Licenciado

Licenciado is a title given to anyone with a college degree. It can be used vocatively: Disculpe, licenciado; or indirectly: hablé con el licenciado, I talked with the licenciado, the person here who has a college degree. — Con Licenciado Hernández, por favor. Could I please speak with Mr. Hernandez? (on the phone)

Note that licenciado is frequently used with ser rather than tener: Es licenciado, nada más. He doesn’t have a masters. Use en to specify the field of study, the so-called carrera: Es licenciado en sicología. He has a bachelors in sociology.

The abbreviation is Lic, pronounced the English word leak. Hola, mi lic, Hey, licenciado (humorous).

Some professions have more specific titles that should be used in place of licenciado: Ingeniero (Inge for short); Arquitecto.

Licenciatura

The associated noun is licenciatura, undergraduate degree.

  • Estudio la licenciatura en mercodotécnia. I’m getting my bachelors degree in marketing.
  • Terminé mi licenciatura hace dos años. I graduated (from college) two years ago.
  • Casi termino mi licenciatura. Solo falta un año. I’ll graduate in a year.
  • — ¿Qué licenciatura estudiabas? What was your major (before you ended up dropping out) — En comercio internacional. International Business.

Maestría and Doctorado are used similarly. La maestría de Joshua es en Administración de Empresas. Joshua has an MBA. Graduate studies are estudios posgrados. Voy a estudiar un posgrado en el extranjero. I’m going to study a masters or Ph.D. overseas.

Profesionista

Whatever your major area of study or employment status, once you have a college degree you will always be considered a profesionista, a professional.