Levels of College Degrees in Order from Lowest to Highest - Scholarsly (2023)

It is often said that there are different levels of college degrees in order from lowest to highest. This statement is true, but it is not always easy to understand what each level means.

Earning a college degree is one of the best investments you can make in your life. Not only will you be able to secure a better job, but you will also be able to open up new opportunities for yourself. In this article, we will explore the different levels of college degrees and what they entail. We will also discuss the benefits of earning a higher degree.

Quick Navigation:

What are the different types and levels of college degrees?

There are different types of college degrees, and knowing which one is right for you is important. There are degrees in business, humanities, science, and more. It can be hard to decide which type of college degree is the best for you, but by understanding the different types of degrees, you can make a better decision.

The four main types of college degrees are:

  1. Associatedegree
  2. Bachelors degree
  3. Master’sdegree
  4. Doctoral/Doctoratedegree

Associate degrees are generally lower in prestige and can be obtained by students who have completed high school. Bachelor’s degrees are more prestigious and require students to have completed college, while masters and doctoral degrees are the most prestigious and require students to have a graduate degree.

(Video) Asking millionaires if a college degree is necessary to be successful

Knowing the different types of college degrees can help you decide which one is right for you. By understanding the types of degrees, you can make a better decision about what type of college degree is best for you.

What are the benefits of getting a certain type of degree?

Each one of the different degrees comes with its own set of benefits. For example, a degree in business administration can give you the skills you need to start your own business. A degree in law can let you work as a lawyer, and a degree in healthcare can give you the skills you need to work in the healthcare industry.

The Pros and Cons of Studying Abroad or Overseas

There are also a variety of degrees that don’t have specific job titles, like a degree in creative writing. This type of degree can give you the skills you need to write for a living, and it can also give you the opportunity to travel and learn new things.

There are a variety of degrees out there, and it’s important to know what type of degree is right for you. If you’re not sure what type of degree is right for you, talk to a college advisor or look online for information about different types of degrees.

The Levels of college degrees in order from lowest to highest explained.

There are many different types of degrees available, and each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. College degrees can vary in terms of what type of industry they prepare students for, what type of salaries they can bring in, and the amount of debt they carry with them.

To help you make the best decision about what type of degree is right for you, we have broken down the list of the different levels of college degrees in order from lowest to highest.

1. Associate degree:

An associate degree, often known as a “intermediate” or “two-year” degree, is the lowest level of a college degree. Associate degrees are commonly obtained in community colleges and can be completed in as little as two years.

(Video) The Most Successful People Explain Why a College Degree is USELESS

Because they are not as difficult as bachelor’s or master’s degrees, they are frequently used by people who have other educational aspirations and do not require the complete breadth of topics required at higher levels.

This type of degree is often focused on a specific field of study, such as business, nursing, or engineering. Students who earn an associate’s degree often go on to work in their chosen field, or they may use their degree to transfer to a four-year college to earn a bachelor’s degree.

20 Free Online Education Courses With Certificates

2. Bachelor’s degree:

Bachelor’s degrees typically prepare students for a career in a specific field, and they often have specific requirements that must be met in order to be accepted. Some popular fields for bachelor’s degree holders include business, education, health care, and social work.

A bachelor’s degree is a post-secondary degree that takes about four years to complete. It’s the first professional degree, meaning it can be used in any career field. A master’s degree is awarded after you’ve earned your bachelor’s, and it often requires additional study at an institution of higher learning.

  • A Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree is the most common type of degree awarded at colleges and universities.
  • A bachelor’s degree is the most common type of post-secondary education in America. In fact, more than 70% of Americans have a Bachelor’s Degree or higher.

3. Master’s degree:

Master’s degrees are similar to bachelor’s degrees in that they typically prepare students for a specific career, but they also offer more opportunities for specialization. They can also lead to a higher salary than a bachelor’s degree, and many employers require that candidates have one or more master’s degrees when applying for a job.

4. Doctorate degree:

Earning a doctorate degree is a significant accomplishment that can open up many doors of opportunity. Students who earn doctorate degrees often go on to pursue successful careers in academia, research, or practice.

A Doctorate degrees can lead to a career in academia, research, or business, and required for academic positions in prestigious universities.

(Video) You Don't Need a College Degree! - Elon Musk

A doctorate degree is a research degree. It requires a lot of work and research, so it’s the highest level of education you can get.

  • Doctorate is the highest level of college degree
  • Doctorate is a research degree
  • Doctorate is the highest level of education you can get
  • Doctorate is a research degree
  • Doctorate is the highest level of college degree

Choosing the best career paths for a particular type of degree

A college degree can be a great investment for your future. Choosing the right degree for your career can make all the difference in your success. There are a variety of degrees that can open up a wide variety of career paths.

Marrying a Foreigner on a Student Visa | Common Questions

Here are a few examples of the best types of degrees for certain careers:

• Obtaining a business degree can lead to a wide variety of careers in business, such as owning your own business, working for a company, or becoming a financial advisor.

•A nursing degree can lead to a career as a nurse, a doctor, or a researcher.

•Getting a degree in engineering can lead to a career as a software engineer, an engineer, or a scientist.

Here’s a video from Shane Hummus titled “Different Types Of Degrees Explained: (Associates, Bachelors, Masters, Doctorate, and Professional)”

(Video) Growing Number Of Americans Questioning The Value Of College Degree

What is the highest degree?

A doctorate degree is the highest level of college degree you can get. This means it’s an academic degree, not a professional one.

A person who has completed all the prerequisites for getting their doctorate degree and has conducted research in their subject can be eligible for a PhD. It normally takes five years or more to get this diploma; however, some colleges will allow students with particular qualifications or experience to complete their program but will not require them to sit for any exams.)

A doctoral degree is the highest level of academic degree that a university can award.

The Doctorate Degree requires extensive knowledge in one area, whereas most other degrees only require basic understanding across multiple areas. In order to be eligible for the Doctorate Degree, students must complete three years

A doctor of medicine is the highest degree a person can obtain in the United States and it is the equivalent of a PhD in many other countries. A doctor of medicine is a very demanding degree and it takes many years of study to complete.

Find out what careers are in demand in your area. This will help you narrow down the field of study choices. Then decide which major(s) will best prepare you for those careers. Finally, choose the right school and major that matches up with all three factors above!

There are many different types of degrees out there, so it’s important that you choose wisely when choosing a pathway through higher education. Your future depends on it!

(Video) An ultra-low-cost college degree | Shai Reshef


How do degrees go in order? ›

There are four types of degrees. In order of level of education, they rank as associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's or graduate degrees, and doctorate or professional degrees.

What is a 8 year degree called? ›

A doctorate degree typically takes anywhere from four to six years to complete. On average, a Ph. D. is earned within eight years. The length of time it takes to earn your doctorate is based on numerous factors.

What is the highest level of college degree? ›

A doctorate degree is the highest traditional academic degree. Earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph. D.) or a Doctor of Education (Ed. D.)

Is A PhD the same as a doctorate? ›

A PhD falls under the academic category of doctorates. While a PhD is an academic qualification that's highly theoretical and focussed more on generating new knowledge through scientific research, a professional doctorate on the other hand, is all about putting theory into practice in specific professional settings.

What are the 5 levels of education? ›

Early childhood education is followed by primary school (called elementary school in the United States), middle school, secondary school (called high school in the United States), and then postsecondary (tertiary) education.

What is a 7 year degree called? ›

Doctoral degrees can take up to 7 years of intense study to complete. After completing doctoral degree coursework, you might sit for comprehensive subject matter exams.

What is below a PhD? ›

College degrees generally fall into four categories: associate, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral.

Is PhD the highest degree? ›

The doctorate degree is the most advanced degree you can earn, symbolizing that you have mastered a specific area of study, or field of profession. The degree requires a significant level of research and articulation.

What is a 6 year degree called? ›

A bachelor's degree (from Middle Latin baccalaureus) or baccalaureate (from Modern Latin baccalaureatus) is an undergraduate academic degree awarded by colleges and universities upon completion of a course of study lasting three to six years (depending on institution and academic discipline).

What degree comes after Masters? ›

After earning a master's degree, the next step is a PhD, which entails both working and performing research at an institution. A PhD is an abbreviation for “Doctor of Philosophy.” It is the highest academic degree one can achieve.

What is the easiest 4 year degree? ›

The 16 Easiest College Majors – 2023 Rankings
  • Psychology.
  • Criminal Justice.
  • English.
  • Education.
  • Religious Studies.
  • Social Work.
  • Sociology.
  • Communications.
Nov 1, 2022

Can a PhD call himself Doctor? ›

A doctoral degree (PhD) is a degree that one earns after a master's degree. A PhD entitles a person to use the title doctor. These are the social and physical scientists who conduct and evaluate published research.

Can you get a PhD without a Masters? ›

Yes, you can get a PhD without first obtaining a master's degree. A number of universities offer direct entry to PhD programs from undergraduate or bachelor degree studies. In some cases, specific schools or programs may prefer that applicants hold a master's degree.

Do all PhDs get called Doctor? ›

In answer to the question, “Is a PhD a doctor,” the answer is yes. Both a PhD and a professional doctorate like an EdD earn you the title of “doctor.” But there are differences between the types of doctoral degrees. Learn more about a PhD vs.

What are the 7 levels of education? ›

Education Statistics (EdStats)
  • ISCED 0 = Early childhood education.
  • ISCED 1 = Primary Education.
  • ISCED 2 = Lower Secondary Education.
  • ISCED 3 = Upper Secondary Education.
  • ISCED 4 = Post-secondary non-Tertiary Education.
  • ISCED 5 = Short-cycle tertiary education.
  • ISCED 6 = Bachelors degree or equivalent tertiary education level.

What are the 7 levels of learning? ›

Bloom's Revised Taxonomy
  • Remember. Definition: retrieve, recall, or recognize relevant knowledge from long-term memory (e.g., recall dates of important events in U.S. history, remember the components of a bacterial cell). ...
  • Understand. ...
  • Apply. ...
  • Analyze. ...
  • Evaluate. ...
  • Create.
Apr 14, 2022

What does PhD stand for? ›

A Ph. D., or Doctor of Philosophy, is a high-level degree earned after a period of three or more years of graduate-level study, culminating in the creation, submission, presentation and defense of a research dissertation.

What is a 2 year degree called a 4 year degree? ›

This may vary slightly depending on the institution and location, but an associate's degree usually takes two years to complete full time. In the US this equates to 60 credit hours as opposed to the 120 hours required for a bachelor's degree – which takes about four years to complete full time.

How many years is a master degree? ›

Master's degrees typically take two years to complete, but the timeframe can vary from person to person. Depending on your degree program and whether you're going to school full-time or part-time, it could take you less time to get your master's degree – or more.

Is a PhD ranked higher than a MD? ›

MD: Academic Prestige. While both the MD and the PhD are highly regarded qualifications, it could be argued that there is (in general) slightly more prestige attached to having a PhD, as the course is longer and the research more thorough.

Is it better to get a PhD or Masters? ›

The focus of master's degrees and doctorate degrees is different. A master's degree is designed to deepen career-oriented knowledge and skills. A doctorate degree is a heavily research-based degree, designed to develop critical research,analytical and writing skills in an effort to fill industry knowledge gaps.

What is the next degree after PhD? ›

Postdoctoral fellowship.

After a PhD, if you are keen to continue doing research, you can pursue a postdoctoral fellowship in an academic institution and then work toward securing a tenure-track professorship.

Is A professor higher than a Doctor? ›

Is a Professor higher than a Doctor? It is widely accepted that the academic title of Professor is higher than a Doctor, given that the job title of professor is the highest academic position possible at a university.

Is a PhD harder than a doctorate? ›

A doctorate degree is not easier than a PhD. They're different and both take hard work. It would be best to research the area of study you are pursuing. A PhD demands years of original research, while a doctorate degree looks at an existing body of knowledge and looks into theories created by this knowledge.

Is PhD bigger than MBA? ›

A PhD allows you to become a professor and pursue a lifetime of research while an MBA can open up job opportunities at the top of business and drastically increase your salary expectations. No wonder it's a difficult decision for many people.

What are the 4 types of degrees in order? ›

There are generally four categories of college degrees: associate degree, bachelor's degree, graduate degree, and doctorate or professional degree.

What degree is 4 years of college? ›

Types of Bachelor Degrees

Designed to be completed in 4 years, bachelor's degree programs provide in-depth knowledge and skills across a wide variety of career paths to help you stand out in today's competitive job market. Bachelor's degrees are in high demand.

What degree is 6 years of college? ›

A Bachelor's degree is taking up to 6 years.

What degree is 2 years of college? ›

What degrees can I study in 2 years? Some degrees that have a 2-year option include Law, Accounting, Business Management, Business Studies, English, Finance, Geography, Marketing, Tourism, and some joint degrees.

What degree is lowest to highest? ›

College Degrees in Order: Levels of Education
  • Associate Degree.
  • Bachelor's Degree.
  • Master's Degree.
  • Doctoral Degree.

Which is higher bachelor or masters? ›

A master's degree tends to be much more rigorous than a bachelor's degree program and requires a more specialized focus of study. A master's degree generally takes less time than a bachelor's degree (usually about two or three years) and takes about 30 to 60 semester credits to complete.

What degree is after Masters? ›

After earning a master's degree, the next step is a PhD, which entails both working and performing research at an institution. A PhD is an abbreviation for “Doctor of Philosophy.” It is the highest academic degree one can achieve. As such, it is a time-consuming pursuit that requires a lot of studying and research.

What is a 5 year degree called? ›

Bachelor's Degree - An award (baccalaureate) that normally requires at least 4 but not more than 5 years of full-time equivalent college-level work.

How many years is a doctoral degree? ›

The average student takes 8.2 years to obtain a doctoral degree, that figure is assuming you begin your bachelor's and stay a student all the way to doctoral completion. In most cases, students return to school at a later time to complete their PhD or Doctoral degree.

What's the highest paying major? ›

The No. 1 spot goes to electrical engineering and computer science. The early-career median pay for majors is $119,200 annually.

What is the shortest Bachelor degree? ›

An accelerated online bachelor's program is usually the quickest way to earn a bachelor's degree. Students can take more credits at once and graduate earlier — sometimes in 1-2 years. However, most bachelor's programs take about four years, and part-time online programs can take much longer.

What is the shortest degree you can do? ›

Associate degrees require only 60 credit hours—half the time required for bachelor's degrees—and professional certifications can take only anywhere between three and six months depending on the program you choose.

What is 3 year degree called? ›

The most usual three-year bachelor's degrees encountered in India are those of Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) (which may be awarded with or without classed honors) and Bachelor of Science (B.S. or B.Sc.)


1. I Bought A FAKE College Degree For $499 and...
(Tyler Oliveira)
2. Keto-Like Diets May Increase Risk of Heart Diseas
(Doctor Mike Hansen)
3. I Applied For 100 Jobs Using A FAKE College Degree. Guess Who ACTUALLY Hired Me...
(Tyler Oliveira)
4. Ultimate Guide To Choosing A College Degree
(Shane Hummus)
5. Computer Scientist Explains One Concept in 5 Levels of Difficulty | WIRED
6. Lies, Damned Lies, and SEL
(New Discourses)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Greg O'Connell

Last Updated: 07/09/2023

Views: 5867

Rating: 4.1 / 5 (42 voted)

Reviews: 81% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Greg O'Connell

Birthday: 1992-01-10

Address: Suite 517 2436 Jefferey Pass, Shanitaside, UT 27519

Phone: +2614651609714

Job: Education Developer

Hobby: Cooking, Gambling, Pottery, Shooting, Baseball, Singing, Snowboarding

Introduction: My name is Greg O'Connell, I am a delightful, colorful, talented, kind, lively, modern, tender person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.