Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Diploma Definition:

A certificate of completion of a college or university program of study.

Related Terms: School

In Valentine, the Supreme Court of Iowa defined a diploma as follows:

"The written or printed evidence endorsed by the proper authorities that the person named thereon has completed a prescribed course of study in the school or institution named therein."

Ballentine's Law Dictionary refers to an 1866 case from Alabama, Halliday v Butt, in defining a diploma as:

"An instrument, usually under seal, conferring some privilege, honor, or authority; now almost wholly restricted to certificates of degrees conferred by schools, universities and colleges."


  • Ballentine, James, Ballentine's Law Dictionary (Rochester: Lawyers Co-op. Publishing Co., 1969), page 349.
  • Halliday v. Butt, 40 Ala. 178 (1866)
  • Valentine v. Independent School District, 183 N.W. 434 (1921)

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