Thai Higher Education System
Thai Higher education is divided into three levels, i.e. lower than bachelor’s degree level, bachelor’s degree level, and graduate level.
Lower than bachelor’s degree level
• Associate Degree and Diploma
Associate Degree program is designed to develop both the knowledge and skills for employment in an administrative or para-professional field, and the foundation of theoretical knowledge and research that provides the basis of further studies leading to a Bachelor degree. Applicants for this level of study must complete upper secondary education or equivalent. A two-year Associate degree which offered by Rajabhat universities requires a minimum of 60 credits, and a three-year program requires a minimum of 90 credits. In addition, Community colleges offers study program leading to associate degree with a minimum of 84 credits.
Bachelor’s Degree level
Bachelor’s Degree studies require four years of full-time study in most courses with a minimum of 120 credits, with the exception of some academic disciplines, e.g. Architecture, five years with a minimum of 150 credits; Medicine, Dentistry, Veterinary Medicine, and Pharmacy, six years with a minimum of 180 credits. Programs are structured in groups of general education studies in Sciences, Liberal Arts, and Social Sciences relevant to the course’s discipline and Philosophy. Specialized studies in theoretical and advanced subjects are the core group, with a number of selective subjects. To obtain the Bachelor’s Degree, students must obtain at least 2.0 average grade point.
In addition, continuing undergraduate programs require a minimum of 72 credits. Applicant for continuing undergraduate programs must obtain higher vocational education certificate or equivalent or associate degree complete upper secondary education or equivalent for a five or six year program.
• Master’s Degree
Further post-graduate studies for a Master’s Degree require a minimum of two years’ further study with a minimum of 36 credits. Students with graduate grade points average 2.5 and above may choose to enter the Master’s program of direct or related disciplines. Program modules comprise advanced course work and research. Liberal Arts and Social Science programs offer an alternative of comprehensive study and examination in place of a thesis, whereas all Science and Applied Science programs require a research thesis. To obtain the Master’s Degree, students must obtain at least 3.0 average grade point.
• Higher Graduate Diploma
A higher graduate diploma is an advanced professional qualification provided in a limited number of specialized fields that required professional studies between the levels of master and doctor. It is used primarily in medicine and related studies. Students must have completed a Master degree or equivalent prior to admission and the program requires a minimum of 24 credits with a maximum of 3 academic years of study.
• Doctoral Degree
The doctoral degree represents the highest level of post graduate study. Applicants must either complete their bachelor degree program with excellent study record or master degree or equivalent. Studies for a Doctorate normally requires on average 3-years of intensive research and knowledge acquisition. A doctoral thesis is expected to contribute to the highest level of academic advancement in the discipline. Students are also expected to produce study reports and give academic seminars during the course. Applicants for this level of study holding Masters has to earn at least 48 credits to complete degree. Applicants holding Bachelor has to earn at least 72 credits to complete degree.