Explanation of Degrees

Undergraduate Program

A program leading to an associate (2-year) or a bachelor’s (also called baccalaureate) (4-year) degree; generally following secondary or high school.

Graduate Program

A program leading to a master’s degree, doctoral degree or advanced certificate; advanced study generally following a bachelor’s degree.

Associate Degree

A degree granted by a college or university after the satisfactory completion of a two-year, full-time program of study or its part-time equivalent.

Bachelor’s or Baccalaureate Degree

A degree received after the satisfactory completion of a four or five year full-time program of study or its part-time equivalent at a college or university. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) and Bachelor of Science (B.S.) are the most common baccalaureate degrees.

Master’s Degree

A master’s degree is designed to provide additional education or training in a specialized branch of knowledge, significantly beyond the level of baccalaureate study.

Doctoral Degree

A doctoral degree (doctorate) is designed to train research scholars and, in many cases, future college and university faculty members. Receipt of a doctoral degree certifies that the student has demonstrated capacity as a trained research scholar in a specific discipline.

First Professional Degree

A First Professional Degree prepares students for professions that require a license such as nursing, architecture, law, medicine, chiropractic, engineering, dentistry, etc.