What is Expected of a Graduate Student?
Before attending college I had no idea what a graduate degree was, I thought any degree you earned in college was a graduate degree because you graduated from college. However an associate and Bachelor degree are for those who have completed high school or the equivalent. A graduate degree is a professional degree for students who wish to advance study in a specific academic field or profession. The graduate degree course cannot be entered unless the student has earned a Bachelor Degree. The same rules apply for a ground campus and online graduate degree student with a few differences in how the class is structured.
More is expected of a graduate student than an undergraduate since a student enters a graduate program after attending at least four years of college. A student in a graduate program does not require constant supervision, he or she is able to dig in and get the work done without a lot of assistance.
A graduate degree requires more analytical thinking as the student uses study and research to learn about a specific field of study. A graduate student learns how and why things happen. A graduate student uses his or her critical thinking skills to enhance learning about the field of study.
Online degrees require students to enter into discussions in an online forum. Graduate students are expected to provide intellectual and well researched posts during these discussions. They are also expected to use proper English and grammar in their texts.
A graduate degree is specialized and the courses focus only on the field of study instead of areas of study that have no resemblance to the specific degree being earned. For example, a student who is working toward a degree in Elementary English will not have classes in algebra because those classes are not related to the study of Elementary English.
Online graduate students are expected to work independently. They have four years of college under their belt so they know how to maneuver in college. Granted the course load is sometimes more difficult so a graduate student might need guidance from time to time but, for the most part the graduate student is able to work on his or her own without a lot of assistance.
A graduate degree requires that the student exhibit deep thinking ability. The student is entering a degree where the field of study is focused on an area the student should be familiar and knowledgeable about. A student who studied Elementary Education in their Bachelor program should not enter a Master program in English. The student will not be knowledgeable in the field and will struggle since graduate lessons are more advanced than undergraduate lessons.
Earning a graduate degree is an enriching experience. A student is working toward becoming a master or expert in the field of study that he or she has chosen. The graduate degree provides the student with the necessary tools and lessons to become that expert.