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A diploma (from Greek δίπλωµα diploma) is a certificate or deed issued by an educational institution, such as a university, that testifies that the recipient has successfully completed a particular course of study, or confers an academic degree.

In some countries, such as the United Kingdom and Australia, such a document is called a testamur or testimonium, whilst in Ireland it is generally called a parchment.

Past Diploma Styles

Diplomas were originally made of sheepskin as paper was not very durable and was difficult to create. The sheepskin, however, was paper thin and information was handwritten. Soon, parchment was used for the diploma and at the turn of the century, the diploma became bound in leather.

Older diplomas used to be quite large, but more recently it has become common to print diplomas on standard letter size paper (8 1/2 inches x 11 inches).

As an academic award

For more detailed information about the German Diplom, see Diplom.
  • The International Baccalaureate Diploma is a pre-university qualification normally taken by students in the final two years of high school