What is a Licentiate?

Here is a question that some people have asked me over the years:


What kind of degree is a licentiate*?



In Spain — my country of origin — a licentiate (licenciatura) is a university degree that is only a level below doctoral studies (doctorado).


For instance, my licentiate in Translation and Interpreting from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona comprised 300 credits.


Today, however, I would need to complete a bachelor’s degree (240 credits) and a master’s degree (60 credits) to achieve the same academic level since licentiates are no longer available.


Licentiates were replaced after 2010 by bachelor’s degrees (grados) and master’s degrees (másteres) due to the implementation of the Bologna Declaration on the European Higher Education Area.


In 2014, Spanish law (i.e., Real Decreto 967/2014 de 21 de noviembre) established the official equivalences between the Spanish pre-Bologna titles and the European Qualifications Framework levels.


Therefore, a licentiate is equivalent to a master’s degree!


That is why I sometimes like to clarify it by writing something like, “I have a licentiate (= master’s degree) in Translation and Interpreting.”


Have you ever had trouble getting your degree(s) recognized?


*NOTES:

  • My licentiate states my former name, which follows Spanish naming customs — a given name (simple or composite) and two surnames (the first surname of each parent).

  • Yet, because I became a US citizen, my legal name now follows US naming customs — first name, middle name, and last name (Antoni Chaim Maroto).

  • Chaim is one of my Hebrew names (Jewish people like me are given Hebrew names), and I made it part of my legal name when I naturalized as an American citizen in December 2019.

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