For you to begin working or practicing in a given profession that requires licensing or somehow related to government, a level of professional skill beyond that normally required for a baccalaureate degree. A first professional degree adds something to the professional proficiency of a student and helps to expand their ability to function within a given field.

What is a First-professional degree?

First-professional degrees are academic degrees that are typically required in order to begin practicing a particular profession. These are degrees program often associated with a field or profession that is regulated directly or indirectly by the government.

A First professional degree is pursued after a student has obtained an undergraduate degree and has a good understanding of both theory and analysis as they relate to the field; previously completed specified undergraduate coursework and/or degrees before enrolling.

Thus, first professional degrees are associated with any profession that requires a government agency to grant a license beyond obtaining baccalaureate and educational credentials. The exact time of completion and requirements for these first professional degrees can vary depending on the specific profession and the institution awarding the degree.


Examples of First-Professional Degrees in the US

  1. Architecture (BA(Arch), B.Arch, M.Arch)
  2. Audiology (BSc, AuD, or MS)
  3. Biotechnology (BSc, BS, or ALM)
  4. Business Administration (BBA, MBA)
  5. Chiropractor (DC, DCM, BChiro, or MChiro)
  6. Dentistry (DMD, BDent, DDS, BDS, BDSc, BChD, CD, Cand.Odont., Dr.Med.Dent. etc)
  7. Divinity / Ministry (BD, STB, BDiv, MMin, MDiv, STL)
  8. Education (BEd, BA, BME, BSE,BSocSc, BSc)
  9. Engineering (BE, BEng, BSE, BSc, BASc, or BAI)
  10. Fine Arts (MFA, BFA)
  11. Health Administration (MHA)
  12. Information Science (MSIS, (MISM)
  13. Landscape Architecture (BLA LArch), (MLA LArch)
  14. Law (LLB, JD, or BCL)
  15. Library science (MLIS, MLS)
  16. Medicine (MD)
  17. Naprapath (DN)
  18. Naturopathic Medicine / Naturopathy (ND)
  19. Naturopath (ND, NMD, BSc)
  20. Nurse (BSN, BSc)
  21. Optometry (OD, B.Optom)
  22. Oriental Medicine (BSc, MSOM, MSTOM, or DOM)
  23. Osteopath (BOst, BOstMed, BSc(Osteo))
  24. Pharmacy (PharmD [USA], PharmD or BS / BPharm [Canada])
  25. Physical therapy (BSPT, MSPT, DPT, or DPhysio)
  26. Physician or Surgeon: (MD, MBBS, MDCM, MBChB, BMed,, Dr.MuD,, etc) or D.O. degree.
  27. Podiatry (DPM, DP, BPod, PodB, or PodD)
  28. Psychology (PhD, PsyD, or ClinPsyD)
  29. Rabbinical Studies (MHL / Rav)
  30. Social work (BA, BSc, BSW, MA, MSc, or MSW)
  31. Speech Pathology (MS)
  32. Veterinary Medicine (DVM)

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