What is the difference between postgraduate and undergraduate?


Quick Answer

An undergraduate is someone who has not graduated from college, while a postgraduate is someone who is continuing his education after he has obtained a bachelor's degree. An associate degree is an undergraduate degree, as is a bachelor's degree. Postgraduate degrees include master's degrees and doctorate degrees.

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What is the difference between postgraduate and undergraduate?
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Full Answer

An associate degree typically takes two years to complete. The average time for someone to earn a bachelor's degree is four to five years. The most common four-year undergraduate degrees are the Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science.

After earning an undergraduate degree, which is a prerequisite, a person is able to pursue a master's degree, which takes two to three years. Similar to a bachelor's degree, the two most common master's programs are the Master of Arts and Master of Science. After finishing these degrees, a person is able to enter a doctoral program. Common doctoral programs include Doctor of Philosophy, which is the basic name for those pursuing this advanced degree; Doctor of Education; Doctor of Medicine; and Doctor of Jurisprudence, which allows someone to earn a law degree.

When a person wants to advance to a higher degree program after the undergraduate degree, he needs to see what exams are necessary for advanced placement in these programs. These entrance exams determine if he is able to enter a graduate or doctorate program.

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