18 Facts About Graduate Schools


A graduate school is a school that awards advanced academic degrees with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate degree with a high grade point average.

A school is an institution designed to provide learning spaces and learning environments for the teaching of students under the direction of teachers.

An academic degree is a qualification awarded on successful completion of a course of study in higher education, normally at a college or university.

Grading in education is the process of applying standardized measurements of varying levels of achievement in a course.

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A distinction is typically made between graduate schools and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, or law.

Engineering is the application of mathematics, empirical evidence and scientific, economic, social, and practical knowledge in order to invent, innovate, design, build, maintain, research, and improve structures, machines, tools, systems, components, materials, processes and organizations.

Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life.

A business, also known as an enterprise, company or a firm is an organizational entity involved in the provision of goods and services to consumers.

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The distinction between graduate schools and professional schools is not absolute, as various professional schools offer graduate degrees.


Also, some graduate degrees train students for a specific profession.


Many universities award graduate degrees; a graduate school is not necessarily a separate institution.


While the term "graduate school" is typical in the United States and often used elsewhere, "postgraduate education" is also used in some English-speaking countries to refer to the spectrum of education beyond a bachelor's degree.

Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education.

The United States of America, commonly referred to as the United States or America, is a federal republic composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions.


Those attending graduate schools are called "graduate students", or often in British English as "postgraduate students" and, colloquially, "postgraduates" and "postgrads".

British English is the English language as spoken and written in United Kingdom or, more broadly, throughout the British Isles.


Degrees awarded to graduate students include master's degrees, doctoral degrees, and other postgraduate qualifications such as graduate certificates and professional degrees.

A master's degree is a second-cycle academic degree awarded by universities or colleges upon completion of a course of study demonstrating mastery or a high-order overview of a specific field of study or area of professional practice.

A professional degree, formerly known in the US as a first professional degree, is a degree that prepares someone to work in a particular profession, often meeting the academic requirements for licensure or accreditation.


Producing original research is a significant component of graduate studies in the humanities, sciences and social sciences.

Research comprises "creative work undertaken on a systematic basis in order to increase the stock of knowledge, including knowledge of humans, culture and society, and the use of this stock of knowledge to devise new applications."

Social science is a major category of academic disciplines, concerned with society and the relationships among individuals within a society.


This research typically leads to the writing and defense of a thesis or dissertation.

A thesis or dissertation is a document submitted in support of candidature for an academic degree or professional qualification presenting the author's research and findings.


In graduate programs that are oriented towards professional training, the degrees may consist solely of coursework, without an original research or thesis component.

Coursework is work performed by students or trainees for the purpose of learning.


The term "graduate school" is primarily North American.

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere.


Additionally, in North America, the term does not usually refer to medical school, and only occasionally refers to law school or business school; these are often collectively termed professional schools.

A medical school is a tertiary educational institution—or part of such an institution—that teaches medicine, and awards a professional degree for physicians and surgeons.

A law school is an institution specializing in legal education, usually involved as part of a process for becoming a lawyer within a given jurisdiction.


Graduate students in the humanities, sciences and social sciences often receive funding from the school and/or a teaching assistant position or other job; in the profession-oriented grad programs, students are less likely to get funding, and the fees are typically much higher.

A teaching assistant or teacher's aide or education assistant is an individual who assists a teacher with instructional responsibilities.

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits.


Although graduate school programs are distinct from undergraduate degree programs, graduate instruction is often offered by some of the same senior academic staff and departments who teach undergraduate courses.


Unlike in undergraduate programs, however, it is less common for graduate students to take coursework outside their specific field of study at graduate or graduate entry level.


At the Ph.D. level, though, it is quite common to take courses from a wider range of study, for which some fixed portion of coursework, sometimes known as a residency, is typically required to be taken from outside the department and college of the degree-seeking candidate, to broaden the research abilities of the student.


Some institutions designate separate graduate versus undergraduate staff and denote other divisions.

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