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Difference Between Graduate and Undergraduate

graduatesGraduate vs Undergraduate
Graduate or ‘grad student’ is one who has obtained a bachelors degree and is now pursuing a master’s degree. An undergraduate, who is also known as ‘under grad’ , is one who is only pursuing a bachelor’s degree.

The graduate is in a much higher position than the undergraduate. It is only after graduation that one can pursue a master’s degree. A graduate degree is a footboard to higher studies in post graduate levels where as undergraduate studies cannot be a threshold for higher post graduate studies.

While the undergraduate has to learn a variety of courses as general education requirements, the graduate has to only focus on one field and follow an in-depth study of that field. The classes are elaborate and are considered to be the sole means of evaluation in undergraduate level. But for graduation, the research project or otherwise called thesis is the primary means of evaluation, which is evaluated by a committee of faculties.

The students at the undergraduate level are not involved with the faculty at large. The involvement with the faculty is only at the initiation of the student. In the graduate level, there is great involvement with the faculty. The involvement is direct and also very extensive.

At the undergraduate level, the guidance of a teacher is a must. It is the teachers who guide the undergraduates to think better. But at the graduate level, the teacher is almost silent. Though the teacher may offer guidance to a graduate student, it is the students who have to teach themselves.

In the undergraduate level, a student learns what is already known but in graduate level he learns to add to his existing knowledge of the field.

The students pursuing a graduate level have to work independently while the students of the undergraduate level are under the guidance of a teacher. The graduate students are expected to produce high quality results, which is measured by research, presentations and publication.

When talking about opportunities, the graduate level people have more chance than the undergraduates. People who have a degree have more career options and earn more than those with just an undergraduate degree.

A graduate will have better skills and more in-depth and applied knowledge than an undergraduate.

Summary

1.Graduate is one who has obtained a bachelors degree and is now pursuing a master’s degree. An undergraduate is one who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree.
2.An undergraduate has to learn a variety of courses as general education requirements. The graduate has to only focus on one field.
3.A student learns what is already known in the undergraduate level. But in graduate level he learns to add to his existing knowledge of the field.


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2 Comments

    • This is not quite the case in the UK.

      It is true in the UK an undergraduate is pursuing a first degree and has not yet received a degree. However in the UK an undergraduate is studying at an advanced level and is expected to be up to date and use current research and recently published papers in their studies, if they are to receive a good grade, ie a 2(i) or a first. Undergraduates will study only within their chosen subject and will not be pursuing the generalist “liberal arts degrees” common in the US. For example medicine, dentistry,etc are undergraduate degrees in the UK. In the US a student would have to have an BA /BS before studying at this level. In the Uk we compress this less advanced stage into “A” levels, or Highers in Scotland. A levels are normally taken by students at age 18.

      In the UK BSc (Hons) and BA (Hons) are therefore more like US masters degrees. Students often advance from BSc (Hons) to PhDs in the UK. This is not possible in the USA.

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