Postgraduate degrees are degrees obtained after finishing university or college; this differs from post-baccalaureate degrees in that the postgraduate student has completed their undergraduate studies while at the same time gaining new knowledge in the process. Postgraduate studies involve learning and study for either academic or specialized degrees, educational or professional diplomas, certificates, and specializations for which an associate's, bachelor's, master's, or doctorate degree is usually required.
Some degree programs require that a student earn a certain number of credits in order to graduate; this is called a baccalaureate. Many universities offer bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees, as well as many professional certifications, such as nursing and teaching credentials. Some schools also offer degrees in subjects that are not commonly associated with academic study, such as accounting, engineering, art, history, business, law, medicine, and more.
Before postgraduate study, students generally have completed a bachelor's degree, or in some cases, a high school diploma and a passing grade on the entrance exam. Most colleges and universities require students to have at least a bachelor's degree prior to enrollment, though there are some institutions that do not require a student to have this particular degree before entering the program.
During postgraduate study, the student is typically assigned to a faculty mentor for as long as they are in college. There are some institutions, such as the University of Phoenix or the University of Michigan, where the student is encouraged to meet with a counselor for guidance in selecting a major and specific coursework. Once enrolled, students can work through the assignments that have been assigned to them individually, as well as with their professor. In the case of most universities, the professor will assign homework and assignments to the student at the beginning of each semester.
Students will have a choice between two types of degrees: associate's and bachelor's degrees. Each option requires a different amount of time, as well as the completion of the required courses in order to graduate with that degree.
An associate's degree requires four years of full-time study at an eligible institution of higher learning, as well as the completion of the general education requirement. In addition to the minimum requirements outlined above, the student must first complete a minimum of a bachelor's, then complete an additional two years of study in areas of study unrelated to the main one that they are pursuing. Typically, in order to earn an associate's degree, one must first enroll in classes such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, biology, English composition, humanities, philosophy, or social science.
A bachelor's degree on the other hand, typically takes four years of full-time study at an eligible institution of higher learning and usually only requires the completion of two years of general education requirements. In addition to the two years that are required of students who wish to earn a Bachelor's of Science degree in Nursing, they must also complete courses in math, chemistry, biology, chemistry, English composition, and social science. They also must complete two years of honors studies in humanities and a year of professional development in order to become licensed as a nurse. Students . . . . . . who wish to earn their Master's degree will typically have two years of study and one year of general education, as well as a minimum of two years of honors studies.
Those who wish to earn a Master's degree have two years of study and three years of specialized training; and, in some cases, one year of graduate study is necessary for the Masters in Arts degree. in Nursing or Masters in Science in Health Management, as well as a doctorate degree in a medical field.