Difference between Course and Program

In each country, when someone starts university they come across several terms that they must handle; Depending on the country, these terms may or may not be used in the same way and that is why it is not uncommon that they are sometimes even confused. Difference between Course and Program

As we know that it is important for you to be aware of everything, this time we explain about two terms widely used on the university campus and that have to do with classes and grades; we are referring to the concepts of course and program.

If you do not know what the difference is between program and course, continue reading because we will clarify it for you below.

COURSE  Difference between Course and Program

If you look up the definition of “course” in a dictionary you will probably find that it is “a path or path”, however, when you hear this word in college you have to know that it is used with a different connotation.

For most universities (especially in the United States and Canada) the courses are classes that are taken throughout a semester or an academic term.

When students complete a course they generally get a grade. Some courses (usually most) are required for graduation and a bachelor’s or degree.


On the other hand, a program is another term that is used and relates to certain degrees that can be achieved. In most cases, the programs are characterized by being more intensive than the courses; in addition, its durability is usually greater.

Another element that differentiates a program from a course is that at the end of the first one, not only a qualification is obtained, but also a certificate.

To better understand the differences between one thing and the other, note the following examples: Philosophy 011 could be a course (what some call subject or subject) of your career, but something like “Philosophy of Cultural Representations” could well be A program.

Key differences between course and program

  1. At the end of a course a qualification is obtained, while at the end of a program a certificate is obtained.
  2. Courses last less time than a program. The latter can last up to 3 and 4 years.

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