patagoniax wrote: Licenciado is usually a bachelor's degree equivalent in Chile. Magister is the Chilean term for equivalent to a North American Masters.
The following wikipedia item is not bulletproof but potentially useful
Yes, agreed. But I meant something more in the sense of 'homology vs analogy'.
A LIcenciatura degree does not include a major and a minor, but only one subject, so when comparing a Licenciatura and a BAchelor's degree, you end up with way more credit hours for the major subject.
I don't know how it is for social sciences but for natural sciences normally we can apply directly to a PhD program after Licenciatura. All the cases I know, including my own, were the same. We translated Licenciatura as Bachelors and then we had to take the qualifier exam earlier than usual because we had already taken the graduate level courses during the LIcenciatura, so in the end the Licenciatura degree was taken as a Masters degree (cases in USA, Canada, Germany and France).
I found LIcenciatura more similar to a German Diploma than Bachelors.
But on the other hand Chilean Universities do offer Master degrees, so it is a kind of weird system and I remember at Catolica they were trying to make it more similar to a Bachelor's by removing some core courses and (maybe?) adding other less relevant courses from other areas. But I have no idea whether they did it or not, it was in the plans a few years ago, then I lost track.
I kind of like the idea of having the chance of studying different subjects that count toward your degree (major and minor), with the Licenciatura, you are allowed to take other courses from other careers but they do not count as credit hours.
On the other hand, you end up with a pretty solid base with the Licenciatura, so both systems have positive sides.
The good thing that the chilean system has (or used to have?) is that you pay a fixed amount for the career you are studying, and not per credit hour, so if your GPA is good you can have permission to take more credit hours and enroll in courses from other careers, even though they will not count as valid credit hours. Also there used to be a way to study two careers at the same time, and you only pay the most expensive one.