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Bundeswehr degree: How to make a career in the military

Studying or joining the armed forces? Why not both? This is possible with a degree in the armed forces. Depending on the intended career, this is anyway a prerequisite for a further career in the German military. For example, if you want to become an officer. However, a degree in the armed forces does not necessarily have to be connected to the service of the weapon, a civilian degree is also possible. What career opportunities do you have with a degree in the armed forces ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Bundeswehr studies: requirements and special features

The requirements for admission are initially the same as for a state degree. As a rule, this means that the higher education entrance qualification is required in the form of the Abitur or specialist diploma. However, there are also special requirements: Applicants for a degree in the armed forces go through a two-day test procedure. This takes place in an assessment center for Bundeswehr executives (ACFüKrBw) in Cologne.

In addition to comparatively typical exercises like group discussion and interview, the candidates are examined. In addition, a student advisory service can be part of the AC, for example if the study requirements deviate significantly from the required grades.

Basic requirement

Only those who have completed basic and full military training along with an officer training course can begin studying the armed forces. This takes different lengths of time: in the navy and in the air force it takes 15 months, in the army you have to allow 39 months.

Differences to civil studies

In contrast to state universities, the course is shortened: you acquire a bachelor's degree in three years, the master's in four instead of five years. You can study at two Bundeswehr universities of your own, and you can choose from a total of 38 subjects:

  • Hamburg
    The Helmut Schmid University in Hamburg has a focus on the humanities. For example, subjects such as history or politics can be studied here.
  • Munich
    In contrast, the University of Munich mainly offers technical subjects, but also subjects such as psychology and sports science. It is also larger because it is also possible to study at a university of applied sciences.

The Bundeswehr also cooperates with a number of civil universities. This is especially true for the following subjects:

Those who want to study officers can also do so through the Bundeswehr at an elite university of the French Navy or the French Army in France. Special requirements here are good written and spoken French, mobility and very good knowledge of mathematics. Main differences between a civilian and a Bundeswehr degree:


As a student, you commit yourself to the Bundeswehr for 13 years. That means that after graduation, the employer is determined. There is also an exception here for medical students: the need is high and the training takes longer than other subjects, so interested parties have to commit themselves for 17 years.

Academic year

The division of the academic year is also different: You do not complete the course in semesters, but trimesters. This time unit consists of three months.


Officers are exempt from their normal duties. However, to a small extent they complete general military exercises such as marches and target exercises in addition to their military studies. Incidentally, women have only been admitted to military studies since 2001.

Numerus clausus

For many school leavers, the numerus clausus, or NC for short, is a nuisance. That is on subjects with restricted admission. Usually these are those who can hardly save themselves from applicants - for example medicine. If the rush of applicants exceeds the capacities of a university, it can determine which Abitur grade is required for studying there. Good news for those who are interested in studying for the armed forces: There is no NC here.


Because the students complete a dual course of study, they receive their full salary. That depends on the rank. For trainees in the preparatory service, the Bundeswehr gives a monthly net salary of 1,810 euros. Existential worries are thus eliminated. There is no need for student jobs. This in turn enables you to concentrate fully on your studies.

Bundeswehr degree: advantages and disadvantages

Advantages of the Bundeswehr degree

  • Supervision key
    While there are around 40 students for one lecturer at other universities, in the Munich district a professor looks after just 15 students.
  • tuition fee
    Although the Bundeswehr universities have an elite university character, there are no tuition fees whatsoever. It is different with private universities.
  • Furnishing
    Compared to public universities, the equipment with teaching aids is significantly better. Learning takes place in small groups, and there are also enough laboratory spaces available.
  • financing
    Thanks to the salary, student finance is secured - expensive student loans or annoying applications for student loans are no longer necessary. Even more: You are not required to have health insurance, as you are covered by military medical care. This means that there are also no high insurance premiums.
  • accommodation
    The students are accommodated free of charge on the university campus. The search for an apartment is therefore also not an issue.

Disadvantages of the Bundeswehr degree

  • claim
    What may seem easy at first glance reveals a certain toughness on the second. For these improved conditions, the students also have to do something: the standard period of study is ten trimesters or three and a half years. Compared to civil universities, the Bundeswehr course is shortened by one year.
  • Assignments abroad
    It should not be forgotten that you are still studying in the military. As an officer, after completing the Federal Armed Forces degree, assignments in crisis areas are possible, which necessitate combat actions or service to the wounded.
  • De-registration
    The shortened Bundeswehr degree is relatively complex, around a third of all Bundeswehr students fail to graduate. It is possible to drop out of the course, but the de-registration from the course does not mean the end of the obligation. You either have to catch up on your degree or the students stay at the university until the end of their studies and then become part of the team again.

Career opportunities after completing military studies

Anyone who decides to study the armed forces knows that the choice of courses is based closely on the needs of the armed forces. This means that orchid subjects such as Nordic Studies or Sinology are automatically dropped. Immediately after graduation, graduates do not have to worry anyway: The start of their careers is mapped out because they have committed themselves for the next few years. If you are wondering whether a military degree is recognized in the same way as a civilian degree, you can breathe a sigh of relief:

Regardless of whether you have a bachelor's degree, Do a master’s or doctorate, all degrees are recognized as well as those from civil universities. The reason for this is simply that a degree in the armed forces is also regulated by state university law. In addition, the degrees enjoy a very good reputation, especially in business. Anyone who has completed a career as a military officer has acquired leadership qualifications.

Overall, however, the job profiles in the Bundeswehr are very different. Those who only associate the military with professional soldiers forget the many doctors, lawyers, psychologists and even engineers.

Civilian career after completing his degree in the armed forces

If you don't want to stay with the Bundeswehr forever - no problem. After the commitment, nothing stands in the way of a civilian career. Especially since there is an integration aid with the vocational advancement service of the Bundeswehr (BFD).

On the basis of the Soldiers Supply Act (SVG), members of the Bundeswehr are supported with over 2,200 internal training and further education offers during or after their service time, depending on their needs. This can include seminars on career orientation and internships as well as language and computer courses or vocational and school qualifications.

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