Difference between Bachelor and Baccalaureate

Updated on August 12, 2015

There is no difference between a bachelor and baccalaureate. Both of these terms refer to the same thing, that is, the first or lowest academic degree that is conferred by a university or college. The term baccalaureate used to refer to a degree whereas the term bachelor used to refer to the degree holder at the beginning of the university structure in the 12th – 13th century.

In today’s use, both of these terms mean an undergraduate degree that typically takes four to five years to complete. A high school education is usually a requirement for this degree, and it is a requirement itself for a graduate program entrance.

Here are some examples to help you get the meaning of these terms.

John is going to receive his baccalaureate from Priston College.
We are going to attend John’s baccalaureate on the 20th of this month.

Receiving a baccalaureate means that John has been taking studies in a certain undergraduate degree program, and is therefore going to be presented with a bachelor’s degree in that program. For instance, a Bachelor of Arts. The term baccalaureate can sometimes refer to the farewell ceremony for college or high school graduate seniors. So, attending a baccalaureate means that we are going to attend the farewell ceremony in which John is going to be presented with the degree.

John is a Bachelor of Arts, having finished his baccalaureate last month.

Some universities use baccalaureate to mean a degree program and bachelor to mean the degree offered in that program.

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