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Academic degrees

Bachelor - Awarded for an undergraduate course or major that generally lasts for four years. The most common are: Bachelor of Arts (BA, B.A.) - Originally, in the universities of Oxford, Cambridge all undergraduate degrees were in the Faculty of Arts. In the United States, many universities award the Bachelor of Arts for all academic (non pre-professional) subjects.

Bachelor of Science (BS, B.S., BSc), An abbreviation (BSE) stands for Bachelor of Science, Engineering.

Master - In the United States and Canada, most standard master programs are based on the four-year bachelor's degree followed by a one-year or two-years graduate study. Two most common titles of master's degrees are the Master of Arts (M.A.) and Master of Science (M.S. or M.Sc.). In Russia (and in the former USSR) a student receives a Specialist Diploma after 5 years of study at the university. The Russian Specialist Diploma corresponds to a Western Master Degree.

Doctor of Philosophy ( PhD, Ph.D., D.Phil.) - In most English-speaking countries, the highest degree one can earn. It is required for a career as a university professor or researcher in most fields. In Germany, most doctorates are awarded with specific designations for the field of research instead of a general "PhD" for all fields. For instance, Dr. rer. nat. (Doctorate in Natural Sciences) is designated, among others, for Physics, Mathematics, often also for Computer Science and Information Technology.

In Russia a Western PhD degree roughly corresponds to the first graduate degree called “Candidate of Sciences”. It is granted after 3 years of study and research in a Graduate School. The qualification requirements include public defense of the theses and approval on the Federal government level. The highest academic degree in Russia is the “Doctor of Sciences” (D.Sc.). This degree is granted to those who made a substantial contribution to research in their area. Only holders of this degree qualify for the academic title “Professor” awarded by the Highest Certifying Committee of the Russian Federation.