Postgraduate Vs Graduate: What Difference Does it Make?

A postgraduate Vs Graduate is a higher or advanced degree received by an individual or student. The latter is a student’s first tertiary degree, while the former is obtained after graduation. Therefore, we can say a Ph.D. program is a postgraduate degree, likewise a Masters’s degree.

Who is a Graduate?  

The term graduate refers to a person who has completed a particular educational level, either a high school graduate or University graduate. Irrespective of the degree of discipline, as soon as you complete your studies, you are termed a graduate, Law graduate, a college graduate, a Yale graduate, an Engineering graduate, and so on.

Upon completing the first degree in a specific discipline or field of study, a degree is conferred on the student who obtained a first degree from a tertiary institution. A student still pursuing a degree course in a tertiary institution is termed an undergraduate; as soon as it is completed, they become a graduate.

Read also: Graduate VS Undergraduate: What Difference Does it Make?

What is a Graduate degree?

A graduate degree sometimes relies on your location; in Africa, once a student completes high school or secondary school education, the student proceeds to the university and becomes certified in a degree. You’re conferred a degree which makes you a graduate, usually a Bachelor’s degree when you decide to go further; as a result of this obtaining a Master’s degree, you’re also called a graduate but of a higher rank.

In Britain, a graduate is a person who has completed a degree at a university or college and has received a certificate. In the United States, a graduate is a student who has completed a course at a high school, college, or university. The student is awarded degrees like Bachelor of Arts B.A, Bachelor of Science, etc.

What is a Postgraduate Degree?

It is an advanced degree, quite different from a graduate degree. It is a higher level study, and it covers the Masters, doctorate(ph.d), and postgraduate diploma. Some of the Master’s degrees are:  M.A (Master of Arts), MSc (Master of Science), MEd( Master of Education), MBA (Master of Business Administration), M.phil (Master of philosophy), M.Res (Master of Research)

This advanced study comes after you have obtained a college degree. You must have completed the course from the tertiary institution and obtained the requirements necessary for you to become a postgraduate student in the university.

Read also: Undergraduate VS Postgraduate: What Difference Does it Make?

Qualifications for Postgraduate Degrees

For postgraduate certificates, postgraduate diplomas, Master’s degrees, and doctorates, it is expected for one to have a bachelor’s degree of at least 2:2 level to study for a postgraduate degree. In a scenario where the student has a third class, they will enroll for a postgraduate diploma before studying for their Master’s. These are the qualifications:

  • Work Experience:

It is one of the renowned criteria for numerous postgraduate programs. Some schools consider work experience another entry requirement, especially for students who don’t meet the academic entry requirement. The work experience shows you have professional field experience relating to the course.

  • Biographical Essays:

Many students are expected to write a biological essay, and it is the same for this postgraduate Vs. Graduate. The student will have to submit recommendation letters to the institution in graduate courses. The essay can contain key things such as work experience, skills, personal biography, hobbies, areas of interest, etc. It is another way of standing out when applying for a postgraduate degree.

  • Tests:

Some universities might give applicants a written test to select the best ones to gain admission into their school. For instance, competitive courses like MBA, MSc, LLB, and many other tests as a medium to reduce the high number of students.

Read also: Oxford Acceptance Rate for Various Programs

Qualifications for Graduate Degrees

Graduate students can earn obtain either a Master’s or doctorate. These are important documents that have to be submitted for graduate degrees:

  • A completed tuition fee
  • A high school certificate
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • Standardized test scores

Applying for Post Graduate Degree Vs. Graduate

  • Choose your Program

There’s always a question of your choice of study? Is postgraduate study part of a grand career plan, or are you just picking something you love? These questions can be answered if only you start to research first. You must choose a Post Graduate Program and succeed with your application form and interviews.

  • Choose your University.

There could be a University you’ve always wanted to get into, be it before your Initial Degree or after graduation. You can Apply to that University by Checking in for the Availability of a Post Graduate Degree. If its Availability is confirmed, proceeding with the application and getting offered a PG Degree is only a step away.

  • Make an Application for the Program:

Contact the academic staff or any other staff associated with admission procedures. Therefore, the institution and Department of your choice would be in the expectance of your application. Having completed the form,  write an excellent personal statement explaining your motivations for applying for the course. Be sure to cross-check for errors to avoid typos and grammatical blunders.

  • Ace your interview:

Your application was amazing, and you were invited for an interview. Prepare for the big day and if it’s going to be an interview online, then make sure that you’ve got a strong Internet connection. And if you need to attend in person, make sure you plan your trip to the university, so you’re not late.

  • Source for Funding:

One needs to access his funding and Financial stability before going for a Post Graduate Degree. It would cost you money so be prepared. You can source funds from family, friends, and beloved ones.

  • Search for Accommodation:

If you would be traveling for the duration of your course, then going for accommodation recommended by the institution is an easy option. A good second option is to get someone to check out the room and its conditions before signing anything.

Other Interesting Contents


The major difference between postgraduate vs. graduate, a graduate, is the first degree from a university, while postgraduate can be regarded as a higher degree obtained after Bachelor’s degree.

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