Degree equivalency is an assessment of a credential from another country. There is no single law, framework, or rule that holds true in defining a degree across comparative education systems. Fundamentally speaking, a degree should be awarded for completing an educational benchmark, but these can take place at various stages or amounts of coursework, or can be omitted in cases of combined degrees or continuous enrollment.
One common outlier is the three year bachelor’s degree, which only requires three years of full-time study after completing secondary school. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the five year first university degree, which is the first university credential earned in many countries, granting direct access to doctoral programs, the highest attainment levels. The nomenclature of foreign degrees can also differ, using terms like Licentiate, Baccalaureate, Specialist, etc., or even professional titles such as “Engineer” or “Teacher” to designate program completion.
The credential evaluation process requires two things. First an absolute understanding of the education system structure in the United States, including the scope of degrees granted for each subject matter. Second, knowledge of the system of education of the country of origin, including degree and credential naming conventions, the structure of the education ladder and degrees for each field of study, as well as documentation standards and quantitative assessment systems. Only then can an evaluator, with a degree of certainty, recommend a US equivalency for a foreign credential. When all the above pieces match, degree equivalency can be achieved.
All Scholaro reports indicate degree equivalency (if available). Understanding the levels of education in the home institution as well as in foreign programs is necessary in determining an overall equivalency of a foreign credential.
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