What it Takes to Earn a Graduate Degree
Attaining a graduate degree is a completely different experience than attaining a Bachelor degree. Deeper thinking and analyzation of the world and its surroundings are expected as the student discovers the world through research and study. The graduate student learns why, where, when, and how instead of simply repeating what is learned in an undergraduate program. It is a completely different experience mastering a concept than learning it.
Graduate students are held to higher standards than undergraduate students. A lot more is expected of a graduate student than is expected of an undergraduate student so it is important for the graduate student to properly manage him or herself. Professors expect the graduate student to be self-paced and to work independently with little guidance.
The assumption of the graduate program is that students are there to learn, not just to get a degree. Professors push knowledge as well as performance. Students do not just show that they can pass tests and earn a degree. A graduate student shows the professor his or her knowledge base by exhibiting higher thinking skills.
A graduate student must possess strong research skills and express higher critical thinking skills than was required as an undergraduate student. The graduate student is given a topic to research, then it is time to take that idea and find the answer on his or her own. The resources are provided, but the research is up to the student.
Under graduate students require more guidance than graduate students who are showing that they have the experience and knowledge to provide more insightful discussions.
During the undergraduate program the professor is there to guide the student. The relationship changes between the graduate student and the professor. The professor is there as a sounding board for students who already possess the ability to research and learn.
Becoming a scholar is a whole difference than attaining an undergraduate degree. The scholar must be more dedicated to independent study and work to achieve the goal of mastering a specific skill.
About Kim Miller
I am a single mom of two sons, 15 and 18 years old. I also have an 8 month old grandson. I recently earned my BA in Elementary Education and am working toward an MA in Elementary Education. I love working with children and watching them learn.