There are public and private state-recognized institutions of higher education categorized as:
1. universities (Universitäten) and equivalent higher education institutions (Technische Hochschulen/Technische Universitäten, Pädagogische Hochschulen)
2. Colleges of art and music (Kunsthochschulen and Musikhochschulen)
3. Fachhochschulen (universities of applied sciences)
Classes from: Oct to: Aug
Long vacation from: Aug to: Sep
Languages of instruction: German & English
Stages of studies
Non-university level post-secondary studies (technical/vocational type)
Non-university tertiary education is provided by the Fachschulen
University level first stage
FACHHOCHSCHULEN (Universities of applied sciences): offer application-oriented study courses mainly in Engineering, Economics, Social Work, Public and Legal Administration and Health and Therapy. Engineering).
University level second stage: Hauptstudium
Stage II consists of more advanced studies (Hauptstudium) leading to the final degree examination.
University level third stage: Promotion
Doctoral studies are only pursued in universities (Universitäten). There are several procedures for admitting particularly qualified holders of a degree obtained at a Fachhochschule to doctoral studies at universities. The period of doctoral studies, known as the Promotion, consists of two to four years' independent research and the submission of a thesis following the award of the Diplom/Erstes Staatsexamen/Magister Artium/Master of Arts/Science.
Training of pre-primary and primary/basic school teachers
Training of secondary school teachers
Secondary school teachers (Hauptschule, Realschule, Gymnasium, Sonderschule and vocational school teachers) are also trained in 3.5 to 4.5 years in universities.
Training of higher education teachers
There is no legal provision for special training for higher education teaching staff.
Distance higher education
Courses leading to a Diplom and Magister, as well as to Bachelor's and Master's degrees are offered by the Fernuniversität Hagen, distance Fachhochschulen and a number of institutions.
Lifelong higher education
Most of the Länder have specific legislation on continuing education (Weiterbildung).
Higher education training in industry
Continuing vocational education in industry is offered at supra-company level, by companies themselves, by the industrial and business associations and the chambers of trade and industry,and trade unions.