Graduate Students: Everything You Need to Know
This term is used to describe a student who has a bachelor’s degree and is currently on the path to getting an additional degree such as a master’s or doctorate degree. A graduate student may get enrolled in a master’s degree program, which typically takes two years to complete for full-time students. Once they finish the program, they may choose to enroll in a doctoral program to get a Ph. D. Such programs can last anywhere between five to seven years, or sometimes, even more. In most countries, doctoral programs are the highest level of education.
Similar to the process of obtaining a bachelor’s degree, becoming a graduate student involves applying for a graduate program at first and being accepted into it. Typically, the program chosen is focused on a topic similar to the undergraduate degree, though it isn’t always necessary to make such choices. Thus, it’s common to find a student with a bachelor’s degree in English getting enrolled as a graduate student to get a master’s degree in English. However, it isn’t uncommon to find the same student deciding to study law, history, or even business for their graduate program instead of choosing English.
It’s important to note here that a student with a bachelor’s degree in one field, who’s trying to enroll in a graduate program in another field that’s significantly different, may find it difficult. Thus, though it isn’t always impossible, a student holding an undergraduate English degree may find it difficult to be accepted into a graduate finance program unless they meet certain prerequisites.
Compared to undergraduates, graduate students are likely to handle more work independently. For instance, a student enrolled in a program to get his master’s degree will have to write a thesis that talks about a particular area of research that he has performed throughout his tenure as a student. For a Ph. D student, writing a dissertation is a compulsory task that can take several years to complete. However, students trying to get their master’s or doctoral degrees often work with an advisor, who guides the graduate students through the painstaking process of writing these documents. Yet, it’s the graduate student who has to do the actual research and writing.
Becoming a graduate student is worth it as a master’s or doctoral degree enhances the possibility of bagging a better job with a higher salary and even being hired for jobs in a new field, which would have been otherwise unattainable for them.