An academic degree is a recognition awarded for having satisfactorily completed a prescribed course of study. In short, it's what you get when you're done. A diploma is physical proof of having completed a degree.
Typically a degree is granted by one of the faculties of a university, e.g., Engineering, Arts and Sciences, Law, etc. Typically there's a strong correlation between what you might think of as a "school" and a faculty (though sometimes a faculty can have multiple schools, and things get a little confusing when dealing with the Arts and Sciences at Columbia.)
New degree programs are approved by the University Senate.
List of degrees offered at Columbia
Number of degrees conferred annually
Columbia has been 'accused' on occasion of being a "degree-mill", since Columbia grants degrees at a significantly higher rate than its peer private schools. In fact, Columbia confers more degrees each year than some large state universities. This is probably thanks to Columbia's expansive offerings of Masters degree programs relative to its peers (undergraduate degrees make up less than one fifth of the degrees conferred each spring). Consider:
|School||Degrees awarded (2010)|
|University of California, Berkeley||10,387 |
|University of Michigan, Ann Arbor||11,594 |
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 1.17 1.18 Unique to the school of issue.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 2.9 Overwhelming majority of degrees conferred.
- ↑ http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=9907E3DD1F39E13ABC4D53DFB0668382609EDE&oref=slogin
- ↑ Includes 2,538 recipients of Columbia degrees at affiliated institutions (Barnard College and Teachers College)