Some students choose to continue their learning beyond the four years of study as an undergraduate by going on to receive a graduate education. This specialized advanced study can result in either a master’s degree or a doctoral degree.
Graduate school—often shortened to “grad school”—is a school that awards advanced academic degrees to students who have previously earned an undergraduate degree. A distinction is generally made between graduate schools and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, or law.
Because of the size and variety of higher educational institutions in the United States, it can be difficult to determine which school will offer a program that is best suited to your goals and interests. For graduate students, the research or study facilities available are critical, as independent research is often a crucial component to the graduate school education. Potential graduate students will also want to look at the publication records of the faculty in a chosen department.