What Is Graduate School?

Definition

The term "Graduate School" pertains to academic studies and degrees beyond the Bachelor Degree.

Types of Degrees

Basically, there are two categories of degrees conferred by graduate schools- academic degrees and professional degrees. The specific degrees typically included in these categories are as follows:

Academic Degrees
  • Master of Arts (M.A.)
  • Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Master of Philosophy (M. Phil.)
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Professional Degrees:
  • Master of Architecture (M. Arch.)
  • Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.)
  • Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.)
  • Master of Education (M.Ed.)
  • Master of Engineering (M.E.)
  • Master of Fine Arts (M. F.A.)
  • Master of Human Resources Management (M.H.R.M.)
  • Master of Laws (LL.M.)
  • Master of Music (M.Mus.)
  • Master of Occupational Therapy (M.O.T.)
  • Master of Physical Therapy (M.P.T.)
  • Master of Professional Accountancy (M.Pr.A.)
  • Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.)
  • Master of Public Health (M.P.H.)
  • Master of Social Work (M.S.W.)
  • Master of Statistics (M.Stat.)
  • Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.)*
  • Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
  • Juris Doctor (J.D.)*
  • Doctor of Medicine (M.D.)*
  • Doctor of Pharmacy (Pharm.D.)*
  • Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.)*
*While in most cases a Masters Degree is required before pursuing a Doctors Degree, this particular Degree is an exception.

Admission Requirements

To be eligible for admission into an accredited graduate school of study students must finish their Bachelors Degree or Undergraduate Studies with a 3.00 (B) cumulative grade point average. However, it is possible for a student to qualify for admission to a graduate school but not qualify for admission to a particular major within the school. For example, Engineering programs usually require a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher to qualify for admission. This is also frequently the case for many of the professional degree majors.

How Long It Takes

The question of how long it will take to achieve a graduate degree is an important one to consider. Assuming a student attends school full time, it is possible to complete a Masters Degree in two or three years, and a Doctor's Degree in three to four years. Since a written research project is usually (though not always) required to earn these degrees, the amount of time it takes to complete them will vary considerably. In this regard, most graduate degree majors have a time limitation requirement of 2-3 years to complete the research thesis or dissertation portion of the degree requirements. With respect to some graduate degrees such as those in Medical School, a one or two-year internship is required in lieu of the research project.