From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
WikiProject Education (Rated Start-class, Mid-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Education, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of education and education-related topics on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Mid  This article has been rated as Mid-importance on the project's importance scale.


The Humanities and the Social Sciences are dens of iniquity, and Habilitation lets those better placed exert political pressure on those beneath them...— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:34, June 29, 2006


This article seems well written and authoritative. As an American recently returned from France, it seems consistent with what I was told by colleagues there. However, PLEASE include some sources as to where the information was taken from--EVEN IF THESE ARE PRINT SOURCES. After all the rule is that content should be verifiable.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:50, September 10, 2007

At least at a first glance the article seems relatively accurate and well written in my eyes as well. I've added a few resources concerning habilitation in Europe and removed the tag for now. However further references in particular for non EU countries would be desirable. Ideally a reference to some published article that describes and compares habilitation degrees around the world, because providing a link to official site of every single country describing its habilitation procedure/practice of (or even its universities) will create a list of sources/references that is way too long.--Kmhkmh 03:01, 5 November 2007 (UTC)
I added a reference in the article to the Brazilian qualification of Livre-docente, which is roughly equivalent to the German Habilitation, but has nevertheless been abolished in most Brazilian states, with the notable exception of the state of São Paulo. 17:47, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

There was an {{Unreferenced}} tag on the page, which was dated July 2009. I've removed it because I don't see any {{Fact}} tags, and nothing immediately appears to be controvercial. The earlier conversation here seems to support that view, as well. If anything does need citations though, feel free to add fact tags.
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 07:10, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Comparison with UK etc.[edit]

I removed the following fragment from the article:

"these [higher doctorates in the UK etc.] are given in recognition of an extended research career, and would normally only come after some years at professorial status.".. this statement is INCORRECT. A D.Sc. can be easily awarded to those candidates based purely on the volume of publishing regardless of their status or rank (Professor, Statutory Lecturer, etc.) within a particular University system. However, the award criteria will be specific to the University itself. A typical criterion is that the D.Sc. may not be awarded before X semesters have passed after the candidate received his/her primary qualification, i.e. the Bachelor Degree. It is perfectly feasibly and possible for a candidate to hold a D.Sc. and not a Ph.D. Furthermore, it is also possible for a candidate to hold a Professorship without even holding a doctoral degree of any description!

An article should not contradict itself; this talk page is the proper place for discussions. -- Jitse Niesen (talk) 05:02, 7 August 2006 (UTC)

I think the comparison between the German Habilitation and higher doctorates in the UK is really inappropriate. First of all, the Habilitation is a professional qualification, necessary to get a professorship in a German, Austrian, or Swiss-German university. British higher doctorates on the other hand are academic degrees that have no connection whatsoever to one's getting a professorship or not. Second, the Habilitation process itself is somewhat different from the process used to award higher doctorates in the UK. In the latter case, the candidate simply submits a portfolio of publications that is judged by an ad hoc committee. No public oral examination is normally required. In the case of the Habilitation though, in addition to submitting a (monographical or cumulative) thesis, the candidate normally also has to give a public lecture on the thesis topic before a commitee of university professors.Toeplitz 20:25, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
The comparison is even more inappropriate when extended to U.S. honorary degrees as indicated in the last sentence of the current version of the article. In the US, degrees such as Litt.D or LL.D. are awarded only honoris causa and have no relation whatsoever to publication record or academic qualification. That blatant mistake in the article needs to be fixed. 17:53, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Cleanup and globalize[edit]

The lead should be more clear about what habilitation actually is. Currently it begins with "Habilitation is a term used within the university system..." – OK, it's a term, but what does it mean? The lead goes on to tell the reader in what countries the term is used, when it originated, what Latin word it's derived from... But only half way through the paragraph it tells the reader, rather vaguely, that it "is the highest academic degree a person can achieve by his/her own pursuit."

Despite a long list, in the first sentence, of countries where habiliation is known, the rest of the article deals with the subjest almost solely from the German perspective. The section "The process" begins with a sentence specifiying we're talking about "the German system" and the next section is "The German debate about the habilitation". The final section talks about similar degrees in countires where these degrees are not called "habilitation", but ignores the countries listed in the article's first sentence. What about habilitation in France, Austria, Switzerland, Bulgaria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan and Ukraine? — Kpalion(talk) 19:31, 26 February 2007 (UTC)

The term habilitation is also used to describe a process similar to (physical) rehabilitation.[edit]

It would have been very nice if the article about habilitation, at the top (as is common), had a link to a stub with a short explanation of this other possible meaning of the word, and in this stub, also a link to the similar *rehabilitation* (in the meaning of "physical rehabilitation", e.g. after injury or illness).

The process of habilitation in this context means to help a person with a congenital (born with) disability, aquire different abilities, in order to function to his/her maximum potential. The most common professions in a multidisiplinary habilitation team are MD's, physical therapists, occupational therapists, psychologists, special education teachers, registered nurses and certified social workers - all who specializes in habilitation and rehabilitation.

The only difference between habilitation and rehabilitation in this context is that in order to rehabilitate, the person has to previously have had the ability, it is lost due to injury or illness. In habilitation, the ability is to be learned for the first time, since the disability is congenital. In some countries, in order to emphasize the importance of not only rehabilitation but also habilitation, a "shared term" has been constructed; written "re-/habilitation", but pronounced "rehabilitation".

At the end I might add that I am only looking into posting here for the very first time, and I do not feel ready to write an article yet (and in English, not my native tongue). For this reason, I was hoping that somebody else could make a stub about this. I just wanted to post about it since I saw this, so I wouldn't forget.

Peapeam 10:15, 20 June 2007 (UTC)

Requested move[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was not moved. Jafeluv (talk) 15:51, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Habilitation? — I'm not sure if "2nd doctorate" would be appropriate, but since I had the exact same question at the user below did back in July I figured that I'd ask for wider input. I would think that something like "Post Doctorate Degree" would be appropriate, wouldn't it?
V = I * R (talk to Ω) 07:06, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

"Habilitation" is German English. Should the article be moved to "2nd doctorate" which is more common in English speaking countries?--Inschenör (talk) 11:28, 24 July 2009 (UTC)

  • Oppose: I'm not sure I understand the rationale for the move. The "Habilitation" is a specific postdoctoral qualification/status which exists in Germany (and also, with slight variations, in several other countries). Given that at least some sources and editors maintain that it's not a doctorate or a degree qualification in the sense that we might ordinarily understand it, retitling the article "Second doctorate" or similar would seem inappropriate. Also, it's not clear where readers wanting to find out about the Habilitation should go if not to an article entitled "Habilitation". In the UK, at least, "higher doctorate" is the more common term for the sort of qualification you mention, rather than "second doctorate" or "post doctorate degree". -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 08:45, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
    I got here through an article about a French researcher, but that's not really important. Based on what you're saying here, this is a special academic issue specific to German and French (and maybe a few ex. French Colonial places) higher education, then? Reading the content (in the lead, at least) what struck me is that this seemed to be describing a post Doctorate study system, so when I saw this on the talk page I sort of junped on it. If it's really distinctive, then the lead should probably be rewritten to make that more clear.
    V = I * R (talk to Ω) 11:53, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
    I think there's certainly a place for a more general article which discusses postdoctoral (ie post-PhD-level) qualifications, including brief notes and links to more detailed articles on specific examples like the Habilitation and higher doctorates. But I think that to rename this article in the way you suggest (and thereby fold in several other vaguely analogous qualifications) would gloss over some important aspects of the Habilitation and its position in German (and French, etc) academia. -- Nicholas Jackson (talk) 12:59, 31 August 2009 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.


This article would benefit from a section on how and why the habilitation developed. My knowledge is sketchy, but if someone better qualified does not start a history section I will make a very brief beginning as a stimulus for something worthwhile to be written. Gordoncph (talk) 14:03, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

Habilitation in Italy[edit]

We may discuss on what is the best way to "map" this concept among the academic systems in different countries, but I do not think habilitation exists in Italy. The article seems to refer to the so-called 'esame di stato', which is needed for some specific professions (physician, pharmacist, engineer, architect) to open a cabinet and practice that profession. It has nothing to do with academic career, though. For most areas (such as mathematics and most sciences, or humanities) there is no further exam. There is a public selection test for the role of assistant professor ('ricercatore'), and that's all. In fact, not even the PhD is required to apply for such a position. Since the PhD has been first introduced in Italy about 25 years ago, most full professors do not even hold this title. I intend to modify the article to amend this error, please let me know if your opinions differ. --Fph 09:51, 2 May 2010 (UTC)

Habilitation in Hungary[edit]

In Hungary there isn't ″Doctor nauk″, in Hungary there is ″Docens″.Krisztian73 (talk) 08:42, 25 July 2010 (UTC)


Habilitation qualification exists in countries of the former Soviet Union, such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, etc. It is an error!!! ЗПФ (talk) 15:37, 6 February 2011 (UTC) ЗПФ

Relation with PhD and Promotion[edit]

A German "Promotion" (at least in law) is not the equivalent of a PhD. It is more like a JD. It is the academic exam after a study in law at a German university (for professional careers as a lawyer the two state exams must be passed, which are not academic exams but tested by a Ministry of Justice). A German "Doctor Iuris" should concentrate on law, a PhD may involve other academic disciplines. So it is just consistent that a German "Promotion" is not sufficient for a professor while a PhD is. Rbakels (talk) 08:31, 25 July 2011 (UTC)

This is not correct. The German First State Exam in law is equivalent to the ango-american JD. Hence, the German Dr. jur. is equvalent to PhD level research-doctorates. These are the facts. See -- (talk) 12:26, 15 September 2011 (UTC)
I beg to disagree. Actually, I gave most arguments above. An additional argument is that about 50% of German lawyers become "Doctor Iuris", wheras for instance in the Netherlands a mere 5% of the lawyers gets a PhD. When I studied in Germany, I noticed that the atmosphere among "Doktoranden" is very different from the atmosphere among PhD candidates. PhD candidates are explicitly interested in research, whereas most "Doktoranden" become attorneys or judges. A PhD is not related to a specific discipline: "Ph" stands for "philosophy" which is an old-fashioned designation not just for philosophy proper but for academic science in general. One can get a PhD in a legal topic without prior (formal) training as a lawyer! A "Doctor Iuris" is a doctor in law specifically, and I heard complaints from Germans that they strictly had to stick to law in there doctorate thesis and were not allowed to cover related topics e.g. in the field of economics. Anyway the German system is different due to these State Exams that mix academic education with professional education. I guess in most countries one first gets an academic qualification in law, and only afterwards one spcialises as a judge or attorney. Rbakels (talk) 12:26, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
I do agree that in several topics, like law or politics (medicine is an even more extreme case), a doctoral degree in Germany is often only pursued because it is considered prestigious. And yes, the theses for these doctoral degrees may be of minor quality. But this is in general not the case in other subjects, like physisc, mathematics or computer science, for example. The level of a doctoral thesis in Germany, at least in many cases, is considered to be comparable to what is necessary to obtain a PhD in the rest of Europe like the UK, say. (However, a PhD from an American elite university is certainly something different.) I have only seen a small number of example, so my insight is limited, but I would agree with this. To sum my opinion up: in some subjects there are a lot of doctoral degrees awarded on the basis of low or medium quality theses in Germany. But to state that this was the case in general is not fair towards many of the hard working doctoral students in Germany. -- (talk) 15:23, 3 July 2012 (UTC)
A Dr. iur. is a PhD in law. There are precisely two subjects where the PhD is equivalent to the "professional doctorate" of the American system: medicine, and dentistry. Yet even there, the doctorate is not "the academic exam". The academy, here, prepares for the state-exam (and partially, conducts it). The academic qualification, nowadays, exists as a specific academic title, to wit "Diplom-Jurist". Not long ago, the official "aptitude to be a judge" took the place of the academic qualification also, a situation still present, to my knowledge, in medicine. To become a doctor, even students of medicine and dentistry have to invest some time of study of its own. (Albeit, in these two subjects, some limited time of the size of 1-2 semesters).
50% of lawyers get a doctorate? No way! To merely be allowed to pursue a doctorate in law, you must normally have had a degree with honors (Prädikatsexamen), which rules out at least 80% of successful students. This barrier is roughly the same for those employed by the State (judges, public-attorneys, etc.).
There are some subjects (medicine, dentistry, chemistry, perhaps politics; not law) where a study that stops at Master level is considered still incomplete. Yet those doctorates really do research for a doctorate nevertheless; albeit in medicine and dentistry (and only there) in quite limited form.
Besides, can it be that there is some slight derogatoryness in expressions like "merely prestigious" or also "other than in most other countries"? Yes, in Germany you principally pursue a doctorate because 1. the subject interests you, 2. you want to put some thorough and lengthy, but still limited work into it, 3. get a title as a reward and 4. use title and experience in your later work-life, and to talk to your children and grandchildren about it at the proverbial fireside. You do not pursue a doctorate because you want to become a professor; this is, on the contrary, looked down upon as hubris. After the doctorate, the future researchers are cristallizing out, depending on who is best, who likes researching best, who is most willing to bear the economic situation of research staff (worse than staff in the economy), and a mixture of these three questions of course. I do not think this model intrinsically bad. After all, some people likewise give two or four or twelve years to their country as a soldier, and then go on to a civil employment (with the "title" of staff-sergeant-off-duty or so).-- (talk) 14:36, 21 April 2013 (UTC)
A Dr. iur is not comparable with a PhD in law in terms of scope of the work and duration. I am German and have started with a doctorate in Germany (Freiburg) and changed to a PhD program. In the program I was in, there was a minimum amount of pages and other work (teaching, publishing, taking seminars etc.) that had to be accomplished. In my experience, the average time to complete a PhD in law is about 5 years. Many of those making a Dr. iur are investing 1 or 2 years. To base this discussion on a rational ground, would it make sense to establish criteria, such as: duration, scope, work required? — Preceding unsigned comment added by 2001:708:110:201:60A3:6C70:4970:C1FB (talk) 08:12, 15 January 2014 (UTC)


As far as I know, Turkey has a habilitation system as well. Rbakels (talk) 12:26, 28 May 2012 (UTC) Damienjadeduff (talk) 07:13, 3 February 2015 (UTC)