- by Bergeron
- May 18, 2018
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Whether you’re just starting to research colleges or are currently a student, you might be wondering about the difference between undergraduate and graduate school. The main difference is the degree that is obtained when you graduate, but there are other difference that are worth mentioning. Before you apply to a graduate school, familiarize yourself with the difference so you know what to expect.
Type of Degree
Students taking an undergraduate program will earn an associate’s degree or a bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree can be either a bachelor of arts or a bachelor of science. A graduate degree is either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree. This is the main difference for undergraduate vs graduate.
Type of Courses
Another difference between undergraduate and graduate school is the type of courses. An undergraduate degree requires a more general education, especially for a bachelor of arts degree. Students can expect to take a variety of classes, including science, history, humanities, literature, and a foreign language.
By contrast, graduate courses are specialized and more advanced in nature. Students will take courses that are hyper focused on their field of study and not take extraneous courses.
Undergraduate classes tend to be larger and thus more general. There could be over 100 students in one class with a professor and an assistant. Graduate classes are generally smaller in size, so each student gets more individual attention.
Another difference between undergraduate and graduate is the amount of research involved. Typically, students can expect to learn through lectures, tests, and reading in their undergraduate schooling. Although some universities do offer research based projects for undergraduate, it’s not the primary method of learning. Graduate programs often include intensive research projects. Sometimes these research projects can take an entire year to complete.
Less Flexibility to Change Schools
If you change schools during your undergraduate degree, you may lose some classes or credits in the transfer. For the most part, however, transferring schools can be done without too much hassle. Graduate programs are highly specialized, and each school has their own curriculum. Once you start graduate school, it may not be possible to transfer to another school if you’re unhappy for any reason.
Undergraduate vs graduate is more than just the type of degree that you’ll obtain at the end of your studies. Graduate school requires a deeper level of thinking, and you’ll take specialized courses for your intended career.