Diploma Programs

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A diploma program is a regular period course that, upon completion, offers a diploma instead of a degree or certificate. It is equivalent to a degree and is widely accepted. They are a series of classes that focus on theory and practice in a particular area simultaneously, which spans a smaller syllabus than a degree program. Diploma programs differ from degree programs in that the former concentrates more on practical aspects like real-time case studies and discussions. The most common form of diploma programs in the United States is the high school diploma, where the student is awarded a diploma certificate in place of a high school degree.


Diploma programs are practice-oriented and help you acquire more skills during the course. They are of a shorter duration than degree programs, ranging from two weeks to a year, depending on the topic and mode of learning of the program. They help you gain work experience while learning, as part of hands-on training. They are faster and less expensive than degree programs and emphasize more on lesser admission requirements. They provide a good networking experience with professionals from other countries. Flexibility, convenience, and great job opportunities are other advantages of a diploma program.


Depending on the school and the curriculum, the cost of a course varies from $3,000 to $12,000 or more annually. The fees are dependent not on the duration of the course, but on the number of hours in a term. Home schooling may or may not impose an examination fee for the final exam, depending on the state in which you live.


Most schools offer degree and diploma programs with the latter being relatively less expensive. The factors that are to be taken into consideration while selecting a school include the availability of the desired course, number of credit hours, tuition fees, internship options, accreditation and reputation of the school, and faculty. Auxiliary factors include living expenses, flexibility of classes, and support services offered by the school. Some of the schools and colleges that offer diploma programs in various fields include Strayer University, Brookline College, and Penn Foster Career School.

Testing & Preparation

Most schools that offer the high school diploma program require transcripts and certificates from your high school, while some schools may ask you to take an admission test. Talent exams and Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) may also be necessary for gaining admission in prestigious schools. Almost all schools require the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) score, while some schools may insist on more advanced English exams. Other requirements may be basic knowledge of a specific field and even some work experience.

Financial Aid

Financial assistance is available for diploma programs in the form of scholarships and loans. Some schools may also have grants, along with easy payment plans, which facilitate the student. Some schools like the MUST University, Mannes College, and Tyndale University College and Seminary offer financial students pursuing diploma programs.

Last Updated: January 12, 2012
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