I hold a degree from a European country, and at that time we didn't have a system similar to the common "Bachelor + Master". My degree has been considered as equivalent to a Master by the University of another European country, and in this other University I obtained a Doctorate.

Now, I have been offered a teaching position in Russia, and they want a statement of my undergraduate University, saying that that degree is equivalent to a Master. But this University (where I graduated) tells me that they can't make a statement of equivalence, they can only certify that I have that degree. So, who should be the authority that officially takes care of confirming the equivalence?

To complicate things, I graduated before the Bologna Process came into effect.

  • 3
    I don't understand. If you have a PhD, why would one care if you have a Master degree?
    – sean
    Oct 17, 2017 at 23:35
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    It's a touchy subject. When I got a job in Europe, there was a bit of a hassle explaining why I didn't have a master's degree.
    – aeismail
    Oct 18, 2017 at 1:13
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    @PeterTaylor, similarly, would the university that granted the doctorate certify that the undergraduate degree is equivalent to a Master's degree.
    – user2768
    Oct 18, 2017 at 14:43
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    After some email exchanges, I can say that the University where I graduated insists that it is not up to them to say to which degree is equivalent the one they grant. They will only provide for details about the degree itself, such as its duration, the exams I passed, etc. I have also contacted the office in charge of the Lisbon Treaty, and they gave some advice. But I don't have a final answer yet. What I guess is that the solution is that the non-European University needs to asses and evaluate the degree, and decide.
    – Fabio
    Oct 19, 2017 at 0:30
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    @Roland what OP described is a very common issue when applying to tenure-track positions in Brazilian public universities. Often you get "extra points" for having a Master even if you have a PhD. It's stupid, but I believe the policy is required by the federal government.
    – user63725
    Oct 19, 2017 at 2:08

3 Answers 3


Each country should have a government office (or equivalent organization) that makes such determinations. You should ask the university to which you're applying for the appropriate office to consult in their country. If you want one from the country where you obtained your undergraduate degree, ask their registrar (or equivalent officer) who is responsible for such certifications.

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    This is a good answer, but it’s not always governments who enforce these things. In the US there are non-governmental agencies known as regional accreditation agencies on whose authority the degree contains value. The university registrar’s office will know who to contact, be they a government agency or independent group. Oct 18, 2017 at 12:06

I think that you should ask to the university from which you graduated a Diploma Supplement for your degree. This should help the non-European country in recognizing it.

In many universities Diploma Supplements are nowadays routinely delivered to the new graduates, but maybe they are able to prepare one also for those who graduated before the Bologna process.

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    In my university (in Spain) the diploma supplement has still not been implemented, but in any case the relevant university official can write a letter detailing the credits/hours (and other relevant information) required to complete a given degree, and this is routinely done for students seeking admission to programs in other (particularly non European) countries.
    – Dan Fox
    Oct 19, 2017 at 7:20

From my experience in European countries, the equivalence is established in the destination country, that is, the country in which you want to use the degree. Basically, the university where you graduated is not habilitated to certify that you have the requirement for a Russian degree. (This would be almost equivalent to delivering Russian degrees.)

Since you have obtained your degree before the Bologna process, you might be able to obtain from the university where you graduated from a statement that your degree is equivalent to a master degree at their university after Bologna. (I know that universities routinely give attestations that one of their master degree grants access to their doctoral programme.) This might help the Russian administration to navigate in the pre-Bologna higher education landscape.

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