A bachelor's degree (also baccalaureate, from Modern Latin baccalaureatus) is usually earned for an undergraduate course of study that normally requires three to five years of study (depending on institution and field of study). In some cases, it may also be the name of a second graduate degree, such as a bachelor of laws (LL.B.), bachelor of education (B.Ed.), bachelor of civil law, the bachelor of music, the bachelor of philosophy, or the bachelor of sacred theology degrees, which in some countries are only offered after a first graduate/bachelor's degree. The term bachelor (Middle Latin baccalarius) in the 14th century referred to a young squire in training; and, by the end of the 13th century, it was also used by junior members of guilds or universities. By folk etymology or wordplay, the word baccalaureus came to be associated with bacca lauri ("laurel berry") in reference to laurels being awarded for academic success or honours. Under the British system, and those influenced by it, undergraduate degrees are differentiated either as pass degrees (also known in some areas as ordinary degrees) or as honours degrees, the latter sometimes denoted by the appearance of "(Hons)" after the degree abbreviation. An honours degree generally requires a higher academic standard than a pass degree, and in some universities a fourth year of study. In some countries, e.g., Australia and Canada, the honours degree should not be confused with the "postgraduate" bachelor's degree "with honours" or the baccalaureatus cum honore degree. It is a consecutive academic degree, which is the continuation of a completed (honours) bachelor's degree program in the same field and is usually obtained in order to join a PhD programme; it requires a minimum of one year, but may also take longer.
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