Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I get my qualification recognized?

The equivalence assessment and recognition of your university degree is a requirement for accessing and practicing regulated professions. If your degree is recognized as fully equivalent, you have the same rights as a German university degree holder regarding the practice of the corresponding profession.

Do I receive a German university degree with recognition?

When your degree is recognized, you will receive a positive equivalence notice, but your degree will not be transformed into a German Bachelor, Master or Diplom degree.

Do all foreign degrees have to be recognized?

Formal recognition is only necessary for professions that are regulated in the state of Hesse or Germany. Regulated professions are professions that require qualifications defined by law, such as doctors or teachers.

Non-regulated professions, such as mathematicians, economists or journalists, do not require recognition, and allow immediate access to the job market.

You can find out whether your profession is regulated or not on the website If you have a foreign degree in a non-regulated profession, you can request a statement of comparability by the Central Office for Foreign Education (see It is a comparative assessment but not a recognition certificate.

Who is eligible to apply for recognition at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences?

As of 1 Apr 2012, all persons with a foreign professional qualification have the right to the equivalence assessment of their foreign professional qualification to the German professional qualification.

RheinMain University of Applied Sciences will assess your application on behalf of the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK).

If you have a foreign higher education degree in one of the following areas or fields, you can submit an application for recognition at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences:

  • Professional for Day Care Facilities (Qualification at higher education institution in home country)
  • State-recognized social worker
  • State-recognized curative pedagogy professional
  • State-recognized childhood pedagogy professional

I would like to study in the state of Hesse. Where can I apply for an higher education entrance qualification or the recognition of my foreign academic studies?

In general, the recognition of foreign qualifications as higher education entrance qualification and the recognition of foreign academic studies is the responsibility of the university you would like to study at. Find more information at or the websites of the universities.

Find more information on the recognition of academic studies at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences here.

I do not live in Hesse. Am I still eligible to apply for recognition at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences?

In general, you have to apply for recognition in the state in which you have registered your residence and would like to practice your profession.

I am currently living outside the EU. Am I eligible to apply for recognition at the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences?

If you would like to practice your profession in the state of Hesse and your current residence is not in any of the EU or EEA member states or Switzerland and you do not have citizenship in one of these states, you are eligible to apply for recognition at RheinMain University of Applied Sciences. In this case, please prove your intention to pursue employment that corresponds to your qualification (e.g. by applying for a job seeker visa, contacting potential employers in Hesse or drawing up a business plan for self-employment).

We recommend you contact the Service Center for Professional Recognition (ZSBA). The service center advises recognition seekers that are still abroad and supports their application procedure. Find the contact details of the service center at:

When is it recommended to apply for both recognition as childcare professional and state recognition?

In general, professional recognition is only granted for ONE reference qualification only; further applications will be denied in most cases. To limit costs, please seek help from a recognition service center BEFORE submitting any application. The service center will advise you on the most promising approach in your case. Do not submit any application until you got counseling.

Only in exceptional cases and with certain qualifications, e.g. if you completed certain university degrees in both pedagogy and social work, applying for two recognitions at the same time is an option.

What are the differences between childcare professional and state-recognized childhood pedagogue?

Both titles qualify you to work in day care facilities for children.

  • However, there are differences regarding the compensation measures

Childcare professional: The compensation measure is an adaptation period. During this period, the individual works in a certified Hessian day care facility under supervision. In general, adaptation periods last 12 months full time (37 hs/week). If the case, existing relevant professional experience in German day care facilities can be transferred, if corresponding proof is presented with the application.

Childhood pedagogue: The compensation measures will be defined and carried out by Institute of School Education and Social Science Education at Justus Liebig University Giessen. The significant differences between the German and foreign higher education qualification must be compensated with completed courses at Justus Liebig University Giessen. In general, an adaptation year according to paragraph 2 of the Social Professions Recognition Act (SozAnerkG) must be completed.

  • There are further differences in the area of validity

Childcare professional: Professional recognition is issued at state level and the certificate is only valid in the state of Hesse. If you change the state in Germany, you must find out, if the certificate can be transferred.

Childhood pedagogue: This professional recognition is a federal recognition. It is issued by the state of Hesse, but is valid in all of Germany.

I have completed a foreign qualification as elementary school teacher. I have completed a foreign qualification as elementary school teacher.

On behalf of the the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education, Research and the Arts, RheinMain University of Applied Sciences is only responsible to determine equivalence for foreign higher education qualifications in social work, early childhood pedagogy and curative pedagogy. A certificate as elementary school teacher is a teaching qualification and is professionally assigned to a different area in the State of Hesse. The responsibility to determine equivalence of foreign teaching qualifications lies with the Office for training and further education for teachers of the state Hesse in Giessen. Applications for recognition of foreign teaching qualifications can only be submitted to this office.

Pursuant to para. 25B sec. 1 no. 10 and 11 of the Hessian Child and Youth Welfare Code (HKJGB), you can work as childcare professional in a day care facility if you have a recognized foreign elementary school teaching qualification.

How long does the application assessment take?

As soon as the documents are complete, your application will be assessed and you will generally receive notice on your application within 12 weeks (decision period).

The decision period does not start until all necessary documents are submitted. We recommend preparing all necessary documents prior to submitting the application.

If the application is missing necessary proof, the decision period might be prolonged due to an additional qualification analysis.

In case the decision period can not be met, it can be prolonged once according to para. 13 sec. 3 p. 3 of the Hessian Professional Qualifications Assessment Act (HBQFG), if there is a justified reason, such as a pending assessment by the Central Office for Foreign Education (ZAB).

Who can I ask about recognition issues?

  • If you have not submitted an application with us yet, we recommend you contact a recognition office first for information and counseling. Find more information here.

      Find more general information on recognition on the Recognition portal.  

  • If you have already submitted an application with us, you can email your questions to: anerkennung_aeb(at) A member of our team will be happy to help you. Due to the number of applications and questions, we cannot always answer immediately. Please understand.

How can I meet other international professionals and create a network?

Visit one of the regional wine locales or a typical restaurant in Frankfurt for one of our regular meet and greets to chat with other international professionals. During the pandemic, the events are online.

The events are great to meet like-minded people from around the world and from Hesse and just chat and network. Meet and greets are open to anybody who is interested. Details about the next event and how to register will be posted soon.

Find more information and upcoming events  here.

What do I have to do after receiving the decision from the ministry?

  •  If your assessment notice for recognition as “Professional for Day Care Facilities” states that you have to do an adaptation course of several months:

Find a daycare, after-school care, or other early education facility where you can spend the specified time. You received a two-page attachment with the rejection notice. The agencies named in the appendix will assist you in finding an employer.
You do not have to attend a higher education institution during this time!

  •  If you have received an assessment notice for recognition as “State recognized social worker, curative pedagogy professional or curative pedagogy professional”:

Report to the specified college that provides the compensation measures.
For recognition as “State recognized childhood pedagogy professor or curative pedagogy professional”, you will find the contact details in the assessment notice under point 2.
For recognition as “State recognized social worker”, find the contact details in the email with the subject “Invitation to a consulting session”.