognition or any such thing)? I'm enrolled in 120 CP Master's degree with following division:

  • Course work = 60 CP
  • Mandatory internship = 30 CP
  • Master Thesis = 30 CP

Do universities from these regions require more CPs? I've heard this is the case for German technical universities.

This question is related but it is about PhD in Germany only.

  • 1
    One remark for clarification: you probably mean "Fachhochschule" (University of Applied Science) and not "Hochschule". The latter is a term for all types of higher education together, including universities. There are even some universities that use the term "Hochschule" in their names.
    – DCTLib
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:34
  • As far as I know a "university of applied sciences" is a Fachhochschule. A PhD in the US and UK only requires a BA, so that shouldn't be a problem. I however do not now if your degree is recognized in countries which require a Master's (or equivalent) like France. Aug 27, 2014 at 15:35
  • I changed Hochschule to Fachhochschule in both the title and the question. As it was before, your question made little sense. Now I understand it :)
    – xLeitix
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:50
  • I removed the personally specific background information, because this moves the question into a "detailed situation" question that we want to avoid.
    – aeismail
    Aug 27, 2014 at 15:57
  • @TheAlmightyBob since I am assuming that you are talking about combined Master's and PhD program, you are talking about the case where I can exempt the subjects which I have studied in my Master's already and do only the rest?
    – Hamzahfrq
    Aug 27, 2014 at 17:48

2 Answers 2


In principle, there's no formal obstacle to applying to a US program, since almost all of them require only a bachelor's degree for admission. I similarly don't see a major problem with admissions to Canadian or other European universities, since you would have a master's degree and therefore have an "equivalent" degree, so long as you're staying in the same discipline (electrical engineering to electrical engineering); rules may be different if you're moving between fields (e.g., computer science to materials science).

Where you may run into a problem in admissions is that as a Fachhochschule, your school may not have as strong an international profile as from Hochschule and other schools of equivalent rank in Europe. Consequently, the school you're applying to may not have ever had applicants from your Fachhochschule. Consequently, regardless of how good your profile and application are, you still represent an "unknown" quantity, and therefore there is a greater risk to the department by admitting you instead of someone from a school that is better familiar to the department to which you're applying.

For non-European questions, the number of credit points aren't that important. For European admissions, there may be an issue regarding this, but that's really decided on a university-by-university basis, so you'll need to consult the individual schools you're interested in for guidance. However, taking additional credits beyond what is required for admission won't help you nearly as much as demonstrating research potential.

  • I missed the specific question about credit points. I have edited my question. Could you please modify your answer and add more details?
    – Hamzahfrq
    Aug 27, 2014 at 17:44

Refer to Wikipedia, the FachHochschulen in German - speaking countries play a role of institutes of vocational education. It is difficult to give a direct answer. The situation really depends on which PhD program at which University in the USA or other English - speaking countries to which you are going to submit your application. Basically, the admission committee there will investigate your profile, or they will have a professional third party to provide an objective investigation.

In my humble opinion and experience, given a quite normal situation only in German speaking countries, a student holding MSc. or Diplom(FH) from an FH may be admitted directly in a Master program at a university, who is allowed to award Doctor degree. But that student will definitely required to take the examinations in core lectures in Bachelor program at that university. The universities in USA know this, very probably.

I suggest a solution, that you will take a Master course at an internationally accredited university in your home country before you make a step further.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .