8 Crucial Difference between Degree and Diploma (A Must Read Guide)

What is the difference between degree and diploma?

Both diploma and degree are awards honored to a person after completion of their education course. These terms cannot be used interchangeably.

The article provides the core difference between a degree and a diploma in tabular form for easier understanding. Let’s find out more:

Difference between Degree and Diploma

What Is a Degree?

The degree is a certificate honored to a person by a recognized college or university for completion of their educational course at a particular level.

The degree is pursued by students after passing their secondary education. There are four major types of degrees such as associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate.

A degree course normally takes 3 to 4 years to be completed and this enables a student to get in-depth knowledge about their area of studies.

Example of degree courses offered by recognized universities includes B. Com, B.Sc, MBA, B.E., B. Tech, B.A. M.E., M. Tech. etc.

What Is a Diploma?

The diploma is a certificate given to a student by a recognized university or an educational institution for the successful completion of a course of study.

Admission to a diploma college happens after completion of secondary school. The major types of diploma certificates are the graduate diploma and post-graduate diploma.

The program normally takes about 1 to 2 years and the student gets thorough knowledge on a particular course of study.

Comparison Chart: Degree Vs Diploma

Basic Terms Degree Diploma
Meaning Certificate awarded to a student by a recognized university or college after completion of a course successfully. Certificate awarded to a student by the university or an educational institution after successfully completing a course.
Payscale Higher Lower
Flexible Yes No
Time Horizon 3-4 years 1-2 years
Minimum qualification Higher secondary High school
Depth of Knowledge Comparatively more Comparatively less
Conducted by Universities Both Universities and educational institutions
Admissions Annually Semiannually
Fees Expensive Less expensive

Core Differences Between Degree and Diploma In Point Form 

  1. A degree is a certificate given to a student by the university after successfully completing a course in a certain stream up to a certain level while a diploma is a certificate given to a student by the educational institution for completing a course successfully
  2. Admission to the degree is done once yearly while diploma is can be done yearly or semi-yearly
  3. Degree courses are quite expensive while diploma courses are less expensive
  4. Degree courses take a long duration of about four years while diploma course takes about two years
  5. Some degree courses are quite flexible in terms of changing the stream while diploma courses are not.
  6. The pay scale of degree holders is higher than that of diploma
  7. The minimum requirement of the degree course is 10+2 while that of the diploma is 10th.
  8. Degrees are offered by universities alone while diplomas by either universities or educational institutions.

You May Also Like:

Comparison Video


A lot of people are considering higher education due to the higher salary associated with it. It is the reason why people with diplomas tend to further after completion to attain the highest level.

The core difference between degree and diploma is the number of years as well as pay scale during remuneration.

More Sources and References

Leave a Comment