What Is a Conferred Degree? [Easily Explained in 2023]

what is a conferred degree
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There are many terms associated with college that can be confusing. A conferred degree is one of the terms that can be confusing. In this article, let’s learn—what is a conferred degree.

The term itself may seem pretty self-explanatory for many students. But for those who are just starting their college journey or for those who are considering going back to school, the term may not be so clear.

So let’s start.

What Is a Conferred Degree?

A conferred degree is a formal recognition of the completion of a specific program of study from a college or university. That means it will be awarded to you if you have met all the academic requirements and have successfully completed your coursework.

So, when your degree is conferred, it is the formal recognition that you have completed the requirements of your program of study and have met all the academic standards set by the institution. That is—you are an official graduate of the college or university and have earned the right to be conferred the degree.

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The conferral of a degree is a significant achievement and a symbol of your hard work and dedication toward your education. You can earn a conferred degree in two ways.

Ways To Earn a Conferred Degree

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You can earn conferred degree through traditional on-campus learning or through alternative means like getting an honorary diploma without attending on-campus learning.

Traditional on-campus learning refers to attending classes in person, completing coursework, and meeting academic requirements set by the institution in a traditional classroom setting.

This is the most common way students earn a conferred degree, and it requires full-time or part-time enrollment in a degree program. This is the most popular way as well. For example, a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate curriculum.

Once you have completed all the academic requirements and have been approved for graduation, there are usually administrative tasks that must be completed before the degree can be officially conferred.

Sometimes you may have to pay an outstanding balance on your school account and return materials such as library books or laboratory equipment. You may also have to file paperwork.

However, these steps vary by institution and program, so it’s important to check with your school’s registrar or academic advisor to find out what specific steps you need to take to ensure your degree is conferred.

Another way you can earn a conferred degree is through alternative means. This means you can earn a degree that does not involve traditional classroom instruction. This can include credit for prior learning, assessment, or other forms of experiential learning such as online classes, distance learning, or self-paced study.

These alternative ways of earning a degree are becoming more popular and widely accepted by many institutions.

Kanye West was awarded an honorary doctorate degree even though he didn’t finish college. It was awarded to him in recognition of his contributions to art and culture.

An honorary degree is not earned through traditional coursework or academic achievement. Just like Kanye West.

He has not completed a doctoral program or has the academic qualifications to be considered a “Doctor” in his field of expertise but he still received an honorary doctorate from the Art Institute of Chicago.

But the term conferred degree can be applied to both traditional earned degrees and honorary degrees.

In both cases, the degree is officially conferred by the institution, which means that the individual has met the requirements set by the institution, whether they are academic or non-academic in nature.

However, there is a distinction between the two types of degrees in terms of how they are earned and the recognition they carry.

How Long Does the Conferral Process Take for a Degree?

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The time it takes for the conferral process of a degree can vary depending on the institution and the degree program.

Generally, the conferral process begins after a student has completed all the requirements for the degree, which includes passing all coursework and any final exams.

However, there is no standard time to get the conferred degree after finishing the last class. Some institutes process paperwork fast and some take a bit more time.

For undergraduate degrees, the conferral process may take several weeks to several months after the student has completed all requirements.

For graduate degrees, it may take longer, up to several months. Some institutions may have specific graduation application deadlines and ceremonies.

Remember that you must need to check with your institution for specific information on the conferral process and timing for your degree program.

The Significance of a Conferred Degree

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A conferred degree is a significant achievement that can have a major impact on an individual’s career and professional advancement.

A conferred degree can be more attractive to employers and can open up more job opportunities and higher earning potential for an individual because they have completed a specific program of study and have acquired a certain level of knowledge and skills in a particular field.

This can also help them have a higher earning potential.

Many graduate programs and advanced certifications require a bachelor’s degree as a prerequisite, so a conferred undergraduate degree can help a student to step further into higher education.

For example, if a student has earned a bachelor’s degree in business, they will be eligible to apply for a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) program.

Similarly, if a student has earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering, they may be eligible to apply for a master’s degree in the engineering program.

So, we can say that a conferred degree can be an important step in pursuing further education and advancement and it can open up many doors for a student’s career.

Is Degree Awarded the Same As Degree Conferred?

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A degree awarded and a degree conferred are often used as the same term, but they refer to slightly different concepts.

A degree awarded means that a student has successfully completed all the requirements of their degree program and the institution has granted them the degree.

A degree conferred is the formal recognition that a student has officially completed graduation and they have been formally awarded the degree. This means that the degree is officially conferred to the students in a formal way.

So, we can say that the degree awarded may seem like same as the degree conferred but it’s a bit different.

Both terms refer to the same achievement of completing a degree program and being recognized as a graduate, but the concept of degree awarded usually refers to the completion of the program, and the concept of degree conferred refers to the official recognition of the degree.

Some FAQs

There are many questions regarding college degrees and conferred degrees. We’ve learned what is a conferred degree. Now, let’s now focus our gaze on some of the common questions related to this topic.

Who Can Confer Degrees?

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Usually, an institution of higher education such as a college or university confers degrees to students. These institutions have the authority to confer degrees to students who have successfully completed the requirements of the degree program.

However, the specific individuals within the institution who have the authority to confer degrees can vary. Sometimes, it may be the president or chancellor of the institution, and sometimes it may be a specific academic department or a board of trustees.

You must have to check the accreditation of an institution before enrolling in a program to ensure that the degree you earn will be recognized and accepted by employers and other institutions.

Because there are some organizations or individuals who may claim to confer degrees but do not have the proper accreditation or authority to do so.

Does Conferred Mean Pass?

These are very similar words. However, there is a slight difference.

Conferred means that a degree has been officially granted or awarded to a student by the institution after the student has met all the requirements of the program.

Passing means the successful completion of a course or program of study, meeting the criteria of passing grades, or passing an exam.

So, a student must pass all their courses and meet all the requirements of the program in order to have their degree conferred. If you don’t pass you won’t have your degree conferred.

Does Conferred Mean Graduation?

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All these terms are very closely related but they are not exactly the same thing.

Graduation usually means the ceremony or event in which a student who has completed all the requirements of their degree program has been awarded their degree.

It is a formal recognition of the student’s achievement and the end of their academic journey at that institution.

On the other hand, conferred means the formal recognition that a student has officially graduated and is now a legal and official graduate of the program. It is the act of officially granting the degree to the student.

Most of the time, a degree is conferred during the graduation ceremony, where the student is recognized for their achievement and the degree is officially granted.

But it can vary from institution to institution because sometimes some institutions can arrange the conferral process at other times or ways such as through mail or online.

Conclusion: What Is a Conferred Degree?

There are many college-related terms that we may not be familiar with, and understanding what is a conferred degree is just one example of the importance of familiarizing ourselves with such terms.

In conclusion, a conferred degree is a formal recognition of a student’s achievement and successful completion of all the requirements of their degree program. It is not exactly the same as graduation or awarding a student with a degree in a ceremony.

It means that the degree is officially granted to a student—making them a legal and official graduate of their program.

It can happen at the same time as a graduation ceremony or it can happen at a different time or way such as through mail or online.

So, this is what a conferred degree means. I hope you understood my explanation of the term.

With a better understanding of these terms, we can more fully appreciate the value of our academic achievements and navigate the college experience with more ease. Thanks for reading.

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