A postgraduate degree is one a student receives after finishing their
undergraduate degree. The process typically works with the student first
finishing a four-year degree, known as a Bachelor’s degree, and then going to
graduate school. It takes anywhere from two years up to four years or longer for
students to finish the program.
The first step in obtaining a
postgraduate degree involves seeking admittance into graduate school. Graduate
schools are highly selective about whom they admit because they want all their
students to finish their advanced college
diploma. They look for students with high test scores, high grades at an
undergraduate level, and students that are well-rounded in terms of coursework.
They also look for students who set themselves apart from the crowd, such as
those who have done volunteer work or completed an internship or a final project
in their course of study.
Graduate schools only have a small number of
seats open to incoming students. Depending on the program and the size of the
school, they may only admit a dozen students or less than twenty annually.
They’re particularly interested in those students who have what it takes to
finish the program and are dedicated to their field. Students who apply for the
program are also required to submit letters of recommendation from their peers,
professors, and others with knowledge of their work and experience.
Postgraduate degrees involve a high level of study and dedication on the
part of the student. In their undergraduate studies, students had the option of
taking electives such as creative writing or pottery. These same options aren’t
available at a higher level. They take a small number of electives, but those
involve more writing and research than at the undergraduate level.
type of program places a limit on how long the student has to finish the work
associated with their diploma,
typically five or seven years. The student must complete their degree within
this time period or they lose their spot in the program. They’ll have to reapply
for admission back into the program after a year. Oftentimes the school also
places a GPA restriction on students in the program. If the student stays below
the GPA requirement for two terms or longer, they’ll once again lose their spot
and have to reapply at a later date.
Prior to receiving a postgraduate
degree, the student also completes a major project in their course of study. At
the Master’s degree level, this is known as a thesis and is typically a long
paper, around 20-50 pages. Some programs, such as psychology and historic
preservation, allow the student to instead complete a final project such as a
survey or experiment.
Postgraduate degrees also include a doctorate or
Doctor of Philosophy PhD. In this program the student receives their degree only
after completing a dissertation. This is a long paper of at least 50 pages and
typically runs to the length of 100 pages or more. After finishing their
dissertation, they present it in front of a committee made of those working in
the field and answer any questions about their paper. Both PHD and Master’s
degrees are examples of postgraduate degrees.
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