República de Cuba (The Republic of Cuba) is an island and islets that straddle the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea about 150 kilometers south of Key West, Florida. The population is 11,451,652 and the literacy rate is 99.8%. Spanish
is the official language.
Taino and Ciboney tribes inhabited the islands of Cuba before the arrival of Spanish explorers in 1492 when Christopher Columbus claimed the islands for Spain. Cuba became a Spanish colony in 1511. After the Spanish-American War, the 1898 Treaty of Paris
ceded Cuba to the United States. Cuba was granted independence on May 20, 1902.
In Cuba, seconary education is overseen by the country's Ministerio de Educación while higher education is under the Ministerio de Educación Superior.
Education is compulsory from age 6 to 15 and is free at all levels through post-secondary studies. Escuela primaria (Primary school) is 6 years and leads to the Certificado de 6° Grado.
Secundaria básica (Lower secondary school) is three years and leads to the Diploma de Secundaria Básica.
Upper secondary offers technical/vocational options. Technical and vocational programs are offered at escuelas tecnológicas (technical schools). Two-year programs lead to the Título de Obrero Calificado and three- and four-year programs lead to the Título de Técnico Medio (Title of Mid-Level Technician) or
Título de Perito.
Preuniversitario (Academic upper secondary school) is 3 years and leads to the Bachillerato.
Post-secondary education is offered at universities, polytechnics, and teacher training schools.
First-level studies are 4-5 years and lead to the Licenciatura. A Bachillerato is required for admission to post-secondary programs,
although some institutions will accept a Título de Técnico Medio or Título de Perito for admission to some programs.
Second and Third Cycles
Graduate programs include the Diplomado and Maestría.
Both programs require a Licenciatura for admission. The Diplomado requires 150-230 classroom hours of coursework and an internship. The Maestría requires 1-2 years of coursework and defense of a thesis. Credits earned in
a Diplomado can be used towards a Maestría (Master).
Doctoral programs are 3-4 years of coursework and research, and sufficient scores on comprehensive examinations. A Licenciatura (Licentiate) or a Maestría (Master) are required for admission, depending on the program. Upon successful
defense of a dissertation, students are awarded a Doctor en Ciencias (Doctor of Sciences).
Teachers at all levels must hold a Licenciatura.
N.B. The number of fraudulent educational credentials from Cuba is on the rise, most notably documents issued between 2007 and 2009. It is recommended that only acceptable educational documents are ones that are obviously original or have been
received directly from the Consultoria Juridica Internacional in Cuba in a sealed envelope.