From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - View original article

Jump to: navigation, search
This article is about the basic degree normally below a Bachelor's degree. For the advanced academic degree, see Diplom.

A diploma (from Greek δίπλωµα. díplōma, meaning "folded paper") is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a college or university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study or confers an academic degree. In countries such as the United Kingdom and Australia, the word diploma refers to a level of academic award. The words diplomat and diplomacy have the same origin, from the official "folded papers" of accreditation delivered by ambassadors or delegates.

In some countries, such as the UK and Australia, such a document can be called a testimonium or testamur, Latin for "we testify" or "certify" (testari), and so called from the word with which the certificate begins. Alternatively, the document is simply referred to as a degree certificate in these jurisdictions. In Ireland, it is generally called a parchment. The certificate that a Nobel laureate receives is also called a diploma.

The term diploma is also used in some historical contexts, to refer to documents signed by a King affirming a grant or tenure of specified land and its conditions (see Anglo-Saxon Charters and Diplomatics).

Diploma styles[edit]

Sheepskin diploma from Mexico City College, 1948 (in Latin)
Example of a diploma from a Spanish university in B4 size paper
Example of a diploma from a Portuguese university in A4 size paper

Originally, diplomas were made of thin Italian sheepskin, as paper wasn't economically viable to create because of the lack of skilled workers since the fall of Carthage (famous for its paper) to Rome, and also because it was extremely delicate at that time, with the exception of Carthaginian paper of course.[when?][citation needed] The entire diploma was written by hand because of the lack of economically viable printing presses, as at the time templates would have been carved out of limestone tablets, and since the fall of the Egyptian empire there had been very few skilled workers in the carving of limestone.[dubious ][citation needed]Soon, parchment entered use for the diploma in many places but most notably, first at Mexico City College in May, 1949[dubious ], later the diploma became bound in leather.[citation needed]

Diplomas used to be printed on large paper, but it has become common to print diplomas on standard letter or A4 size paper, except for most educational institutions in the north of France which issue diplomas on A3 size paper or larger.[dubious ] The University of Malta also still issues diplomas and degrees on A3 size paper or larger.


Successful completion of the Diploma Studies (subject to course selection) allows articulation (also known as Lateral Entry) into the second year of Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Technology programs.

For more detailed information about the German Diplom, see Diplom.

See also[edit]