Main Differences Between Undergraduate and Graduate

Undergraduate and graduate depict the level at which a student is in his long and strenuous voyage to obtain the knowledge about a subject and also to carve out a career for himself in his chosen field of study.

Main Differences Between Undergraduate and Graduate

Basically, an undergraduate is one who is presently undertaking a course in a tertiary institution or simply a university student who has not yet taken the first degree. A graduate as the name implies is one who has successfully completed his/her first degree.

Who is An Undergraduate?

An undergraduate degree is for students who graduated successfully from high school and wants to study more by joining a college taking their preferred choice of subject. Undergraduate degree courses offer strong fundamental knowledge to the students through theory as well as practical application.

Undergraduate degree programs have two categories in them. One is the bachelor’s degree program and the other is the associate degree program.

Bachelor’s degree program may go up to 4 years to complete. An associate degree program takes just 2 years to complete.

A Bachelor’s degree is always considered far knowledgeable than an associate degree. The students can also opt to study for bachelor’s after completing their associate program, this may also result in reduced duration and does not take beyond 2 more years to complete the same.

Who Is A Graduate?

A graduate degree is for students who already have a bachelor’s degree from college who wants to study further in a specific area of his choice. Graduate degree courses are advanced courses that involve a lot of research work on the chosen field.

Graduate degree programs are of two categories, Master’s degree, and Doctoral degree. Master’s degree program lasts for 2 years to complete it whereas Doctoral programs may go beyond 6 years to complete it.

A graduate degree is a specialized version of the study on the discipline chosen in the bachelor’s The student gets to apply the fundamentals learned in the bachelor’s and gain more knowledge to implement something new.

Undergraduate Studies and Degrees

An undergraduate program or degree is defined as “something that is part of the first four years of college life.” There are two types of undergraduate degrees:

  • Associate’s degree: You need a high school diploma, GED, or to pass certain exams to enter an associate’s program, and it takes about 2 years to complete.
  • Bachelor’s degree: You need a high school diploma, GED, or an associate’s degree to enter a bachelor’s program, and it takes about 4 years to complete.

Graduate Studies and Degrees

graduate program or degree is defined as “something that is part of a higher degree program.” There are two main types of graduate degrees:

  • Master’s degree: You usually need a bachelor’s degree before you can enter a master’s program, and it takes 2-3 years to earn the degree.
  • Doctoral degree: You don’t always need a master’s degree to enter a doctoral program, and it takes about 4-6 years to earn the degree.

Differences Between Undergraduate And Graduate

1. Higher studies start with undergraduate courses and the next step in higher studies is graduate courses.

2. One can go in for a graduate course only after successfully completing undergraduate courses.

3. Undergraduate courses lay the basic foundation that is used as a foothold or springboard to pursue graduate courses later on.

4. Without an undergraduate degree, one cannot go for a graduate degree.

5. Undergraduate courses are of three years duration whereas graduate courses are of two years duration. Sometimes an undergraduate course can be more than three years.

6. An undergraduate has to study several subjects in his chosen field of study while at the graduate level in-depth knowledge about a subject is provided.

7. When a student is pursuing a bachelor’s degree, he is referred to as an undergraduate. It is only when he completes his bachelor’s course that he is referred to as a graduate. After graduating and getting enrolled in a master’s degree course he is referred to as a graduate student.

8. The previous achievement of an undergraduate is secondary education. The previous achievement for a graduate can be a master’s (for someone following a doctoral degree) or a bachelor’s (for someone following a master’s degree).


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