I finished the Master of Science and got my diploma in Belgium. Before obtaining my Masters, I did a Bachelor's in Architecture in Serbia. Altogether I studied six years (4+2).

"The holder of this degree can use the title of Master. The holder of this degree is also authorized to bear the Dutch language title of Burgerlijk ingenieur."

Since I would like to work in Germany, it is important for me to prove to German authorities that I have completed my engineering studies, in other words that I am an "engineer". In my opinion, this is enough but I am not quite sure what it means exactly .

  • I recommend you speak to the Belgian university and ask them - they probably will know the answer to this. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 13:32

4 Answers 4


I'm from Denmark and here engineers are called "civil engineers". I don't know Dutch, but I'm guessing that "Burgerlijk ingenieur" means the same. The reason why the title is not just "engineer" is because engineers ususually worked in the military and to make things clear the new type of engineers got the name "civil engineers".

  • 3
    At least here in Germany, it also differentiates a certain subfield (roughly, to do with engineering large-scale structures such as bridges) within engineering (compared to, e.g., mechanical or electrical engineering -- the former being the "default" engineering if not specified). This also fits with the OP mentioning to have a Bachelor's degree in Architecture. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 19:09
  • Plus, Google Translate agrees with you. Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 19:12
  • 7
    Being (Flemish) Belgian I can confirm that the answer and @Christian his comment are correct: "burgerlijk ingenieur" translates to civil engineer. Other engineering titles are "industrieel ingenieur" (industrial engineer, more applied than civil engineering), "bio-ingenieur" (agricultural engineer, used to be called "landbouwkundig ingenieur") and "handelsingenieur" (trade engineer literally, so more economy-oriented).
    – pbelmans
    Commented Nov 20, 2015 at 16:46
  • 1
    I would guess that it maps to the German "Bauingenieur". Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 11:52
  • University also confirmed that the title is "Civil Engineer". The only doubt for me is, how it will be recognized in Germany, since this is very broad meaning of engineer (actually, it is not anyhow specified like industrial, agricultural, trade engineer, like pblemans explained).
    – blackarrow
    Commented Nov 23, 2015 at 7:33

Literally, "Burgerlijk ingenieur" translates to "Civil engineer" but it has a different meaning. A "Burgerlijk ingenieur" can specialize in computer science, electrical engineering, civil engineering, etc. On graduation, you get a title like "Burgerlijk ingenieur computerwetenschappen", specifying the specialization. So a "Burgerlijk ingenieur" can be a civil engineer, but that is not always the case.

A civil engineer in Belgium would be called a "Burgerlijk ingenieur bouwkunde" or "Bouwkundig ingenieur".


As far as I can judge, the German authority where you apply for confirmation to use the title "Ingenieur" needs to check whether your degree from Belgium is equivalent to a German degree in an engineering subject. You need to supply them suitable documentation to check this.

A nice resource for this kind of comparison is the Anabin database: http://anabin.kmk.org/anabin-datenbank.html

It contains a huge collection of international degrees, down to individual universities that issue them, and it gives their equivalent level and field of study in Germany. Searching for degrees from Belgium, I see a lot with the title "Burgerlijk ingenieur", and it seems all of them are on A5 level (corresponding to German / EU Masters degree) and in an engineering related field.

  • Yes, I also found that my degree is on level A5 according to Anabin database.
    – blackarrow
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 13:51

There really isn't enough information to determine how German authorities will view your degree. The big issue is what field your diploma is in. If it's in a recognized engineering field, you should be fine, since EU degrees are supposed to be accepted across the EU. On the other hand, if your degree is in a non-engineering field, you may be out of luck.

  • This academic programme pertains to the following field of study: "Engineering Studies".
    – blackarrow
    Commented Nov 19, 2015 at 13:32

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