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What is the difference between an undergraduate and graduate?

Hello, I don't really know/understand what an undergraduate and graduate student is. student high school high-school-students college-student undergraduate graduate

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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi John! So an undergraduate student is a student who has not completed their Bachelor's degree yet. A graduate student is someone who has completed their Bachelor's at a 4 year university and will further their education with a Masters or PhD. M.D., or other graduate work. There are programs where a student in their junior year will apply for a Masters and will complete it along with their Bachelor's as well which will take about 5 years vs. doing Bachelor's separately and then additional Masters.
I hope this helps!

Best of luck!
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Cang’s Answer

Here’s an overview of degree levels in the US:

Associate’s degree - a two-year degree, typically in an applied field connected with a specific job (AAS) or in preparation for transferring to a four-year school (AS or AA)

Bachelor’s degree - a four-year degree, typically what someone means in the US when they say “college degree”; there are many different kinds, but they amount to equivalent levels of education

Professional degrees - these are graduate degrees and require a bachelor’s degree, but a special subclass, like the JD (juris doctor, the first legal degree)

Master’s degrees - these are graduate degrees and require a bachelor’s degree, but exist across many fields

Doctoral degrees - these are graduate degrees, require a bachelor’s degree (and possibly a master’s degree), and are usually the terminal degree for a field (as in, there are no further academic credentials available)
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Kameel’s Answer

An undergraduate student is studying to complete their Bachelor's degree.
This could be full-time, part-time, online, or any other format and take any length of time. You are an undergraduate student as long as you are pursuing your Bachelors degree.

A graduate student has completed their Bachelor's degree, and is now pursuing an additional degree, This could be any type of Graduate Diploma, Graduate Research, Masters, PhD, or other study/work - where a Bachelor's degree is usually a minimum requirement.

It is possible to do both a Bachelor & Masters course at the same time - though these are very uncommon.
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Blake’s Answer

Hey John,

In most cases you will need an undergraduate (Bachelor's) degree in order to pursue a Master's degree. However, to describe it simply, think of your undergraduate degree as a little more "generic" degree. Then think of a Master's degree as a more granular degree in a particular focus area and is usually more career focused. Let's say that you got an undergraduate degree in Finance, but decide you want to take it further. Then you could attempt to get your Master of Business Administration. You have a degree in Finance regardless, but an MBA will help further fine tune your skills. Hope this helps!

Thanks,
Blake
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Rick’s Answer

That is a very good question. The undergraduate portion of post-high school education is commonly referred to as a four year degree and you can earn Bachelor of Science (BS) and Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees. If you decide to continue beyond those typical four year degrees, it is considered a Graduate program where you will earn your Masters degree.
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Jemima A.’s Answer

I agree with Yasemin, Cang, Kameel and Blake's answer

To be very concise, an undergradaute student is a student undergoing a bachelors degree course while a graduate student is a student that has completed this bachelors degree and is envisaging going for higher degrees like Masters, doctorates and more.

Bachelors degree is the stage after passing highschool final exams
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