An undergraduate degree is a type of degree earned after completing high school. Students of this degree are called undergraduates until they have completed the program successfully, after which they can call themselves graduates. Undergraduate degrees constitute associate degrees and bachelor’s degrees. A graduate degree is a type of degree that is earned after you have completed an undergraduate degree. Those who complete their graduate degree successfully are called postgraduates. Graduate degrees constitute master’s degrees and doctoral degrees.
Here are a few key distinctions between undergraduate and graduate studies:
- Typically, undergraduate classes are substantially larger and less personalized. Students in graduate programs work closely with professors, frequently one-on-one.
- The nature of undergraduate programs is more generic. They include general education courses in various disciplines that are not offered as part of a graduate program. Graduate programs are substantially more advanced and specialized than undergraduate programs, narrowing the field of study.
- Undergraduate programs typically limit examinations to those relevant to specific subjects; graduate programs, on the other hand, usually contain comprehensive exams.
- While some undergraduate programs include a project or similar undertaking, graduate studies heavily focus on research. Apart from classwork required in graduate programs, research preparation and defense of one’s work (thesis, etc.) are the primary focus.
Changing majors and attending a different school during a program is relatively easy for undergraduates. Graduate degrees, which are narrowly specialized, make it far more challenging to do so because although the title of the degree may be identical, the curriculum and structure may widely vary by college or program.