Grammar Guide
Miscellaneous
Academic Titles in Spanish

Academic Titles in Spanish

Quick Answer

Trying to talk about academic degrees proves to be quite the challenge in a new language, especially since education levels and grades vary greatly. In this article, we're going to try to simplify all these terms so that you're able to talk about your studies!

Academic Institutions

First, let's examine the academic institutions, or instituciones académicas :

SpanishEnglish
preescolar
 
preschool
escuela primaria
 
elementary school, primary school
escuela secundaria , colegio high school, secondary school
universidad
 
college, university
maestría
 
master's program
doctorado
 
doctoral program

Academic Degrees

Next, let's take a look at how to translate academic degrees, or grados académicos :

SpanishEnglish
bachillerato
 
high school degree
licenciatura
 
college degree
maestría , especialidad master's degree
doctorado
 
doctoral degree, PhD
posgrado
 
postgraduate degree

Students

Lastly, let's learn how to talk about the people who actually undertake all that studying:

SpanishEnglish
estudiante
 
student
estudiante universitario
 
undergraduate (student), undergrad
estudiante graduado , estudiante de posgrado graduate (student)

What's in a Title?

In many parts of Latin America, you might hear people being referred to as licenciado  or doctor , even though you know they're not a lawyer or a doctor. What gives? It's a common practice to use these academic or professional titles to refer to a person you admire or greatly respect, regardless of what they're actual degrees are!

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