Types of diploma's

In Iranian higher education, students can get the following diplomas:

Please note: unlike Dutch higher education, higher education in Iran is not divided into HBO and WO. Iranian higher education institutions can offer both types of education. This means that we often check each diploma to see whether it is HBO or WO.

Associate degree

In Iran, an associate degree programme can be theory-oriented or profession-oriented. The Technical and Vocational University (TVU) only offers profession-oriented associate degrees, while other educational institutions can offer both types.

We compare an associate degree / کاردانی to an associate degree or 2 years of HBO.

Bachelor

There are 2 ways to get a bachelor's degree in Iran:

  • via de bachelor's (continuous) programme; or
  • via de bachelor's (discontinuous) programme.

In both cases, students receive a bachelor / کارشناسی if they pass. The bachelor’s degrees do not differ in level.

Bachelor (continuous) programme

Students can start a bachelor’s (continuous) programme after secondary school. But they must have taken the right subject combination and passed the entrance exam.

  • Duration: 4 years, sometimes 5 years.
  • Study load:
    • at least 130 credits for 4-year programmes;
    • at least 180 credits for 5-year programmes.
  • Content: usually a lot of general education subjects in the 1st year and then subjects for the field of study. The field of study is profession-oriented or research-oriented. Sometimes, students do an internship. Usually, they do not write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements:
  • Function of the diploma: access to master's programmes and work.
  • Diploma: bachelor / کارشناسی. This is pronounced kârshenâsî in Farsi. Sometimes, it is followed by 'continuous' / پیوسته or another translation, such as ‘integrated’ of ‘consecutive’.

We compare a bachelor / کارشناسی to an HBO bachelor's degree or to 2 years of WO. This depends on the content of the study programme.

Bachelor's (discontinuous) programme

Students who have an associate degree can start a bachelor’s (discontinuous) programme. Since they have already completed 2 years of higher education, they only need to complete the last 2 years of a bachelor's programme in the same field of study.

  • Duration: 2 years (after an associate degree).
  • Content: mostly profession-oriented subjects. Sometimes, students do an internship. They do not usually write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements: an associate degree.
  • Function of the diploma: access to master’s programmes and work.
  • Diploma: bachelor / کارشناسی. This is pronounced kârshenâsî in Farsi. Usually, it is followed by ‘discontinuous / ناپیوسته or another translation, such as ‘non-continuous’ of ‘non-integrated’.

We compare a bachelor / کارشناسی to an HBO bachelor's degree or to 2 years of WO. This depends on the content of the study programme.

Professional doctorate

To get a Professional doctorate, students have to complete study programmes in dental surgery, medicine, veterinary medicine or pharmacy.

  • Duration: 5 to 7 years.
  • Study load:
    • 5-year programme: at least 180 credits;
    • 6-year programme: 210 credits;
    • 7-year programme: 290 credits.
  • Content: theoretical subjects and practice-oriented subjects. Students do 1 or more internships. Sometimes, they write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements:
  • Function of the diploma: work as a dentist, doctor, veterinarian or pharmacist.
  • Diploma: Professional doctorate / دکتری حرفه ای in + field of study; for example, Professional doctorate in Medicine. Sometimes, you will see 'General Doctorate' or just 'Doctorate'.

The level of a Professional doctorate / دکتری حرفه ای varies. Please contact us for a credential evaluation.

Master

There are 2 ways to get a master's degree in Iran:

  • via the master’s (discontinuous) programme;
  • via the master’s (continuous) programme.

In both cases, students receive a master /کارشناسی ارشد if they pass. The master’s degrees do not differ in level.

Master's (discontinuous) programme

Most students get a master's degree via the master’s (discontinuous) programme. They can start with this programme after they have obtained a bachelor's degree.

  • Duration: 2 years.
  • Study load: 28-40 credits.
  • Content: research-oriented education. Students usually write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements: a bachelor and sometimes extra requirements, such as certain grades or an entrance exam.
  • Function of the diploma: access to a doctoral programme (PhD) or work.
  • Diploma: master / کارشناسی ارشد. This is pronounced kârshenâsî Arshad in Farsi. Usually, it is followed by ‘discontinuous/ ناپیوسته or another translation, such as 'non-continuous'.

We compare a master / کارشناسی ارشد to a 1-year WO master.

Master's (continuous) programme

The master’s (continuous) programme is a bachelor’s and master’s programme combined into 1 programme of 6 years.

  • Duration: 6 years.
  • Content: often a study programme in the field of architecture. The programme consists of 2 phases:
    • the 1st phase lasts 4 years. In the beginning, students mainly follow general education subjects and gradually more subjects in the field of study.
    • the 2nd phase lasts 2 years and consists mainly of research-oriented education. Students usually write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements:
  • Function of the diploma: access to a doctoral programme (PhD) or work.
  • Diploma: master / کارشناسی ارشد. This is pronounced kârshenâsî Arshad in Farsi.Usually, it is followed by ‘continuous’ / کارشناسی ارشد پیوسته or another translation, such as ‘integrated’.

We compare a master / کارشناسی ارشد to a 1-year WO master.

Doctorate (PhD)

  • Duration: 3-6 years.
  • Content: students first follow theoretical subjects. Then they have to take an exam. If they pass, they are allowed to do research and write a thesis.
  • Admission requirements: a master and extra requirements, such as certain grades or an entrance exam.
  • Diploma: Doctorate (PhD) / دکتری.