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