Difference between Graduate & Master’s Degrees

Graduate vs Masters

Knowing the difference between graduate and masters degrees is important for students who want to pursue higher education after obtaining a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree is often referred to as a master’s degree, and is undertaken following the completion of an undergraduate course or bachelor’s degree. A bachelor’s degree is pursued after completing secondary education, while a master’s degree is pursued after finishing an undergraduate course. A bachelor’s degree typically requires full-time study for 3-4 years, whereas a master’s degree course has a duration of two years. However, graduate degrees are not limited to master’s degrees, but also include doctoral degrees. There are distinctions between master’s and doctoral degrees because a graduate degree can be either a master’s or a doctoral degree.

What is a Graduate Degree?

Graduate courses can be formal or informal, featuring presentations, discussions, participation, research papers, and seminars involving groups of students. This is quite different from the learning style in undergraduate courses, where lectures by faculty members are the primary mode of disseminating knowledge. More in-depth study of a subject is the hallmark of all graduate courses, whether they are master’s or doctoral programs. Both types of degrees combine coursework and research, but a doctoral degree is significantly different from a master’s degree. In general, both courses assume that a student is well-versed in the basic concepts of the subject and is ready for advanced learning in their chosen field of study. Doctoral degrees are mostly pursued by those who choose teaching as a profession, as the industry generally does not require someone with a doctoral degree. A doctoral degree is considered the highest point of learning in a subject. After submitting a thesis and completing a doctoral degree, an individual is eligible to become a lecturer at a college or university.

Key Takeaways

  • Graduate degrees are pursued after completing a bachelor’s degree and can be either a master’s or doctoral degree.
  • Master’s degrees can be academic (e.g., MA or MSc) or professional (e.g., M.Tech or MBA), while doctoral degrees represent the highest level of learning in a subject.
  • Graduate and master’s degrees are focused on a single subject and are more specialized than bachelor’s degrees.
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen
Maria Nguyen is a talented writer with a flair for developing captivating content in a range of formats. Her commitment to thorough research and producing top-notch material has contributed to over 4 years of professional writing and editing experience. Outside of work, Maria finds pleasure in solitary activities and immersing herself in nature. Her introspective nature and passion for self-reflection inspire her creativity. She believes that spending time alone and observing the natural world can provide valuable insights and foster personal growth, broadening her perspective as a writer.


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