Key Difference – Diploma vs Degree
The Diploma and degree are two words that have different meanings in different countries; especially U.S. has a different interpretation for diploma than most of the other countries. As such it is natural for people to get confused with these two words. Anyhow in academic terms both diploma and degree are awards offered to a person on the successful completion of an educational course, thus, both give the surety of an academic qualification of that person. Through this article let us examine the key differences between the two.
What is a Degree?
An academic degree is an award offered by a university or college; it tells that the holder of the award has satisfactorily completed a course of education at certain level such as Bachelor’s, Master’s or Doctorate. Bachelor’s degree is the basic academic degree conferred on a person who has completed an undergraduate course, which is 3 to 4 years. The Doctor’s degree, also known as Ph.D. is the highest academic award conferred on a person by a university. Master’s degree is in between both.
In some countries, only universities can award degree certificates. Some others have authorized university colleges that can award degrees. But in U.S. both universities and colleges can award degree certificates.
What is a Diploma?
Diploma is defined in American Heritage Dictionary as “a document issued by an educational institution, such as a university, testifying that the recipient has earned a degree or has successfully completed a particular course of study.” The Oxford Dictionaries define it as “a certificate awarded by an educational establishment to show that someone has successfully completed a course of study.” Diploma, in fact, is a Greek word, and it translates as a folded paper. This term is usually applied to a certificate, which people receive when they have completed their studies in college, trade, high school, professional schools or universities.
Anyhow, this term is not used by all the countries, or some countries use this term in more limited fashion than the U.S. The United States tend to use this word to indicate successful completion of study and this term refer to the document received at formal ceremony or after formal ceremony.
In countries like U.K., Canada and Australia a Diploma is a qualification received upon the successful completion of a course of study at a college, high school, or a vocational institution, the duration of which is generally two years or less. And the level of study is considered to be below the degree level courses. Many of the Asian countries also follow the same system.
Contrary to this, in U.S. a college diploma means a Bachelors Degree from a college or university. Though in technical terms (according to American Heritage Dictionary), a college diploma could be any degree, it is not used with Master’s and Doctor’s degree. A similar system is used in German Education System.
There is a need of planning before you decide on a program. Read all of the information very carefully, you may find the different definitions of both terms in different high schools and colleges. Be aware that what you require in the way of education.
What is the Difference Between a Diploma and a Degree?
Definitions of Diploma and Degree:
Diploma: Diploma is a Certificate awarded after successful completion of a course of study. However, this term is not used by all the countries, to its full meaning.
Degree: An academic degree is an award offered by a university or college
Characteristics of Diploma and Degree:
Diploma: Diplomas are awarded for the college level, trade or high school courses, which are below the level of degree programs.
Degree: Degrees are awarded for undergraduate courses conducted by universities.
Diploma: Diploma focuses on getting a person qualified and trained in a particular trade or business. Diploma teaches the minimum required theoretical and academic knowledge; it emphasizes more on how you can handle the job situation.
Degree: The degree gives more significance on academics. With degree program, you can get more in-depth knowledge, and it is a foundation for the higher level of education.
1. Diploma of Collegial Studies from Dawson College By Derived work: Jeremy Andrews Original work: Dawson College (Own work/Derivative of public domain work) [CC0 or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons