German university degree Magister

General discussions concerning institutions and degree programs.

German university degree Magister

Postby Viviana Bruno » Fri Apr 19, 2013 10:51 am

Hello vj people!

My US fiancé and I have a k1 petition running. We are not at NOA2 stage yet, only three months into the waiting peiod, but I am starting to prepare for everything that I might need when I move to the States. One of the things that I wonder about is my German university degree. I have studied English and media / communications and after having written a thesis and passed all the exams, have received a Magister Artium degree. I have tried the forum search, but I only found old topics, so I started a new thread. Everywhere I am reading that people had their university degrees evaluated. My question is where can you do that and is it needed anyway? Would a certified / notarized translation of my degree suffice for the US? Do universities do that for you? Also, I wonder what kind of status my German degree puts me into. We do have the bachelor / master system in Germany now, but my degree went according to the old system of Magister Artium / Diplom, both with an intermediate exam that I would somehow equal to a bachelor. I understand that my degree would be something like a bachelor with thesis or a master, but I am not even sure of that ... And I am not sure if I will need it, cause I have been working for 7 years now, and maybe my work experience would be more valuable than my degree, but you never know.

Any help or info is appreciated. Thanks a lot!
Viviana Bruno
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Re: German university degree Magister

Postby johann » Fri Apr 19, 2013 3:30 pm

Such an evaluation would generally be required (not quite 100%, but usually) for either:

(1) Employment purposes
(2) Further study at a U.S. school

I guess it might be needed in some immigration circumstances, but I really have no idea. I leave that to other members and the I.N.S. :)

Generally, these evaluations are done by NACES members. A list of them is here:
AACRAO evaluations are acceptable. Their International Services site is here:

I've read that two of the most commonly-used firms (on the NACES list) are:

Educational Credential Evaluators (ECE)
World Education Services (WES)

Costs vary. There can also be somewhat of a variance between firms, in the evaluations received, or so I'm told. :) I have no experience at all, so I cannot predict any equivalency your German degree will be accorded. I also suggest you stay away from any non-NACES evaluator you might find, other than AACRAO. Reason: There are some bogus firms out there. I wish you every success. :)

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Re: German university degree Magister

Postby msganti » Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:13 am

Johan is right (as always :) ). I suggest going with ECE or WES or AACRAO.

There are 2 common types of evaluations - Degree-Equalency & Course-By-Course. The first one simply states that your degree is equal to that of a US degree, and the second one is more detailed with each course you did, it's US equalency in terms of credits and your grades/marks converted to GPA.

The first type is common for Immigration & employment purposes, and the second type will be required for higher education. You need to check with the US school to see if they have a preferred evaluation agency. For immigration purposes, contact your attorney, as USCIS accepts evaluations from many evaluation agencies, so you may get some better deals.

The evaluation costs vary from ~USD75 to ~USD150 for degree equalency, and between ~USD200 to ~USD300 for course-by-course . Each additional copy costs more.
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Re: German university degree Magister

Postby Eric » Sun Apr 21, 2013 5:59 am

Many of my colleagues and friends who hold degrees from other countries live and work in USA. Most are naturalized Citizens etc.
Most of them never needed an evaluation of their degrees for employment. Exception is for state or county jobs such as Environmental Officer or one of the protected professions such as MD or other profession that require licensing.

For continuing education in US Universities every one had to provide evaluation - comprehensive report from approved usually NACES member credential evaluation service.

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