From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A professional degree is an academic degree designed to prepare the holder for a particular career or profession, fields where scholarly research and academic activity are not the work, but rather a profession such as law, medicine, engineering, religious ministry, or education. Professional degrees may be awarded as graduate or undergraduate degrees. At the graduate level, they are typically awarded as either a professional master's degree or a professional doctorate degree.
Most professions offer more than one level of professional degree; the first degree which qualifies the holder for work in the profession is titled the first professional degree.
 United States and Canada
- See also First Professional degree
In the United States and Canada, professional degrees refer to academic degrees that are specific to a particular vocation or profession. Audiology (AuD), public policy school (MPA or MPP), law school (JD or LLB), medical school (MD or DO), chiropractic medicine (DC), engineering school (BS. or BAS. in Engineering, BEng., MEng., and DEng.), dental school (DDS or DMD), veterinary school (DVM or VMD), business school (MBA or MAcy), physical therapy school (DPT), pharmacy school (BSc. in Pharmacy or Pharm.D.), schools of social work (MSW), art school (MFA), seminary (M.Div.), and architecture school (MArch) are examples of institutions where professional degrees can be earned.
According to the United States Census Bureau, on average, those possessing professional degrees earn more than those in any other category of educational attainment, including those holding academic doctorates.
In Sweden, a professional degree is an academic degree that is regulated under common laws of the Swedish government, examined and awarded by prescribed schools and universities, and intended for those wishing to follow a given profession. The degree gives the undergraduate student a license, chartered or special competence, which is often needed—sometimes legally required—to practice as a medical doctor, nurse, teacher, engineer or accountant.
Under certain conditions, such as being involved in a terrible accident that reduces your abilities, criminal acts or making too many mistakes in the given profession, there is a risk of losing one's license for the particular profession, and thereby having no legal rights to practice the given profession anymore.
The professional degree is often similar to Bachelor of Science or Master of Science, depending on the title of the profession and on the years of education which varies between 90-330 ECTS. In Sweden, all education is treated as undergraduate degrees up to the license or doctorate level, which are treated as postgraduate degrees. The 'undergraduate' studies is in the range 4-5.5 years, whilst the graduate studies varies between 2.5-5 years, corresponding to license and doctoral degrees, respectively. This education schemes also applies to the international degrees such as Bachelor's and Master's degrees, i.e. they corresponds to an 'undergraduate' degree, too.
For those with a professional degree, further studies give a special graduate title, such as Licentiate of Philosophy, Licentiate of Science (a degree corresponding to a half completed PhD, i.e. 2 & 1/2 years) or Doctor of Juris, Doctor of Science, etc.. However, in English, some of these are translated to Doctor of Philosophy.
In Sweden, there are also international degrees such as Bachelor of Science or Master of Science, and especially the engineering education program has its goal to transform into those 'international standard degrees' during the next one or two decades (see the article Bologna process), not only in Sweden but in the whole of Europe.