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Difference Between Undergraduate and Graduate

Undergraduate vs Graduate

The terms undergraduate and graduate are associated with higher studies and reflect the level at which a student is in his long and arduous journey to obtain the knowledge about a subject and also to carve out a career for himself in his chosen field of study. Normally, like in any other field, higher studies are a ladder where undergraduate courses come before graduate courses and one can go for master’s degree only after completing undergraduate courses. There are more differences in undergraduate and graduate that will be discussed in this article.

Courses at undergraduate level are usually taken after completing 10+2 level in most countries. These are called bachelor’s courses and are classified as BSc or BA depending upon whether the student has taken up art subjects or science subjects. Courses designed as undergraduate intend to provide knowledge in many subjects and are mostly academic in nature though science courses involve a lot of practical work done in laboratories.

When a student is pursuing bachelor’s degree, he is referred to as an undergraduate, and it is only when he completes his bachelor’s course and got enrolment in a master’s degree course that he is referred to as a graduate.

It is only after successful completion of undergraduate course known variously as BS, BSc, and BA, B.Tech, or BEng (bachelor of engineering) that a student can aspire to go for higher studies and enroll into master’s course. A bachelor’s degree is mostly of three to four year duration whereas graduate courses are of two year duration. Graduate courses are known as MA, MSc, MTech, MS etc.

In general, those who wish quick employment prefer to stop after completing bachelor’s level degree course while those who wish to have a higher degree against their name so as to have better employment opportunities go for master’s degree courses. Higher studies do not end with graduate courses as those who wish to make teaching a profession need to complete their doctoral degree after graduation to become a lecturer and then professor in a college or a university.

In brief:

Undergraduate vs Graduate

• Higher studies start with undergraduate courses and the next step in higher studies is graduate courses.

• One can go in for graduate course only after successfully completing undergraduate courses.

• Undergraduate courses lay the basic foundation that is used as a foothold or springboard to pursue graduate courses later on.

• Undergraduate courses are of three year duration whereas graduate courses are of two year duration

• An undergraduate has to study several subjects in his chosen field of study while at graduate level in depth knowledge about a subject is provided.


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