The associate degree is a two year degree given by US colleges. The degree is awarded to students who have completed all the requirements of the program. There are three classes of these degrees in the USA: the associate of arts degree (also called the A.A. degree), the associate of applied science degree (the A.A.S. degree), and the associate of science degree (A.S. degree). These degrees are awarded by two types of colleges: community colleges, which are operated by the local government and financed by public funds, and junior colleges, which are generally privately run. Both are excellent options.


It normally requires at least four years but not more than five years of full-time college-level coursework. The two most common classes of bachelor degrees awarded by US schools are the bachelor of science degree (also called the B.S.) and the bachelor of arts degree (also called the B.A.). Some schools offer only the B.A. degree, even for science majors (such as a B.A. in biology). Other schools offer both the B.A. and the B.S.

Masters Degree

The US masters degree is a graduate school degree that typically requires two years of full-time graduate school coursework to complete. Unlike students pursuing a bachelor’s degree, students in a master’s degree program will complete courses that are highly focused in their field of study (their major). As such, students must have already decided on their major before applying to a program.


The US PhD degree or doctoral degree is even more focused and specialized than the master’s degree. Some students will complete a masters before applying to a doctorate degree program, but that is not always necessary. Completion of a US doctorate degree typically takes between three and six years. The length of time will depend on the student’s educational background (a student with a masters degree may take less time to complete his PhD if it is in the same field), the field of study selected, the student’s dedication and ability, and the complexity of the thesis the student has chosen for his PhD.


A diploma is the certificate or document that is awarded to graduates of an educational institution, officially confirming that the student has successfully completed a program. The word “diploma” originates from the Greek word meaning “folded license.” Typically, a diploma is the standard credential of completion of a high-school education, but it may also be used in certifying the successful completion of continued education and adult education programs.

Certificate Degree

Although certificate/diploma program are quickly gaining popularity as alternatives for professional training and development, many people still don’t know exactly what they are and how they work. The following article will provide you with a brief description and tips on issues to be considered when selecting these kinds of programs.

Professional Degree

A professional degree such as nursing, architecture, law, medicine, and pharmacy prepares the recipient for a particular profession. A professional degree can be formatted as a campus based degree, an online degree or as a hybrid program.