What Is a Graduate Degree?


Quick Answer

A graduate or postgraduate degree is a master's or doctoral degree that follows the completion of a bachelor's degree. A graduate degree is necessary for many professions, such as a doctor, lawyer or professor.

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What Is a Graduate Degree?
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Full Answer

Postgraduate degrees are more focused than undergraduate degrees, with classes centered around a specific field of study. Seeking a master's degree requires one to three years of additional study, while a doctoral degree requires four to six years. Some colleges offer both undergraduate and graduate degree paths, while other colleges only offer one or the other.

Honorary postgraduate degrees are sometimes given to recognize individuals who have achieved great success in their chosen fields.

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