I'm from Venezuela, and of course I got all my education in that country. I need help with converting degree titles into their US/UK equivalents.

For example, in the US/UK you have the B.Sc. grade, and I understand it goes after high school (if I'm correct). Here, Bachelor means graduated from high school.

When you go to university, here we can become technicians (3 years post school), or get a "long scholarship title" (up to 7 years) like engineer, lawyer or surgeon.

After that you can get up to 3 different grades: Specialist (???), Magister (Master) and Doctor (PhD) (2 years each, and all require to do a thesis) or just get a Diploma (a short (1 year or less) course, without thesis).

What is the equivalent of the Specialist title in the US/UK?

I did specialization; I'm more than an engineer, but not a Master. What title should I add if I translate it into English nomenclature?

Thanks in advance for your answers :)

PS: I did the post-degree on informatic

  • 1
    I think there is a reasonable question in here asking about how academic progression works in the US and UK, but I would suggest focusing on only one country. Asking about a general mapping from one country to another, however, is not a good question since in general the answer is don't convert titles (or grades).
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 18:57

2 Answers 2


The US is not a particularly heavy user of formal titles, especially compared to, for example, Germany. Broadly speaking, education goes like this:

  • High school diploma (year 12, or about age 18)
  • Technical school, trade school, associates degree (HS +2 years)
  • Bachelor of Arts/Science (HS +4 years, a typical undergraduate degree)
  • Master of Arts/Science (BA/BS +2 years)
  • Juris Doctorate (BA/BS +3 years, law school)
  • PhD (BA/BS +4-8 years, depending on field)
  • MD (BA/BS +4 years, medical school, not including residency)

There are more, but these are some common ones. However, very few of these translate into an actual title that someone would put before (or after) their name. Generally just medical school and PhD, I think. Although for specific use within your field, for example on a business card, you can get into all sorts of initials for niche things, like certifications.

Engineer is a big one that gets confusing, having spent some time in central Europe where "engineer" is a designation for anyone who has studied a technical subject beyond undergrad. In the US, an engineer is someone who studied engineering, and nothing more. Americans who don't have contact with foreign institutions and individuals would be quite confused at someone calling themselves a "Specialist" or "Magister", as well, since we have no commonly-used equivalent.

A lot of how you handle this will depend on your audience. Just because "most" Americans won't be familiar with the myriad of possible titles/levels of education doesn't mean the one you want to communicate with isn't. But very broadly speaking, anything after your undergraduate studies that isn't a PhD, MD or JD, should probably just be referred to as graduate school or a masters.

  • 2
    I am not sure "year 12" means much to someone not familiar with US education. It might be better to label it as "typically age 18" or something like that. Also law school in the US leads to a JD degree (which is not terminal in the way of the PhD or MD) and is typically 3 years.
    – StrongBad
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 19:17
  • @StrongBad You're right, I edited those in. There's also graduate schooling beyond both JD and MD too, I know, but it seemed unnecessary to keep going.
    – Jeff
    Commented Dec 2, 2016 at 19:20

There is an actual specialist degree in the US called Specialist degree

however you may also refere it as a postgraduate study in a particular area

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