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Grad School Degrees: M.A., M.S., Ph.D, How to Choose!

grad school degrees

Once you have a bachelor's degree, you'll be faced with three options to continue your education: a master's degree, a doctorate degree, or a postbaccalaureate certificate. Technically, a postbaccalaureate isn't a graduate degree, but it may be a viable alternative. Each program has its own characteristics and choosing among them (or not at all) can sometimes be difficult.

Generally speaking, a postbac is designed to fill gaps in your education prior to applying to graduate school. A master's degree lets you specialize in a field, but still leaves you room to explore and experiment. And a doctorate degree is the pinnacle of education, where you specialize in one area under the supervision of one or more faculty.

It's good to ask friends and family for advice, but don't let them decide what's right for you. Take the time to learn about the different types of grad school degrees, internalize the information, and make an informed decision.

master's degreeMaster's Degree

You're awarded a master's degree when you achieve, well, "mastery" in a given field. When you finish, you're expected to possess advanced theoretical and applied knowledge in an area... Read more »

PhD degreeDoctorate Degree

A doctorate degree is the highest title conferred in academia and qualifies you to become a university professor in your field of study. It's the black belt of education... Read more »

postbaccalaureatePostbaccalaureate Certificate

A postbaccalaureate certificate ("postbac") is awarded when you complete courses beyond your undergraduate studies in a non-degree granting program... Read more »

master's vs. PhD Grad School Degrees: Which is Right for You?

Choosing among the master's, doctorate, and postbaccalaureate programs is one of the most important academic decision that you'll make... Read more »





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