Definition of baccalaureate in English:



  • 1An examination intended to qualify successful candidates for higher education.

    • ‘Pupils taking a science baccalaureate would be obliged to study a foreign language and those studying the arts version would have to include basic maths and science.’
    • ‘The Harrogate and Knaresborough MP said the new baccalaureate should allow higher rewards for pupils taking subjects like maths.’
    • ‘To earn a high school diploma, students must take an exam called a baccalaureate.’
    • ‘His assiduous devotion to watersports is evidently not matched by an equal hunger for knowledge - he failed his baccalaureate last year.’
    • ‘Marie-Louise took the baccalaureate in elementary mathematics and at this stage encountered a particularly good piece of luck.’
    • ‘Brigitte travelled to Paris for his final year of schooling, living here with his aunt, but did not sit the baccalaureate.’
  • 2A university bachelor's degree:

    [as modifier] ‘baccalaureate degrees’
    • ‘During a lifetime, the gap in earnings potential between a high school diploma and a baccalaureate degree is more than $1 million.’
    • ‘Students graduating from baccalaureate programs are rarely expected to be seasoned experts in the competencies of their chosen field.’
    • ‘As the national and state economies move from the industrial to the information age, the need for individuals with baccalaureates is increasing.’
    • ‘Thus, a state's master plan for public higher education typically supports two-year colleges as the initial step in may students' pathways to the baccalaureate.’
    • ‘While in Lyon he continued his education, receiving his baccalaureate in philosophy in June 1941.’
    • ‘The university could be offering a four-year baccalaureate degree program in midwifery through the faculty of nursing as early as September.’
    • ‘Many students who begin their journey toward the baccalaureate at a community college must weave their way through a tangled web to make the transition to a four-year institution.’
    • ‘My name is Joyce and I am a registered nurse with a baccalaureate in the science of nursing.’
    • ‘Recently, St. George's University began offering baccalaureate degree programs at its school of arts and sciences.’
    • ‘The consortium discovered that less than 50 percent of students followed a traditional path to the baccalaureate degree.’
    • ‘Students would take the first two years of an undergraduate degree at the two-year college and transfer to a four-year institution to complete the baccalaureate.’
    • ‘His baccalaureate and doctoral degrees are from the University of Pennsylvania.’
    • ‘He attended school in his home town and obtained his baccalaureate in 1881 at the age of seventeen.’
    • ‘The American Association of Colleges of Nursing reports that of students enrolled in baccalaureate nursing programs in 2002, 9.6% were men.’
    • ‘Yet recent studies addressing baccalaureate attainment among students at two-year and four-year institutions have consistently found a substantial difference between the two groups of students.’
    • ‘Sailors with a baccalaureate degree or higher are eligible to begin the teaching certification process to become an academic subject teacher.’
    • ‘Many colleges, including my current institution, require an intensive service project for completion of the baccalaureate degree.’
    • ‘Most respondents had a baccalaureate degree or higher.’
    • ‘Respondents were predominately women, were educated at the baccalaureate level, and had a mean of 9.24 years of nursing experience.’
    • ‘I have 28 years of experience in nursing education at the diploma, associate, baccalaureate, and graduate levels.’
  • 3US A religious service held at some educational institutions before commencement, including a farewell sermon to the graduating students.

    • ‘But when I got there on a recent Sunday morning, I learned that it wasn't so much a graduation as a baccalaureate, which is some sort of religious ceremony.’


Mid 17th century (in baccalaureate): from French baccalauréat or medieval Latin baccalaureatus, from baccalaureus bachelor. The earlier form baccalarius was altered by wordplay to conform with bacca lauri laurel berry, because of the laurels awarded to scholars. baccalaureate dates from 1970.