The system of higher education in Austria
In Austria, you can study at public universities, private universities and universities of applied sciences (dt. Hochschule). In addition, in public universities, most of the specialties you can study are free, but there are also paid specialties.
The higher education system in Austria is divided into:
Bachelor (dt. Bakkalaureats- /Bachelorstudium)
Studying for a bachelor's degree in Austria involves studying at a university for 6 semesters (during your studies you need to earn 180 credits based on the Bologna system). The curriculum of your chosen bachelor's degree consists of compulsory subjects, which form the basis of your specialty (dt. Pflichfächer) and elective subjects (dt. Wahlfächer). During your studies you must write a major bachelor's thesis and at the end of your studies pass a bachelor's exam.
Master (dt. Master- /Magisterstudium)
The next degree you can get while studying at an Austrian university is a master's degree. Studying for a master's degree aims to deepen your knowledge of the specialty you studied at the bachelor's degree. In some cases, you can choose a new major to study for a master's degree, for example, you have a bachelor's degree in economics and have continued your master's degree in marketing. Study at the master's degree, as a rule, lasts 4 semesters and involves obtaining (120 credits in the study process, based on the Bologna system). At the end of the master's degree you must write a written master's thesis.
Diploma (dt. Diplomstudium)
This form of education in Austria is divided into 2 or 3 educational units and lasts, depending on the specialty, from 4 to 8 years. The duration of the study unit, subjects and their content are clearly defined by the curriculum. The subjects you study during your diploma studies are in turn divided into compulsory subjects (dt. Pflichfächer) and optional subjects (dt. Wahlfächer). At the end of this form of study you must pass a diploma exam. To be admitted to this exam, you must write a thesis. This form of education differs from the previous two forms and control over success, but in general, studying in this form of education you complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees at the same time.
Doctoral studies (dt. Doktoratsstudium)
For those who want to go to science and do research in Austria, you need to get a doctorate. Doctoral studies last at least 3 years. Admission to this form of study is based on a completed Austrian master's degree, diploma or comparable foreign diploma. The subjects to be taken in doctoral studies are clearly defined in the curriculum. The most important for this form of study is the dissertation and research that you must conduct to write this dissertation. The studying ends with the defense of the dissertation and a special oral exam (so-called Rigorosum).
Guest students in Austria (dt. Gasthörer)
This form of study involves attending lectures and seminars at an Austrian university, but does not require a certificate of graduation. Lectures and seminars that you attend as a guest student can then be credited and recognized as part of the regular bachelor's, master's or diploma form if you plan to enroll. You cannot pass bachelor's, master's and diploma exams during this form of study.