Diploma

Diploma

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A diploma is a certificate or deed
Deed
A deed is any legal instrument in writing which passes, or affirms or confirms something which passes, an interest, right, or property and that is signed, attested, delivered, and in some jurisdictions sealed...

 issued by an educational institution, such as a university
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree
Academic degree
An academic degree is a position and title within a college or university that is usually awarded in recognition of the recipient having either satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study or having conducted a scholarly endeavour deemed worthy of his or her admission to the degree...

. In countries such as the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 and Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, the word diploma refers to a level of academic award. The words diplomat
Diplomat
A diplomat is a person appointed by a state to conduct diplomacy with another state or international organization. The main functions of diplomats revolve around the representation and protection of the interests and nationals of the sending state, as well as the promotion of information and...

 and diplomacy
Diplomacy
Diplomacy is the art and practice of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states...

 have the same origin, from the official "folded papers" of accreditation delivered by ambassador
Ambassador
An ambassador is the highest ranking diplomat who represents a nation and is usually accredited to a foreign sovereign or government, or to an international organization....

s or delegate
Delegate
A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization at a meeting or conference between organizations of the same level A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization (e.g., a government, a charity, an NGO, or a trade union) at a meeting or conference...

s.

In some countries, such as the UK and Australia, such a document can be called a testimonium or testamur, Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 for "we testify" or "certify" (testari), and so called from the word with which the certificate begins. In Ireland
Republic of Ireland
Ireland , described as the Republic of Ireland , is a sovereign state in Europe occupying approximately five-sixths of the island of the same name. Its capital is Dublin. Ireland, which had a population of 4.58 million in 2011, is a constitutional republic governed as a parliamentary democracy,...

, it is generally called a parchment. The certificate that a Nobel
Nobel Prize
The Nobel Prizes are annual international awards bestowed by Scandinavian committees in recognition of cultural and scientific advances. The will of the Swedish chemist Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, established the prizes in 1895...

 laureate receives is also called a diploma.

The term diploma is also used in some historical contexts, to refer to documents signed by a King affirming a grant or tenure of specified land and its conditions (see Anglo-Saxon Charters
Anglo-Saxon Charters
Anglo-Saxon charters are documents from the early medieval period in Britain which typically make a grant of land or record a privilege. The earliest surviving charters were drawn up in the 670s; the oldest surviving charters granted land to the Church, but from the eighth century surviving...

 and Diplomatics
Diplomatics
Diplomatics , or Diplomatic , is the study that revolves around documentation. It is a study that focuses on the analysis of document creation, its inner constitutions and form, the means of transmitting information, and the relationship documented facts have with their creator...

).

Diploma styles


Originally, diplomas were made of thin sheepskin
Sheepskin
Sheepskin is the hide of a sheep, sometimes also called lambskin or lambswool.Sheepskin may also refer to:* Parchment, a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin** Diploma, originally made of sheepskin...

, as paper wasn't economically viable to create due to the lack of skilled workers since the fall of Carthage (famous for its paper) to Rome, and also because it was extremely delicate at that time, with the exception of Carthaginian paper of course. The entire diploma was written by hand due to the lack of economically viable printing presses, as at the time templates would have been carved out of limestone tablets, and since the fall of the Egyptian empire there had been very few skilled workers in the carving of limestone. Soon, parchment
Parchment
Parchment is a thin material made from calfskin, sheepskin or goatskin, often split. Its most common use was as a material for writing on, for documents, notes, or the pages of a book, codex or manuscript. It is distinct from leather in that parchment is limed but not tanned; therefore, it is very...

 entered use for the diploma in many places but most notably, first at Mexico City College in May, 1949, later the diploma became bound in leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

.

Diplomas used to be printed on large paper, but it has become common to print diplomas on standard letter or A4 size paper, except for most educational institutions in the north of France which issue diplomas on A3 size paper or larger.

Usage

  • In the U.S., the word diploma usually refers to the actual document received at the end of high school, undergraduate studies, or graduate/professional school. This can lead to some confusion when persons who obtained a degree in the USA are presenting their academic credentials in other countries (see below).
    • It also can refer to a specific academic award. An example would be in the field of Nursing where the Diploma in Nursing
      Diploma in Nursing
      A Diploma in Nursing or Nursing Diploma is an entry-level tertiary education nursing credential.In the United States, this diploma is usually awarded by hospital-based nursing schools. Students awarded a Diploma in Nursing are qualified to sit for the NCLEX-RN and apply for licensure as a...

       was offered by hospital based schools.

  • In Australia
    Australia
    Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

    , a diploma can mean one of three things: the older usage is of an advanced level course done in the vocational education and training sector or university academically equivalent to the some years of a bachelor degree but giving a similar professional status and position as a degree; a Graduate Diploma, which is undertaken after completing a degree but at undergraduate level in a field other than that covered by the degree (e.g. the Graduate Diploma of Education necessary to become a school teacher in most Australian states); and a Postgraduate Diploma, a coursework-only qualification which is undertaken as additional study in a specialisation within one's degree area. Both the course itself and the certification are referred to as a "diploma" in Australian English.

  • In India
    India
    India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

    , a diploma is a specific academic award usually earned in professional/vocational courses e.g. Engineering, Pharmacy, Design, etc. In such cases, a diploma is specific in rank than a Bachelor's degree
    Bachelor's degree
    A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

     of that discipline but equivalent to general degree in that discipline e.g. Diploma in Engineering
    Diploma in Engineering
    The Diploma of Engineering Studies aims to provide students with the ability to communicate effectively in English; a sound knowledge of basic engineering, scientific, computing and mathematical techniques; a knowledge of, and ability to apply, basic problem solving techniques; and basic knowledge...

     of Electronics Engineering is rated differently than Bachelor of Technology
    Bachelor of Technology
    The Bachelor of Technology is an undergraduate academic degree conferred after completion of a three or four year program of studies at an accredited university or accredited university-level institution...

     in Electronics Engineering but is equivalent to Bachelor of Science
    Bachelor of Science
    A Bachelor of Science is an undergraduate academic degree awarded for completed courses that generally last three to five years .-Australia:In Australia, the BSc is a 3 year degree, offered from 1st year on...

     in Electronics
    Electronics
    Electronics is the branch of science, engineering and technology that deals with electrical circuits involving active electrical components such as vacuum tubes, transistors, diodes and integrated circuits, and associated passive interconnection technologies...

    . Also Diploma is concentrated for the area of study e.g. Diploma in Engineering
    Diploma in Engineering
    The Diploma of Engineering Studies aims to provide students with the ability to communicate effectively in English; a sound knowledge of basic engineering, scientific, computing and mathematical techniques; a knowledge of, and ability to apply, basic problem solving techniques; and basic knowledge...

     of Electronics Engineering may be in Advanced Communication Systems (ACS) or Integrated Circuits (IC) or Industrial Electronics (IE).

  • In Pakistan
    Pakistan
    Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

    , a Diploma is a specific academic award usually earned in professional/vocational courses e.g. Engineering, Nursing, Fashion, etc. In such cases, a dipelor's degree]] of that discipline. As diploma studies started on vocational route of study after school for 3 years, the Bachelor of Technology
    Bachelor of Technology
    The Bachelor of Technology is an undergraduate academic degree conferred after completion of a three or four year program of studies at an accredited university or accredited university-level institution...

     is the logical next degree for diploma graduates. Also Diploma is concentrated for the area of study e.g. Diploma in Engineering
    Diploma in Engineering
    The Diploma of Engineering Studies aims to provide students with the ability to communicate effectively in English; a sound knowledge of basic engineering, scientific, computing and mathematical techniques; a knowledge of, and ability to apply, basic problem solving techniques; and basic knowledge...

     of Electronics Engineering or Industrial Electronics, Civil Engineering
    Civil engineering
    Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

    . Graduates of Diplomas work as associates to Engineers and often called as Associate Engineers. Few Postgraduate Diploma
    Postgraduate diploma
    A postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate qualification awarded typically after a bachelor's degree. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma...

     or PGD are ranked higher than the Bachelor
    Bachelor
    A bachelor is a man above the age of majority who has never been married . Unlike his female counterpart, the spinster, a bachelor may have had children...

     degree as they are completed after graduation. These are normally a year worth of coursework after a university degree.

  • In Ireland
    Ireland
    Ireland is an island to the northwest of continental Europe. It is the third-largest island in Europe and the twentieth-largest island on Earth...

    , a National Diploma was awarded before 2004. It was at the same level as the ordinary Bachelor's degree and below the honours Bachelor's degree
    Bachelor's degree
    A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

    , whilst the Higher Diploma
    Higher diploma
    A higher diploma is an academic award in Libya, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and Oman. In Libya the award is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in engineering or technology, in Hong Kong it is below the standard of the bachelor's degree, in Ireland it is above the standard of the bachelor's...

     is taken after the Bachelor's degree.

  • In Germany
    Education in Germany
    The responsibility for the German education system lies primarily with the states while the federal government plays only a minor role. Optional Kindergarten education is provided for all children between three and six years of age, after which school attendance is compulsory, in most cases for...

    , Ukraine
    Education in Ukraine
    There is nearly 100% literacy in Ukraine.11 years of schooling are mandatory. As a rule, schooling begins at the age of 6..According to Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada Volodymyr Lytvyn the amount of budget financing for the sphere of education reached about 6% of Ukraine's GDP in November...

    , Serbia
    Education in Serbia
    Education in Serbia is divided in preschool, primary school, secondary school, and higher education . It is regulated by the Ministry of Education.-Current system of education:...

    , Hungary
    Education in Hungary
    -The social environment of education:The decline of Hungary's population that started in 1981 has also continued in recent years. According to the 2001 census, the population of Hungary was 10,198,000, about half a million less than the figure of twenty years earlier. By 2005 the population dropped...

     and other countries that adopted the German
    Germany
    Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

     academic education system, diploma (in German
    German language
    German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

     Diplom
    Diplom
    A Diplom is an academic degree in the German-speaking countries Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and a similarly named degree in some other European countries including Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Estonia, Finland , Greece, Hungary, Russia, Serbia, Macedonia, Slovenia, and Ukraine...

    ) is the standard academic degree, needing at least 4 years to complete it, being comparable with a Bachelor's and Master's degree
    Master's degree
    A master's is an academic degree granted to individuals who have undergone study demonstrating a mastery or high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice...

     in one.

  • In Greece
    Greece
    Greece , officially the Hellenic Republic , and historically Hellas or the Republic of Greece in English, is a country in southeastern Europe....

    , diplomas can be awarded by various educational institutes as a proof of a certain educational level. Diploma in engineering is a high award provided by Greek technical universities after the successful completion of a 5-year programme and is equivalent to British bachelor and master of engineering.

  • In Hong Kong
    Hong Kong
    Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

    , higher diploma
    Higher diploma
    A higher diploma is an academic award in Libya, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Ireland and Oman. In Libya the award is equivalent to a bachelor's degree in engineering or technology, in Hong Kong it is below the standard of the bachelor's degree, in Ireland it is above the standard of the bachelor's...

     and associate degree are below the standard of the honours bachelor's degree
    Bachelor's degree
    A bachelor's degree is usually an academic degree awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for three or four years, but can range anywhere from two to six years depending on the region of the world...

    . Certificate
    Academic certificate
    An academic certificate is a document that certifies that a person has received specific education or has passed a test or series of tests.In many countries, certificate is a qualification attained in secondary education. For instance, students in the Republic of Ireland sit the Junior Certificate...

     (not to be confused with postgraduate certificate
    Postgraduate certificate
    A postgraduate certificate generally is the credential awarded to an individual upon completion of a higher education postgraduate program designed to provide students with specialized knowledge that is less extensive than a postgraduate diploma or Master's degree...

    ) and diploma are below the standard of higher diploma and associate degree. Postgraduate Certificate
    Postgraduate certificate
    A postgraduate certificate generally is the credential awarded to an individual upon completion of a higher education postgraduate program designed to provide students with specialized knowledge that is less extensive than a postgraduate diploma or Master's degree...

    s and Postgraduate Diploma
    Postgraduate diploma
    A postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate qualification awarded typically after a bachelor's degree. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma...

    s are taken after the bachelor degree, and are more vocational oriented than a master's degree.

  • In Ontario
    Ontario
    Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

    , Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , diplomas are awarded by colleges of applied arts and technology whereas bachelor degrees are awarded by universities. In Canada
    Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

    , depending on the provincial legislation, there may be a subtle difference between a college and a university.

  • In the Kingdom of Spain, university diplomas are issued in the name of the King
    King
    - Centers of population :* King, Ontario, CanadaIn USA:* King, Indiana* King, North Carolina* King, Lincoln County, Wisconsin* King, Waupaca County, Wisconsin* King County, Washington- Moving-image works :Television:...

    . As such, they are Public Official documents, strictly regulated and protected by the law. They are internationally recognized by the Hague Convention of October 5, 1961.

  • In Mexico
    Mexico
    The United Mexican States , commonly known as Mexico , is a federal constitutional republic in North America. It is bordered on the north by the United States; on the south and west by the Pacific Ocean; on the southeast by Guatemala, Belize, and the Caribbean Sea; and on the east by the Gulf of...

     and other Latin American countries, a diploma may be awarded for short courses of vocational training. The university-issued diplomas finalizing higher education are most often called título (title) or certificado (certificate).

  • The International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma
    IB Diploma Programme
    The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is a two-year educational programme for students aged 16–19that provides an internationally accepted qualification for entry into higher education, and is recognised by universities worldwide. It was developed in the early to mid-1960s in Geneva by...

     is a pre-university qualification normally taken by students in the final two years of high school
    High school
    High school is a term used in parts of the English speaking world to describe institutions which provide all or part of secondary education. The term is often incorporated into the name of such institutions....

    .

  • In the UK, diploma can refer to several different types of academic qualification. The Diploma of Higher Education
    Diploma of Higher Education
    A Diploma of Higher Education is a higher education qualification in the United Kingdom. It is awarded after two years to three years' full-time study at a university or other higher education institution...

     is a higher education award below the standard of a bachelor's degree. The term can also refer to a Postgraduate Diploma
    Postgraduate diploma
    A postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate qualification awarded typically after a bachelor's degree. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma...

     or to the 14–19 Diploma
    14–19 Diploma
    The Diploma is a composite qualification in England launched in September 2008. Its development was announced in the 14–19 Education and Skills White Paper of March 2005...

     that was introduced in England
    England
    England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

     in September 2008. Postgraduate Diploma
    Postgraduate diploma
    A postgraduate diploma is a postgraduate qualification awarded typically after a bachelor's degree. It can be contrasted with a graduate diploma...

     award is higher than the Bachelor's degree.

See also

  • Bachelor Degree
  • Bologna process
    Bologna process
    The purpose of the Bologna Process is the creation of the European Higher Education Area by making academic degree standards and quality assurance standards more comparable and compatible throughout Europe, in particular under the Lisbon Recognition Convention...

  • Certificate (disambiguation)
  • Diploma de Estudios Avanzados
  • Diploma mill
    Diploma mill
    A diploma mill is an organization that awards academic degrees and diplomas with substandard or no academic study and without recognition by official educational accrediting bodies. The purchaser can then claim to hold an academic degree, and the organization is motivated by making a profit...

  • Diploma of Biblical Studies
    Diploma of Biblical Studies
    The Diploma of Biblical Studies is a one-year course in biblical, theological, historical and pastoral studies offered by a variety of Christian Bible Colleges.-Colleges offering a DipBS:...

  • Diploma of Education
    Diploma of Education
    The Diploma of Education, often abbreviated to DipEd or GradDipEd, is a postgraduate qualification offered in many Commonwealth countries including Australia, Sri Lanka and the United Kingdom...

  • Diploma of Imperial College
    Diploma of Imperial College
    The Diploma of the Imperial College is an academic certificate awarded by Imperial College London to its postgraduate students upon graduation. Until recently, Imperial was part of the University of London and Imperial College bestowed the University of London's degrees as well as its own...

  • Diploma of Journalism
    Diploma of Journalism
    A Diploma of Journalism is an academic qualification in journalism issued by a university or college.The diploma is generally issued after one year of study. As is common with diplomas in general, diplomas in journalism are often more practical or applied than a course leading to a bachelor's or...

  • Diploma in Computer Science
    Diploma in Computer Science
    Originally known as the "Diploma in Numerical Analysis and Automatic Computing", the Diploma in Computer Science was a conversion course in Computer Science offered by the University of Cambridge, England...

  • Diploma in Engineering
    Diploma in Engineering
    The Diploma of Engineering Studies aims to provide students with the ability to communicate effectively in English; a sound knowledge of basic engineering, scientific, computing and mathematical techniques; a knowledge of, and ability to apply, basic problem solving techniques; and basic knowledge...

  • Diploma (Sri Lanka)
  • High school diploma
    High school diploma
    A high school diploma is a diploma awarded for the completion of high school. In the United States and Canada, it is considered the minimum education required for government jobs and higher education. An equivalent is the GED.-Past diploma styles:...

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education
    Postgraduate Diploma in Education
    The Postgraduate Diploma in Education , also known as a Graduate Diploma of Education , is a one-year postgraduate course in several places like Australia, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Hong Kong and Singapore for existing bachelor's degree holders leading to become a qualified teacher.The...

  • Professional Graduate Diploma in Education
    Professional Graduate Diploma in Education
    The Professional Graduate Diploma in Education is a one-year course in Scotland for undergraduate degree holders that allows them to train to be a teacher....