What is an undergraduate degree?
I've recently been reading about undergraduate and graduate degrees in preparing for college, and I'm rather confused. What's the point of an undergraduate degree? What is an undergraduate degree? Can you only take undergraduate classes at some schools and not others? How long does it typically take to earn an undergraduate degree? What is the difference between an undergraduate and a graduate degree? Also, if you could supply any other general information on the subject, I'll surely award some extra points.See Answer 10 Add Answers
Typically, undergrad degrees are Bachelor's degrees. They are the degree you receive for completing 4 years (Well, some people finish in less time, others in a greater amount of time). Master's and Doctorates are graduate degrees, since you have to be in a graduate program to earn one.
You need a bachelor's to enter a graduate program. A master's program is usually completed in 2-3 years, and a PhD takes about 5-6 years. You can earn a Masters while doing a PhD program.
An undergraduate degree is the (usually 4 year) degree that most people get after high school. This will be either a Bachelor's of Science (B.S.), or it will be a Bachelor's of Arts (B.A.). During your undergraduate career, you'll choose a "major" to study, and that topic will be the focus of your classes, but you will also have to take general education classes like humanities, math, science, English, and history. You should be able to get an undergraduate degree at any accredited university, but most community colleges don't offer them because they're too small. Most people stop school after they complete their undergraduate degree.
After you finish your undergraduate degree with a GPA of 3.0 or better and a strong desire to pursue a more academic field, you can go into graduate school where you will get your Masters degree. This is usually a 2-3 year long program where you focus on a specific field that you want to work with, and you will take very advanced classes that only deal with this topic.
If you still want to keep going with school, the doctoral degree comes after the masters degree. Both the Ph.D. program and the masters program are considered "graduate" degrees, but usually only the masters degree program is called "grad school", and the Ph.D. program is regarded as different. The Ph.D. program will usually take around 2-5 years.
Total, this means you'd have 13 years of basic schooling, 4 years of undergrad, 3 years of grad school, and 3 years of working on your Ph.D. if you were to go all the way up the ladder, on average.