Definition of Degrees
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Degrees of Education
The following are definitions of the varied certificates and degrees that can be earned after high school:

bulletCertificate or diploma
bulletAssociate Degree
bulletBachelor’s Degree
bulletMaster’s Degree
bulletDoctoral Degree
bulletFirst Professional Degree

SO00629_.WMF (4070 bytes)Certificate and diploma: are non-degree offerings below the associate degree and are most often offered in technical and vocational fields of study. They generally lead to employment in an occupational field. Examples - Certificate in Office Admin. Bookkeeping, Certificate in Automotive Technology. (These programs generally require a minimum of 50 credits).

PE00462_.WMF (3562 bytes)Associate Degree: two types of associate majors are offered. (1) Technological and vocational specialties that are generally completed in 2 yr. of college study and are usually sufficient for entrance into an occupational field, and (2) college or university parallel programs that are like the first 2 yr. of a 4yr college curriculum often referred to as a Transfer Degree. Examples - AS Degree in Accounting, AS Degree in Paralegal Studies. (These programs generally require a minimum of 90 credits).

BS01080_.WMF (2732 bytes)Bachelor’s Degree: sometimes called baccalaureate degrees, generally require 4 to 5 yr. of study. The bachelor of arts (BA) and bachelor of science (BS) are the most common baccalaureates, and both include general education courses, a major and electives. The BS is more likely to be awarded in the sciences and for professional or technical fields of study. BA degrees are more often awarded in the humanities and arts. However, there are no absolute differences between the degrees, and policies concerning their award vary from college to college. (These programs generally require a minimum of 180 credits).

ED00020_.WMF (11088 bytes)Master’s Degree: Master of arts (MA) and master of science (MS) programs lead to the customary first graduate degrees in the liberal arts and sciences and usually take one to two academic years of study beyond a baccalaureate degree to complete.

BS00967_.WMF (4228 bytes)Doctorate Degree: may be the doctor of philosophy (Ph.D.), awarded in many of the humanities, arts, and sciences, or another doctoral degree such as the doctor of education (Ed.D), or doctor of public health(DPH). Doctoral programs usually consist of course work and independent research culminating in a dissertation or other formal presentation of the results of independent study.  Student must have already received a baccalaureate degree.

SO00027_.WMF (9048 bytes)First Professional Degree: are defined as requiring at least two academic years of previous college work for entrance and a total of at least six years of college work for completion. The degrees awarded upon completion of these programs are:

DC Chiropractic
DDS or DMD Dentistry
JD Law
MD Medicine
OD Optometry
DO Osteopathic medicine
Bpharm, PharmD   Pharmacy
DPM Podiatry or podiatric medicine
DVM Veterinary medicine
Bdiv, Mdiv, Theological professions, Rabbinical,                          or Talmudical

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