Derick de Souza
Written By - Derick de Souza

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“Understanding the Term ‘Graduate’: Exploring Whether It Signifies a Master’s Student and Beyond.” In this article, we unravel the concept of “graduate” and its implications, shedding light on the diverse educational levels and stages it can encompass beyond just master’s students.

The term “graduate” often conjures the image of a dedicated scholar pursuing a master’s degree, diligently working towards advanced education and specialized knowledge. While this association is not entirely inaccurate, it’s essential to recognize that the term “graduate” encompasses a much broader spectrum of educational achievements and stages.

In academia, a graduate can refer to a student pursuing a master’s degree, but it doesn’t stop there. Graduates also include those who have completed bachelor’s degrees, postgraduate diplomas, doctorate programs, and other forms of higher education. 

Beyond academia, “graduate” can denote someone who has completed a specific training or certification program in fields as diverse as healthcare, law enforcement, or technical trades. This article delves into the multifaceted nature of the term “graduate” and its varied educational and professional achievements, dispelling common misconceptions along the way.

Does graduate mean masters?

Table Of Contents

Why Are Graduates Consider Master’s Students?

“Graduates are often considered master’s students because ‘graduate’ is somewhat ambiguous and context-dependent. In an academic context, a ‘graduate’ can refer to someone pursuing advanced degrees like master’s or doctoral programs. This usage is particularly prevalent in countries where ‘graduate school’ specifically denotes post-bachelor’s education. However, the word ‘graduate’ can be confusing, as it’s also used to describe someone who has completed a program or received a bachelor’s degree.
To clarify, a ‘master’s student’ specifically denotes an individual enrolled in a master’s degree program, actively working toward that higher qualification. In contrast, a ‘graduate’ can encompass anyone who has earned a degree, whether it’s a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. The confusion arises because the term ‘graduate’ describes a current status and a past accomplishment. So, while graduates can include master’s students, it’s a term with a broader scope that encompasses individuals at various stages of their academic or professional journey.”

What’s the Difference Between Graduate and Post-Graduate

The difference between “graduate” and “post-graduate” lies in their educational stages and the degrees they represent. “Graduate” typically refers to someone who has completed their undergraduate education and holds a bachelor’s degree. This term encompasses many individuals, including those pursuing master’s or doctoral degrees. In contrast, “post-graduate” signifies explicitly individuals who have completed their master’s or doctoral studies and are now pursuing further specialization, research, or certifications beyond their highest-earned degree. For instance, enrolling in a graduate certificate program after a master’s degree is a post-graduate pursuit, often done to enhance skills or career prospects. Read our “How to Plan Your Career” page for additional information.

FAQs About Graduate Degrees

Navigating the world of graduate degrees can be a complex journey. As you consider pursuing advanced education, you’re likely to have numerous questions. This FAQ section clarifies common queries regarding graduate degrees. Whether you’re curious about the differences between various degree types, admission requirements, or potential career benefits, you’ll find answers to your most pressing questions here. Explore the FAQs below to kickstart your path to informed decision-making in pursuing higher education.

Q. Is a master’s a graduate or an undergraduate?

A master’s degree is a graduate-level qualification. It comes after completing an undergraduate education, which typically involves earning a bachelor’s degree. Graduate programs, including master’s degrees, focus on advanced, specialized coursework and research within a specific field or discipline. This distinguishes them from undergraduate studies, which provide a foundational education in various subjects.

Q. How long does it take to do a graduate degree?

Q. Is a Ph.D. considered a graduate degree?

Q. Why is a bachelor’s degree not considered a graduate degree?

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Additional Internal Resources

Delving deeper into the nuances of graduate education and its various forms, you can explore additional resources to broaden your understanding. Whether you’re interested in distinguishing between undergraduate and graduate studies, considering post-master’s options, or contemplating transitioning from a master’s to a Ph.D., these resources offer valuable insights. Here are some links to informative articles that can help with your educational journey and career choices within graduate studies.

  1. Why Online Masters  -Online master’s programs offer flexibility, convenience, and accessibility for individuals seeking advanced education. They allow students to balance studies with work and personal commitments, access diverse programs and institutions, and often cost less than traditional on-campus options. Online master’s degrees democratize higher education.
  2. Learn about the advantages and benefits of an online master’s program and everything you need to know about this mode of lesson delivery.  
  3. Master of Arts vs. Master of Science  -Are you confused about which type of degree is better – the MA or the MS? Explore the differences and similarities of MA vs. MS and find the right one for you. 
  4. Accreditation Guide – Being one of the more essential aspects of college education, learn all the above accreditation, why it is crucial, and why you should care. 
  5. Online College Courses – This comprehensive guide walks you through all aspects of online college courses and the many options they offer.
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