What Is A Conferred Degree? [2022 Guide]

Conferral means that you have been formally and legally granted an undergraduate or graduate degree by the institution. 

The institution has conducted an audit to determine that you have fully satisfied the academic and administrative standards necessary to be granted a degree.

You can receive your degrees but you may not have finished your required coursework while some may have already completed their degrees, although they have not yet received them. 

For more understanding, this article provides all information about conferred degrees and other related information.

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What Is A Conferred Degree?

Conferred degree simply implies that you have fulfilled all of your educational program’s administrative and academic requirements.

When you receive your degree, it demonstrates that you are a legitimate and recognized program graduate. 

A conferred degree can be obtained in two different methods, they are:

  • Traditional Degree

A conferred degree can be obtained by completing all of the requirements for a degree program, such as a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate curriculum. 

You complete the assignment, go to the graduation ceremony, receive your diploma, and have your degree awarded.

There could be a few steps between finishing your coursework and getting your degree such as submitting papers to request your diploma, returning materials to the school, or settling an overdue sum on your student account.

Until your institution audits or verifies that you have completed all requirements, the degree will not be awarded.

  • Honorary Degree

Accepting an honorary diploma is the second way to get a conferred degree, but university honorary degrees are awarded to those who have excelled in their fields.

Like Kanye West, who although did not finish college, received an honorary doctorate from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago for his contributions to music.

An honorary degree does not imply that you have completed or even begun all of the required coursework. 

It just indicates that you received a diploma from an institution like Kanye West’s doctorate is not recognized academically and he is also not regarded as a doctor.

Whether the institution grants you an honorary degree or a degree once you finish all the required coursework and once you have the diploma in hand, it is conferred.

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Degree Completed Vs. Degree Conferred

There are several processes between completing your final class and obtaining a conferred degree. 

Most times, the date your degree is awarded is quite likely different from the date you graduated.

At a ceremony, several graduates walk, and they are given a piece of paper on stage for a lovely picture but they don’t get their actual degree in the mail until much later.

At California State University, graduates enjoy a commencement ceremony and then receive their diploma in the mail six to eight weeks later.

You can check your academic transcript to find the date your degree will be conferred. At the top, you could see currently completed, given or received, or in the process which implies that you haven’t completed something and not every program, the criterion has been met.

Currently completed implies the completion of all academic requirements for your degree, although it does not yet entitle you to a diploma.

Your finish date is beneficial when you want to demonstrate that you will soon obtain your conferred degree when applying to a job or another educational program.

You won’t likely see the word “finished” on your transcript until you’ve satisfied all the additional conditions set by your institution for conferral. 

You might need to settle any unresolved matters, pay fees, or submit papers for a graduation ceremony.

Finally, since not all institutions employ the same terminology, your transcript can substitute “awarded” for “conferred.”  

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What Does Degree Completed But Not Conferred Mean?

If your transcript states “conferred” or “awarded”, then that day can be noted as the day you received your degree.

But don’t note the completion date if your transcript states “complete”, because the date conferred and that completed is not the same.  

The phrase “degree completed but not conferred” should be written or checked because it means that you have completed all academic requirements for your degree.  

The Federal Trade Commission reports that many firms verify the validity of degrees, so if they want to make sure your information is correct, an employer can call your school or utilize a third party.

A duplicate of your official, sealed transcript can be required for an application and this will also show whether or not your conferral date is correct.

Writing “degree completed but not conferred” demonstrates that your degree will soon be awarded, and, in the event that your information is independently verified, it corresponds with the school’s records.

You don’t have to hold off on applying for your ideal job or next educational program until you have been awarded a degree. 

You can proceed if you have a “Degree finished but not conferred” and when your degree is conferred, you can easily update your profile.

How Long Does It Take For A Degree To Be Conferred?

The steps taken for your degree to be conferred include:

  • Completing your final class.
  • Submitting documents to your registrar.
  • Going to the graduation (or commencement) ceremony.
  • Your paperwork is reviewed by the school to make sure you’ve met all the requirements.
  • Your degree is formally conferred by the school.
  • Your diploma arrives in the mail.

The time between completing the final course and getting a diploma is not fixed because the paperwork processing varies amongst schools.

But you can inquire about the particular timeframe for awarding your degree from your registrar’s office.

How Do You Confer Graduates?

Once the final class is over, some colleges automatically mark the transcripts as “complete”  and completed does not mean conferred.

To request graduation, you might need to fill out a form, and your lessons and school accounts will be audited.

Ensure you consult your registrar before proceeding because each school has its own procedure. 

Don’t hold off till your diploma arrives in the mail because it’s possible that nothing will happen if you don’t inform the registrar, or at the very least your academic advisor, that you’re interested in graduating.

Your transcript might not even be considered “complete” in some circumstances unless you notify the registrar that you completed your program.  

When Can I Say I Have A Degree?

Both your official and unofficial transcripts will reflect the awarding of your degree, you can check for the “awarded” or “conferred” mark. 

You can now say you have a degree at this time while waiting for your diploma to arrive in the mail. 

You can also say you have your degree if it has been conferred on you.

A degree must include at least one of the following for you to claim it:

  • A transcript with “awarded” or “conferred” in it.
  • Confirmation that your degree has been awarded from the registrar’s office.
  • A diploma that arrives in the mail.

If your degree is not conferred, you have some other options for responding to inquiries from prospective employers or educational institutions. 

Saying that your degree is finished but not yet awarded is acceptable, just make sure your transcript is initially tagged as “complete.”

But it is not acceptable to say you have a degree if your transcript indicates that you are “in progress” or “complete”.  

What Does Degree Conferral Mean For Graduate Students?

Degree conferral is the procedure colleges and universities use to confirm a graduate student has completed all requirements for their degree.

Degree conferrals for graduate students often take six weeks or more after grades are announced. 

Graduate students should contact their institution or school with any inquiries they may have regarding the procedure or status of their degree conferral.

What Is A Degree Conferral Letter?

The degree conferral letter, which is dated and signed by the dean of graduate studies, attests that you have satisfied all prerequisites for graduation and will be granted your master’s or doctoral degree on that day.

Is Degree Conferral A Ceremony?

The formal event honoring students’ graduation is called commencement, but the Commencement ceremony and degree conferral don’t have to take place on the same day.

What Is The Difference Between Graduation And Conferral?

The major difference is that it is not a requirement to graduate before you attend the commencement ceremony. 

When you formally obtain a conferred degree, this is known as the conferral process. About four business days following the commencement ceremony, this process will start.

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What Are the Different Types Of Bachelor Degrees?

National Center for Education Statistics shows the five most popular bachelor’s degree programs are in business, health professions, social sciences and history, engineering, and biological and biomedical sciences.

But according to the U.S. Department of Education, there are over 80 types of bachelor’s degrees, including:

  • Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.)
  • Bachelor of Arts (B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Business (B.B.)
  • Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Business (B.S.B.)
  • Bachelor of Canon Law (B.C.L.)
  • Bachelor of Computer Science (B.C.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science (B.S.C.S.)
  • Bachelor of Criminal Justice (B.C.J.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (B.S.C.J.)
  • Bachelor of Divinity (B.D.)
  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Education (B.S.Ed.)
  • Bachelor of Wireless Engineering (B.W.E.)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B.E./B.Eng.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E./B.S.EN.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering (B.S.A.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Engineering (B.S.A.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biological Systems (B.S.B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering (B.S.B.A.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biological Engineering (B.S.B.E.)
  • Bachelor of Biomedical Engineering (B.B.m.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering (B.S.B.E./B.S.B.M.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering (B.S.Ch.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering (B.S.Ch.B.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemical and Materials Engineering (B.S.C.M.E.)
  • Bachelor of Civil Engineering (B.C.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering (B.S.C.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil and Infrastructure Engineering (B.S.-C.I.E.)
  • Bachelor of Computer Engineering (B.Comp.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering (B.S.C.E./B.S.Cmp.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering (B.S.C.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering (B.S.E.C.E.)
  • Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (B.E.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering (B.S.E.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Management (B.S.E.Mgt.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering (B.S.En.E./B.S.Env.E.)
  • Bachelor of Fiber Engineering (B.F.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering (B.S.I.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Engineering (B.S.Mfg.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Manufacturing Systems Engineering (B.S.M.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Materials Science and Engineering (B.S.M.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Materials Engineering (B.S.MA.E.)
  • Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (B.M.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.M.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Metallurgical Engineering (B.S.Mt.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mining Engineering (B.S.MI.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Systems (B.S.-SYST.)
  • Bachelor of Software Engineering (B.S.W.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Software Engineering (B.S.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Systems Engineering (B.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering (B.S.S.E.)
  • Bachelor of Engineering Technology (B.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Engineering Technology (B.S.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Technology (B.S.C.E.T./B.S.Civ.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering Technology (B.S.C.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering Technology (B.S.Con.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Drafting Design Technology (B.S.D.D.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical/Electronics Technology (B.S.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology (B.S.E.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology (B.S.E.M.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology (B.S.M.E.T.)
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
  • Bachelor of Forestry (B.F.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Forest Research (B.S.For.Res.)
  • Bachelor of Hebrew Letters (B.H.L.)
  • Bachelor of Journalism (B.J.)
  • Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.)
  • Bachelor of Liberal Studies (B.L.S.)
  • Bachelor of Literature (B.Lit.)
  • Bachelor of Marine Science (B.M.S.)
  • Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
  • Bachelor of Nursing (B.N.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Nursing (B.S.N.)
  • Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm.)
  • Bachelor of Philosophy (B.Phil.)
  • Bachelor of Religious Education (B.R.E.)
  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
  • Bachelor of Science in Chemistry (B.S.Ch.)
  • Bachelor of Technology (B.T./B.Tech.)

Most Commonly Conferred Bachelor Degrees

Every degree awarded in the United States is y tracked by the National Center for Education Statistics. 

Their website features interesting data and historical facts, such as the most commonly conferred degree:

Bachelor DegreesNo of Conferred Degrees
Agriculture and natural resources40,458
Architecture and related services8,806
Area, ethnic, cultural, gender, and group studies7,724
Public administration and social services35,177
Biological and biomedical sciences121,191
Communication, journalism, and related programs92,528
Legal professions and studies4,242
Homeland security, law enforcement, and firefighting57,339
Communications technologies4,444
Computer and information sciences88,633
Engineering Technologies19,620
English language and literature/letters39,335
Family and consumer sciences/human sciences23,962
Foreign languages, literature, and linguistics16,592
Health professions and related programs251,355
Liberal arts and sciences, general studies, and humanities44,222
Social sciences and history160,628
Theology and religious vocations9,418
Transportation and materials moving5,051
Visual and performing arts89,730
Mathematics and statistics26,146
Military technologies and applied sciences767
Multi/interdisciplinary studies53,298
Parks, recreation, leisure, and fitness studies53,546
Philosophy and religious studies9,615
Physical sciences and science technologies31,148
Precision production47
Library science99
Total Degrees Conferred2,012,854

Why Are There So Many Different Types Of Bachelor’s Degrees?

The two most popular bachelor’s degrees offered and obtained, a bachelor of science and a bachelor of arts, typically overlap. 

For instance, depending on how many courses and what kinds of courses you finish, biology majors can either obtain a BS or a BA. 

You can either obtain a BA, BS, or B.Ed. if education is your major (Bachelor of Education).

There is no genuine distinction in the knowledge that is learned by earning a degree between a college and a university, despite the difference in the degree’s name.

Similar to the education example, some programs only provide a BA or BS with an education major, while others offer a B.Ed.

Most graduate schools or jobs will look up those particular courses on your transcript if they are significant enough.

A BS, BA, BFA, or specialist degree can be obtained in a small liberal arts college or at a sizable land grant university. 

It is quite uncommon for a facility to simply provide one or students with two different types of degrees.

Instead of just picking a degree based on college or institution, pick your degree based on your interests, potential majors, and the particular department you’ll be studying in.

The Most Common Types Of Bachelor’s Degrees

There are currently more than 80 recognized forms of bachelor’s degrees, but the ones most commonly conferred in the United States are:

1. Bachelor of Science (BS)

One of the most popular sorts of bachelor’s degrees obtained by college students is a BS. 

If you are searching for a program, you will probably run into this degree if you intend to pursue a career in the sciences. 

This degree offers several majors, including:

  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Computer Science
  • Business
  • Nursing
  • Engineering
  • Economics
  • Nutrition
  • Natural Sciences
  • Education (Science Track)

There are more demanding criteria for some of these majors than others, such as engineering, which is renowned for its demanding curriculum. 

Making lots of engineering students find it challenging to complete their degrees in four years without attending summer classes.

The University of California at Davis found that engineering majors were more likely than students in other institutions and majors to graduate within five years. 

The other non-engineering students have a higher likelihood of finishing their degrees in four years.

You won’t need to take the same amount of courses as everyone else seeking a BS just because you decide to pursue a BS. 

The conditions that must be satisfied in order for a degree to be granted are determined by each department and major.

Just be ready to take courses that will demand lab hours as many BS degree programs involve several lab classes. 

These lab hours may be reproduced in other ways through virtual activities online if you complete your degree online, but the information and abilities you acquired in those laboratories will still be needed.

2. Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The BA typically emphasizes more topics from the humanities and human sciences while still including certain topics from the natural sciences. 

This degree’s potential majors include:

  • English
  • History
  • Communication
  • Human and Family Development
  • Education
  • Economics
  • Earth Science
  • Foreign Languages
  • Fashion Merchandising
  • Anthropology
  • Geology
  • Interior Design
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • Political Science
  • Sociology

You can obtain a BS or a BA at numerous colleges in fields like economics and a few scientific disciplines like geology.

The difference mainly stems from the demand for additional courses, with the BS typically requiring more math or science courses than the BA. 

However, there are situations when the distinction is related to the degree that the institution has decided to give.

For people who want to teach science at the elementary or secondary levels, a college or university might only offer a BA in Education and not a BS.

3. Bachelor Of Fine Arts (BFA)

If you wish to study fine arts, you should be aware that the BFA isn’t the most common bachelor’s degree conferred.

Among the different bachelor’s degrees available, a BFA can be a good fit for you if you’re creative and artistic, and a dedication to the production of art and aesthetics is demonstrated by a fine arts degree. 

The degree’s majors are as follows:

  • Creative Writing
  • Dance
  • Ceramics
  • Art 
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Graphic Design

To complete your degree in these majors, you typically need to submit a portfolio showcasing your overall work, because a BFA is very practical and frequently requires a foundation of natural skills before beginning.

If you can’t use a ruler to draw a straight line, you might not be suited for a BFA, but if you have a creative bent that has to be developed, a BFA program can certainly help.

Other Specialty Bachelor Degrees

Compared to the more well-known degrees, some universities prefer to label or name their degrees slightly differently.  

These degrees probably share many characteristics and criteria with a BS, BA, or BFA degree.

Some of these special degrees include:

  • Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.)
  • Bachelor of Engineering (B.Eng.)
  • Bachelor of Computer Science (BCS)
  • Bachelor of Social Work (BSW)
  • Bachelor of Nursing (BN)

Although there are other specialized degrees, these are more popular. If you earn a BN rather than a BS with a nursing concentration, it doesn’t mean it’s a better degree. 

The program’s reputation, accreditation, and course selection are the most important factors that will prepare you for your future professional field.

Although it’s not always the case, if a college or university offers one of these specialized degrees, it typically won’t also offer that major within a BA or BS. 

If your preferred institution or university offers both sorts of degrees for your major, carefully examine the differences to decide which degree is ideal for you.


What Is The Highest Degree Qualification?

The highest degree qualification awarded by universities is a Ph.D. 

Is A Ph.D. A Doctor?

A master’s degree is the prerequisite for earning a doctoral degree (Ph.D.) and you can use the title doctor if you have a Ph.D. 
After six to eight years of diligent effort after earning a bachelor’s degree, one can typically achieve a Ph.D.

What Is Degree Completion Certificate?

Degree certificates are something you learn in-depth about and comprehend the numerous aspects of specialization. 
A candidate who successfully completes the course’s fundamentals is awarded a certificate called a course completion certificate.

What Is The Conferral Date Meaning?

The conferral date is the date that your degree was formally recognized, as seen on your transcript.
By this date, all conditions must be fulfilled. 
Conferral dates are made public in the academic calendar of the university.

How Do You List A Pending Degree On A Resume?

You might take a simple route and just list your degree name, followed by your anticipated graduation date in parenthesis.
For example, a psychology student would type “Bachelor of Science in Psychology (Expected May 2027)”.

Do You Put Your Degree After Your Name?

If you have a degree, start by mentioning the highest degree you hold, such as a master’s degree, bachelor’s degree, or associate degree, right after your name. 

If you have many degrees, you might decide to only list the highest one since it frequently supersedes others.

What Is A Letter Of Graduation?

A letter of graduation includes the title of the program. year of graduation (completion term and conferral date), the length of the program, and a certificate obtained (diploma, advanced diploma, certificate, graduate certificate, degree).

What Is “Date Of Completion Of Degree”?

The day on which all requirements for the degree were satisfied is known as the date of degree completion.

What Does It Mean “Degree Awarded”?

A degree award is a credential offered by a university and recognized by the board.

What Type Of Degree Is A Bachelor’s Degree?

Students must complete four- or five-year programs in a particular academic discipline to earn a bachelor’s degree. 
Bachelor of Arts (BA) and Bachelor of Science (BS) degrees are the two most popular types of bachelor’s degrees (BS).


When your college or institution confers an undergraduate or graduate degree on you, it is known as having a conferred degree.

A conferred degree is also when you have obtained an honorary degree or you have finished all the academic requirements and administrative duties set forth by your college.  

A typical process can include speaking with your adviser or registrar, finishing your final course, and submitting the required documentation to conclude your program. 

Much later after you receive your transcript, you will receive your diploma, probably in the mail, along with your conferred degree.

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