University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
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University Catalogs.

Program Type Definitions

Associate degree

A degree granted for the successful completion of a sub-baccalaureate program of studies, usually requiring at least 2 years (or equivalent) of full-time college-level study.

Bachelor’s degree

A degree granted for the successful completion of a baccalaureate program of studies, usually requiring at least 4 years (or equivalent) of full-time college-level study.

Undergraduate certificates

A formal award that requires completion of an organized program of study of at least 12 semester credit hours certifying the satisfactory completion of a postsecondary education program. Coursework typically addresses new knowledge or practice areas emerging from technological, social, or economic changes to which particular professions or occupations must adjust.

Master’s degree

A degree awarded for successful completion of a program generally requiring 1 or 2 years of full-time college-level study beyond the bachelor's degree. 

Doctoral degree

A degree carrying the title of Doctor awarded for successful completion and mastery within a field of knowledge.  The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree is the highest academic degree granted by North American universities and recognizes the recipient’s ability to conduct independent scholarly research, as demonstrated by a dissertation that makes a significant contribution to knowledge in the student’s chosen field. 

Other doctorates--e.g., the Doctor of Audiology (Au.D.) and Doctor of Physical Therapy (D.P.T.) degrees--are awarded for fulfilling specialized requirements for professional fields and prepare the recipient for professional practice or research that is of an applied nature. First professional degrees, such as the M.D. and J.D. degrees, are not included under this heading.

First-professional degree

A degree that signifies both completion of academic requirements for beginning practice in a given profession and a level of professional skill beyond that normally required for a bachelor's degree. Such degrees usually require at least 2 academic years of work prior to entrance, and an additional 4 years of work to complete the professional curriculum. These include the M.D., J.D., Pharm D., D.V.M., D.D.S, L.L.M.

Postbaccalaureate certificate

A formal award that requires completion of an organized program of study of at least 12 semester credit hours beyond the bachelor’s degree, but that does not meet the requirements of a master’s degree. Most postbaccalaureate certificates provide professional training.

Licensure

A program that prepares students for a state license as an educator or administrator. Licensure programs are typically one to two year long master's level programs that require a bachelor's degree for admission.

Endorsement (additional licensure)

These programs allow educators who already hold a state teaching license to add additional teaching license areas. Endorsement program requirements may be completed independently through the additional licensure program or as part of an advanced degree program.

Undergraduate minor related to a major

A distinct set of undergraduate-level courses in a defined area of study in which an undergraduate major is also offered. The minor complements a student’s major field of study and is recorded on the transcript.  (Note: The University of Minnesota requires at least three upper-division credits in the minor field for a minor at the undergraduate level and 12 credits at the doctoral level.)

Undergraduate free-standing minor

 A distinct set of undergraduate-level courses in a defined area of study that does not offer an undergraduate major. A free-standing minor complements a student’s major field of study and is recorded on the transcript. (Note: The University of Minnesota requires at least three upper-division credits in the minor field for a minor at the undergraduate level and 12 credits at the doctoral level.)

Graduate minor related to a major

A distinct set of graduate-level courses in a defined area of study in which a graduate major is also offered.  The minor complements a student’s major field of study and is recorded on the transcript.  (Note: The University of Minnesota requires at least 6 credits for a minor at the master’s level and 12 credits at the doctoral level.)

Graduate free-standing minor

A distinct set of graduate-level courses in a defined area of study that does not offer a graduate major.  A free-standing minor complements a student’s major field of study and is recorded on the transcript.  (Note: The University of Minnesota requires at least 6 credits for a minor at the master’s level and 12 credits at the doctoral level.)

Sources:  U.S. Department of Education Institute of Education Sciences and the Council of Graduate Schools