Difference Between Undergraduate, Graduate, and Postgraduate

You’ve undoubtedly started thinking about college as a high school student. You may have even begun to conduct a study to narrow down your alternatives. Undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees are terms you may have come upon. It may appear perplexing to you, as it does to many other pupils. What are the distinctions between undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies?

What is a Undergraduate Degree?

Students obtain an undergraduate degree after graduating from high school. A bachelor’s degree or an associate’s degree is referred to as an undergraduate degree. When people discuss heading to university, they are referring to earning a bachelor’s degree.

What is the length of a Undergraduate Degree?

Bachelor’s degrees are earned over four years in a university. An associate’s degree needs two years to complete. This can be done at a university or a community college.

What is a Graduate Degree?

A student has two possibilities after completing their bachelor’s degree. They have the option of getting a job or continuing their education. They obtain a graduate degree if they desire to pursue their studies. Any degree that is higher than a bachelor’s degree is considered a graduate degree. A master’s or doctoral degree is an example of this. Graduate school allows students to go deeper into their chosen field. It equips students with the knowledge and skills necessary to work in that industry. To secure a career, a student frequently needs a graduate degree. A Master’s of Social Work is required for anyone wishing to work as a clinical social worker.

What is the length of an Graduate Degree?

Master’s degrees typically take two to three years to finish. Doctoral degrees usually take five to six years to complete.

What is a Postgraduate Degree?

The word “postgraduate degree” is often misunderstood by students. There isn’t much of a distinction between the two. Graduate and postgraduate are interchangeable terms. Postgraduate refers to a spectrum of advanced degrees beyond a bachelor’s degree, similar to a graduate degree. This covers both masters and doctoral degrees.

Main Difference Undergraduate and Graduate Degree

Graduate and undergraduate degree programs are vastly different from each other. Undergraduate programs enable students to develop a foundational understanding of a subject or even several subjects. Students have to study a diverse range of courses, not just those related to their degree. They frequently spend the first few years of their careers completing general education requirements. Graduate programs vary greatly. You go to graduate school to develop a specific skill. As a result, all of the classes you take are relevant to your subject of study.

Switching majors is another significant difference between the two. Students in undergraduate programs are often not sure what they really want to study. Even if students decide on a major, they may change their minds. Students can alter majors during their undergraduate studies. It is also relatively simple to switch to a different university for any purpose. It’s difficult to change fields of study in graduate degrees since they’re so focused. You’d have to meet new requirements and start the application procedure from scratch.

Another significant distinction is the size of the classes. Graduate classrooms are typically substantially smaller than undergraduate classes. Class sizes are considerably less in graduate programs. The teacher-student relationship varies according to the variance in class size. There isn’t much opportunity to communicate with professors in undergraduate programs. In addition, there are fewer chances to engage in class.

Graduate programs are smaller and more active as a result. In classroom discussions, students have more opportunities to contribute. They get more chances to collaborate with their lecturers as well.

Students must take the SAT or ACT to be admitted into an undergraduate program. A baseline GPA, recommendation letters, and personal statements are also required. Each university has its unique set of criteria. Taking the GRE is required for many graduate programs. Undergraduate records, recommendation letters, and personal statements are also needed.


It’s helpful to have an understanding of your alternatives, whether you’ve already started your bachelor’s degree or are still in high school. This might assist you in planning your college or university studies and making the most of your degree.


1. Is a Bachelor’s Degree Required for a Graduate Degree?

A bachelor’s degree is required for admission to graduate school. This implies you must have completed a four-year undergraduate degree at a college or university. A student can only seek a graduate degree if he or she has already completed a bachelor’s degree.

2. Do the differences vary from country to country?

There might be slight differences between the degree types in different countries.