A Graduate School (sometimes shortened to grad school) is an academic institution that awards advanced degrees. These institutions generally require that a student has completed a bachelor’s degree with a high grade point average. Many universities award graduate degrees, as a graduate school is not generally a separate institution. Although graduate school programs are separate from undergraduate bachelors’ degree programs, graduate degree teaching is usually offered by the same educators and lecturers who teach undergraduate courses as well. Unlike in undergraduate programs, however, it is less common for graduate students to study course materials outside their discipline of study at the graduate level.
Graduate school refers to the distinction in postgraduate education with professional schools. Professional schools offer programs of study that often relate directly to the career a student wishes to pursue. Participating in original academic research is an important component of graduate studies in the social sciences, natural sciences and humanities. Often, this research forms the basis for the writing and defense of a dissertation or thesis.