People are a bit more concerned with academic, professional, and other titles in Austria than in other German-speaking regions; it's not unusual to refer to people with all their titles instead of simply the "highest" one they have obtained. I've recently taken responsibility for publishing an official staff list for my institution and so I want to make sure I get the order and positioning of the titles correct. Are there any official rules for this, or failing that, some widely observed conventions that I should be following?

I vaguely understand that "German" titles (i.e., German-language professional titles, and academic degrees granted by German-language universities under the pre-Bologna system) typically come before the name, while academic degrees granted under a Bologna- or English-style system typically come after it. But what order should the prenomial and postnomial titles appear in? That is, do professional titles come before or after academic degrees? And should academic degrees be listed from lowest to highest, or highest to lowest? Moreover, how can I decide which of two academic degrees is higher? (For example, does an M.Sc. outrank an MBA?)

Let's take the following example: Max Mustermann is an overeducated Universitätsprofessor (Univ.-Prof.) who holds a Dr. rer. soc. oec., a Dipl.-Ing., a B.A., an M.Sc., and an MBA. What's the correct way of writing his name including all titles?

  1. Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. soc. oec. Dipl.-Ing. Max Mustermann, B.A., M.Sc., MBA
  2. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. rer. soc. oec. Max Mustermann, B.A., M.Sc., MBA
  3. Univ.-Prof. Dr. rer. soc. oec. Dipl.-Ing. Max Mustermann, MBA, M.Sc., B.A.
  4. Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. rer. soc. oec. Max Mustermann, MBA, M.Sc., B.A.
  5. …something else?

More generally, is there an authoritative, published style guide that I can refer to to settle such questions?

  • The order of the titles reflects their academic/societal merit. You start with the highest and end with the lowest. So, always "Prof. Dr. Dipl.-Ing." I don't know about those Bologna titles.
    – user6495
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 6:24
  • I'm not an Austrian citizen, this habit of listing all titles and decorations down to a simple Bachelor(-equivalent) may be very local, or limited to writing and very formal address. If it is overdone it may be seen as snobbish. I'd feel like somebody wants to sell me something. Be sure to ask Max Mustermann how they want to be listed. In a staff manifest, Prof. Dr. Max Mustermann would surely suffice. If Max is promoted and has habilitated themselves.
    – user41853
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 7:27
  • One more thing: some of the Bologna titles are equivalent to traditional ones. E.g., I may call myself either Dipl.Ing. Gabler, BSc or Gabler, MSc, BSc. But not Dipl.Ing Gabler, MSc, of course. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 7:43
  • And the "authoritative source" would probably be some kind of Knigge. There's little legal regulation on the order of titles, I believe (other than what you may or not call yourself for individual titles); this is mostly etiquette/tradition. This may answer the question, but is surely not authoritative. Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 7:54

1 Answer 1


First of all: you want to publish an official list of staff for your institution, so it is understandable that everyone should be named with all their titles and degrees.

There is § 88 UG Führung akademischer Grade

§ 88 says

(2) „Mag.“, „Dr.“ und „Dipl.-Ing.“ („DI“) sind im Falle der Führung dem Namen voranzustellen, die übrigen akademischen Grade sind dem Namen nachzustellen.

So you are right that academic degrees granted under a Bologna- or English-style system typically come after it and only Mag., Dr. and Dipl.-Ing typically come before the name.

But back to your question: Degrees are listed from lowest to highest. But which degree is the highest?

Führung akademischer Grade Empfehlung Jänner 2011 ISSN 1010-6189 by ENIC NARIC AUSTRIA Bundesministerium für Wissenschaft und Forschung lists three levels (Page 5), where 3 is the highest grade. (For the NQR-Levels take a look at this website)

  1. Bachelor-Ebene
  2. Master-Ebene (including Diplom)
  3. Doktorats-Ebene

Well actually it lists four with one between 2 and 3

2/3) Weiterbildungs-Ebene (further education).

The linked pdf lists 70 pages of academic titles and their classification in these 3 levels from all over the world and how to write/abbreviate them.

Well, do I have to write all these titles?

Führung akademischer Grade says:

Akademische Grade können, müssen aber nicht geführt werden.

Academic degrees can, but do not have to be used.

This does not mean, that you are allowed to decide which degrees have to be listed, but the person awarded to them.

Wer in derselben Studienrichtung zwei oder drei Studien (Diplom- und Doktoratsstudium; Bachelor-, Master- und Doktoratsstudium) aufsteigend studiert hat, kann alle zugehörigen akademischen Grade führen. Der nachfolgende akademische Grad hebt den vorangegangenen nicht auf.

Anyone who has studied two or three courses (diploma and doctoral studies; bachelor, master and doctoral studies) in ascending order in the same field of study can use all associated academic degrees. The subsequent academic degree does not override the previous one.

Akademische Grade werden sowohl in weiblicher als auch männlicher Form verliehen. Abgekürzte weibliche Formen wie z.B. "Mag.a" oder "Dr.in" dürfen verwendet werden.

Academic degrees are awarded in both female and male form. Abbreviated feminine forms such as "Mag.a" or "Dr.in" may be used.

But there is one more question. In which order should identical titles be written? Like someone with two doctorate degrees?

Usually you write the title that the person is better known for or does their main work for first.

Unfortunately we are not done yet. There are still official titles (Amtstitel like Hofrat) or professional titles (Berufstitel like Professor). Fortunately, it's easy here. First the official title, then the professional title.

So it is

Univ.-Prof. (Berufstitel) Dipl.-Ing. (Ebene 2) Dr. rer. soc. oec. (Ebene 3) Max Mustermann, B.A. (Ebene 1), MBA (Ebene 2 or Ebene 2/3), M.Sc. (Ebene 2 or Ebene 2/3)

Please note: often "Dr. rer. soc. oec." becomes "Dr." and "Dr. XXX Dr. YYY" ist sometimes writen as "DDr.", eg. this guy, but then there is the rector of the University of Vienna ^^.

Do you want to know more? Take a look at

https://www.bmbwf.gv.at/Themen/HS-Uni/Studium/Anerkennung/Akademische-Grade.html https://www.schreibwerkstatt.co.at/2012/12/25/der-umgang-mit-akademischen-graden/ https://kurier.at/wirtschaft/karriere/land-der-titel-welchen-waehlt-man-bei-der-anrede/233.460.076


It seems like all degrees from an University of Applied Sciences (Fachhochschule) are "lower" than any university degree. So you would order them like

Mag. (FH), Dipl.-Ing. (FH), Mag., Dipl.-Ing., and finally Dr.

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