What Size Diploma Frame Do I Need?

Written by Mark Rogers
What Size Diploma Frame

When you’ve invested years of hard work and dedication to achieve a degree, it deserves more than being tucked away in a drawer. Displaying your diploma is a source of pride and a reminder of your accomplishment. But one question often arises: "What size diploma frame do I need?" Understanding the answer involves a few factors.

What Are the Standard Diploma Sizes?

The most common diploma size is 8.5 x 11 in the United States but additional sizes that are less common include 11" x 14", and 8" x 10". If your diploma is an unusual size, you may need to get a custom-made frame which you can find in our diploma frames category.

How to Determine What Size Frame You Need

To determine the frame size, start by measuring the document. Use a ruler or a measuring tape and record the height and width of your diploma. Keep in mind that these measurements are for the document size and not the frame size. The frame size is usually larger due to the mat board and the frame itself.

Measuring Your Diploma for Framing

Measuring a diploma for framing is a relatively straightforward process that requires precision for the best results. Follow these steps:

  1. Prepare Your Diploma and Tools: You'll need a clean, flat surface to lay your diploma on. Gather a ruler or measuring tape, preferably one that measures in both inches and centimeters for increased accuracy.
  2. Measure the Width: Lay your diploma flat on the surface. Measure it from left to right edge, taking care to measure at the widest point if there's any variation. Make sure you're measuring the actual document and not any existing matting or frame.
  3. Measure the Height: Next, measure the diploma from top to bottom, again ensuring you're measuring at the longest point if there's any variation.
  4. Record Your Measurements: Write down both measurements. This is your diploma size.
  5. Decide on Matting: If you wish to include a mat around your diploma within the frame, you'll need to add this to your measurements. A typical mat border is around 2-3 inches, but this can vary according to personal preference. Remember to add this to all sides.
  6. Calculate Frame Size: Add the width of the diploma, twice the mat width, and twice the frame moulding width to get the total frame width. Do the same for the height.

Remember, it's better to have a frame slightly larger than your diploma rather than one that's too small. If your measurements don't correspond to standard frame sizes, consider getting a custom frame for a perfect fit.

Types of Diploma Frames

1. Standard Diploma Frame

This is a simple, traditional frame typically made of wood or metal.

2. Document Frame with Mat

These frames come with a mat that provides an additional border around your diploma, adding to the aesthetic appeal.

3. Shadow Box Diploma Frame

This type of frame provides depth by casting a slight shadow on the document.

4. Archival or Conservation Frames

These are designed to protect your document from discoloration and degradation, using UV-blocking glass and acid-free matting.

Related: How to Choose a Diploma Frame

What You'll Need to Frame a Diploma

To frame your diploma, you'll need:

  • The diploma itself.
  • A frame of the correct size.
  • Matting (optional, but recommended).
  • UV-protective glass or acrylic (especially for archival frames).
  • A clean, flat surface to work on.
  • Clean cotton gloves to handle the diploma and prevent fingerprints.

You can follow our guide on how to frame a diploma for step by step instructions.


Framing your diploma allows you to display your hard work prominently and elegantly. When selecting a frame, consider not only the size but also the style that fits your personal taste and the décor of the room. Choose an archival or UV-protective frame to ensure your diploma stands the test of time. After all, this document represents your achievement and deserves to be showcased with respect and pride.