||Topic: Question about school system
| posted April 03, 1999 08:43 AM
Hello, this has nothing to do with Thief (well, but only at the
What are understandable words for the degrees in your school
system (speaking to the English and U.S.-people in this forum).
I would like equivalents for "Mittlere Reife", "Abitur",
"Vordiplom", "Diplom", "Promotion und Habilitation". I know
almost nothing about your US- or UK-Schoolsystem; and this stuff
with "highschools", "colleges", and so on irritate me very much. Any
help? Anyone able to give me some matching words?
After some hours searching in the web, and in the dictionaries, I
am only more irritated. Please help!
| posted April 03, 1999 10:23 AM
The US school system is standardized and varies little from state
students are required to register and start attending
by their sixth birthday. The system is divided into twelve grades,
each lasting nine months of classes and three months of summer
vacation. Prmary school is six grades, until the student is about
twelve, middle school is seventh and eighth grades, and high school
consists of the final four grades, which are called Freshman for 9,
sophomore for 10, junior for 11, and Senior for 12. After completing
twelve years, the student graduates, and receives a diploma, or
certificate of completion (which he may or may not be able to read).
If his grades are good enough, he may enter college at his own
expense, which is another four years of training in a specialized
field. I'll let the college boys explain graduate school, but
suffice it to say, if you desire to own one of the fine BMW
products, college is a must.
There are some variances in rules
and quality from state to state, but the entire public education
system is controlled by the Federal government, giving them the
opportunity to try out wacky social schemes and socialist programs
on the children.
Some folks teach their kids at home, which is
permitted in some areas, especially if the parents have religious
objections to the State curriculum, or if they want their kids to
learn something useful.
I'm sorry I cannot translate...my German
is limited to requests for einander Bier, Herr Ober, and various
I hope this helps you a bit, and I'm sure more
Thieves wil correct my mistakes.
The free are always in debt to the brave.
| posted April 03, 1999 10:42 AM
Infants: age four to seven.
also be combined and called primary. Labelled years one to six, each
year running from september to july.
You then move up to
secondary school, for age 12-16. (Years 7-11 (confusing, no?) At the
end of this you take GCSE's (General Qualification of Secondary
Education). You can then opt to stay on for two years and take
A(Advanced)-levels, S and AS levels. Or go to college and do the
same. Alternatively you could take NVQ's (National Vocational
Qualification) or GNVQ's General NVQ's.
From there you can go on
to univerisity and study for degrees and what not (haven't done it
so can't say exactly what.
Alternativly you could take a HNC,
which is (according to my careers advisor) degree equivalent (I
intend to do this in sep). This is done at college.
different in Scotland but I was educated in England so that's all I
If you're confused about any of it, let me know.
| posted April 03, 1999 10:48 AM
Okay, if I call the educational levels "No degree, High School,
College, Master's degree, University, PhD, Higher". Can this be
understood and can everyone find a match for his educational degree?
| posted April 03, 1999 10:52 AM
I think I see the equivalents. That should be okay.
| posted April 03, 1999 10:58 AM
Actually, in the USofA, that would be:
High School Diploma
College or University (the terms
are interchangable here)
Doctorate (BMWs &
| posted April 03, 1999 11:02 AM
Lol, shall I replace the words in the secret paperwork of mine,
| posted April 03, 1999 11:11 AM
The terms in the UK are:
Would that be better?
| posted April 03, 1999 11:13 AM
Please feel free to use my words in any way you see fit, hilfreich
| posted April 03, 1999 11:14 AM
Those categories do not match very well to what I intended. They
must be interpreted first: "I am visiting university and am working
on my diploma. Am I now higher educated, or only further?"
| posted April 03, 1999 11:19 AM
Then take away the 'none' and stick 'in' infront.
| posted April 03, 1999 11:21 AM
Depends, again, on US or UK. An American would say "I am in college
and working toward a degree" as a diploma is generally used to
denote a High School Education. The word 'college' may refer to
almost any scchool beyond High School, except Trade School, which
opens a whole new set of definitions.
[This message has been edited by Stonewall (edited April 03,
| posted April 03, 1999 11:30 AM
Lytha, you're in higher education but are qualified up to further.
| posted April 03, 1999 11:32 AM
Err, the categories make a sense, somehow, because you can try to
match it on your own educational system. But I am still unsure about
| posted April 03, 1999 11:39 AM
| posted April 03, 1999 11:41 AM
Oh well, I will think about it later. After doing the IQ-test, and
after our actual gaming. And then: Thief-CD in the 'puter and start
the game. Have not played it for too long.
| posted April 03, 1999 11:44 AM
Very sensible. Things always make more sense if you haven't been
thinking about them for ages
| posted April 03, 1999 11:46 AM
Oh well, but then come the questions afterwards. Questions like "if
your wrists have been broken, how did you write?"
| posted April 03, 1999 11:49 AM
If I come up with anything I'll let you know. And if you're
really lucky, some of the other forum members will come along and
| posted April 04, 1999 12:00 AM
Speaking as a professional graduate student:
Associate's Degree - This is a two-year university (as you
understand it - not as we use it) degree. It is very specialized and
generally amounts to technical training. It is rarely used these
Bachelor's Degree - This is generally a liberal arts
degree (either a B. Arts or a B. Science). It is a four-year
university degree that is intended to provide cultural literacy,
critical thinking, and communication skills. Generally about half of
the course work covers the broad liberal arts (math, science, social
science, literature, art), etc. The other half of the course work
gives a more intensive (although by no means specialized) survey of
a specific discipline. It is assumed that specific job training will
be provided by an employer.
Interestingly, Bachelor's degrees were never designed to be the
mainstay of the middle class work force. They were intended to
provide broad preparation for graduate/professional students and for
teachers. A number of factors have changed the expectations for the
degree, but not the general requirements.
The Bachelor's academic gown is black, with narrow sleeves and no
Master's Degree These fall into two categories:
professional and academic/research. In either case,
the Master's is a 1 & 1/2 to three year, highly specialized
The professional degrees (M.B.A., M.Div., M.S.W...) are all
intended to provide specialized job training (in the above examples:
for business people, clergy, and social workers - respectively).
They generally require an evaluated internship.
The academic degrees (M.A. and M.S.) are designed to allow
further research/training in a specific field of knowledge. They
generally require a research thesis - a relatively short but
very focused research paper.
The Master's gown is black, with wide sleeves and a narrow hood.
Doctorate - Here again the degrees fall into two
categories: professional and academic. The professional degrees are
primarily medical: M.D. or O.D. (human Physician), D.V.M.
(Veterinarian), Pharm.D. (Pharmacist), D.O. (Optometrist), D.C.
(Chiropractor), J.D. (Attorney), D.Min. (Clergy). With the exception
of the J.D. and the D.Min., these are all four year, university
programs. Admission generally requires a Bachelor's Degree
with exceptional grades and test scores. The J.D. requires 3 years
(and the absence of a soul). The D.Min. only requires one year, but
it also requires an M.Div. (which is a three-year Master's degree).
The other category of doctorate, the academic/research, is almost
always awarded as a Ph.D. If the person concentrates specifically in
education, they may receive an Ed.D. (which differs only from the
Ph.D. in the (sad) absence of a language requirement. If the degree
is received from a seminary, it might be a Th.D.
Any research doctorate generally assumes a Bachelor's degree and
a Master's degree. Beyond that, the candidate is expected to do 2-3
more years of coursework in their discipline. At this point, they
take comprehensive exams in their field as well as reading exams in
two (or more) foreign languages (the Ph.D. in Religion at Emory
requires 5!). If they pass these exams they are admitted to
candidacy, at which point they are expected to complete a
dissertation. The dissertation is an extremely focused research
project which is summarized in monograph (book) form. If the
dissertation is satisfactory, the Ph.D. is awarded.
Despite popular perception otherwise, research doctoral programs
are generally far more competitive than professional ones. (We need
far more physicians than we do professors.) I know of cases where
there will be 350 applicants for 12 Ph.D. slots.
The doctoral gown has three horizontal stripes on each sleeve,
velvet lining along the front, and a wide hood.
I hope this is sufficient. If not, I can ramble on even more on
this topic (or any other for that matter ).
[This message has been edited by cjoshuav (edited April 04,
[This message has been edited by cjoshuav (edited April 12,
| posted April 05, 1999 04:36 AM
Thank you, Joshua! I will save this thread for future reference.
Those who ha' w' Garrett bled
| posted April 05, 1999 08:18 AM
Lytha, if you were looking for a term for someone at university who
is still studying for a degree, the word Undergraduate fits well.
(Then you go on to be a Graduate, when you complete, and a
Postgraduate if you continue in higher education).
If you continue in the Unversity after a Ph.D, you become a
This is in the UK.
There is room for confusion between the US
and UK in the different meaning of "College", in the States (it
seems to me) that it means Univeristy, whereas here it is where you
go before university (17-18 yr olds)
| posted April 08, 1999 12:58 AM
I don't think anyone will mind if I officially dub this to be, by
far, the remotest tangent this forum has ever floated off on. Bravo!
"History is philosophy teaching by
-Thucydides, admittedly a dusty old Greek historian
| posted April 08, 1999 11:47 PM
Thanks Kyloe. It's nice to be a reference. I actually saved what I
typed as well, since I answer that question frequently aloud; but
rarely have to do it in writing.
| posted April 09, 1999 12:28 AM
Ah, how I do enjoy going off on a good tangent. Just thought I'd
clarify the difference between college and university here in the
A college is an institution of higher learning (higher learning =
post high-school) which is devoted to a particular discipline. For
instance, a business college, a liberal arts college, a law college,
A university is a collection of two or more colleges which
functions as a single academic institution and which is presided
over by a single president. Each college within the university still
has its own dean, staff, and various divisions. Colleges are like
states and the university staff is like the Federal government.
For instance, here at San Diego State University we have colleges
of Business Administration, Professional Studies and Fine Arts, Arts
and Letters, Engineering, etc. Each individual college has its own
rules in addition to the university rules which bind everyone.
In colloquial usage, we say we are "attending college" whether we
are at a college or university. The distinction is, well, er,
academic. Pun intended.
Futher complicating this mess of terminology is the "community
college", or "junior college" (commonly called a J.C.). These
colleges have no admission requirements other than a high-school
diploma, and are generally very inexpensive. They offer various
programs of study which lead to two year degrees (Associate's
Degrees) and another type which wasn't mentioned: the Professional
Certificate. A certificate is a specific program of study for
certain occupations such as Typist, Transcriptionist, Therapist,
etc. Note that a J.C. CANNOT award a degree higher than Associate's.
Hope that helps, if not, oh well... Also, if you already knew
this, sorry for insulting your intelligence. It seems so perfectly
clear to me, since I live here. Kind of like explaining what a
| posted April 09, 1999 04:00 AM
It's all quite different here in Oz, we have Junior School and
Senior School as years 1-6 and 7-12 respectively, then on to
University, which is pretty much like a US Uni. A big difference is
our Colleges. These are actually attached to the uni's and are
actually residential places, like "staying on campus" in the US.
Most of the colleges here are about as old as the uni's they are
| posted April 09, 1999 04:35 AM
Oh, our universities are like that too. Usually, you decide to build
a university in a particular spot and then you add buildings and
call them "colleges". The dorms are shared for all the colleges on
Our school is kind of unusual in that it started out as a state
teacher's college. Later, the state of California built a bunch more
colleges around it and gave it University status.
| posted April 09, 1999 10:05 AM
Just to clarify the response by cjoshuav. I assume the detail regard
the system here in the uk, if not please forgive me.
Typically Bachelors degrees are 3 years in duration and can be
expanded to four through a sandwhich year (between academic years
two and three) that involves a year in industry. They are the most
common type of degree and cover everything from arts, through
humanities, science, engineering, etc.
Between Masters and Doctorate levels there is the MPhil. A 1 or 2
year version of a doctorate but of lesser scope.
An academic doctorate has a duration of 3 years but only
typically due to the way the funding works. A doctorate can be
completed in more-or-less any time scale depending on how hard the
student works. I have known PhDs completed in less than 2 years and
more than 7. An academic doctorate can be completed in two ways. The
most common is a period of research into a specialist field and the
completion of a thesis. The thesis has little formal requirement bar
that it must show evidence of furthering the field of study (i.e
originality). In conjunction the degree is awarded after a
successful defence of the thesis through a viva voce (oral
examination) where the student is subjected to a panel examination
on the content of their thesis.
The second method of obtaining an academic doctorate is to submit
a compilation of work (published papers etc) and possibly a viva
(not sure?). This method is for academic staff who are involved in
research but not directly for a PhD and who can submit evidence of
PhD standard research through their published works.
In my experience there are no exams or language requirements for
a PhD but this will vary between establishments. Also the gown
specifications will vary for example ours (Loughborough University,
Bachelors: Black gown, purple hood trimmed with the colour
corresponding to the appropriate school (science, engineering etc.)
mortarboard (carried only).
Masters: As above but with extra edging on the hood and can wear
Doctors of Philosophy: Purple gown, purple hood lined and edged
in maroon, black bonnet with maroon cord and tassels.
There are others..
| posted April 10, 1999 03:56 PM
The least amount of time that anyone I know has spent on a Ph.D.
over here was four years. The course work alone is usually two to
three years; and a person would have to work with astounding speed
to complete the dissertation in less than two years.
Ph.D. dissertations are defended orally before a committee over
here as well. It is not generally considered a pleasant process.
Our academic regalia was standardied quite a while ago. The gowns
are the same for all institutions (with the exception of Harvard).
The colors of the hood lining for the Master and Doctoral degrees ae
determined by the institution's color and the discipline of the
| posted April 11, 1999 10:03 AM
I don't think anybody has mentioned Kindergarden, which usually
lasts one year before beginning first grade. Required education is
usually described as K-12.
There are also numerous "Pre-School" schools that handle even
The only regional variation I can think of for K-12 is whether or
not there is a Middle School (6-8th grades) or a Junior High (7-9th
grades). This impacts the number of grades in High School, but not
However, High School Diplomas' have become so de-valued that
having that as your top level of education get's you almost no
respect. You can get even less respect by getting a Graduate
Equivelency Diploma [GED] which is equal to a high school diploma
only in theory.
Getting at minimum some sort of 2 year certification after high
school is now almost a requirement for getting a non-menial job.
Though some High School systems are trying to toughen their
requirements back up to something meaningful.
---Edited for spelling sigh.... You never realize how much
you use a spell checker until you hit a baord with out one.
[This message has been edited by LondoMollari (edited April 11,
| posted April 11, 1999 12:18 PM
In the UK, you are strongly "encouraged" to complete your thesis
within three years of starting, though few people do. A lot of
places won't let you submit if you take longer than for years (from
starting) to complete. Research is completed within 2.5 years after
which (usually) you are not allowed back into the lab. Then you
spend upto a year and a half (though usually less) writing up.
There must be differences between UK and US thesis to explain the
different times (in UK has to be less that 80,000 words, that is all
| posted April 12, 1999 01:13 AM
The big difference is the coursework. For a Ph.D. in the U.S. you
are expected to actually sit in class for about 15 hours a week and
do related research/writing (for those classes) for an additional
~20 hours a week. You do not begin doing the actual research for the
dissertation until after your first two (sometimes three)
years. My guess is that the coursework requirements are intended to
balance out the fact that our bachelor's programs are much less
focused and our Master's programs are generally shorter than in the
| posted April 12, 1999 05:23 AM
On April 10 at 03:56 pm cjoshuav wrote:
> Ph.D. dissertations are defended orally before a committee
over here as well.
>It is not generally considered a pleasant
It most definately isnt!
The coursework issue is one that is on the increase in the UK. A
PhD student is required to take a number of undergraduate modules to
broaden their knowledge unless they can prove that through doing a
Masters they have already met such requirements.
As for duration I think the norm is to spend three years doing
research and then x years doing the write up. X being anything from
1 to 4 years depending on whether the person in question devotes all
their time to writing up or whether they have to do it in their
spare time after work. Typically those doing more applied subjects
will take longer as there are external factors such as working with
companies that always takes a long time regardless of how hard you
work. Whereas pure subjects can just be beaten to death by boffins
in their little offices The person I know
who completed in 2 years was doing mathematics, and just lived it.
| posted April 12, 1999 07:29 AM
I want to thank you all for your explanations and suggestions.