Difference Between Graduate and Undergraduate


Main Difference

These terms graduate and undergraduate often confuse people as they seem to be similar kind of terminologies. People often thought them to be same or mix up the concepts of both. Graduate and undergraduate both refer towards the educational qualification. All around the world different terms are used as their alternatives or even these similar words are used in a different meaning. Here we will discuss what a graduate and an undergraduate in the US is referred as. The basic difference between a graduate and undergraduate in the US is, a student studying in the Bachelor course of 4 years in any college or university is said to be an undergraduate. Whereas a person that has completed his or her bachelor degree in four years from college and is attaining a higher level degree in a university or even college is called a graduate.

Comparison Chart

A student is said to be graduate when he or she has completed their four years of bachelor’s degree. Moreover, they are enrolled in the master program in any college or University.A student studying in the four years bachelor course in any of the college, university or degree awarding institute is said to be undergraduate. Students who are enrolled in four years bachelor program and are yet to complete it falls in the category of undergraduate.
Admission Requirement
A student must possess a valid four years graduate degree from any college or university for getting enrolled in the master program or postgraduate program.For getting admission in any undergraduate program, a student must have high school passing out certificate or diploma equivalent to that. Along with it, some entry test may also be required.
The student must possess four years bachelor degree. Degree without honors and fewer credit hours is not acceptable in major institutes around the world.The student must attain grades according to the required criteria of any specific undergraduate program in any specific college. Must pass the entry test as well.
Current Course Detail
Usually, four courses having 12 credit hours per course.Usually 5 to 7 courses with 15 to 21 credit hour for each semester.
Tuition Fees
In the US the average tuition fees for a graduate program starts from $30,000 at public sector and $40,000 in private colleges and universities.In the US the average fees for an undergraduate program range from $9000 to 12000.
Further Approach
A student after completing the master program can take admission for a doctoral degree or any research based programs offered.A student after completing the undergraduate bachelor’s program can get themselves enrolled in master or postgraduate programs.
A doctor or engineer is said to be graduates as he or she has completed their bachelor degree.Student studying engineering bachelor’s degree in any college or university are said to be undergraduates.

What is Graduate?

In the US any person or student that has completed their bachelor’s degree of four years from any College, University or degree awarding institute are said to be graduates. Graduate students can also be further enrolled in the master or postgraduate programs in any college or university, but it is not a necessary condition. Once they have completed four years bachelor degree, they are referred as graduate whether they are enrolled in further education or not. Graduates than can further get themselves enrolled in master degree or postgraduate degree program. After that, they can go for the doctoral degree and much other research-based higher level degrees.


What is Undergraduate?

In the US, undergraduates are the students that are currently enrolled and studying in any of the four years bachelor degree course in any college or university. They are said to be undergraduate because they haven’t completed their four years bachelor degree but are enrolled and studying in it. After the completion of 4 years of a bachelor degree, the undergraduates will then be referred as graduates. Students after completing their high school or any other diploma course can get enrolled themselves in the undergraduate programs offered by various colleges and universities. They have to clear the entry test as well before getting admission in any undergraduate course.

Graduate vs. Undergraduate

  • A graduate is a person who has completed his or her four years bachelor degree from a college or university.
  • Undergraduate is a person who is currently enrolled and studying in their four years bachelor degree and haven’t completed it yet.
  • Graduates can further enroll themselves in master or postgraduate degree program.
  • A student must have clear his or her higher school and must pass an entry test before getting admission in any undergraduate course.
  • An undergraduate student after completing his or her four years bachelor degree become a graduate.
Harlon Moss

Harlon currently works as a quality moderator and content writer for Difference Wiki. He graduated from the University of California in 2010 with a degree in Computer Science. Follow him on Twitter @HarlonMoss