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Different Types of Courses That You Can Take in the Philippines

For most incoming students, especially those that are about to step into college for the first time, their journey starts with choosing the course they will be taking in the next few weeks, months, or years.

There are different types of courses that you can take here in the Philippines. But before we go into those courses, let’s define what courses are first.

In the Philippines, the word “course” is often used by the general public to refer to a “program of study” that you can complete in a certain amount of time in order to get a degree. Examples of this are Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy, Bachelor of Fine Arts, and Bachelor of Science and Accountancy to name a few. The same goes with other countries and territories such as Australia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.

By contrast, the term “course” is used in Canada and the United States to refer to a “unit of teaching” that belongs to a broader program of study, much like what we call “subjects” in the Philippines. Some examples of these are Programming Language for Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Introduction to Biotechnology for Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and Editorial Management for Bachelor of Arts in Journalism.Β Of course, you can always say that the difference is only a matter of preference, but it does give things a bit of a different meaning.

For example, in the Philippines, courses or programs can be divided into two categories: degree programs and certificate programs.

What’s the difference between the two? Below is a quick overview.

Degree Programs

Degree programs are programs of study that are geared towards granting you a degree in exchange for completing a specified number of subjects which you can then use to get a job or pursue higher learning. Degree programs in the country are often divided into three sub-categories: associate degrees, undergraduate degrees, and post-graduate degrees.

Certificate Programs

Certificate Programs are short courses, like TESDA courses, that may take you anywhere from several days to several months to complete. Upon completion of the program, you will be granted a certificate that proves that you have acquired the necessary qualifications needed in order to perform specific tasks.

While some certificate programs will allow you to pursue higher learning or employment the way degree programs do, they will usually limit your options to technical or entry level jobs, or in the case of certain professions, you can only useΒ them in conjunction with previously completed degree programs.

Why don’t you click the programs mentioned so you can learn more about them? It might help you decide what kind of course or program to pursue.

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The contents of the comments section are the personal advice and opinions of their respective authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of We reserve the right to remove any materials that we consider to be malicious, inappropriate, or in violation of existing laws in the Philippines.


  1. Good Afternoon,
    I am an OFW retiring in a couple of months I plan to invest in food processing business such as native foods like ube (purple yam), kalamay, bukayo, and other native delicacies which I plan to market locally then venture in exports in places where there are many Pinoys such as Saudi Arabia, US, UK, etc.

    What course should I take to gain knowledge in setting us a small factory with a capital of PHP1MM?

  2. Gud day maam/sir;
    Gud day po.gusto ko po kumuha ng second degree,actually graduate na po ako ng bs marine transportation at nkapag trabaho na ako abroad.kaso ngaun nkapag desisyon po aqu na kumuha ng ibang kurso yung dito lang sa pinas mag wowork.kindly please advise me what course to take yung marami ma credit sa previous course ko at yung course na maximum 2years at demand working here in manila.salamat po.godbless

  3. good day!
    ahm gusto ko po sanang magtanong kung meron po bang 3 months na course?
    atsaka ano po ba iyon?

    • Hi, Jovelyn!

      Yes, there are a couple. We know someone who finished Dressmaking NC II in three months although schedules may vary per school or training center. Wellness Massage (120 hours), Household Services (216 hours), Tour Guiding Services (196 hours), Travel Services (196 hours), Tile Setting (82 hours) are all fairly short, so there’s a good chance that they’ll all be finished within 3 months, provided that classes are conducted daily.


  4. Dear Sir/Ma’am

    Tanong ko lang po kung meron bang course na available for high school under grad. na related for mechanical or tech. voc. kasi po gusto ko po sana mag aral ng short course para po makakuha ako ng certificate. Acually po more than 9 years na ako nagwowork dito sa Saudi as Pipe fitter / mechanical tech.(maintenance) sa isang petrochemicals plant. gusto ko lang po talaga makakuha ng certificate of any short course na pwede po sakin. maraming salamat po.

    • Hi, Rosauro!

      This question is kind of tricky. A high school diploma is usually part of the admission requirements in enrolling for a TESDA course; however, from what we have been advised in the past, if you already have sufficient experience and you are confident that you can pass the assessment exam for a particular course, you can skip the classes and jump right ahead to taking the assessment exam (which doesn’t mention anything about diplomas in its application requirements), so that’s a good sign. We’re not sure if there might be requirements that may have been accidentally left out or that we are not aware of, though, so we strongly suggest that you get in touch with TESDA so they can give you a more accurate and detailed reply.

      TESDA Directory

      Pipe Fitting NC II Training Regulations

      Assessment and Certification Requirements


  5. Hi/hello
    umm lolitasaranillas I would like to ask if how to enrolled online course im I was taking bscriminology I want to continue my study true online please help me what I should I do..waiting for your responce.
    thank you and godbless

  6. Hi! Im a freshman college student taking BSBA major in Marketing.Actually, I like this course and my grades are better. My problem is i want to transfer because im not happy anymore to my current school. I want to focus on my studies as well as to enjoy my college life.My parents didnt know this. Im shy to tell them because of the financial assistance and i know there answer is no. What should i do? Please help me by giving advises. thanks:)

  7. Hello,

    I hope someone could help me. I want to be an expert in health for two reasons, to treat my acoustic neuroma thru natural medicine and two I want to help everyone by educating them to eat healthy (thru seminar). What course should I take and where? herbology? nutritionist? I am looking for short term courses. I am willing to travel to provinces if I have to take the course I need.

    Thanks, Art Esmeria (09223511329)

  8. gud day!
    ask ko lang po ano pinaka madaling course na four years? at ano po ba ang course na matututo ka mag english kahit hindi major in english? thanks.

  9. Sir / Madam,

    How can I enroll to the publish universities who are giving free online college studies. I am very interested to be enrolled, since I was unable to finish my college, I am 41 yrs. old right now.
    Thank you so much. Hoping to received any response from your end. To GOD all be the glory.

    Respectfully yours,
    Sherwin A. Tabada

  10. Hi!N

    I have a problem about what course will i take,can you give me some advises?.thankss

  11. I have a daughter in Dubai shes working as a Secretary she wants to take Education units by Distance Learning Program . Shes a degree holder BSPsychology. How to enroll in this program.

  12. i just want to ask, what are the different business courses?

  13. Hi. What course will I take if I want dentistry? I wasn’t able to read an article about it. And I don’t know how many years will I spend my college life in that course. Thank you.

    • Hi, Cathz!

      Aspiring dentists need to complete the Doctor of Dental Medicine program and pass the required licensure exam in order to practice the profession. Before you can go to dental school, though, you need to secure a bachelor’s degree first.

      As far as we know, any four or five-year degree program will do, although courses in the field of health sciences (nursing, pharmacy, biology, etc.) would be more advantageous.

      Undergraduate program (4-5 years) + Doctor of Dental Medicine (6 years) = 10-11 years.

      Those are just our general idea of it, though, you might also want to consult the school you are thinking of enrolling at so they can give you more information about it.


  14. helo po ?
    ask ko lnq po , 1yr. after ako nka pasa sa als a & e test .
    hndi po ako nka paq aral aqad nq colleqe ..
    kht anonq course po ba pwede konq ma take ?
    at may scholarship po ba pra sa kqaya konq ALS PASSERS po ?

    • Hi, Nisly!

      Yes. Once you’ve gotten your ALS certificate that certifies that you have the same competencies as those of a traditional high school graduate, you can apply for any two, three, four, or five-year degree programs at any school, college, or university in the Philippines.

      So far, we haven’t seen any scholarship programs that prohibit ALS passers from applying, so as long as you meet the other requirements of the sponsor of the program, you’ll probably be good to go.


  15. Hi. Asko ko lang po? Ano ang mga indemand na courses ngayon sa philippines?

  16. Hello, I just wanted to know if there are any options of taking up courses on Housekeeping? Are there any options of online sessions for the same? If yes which university is reliable ?

    Thank u

    • Hi, Vasudha!

      TESDA offers free online courses related to housekeeping. In the Philippines, TESDA is the agency that is responsible for training and certifying skilled workers — including those that are sent overseas for employment.

      You can find the list of courses they offer below:


  17. Hello, I just like to ask…I am a licensed real estate broker. The course REM (Real Estate Management) is just recently been opened in 2 universities in my province. I’m thinking of applying as a teacher in this course. Do I need to pass the L.E.T. to teach in this new college course? I understand the requirement of 18 units LET course. I’m planning to enroll this next semester if indeed this is needed.

    Kai Borres

    • Hi, Kai!

      As far as we know, taking the LET is only applicable to those who wish to teach at a grade or secondary school. For those who wish to teach at a college or university, the usual requirement is passing the licensure exam related to the courses/subjects they wish to teach (like the Civil Engineer Licensure Exam for engineering subjects or the CPA Licensure Exam for accounting related subjects) and / or a Master’s Degree. That’s just from what we know, though. You might also want to ask around to be sure. πŸ™‚

  18. Hello! My mom wants me to take BS Pharmacy or BS Physical Theraphy. My problem is I really hate Chemistry & Health Science. Not bc my grades are low, It’s bc I am not interested with any science related tho. & I’m really hoping I can pass the UPCAT. What should I do? Should I tell them?

    • Hi, Clareine!

      Thanks for visiting our site.

      Personally, we think it’s important that they know how you feel about it because they are your first line of support, both financially and emotionally speaking.

      As the student who’s going to spend the next four or five years of her life studying, and as the parents who’s going to support their daughter all the way through college (please pardon us if we got the wrong impression), you both have a say in the matter, so it’s important that you hear each other out so you can arrive at a compromise that will work for you both.


  19. ask ko lang kung pwedi kumuha ng course na culinary kahit hindi tapos ng highschool graduate pero my experience na sa kitchen?Thanks πŸ™‚
    at ano po contact # ?:)

    • Hi, Laica!

      Thanks for visiting our site.

      It would depend on the school or training center where you’re going to enroll at. It’s best if you’ll contact them directly so they can give you an accurate reply. You can find some schools/training centers that offer courses related to culinary arts through the link below. Just type in the name of the course you want then click “search.”


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