A degree (alternatively called a diploma because of its associated document) is a college or university diploma awarded in recognition of its recipient having satisfactorily completed either a prescribed course of study or having completed a scholarly endeavor deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree.
There are three major types of degrees granted: undergraduate, graduate and professional.
The most common undergraduate degrees are the bachelor's degree and the licentiate. They are obtained after a first program and usually last three or four standard years.
In certain systems, the distinction between honors and regular degrees was made, depending on whether it afforded preparation for graduate study in the same field as the undergraduate degree or not.
A graduate degree (or advanced degree) is a research-oriented degree earned from a graduate school. They commonly exist in two tiers:
- Master's degree, which normally lasted for one to two years
- Doctorate, which had an indeterminate duration but normally lasts between 3 and 7 years