Graduate School: Everything You Need to Know

This term refers to the sub-division of a school responsible for overseeing master’s and doctorate degree honor awards. A student will almost always need to complete their bachelor’s degree before they applies for admission to a graduate school. Traditionally, a graduate school focuses on the ‘academic’ side, but it could be ‘professional’ too, or a blend of both. While those focusing on academics are centered on producing original research in a specific discipline, the ones focusing on the professional side help students develop knowledge and skills for a particular profession.

While undergraduate education helps students get their bachelor’s degrees, graduate education leads to higher degrees like master’s and doctoral degrees. In other words, students will undergo a more concentrated course of study in a graduate school, where there will be greater expectations from them in terms of quantity and quality of their work.

Some other ways in which programs at a graduate school differ from undergraduate studies are as follows:

·         They involve focused studies in a particular discipline with fewer elective options.

·         They entail a thorough evaluation of student’s work by their professors and peers.

·         They have smaller classes with greater student interaction.

·         They let students get work experience through research, teaching, or internships.

·         They involve the generation of original research.

When armed with a graduate degree from a graduate school, students can advance further in their careers and increase what they earn significantly over a lifetime. Certain fields like physical therapy need graduate degrees, while others like engineering encourage students to have them. After completing a bachelor’s degree, students may join a graduate school to pursue a graduate degree right away or decide to do it sometime later.

When choosing a graduate school, a student has to decide what graduate degrees they want to pursue. Such degrees are available for various subjects and are offered at three levels, namely master’s, doctoral, and specialist degrees. Depending on what graduate school program and degree level a student want, their program length and requirements will vary.

Master’s degrees are offered for diverse fields of study. While some are intended to lead to a doctoral degree, others are the final or terminal degree for a profession (for instance, Master of Business Administration). Doctoral degrees typically involve independent research needed to create new knowledge.

Students usually earn specialist degrees in addition to a master’s degree. Specialist degrees entail additional training, coursework, or internship experience and prepare students for meeting licensing requirements or professional certifications.

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