For people who go to college, earning a bachelor’s or undergraduate degree is enough. Still, others want something more. Whether it’s to conduct more research in their respective fields or pursue specific careers that requires= further education, these students need postgraduate degrees. Here are some of the most common types of degrees to know for after undergrad.
Master’s degrees are types of graduate degrees for a specific field after one earns their bachelor’s. Master’s programs typically last one to two years and are meant to enhance professionalism and knowledge in a specific area of study. Students preferably stick to their undergraduate research or something related in their master’s programs, but they don’t have to. Master’s programs apply theoretical concepts to enhance critical thinking, analysis, problem-solving, and independent research.
A PhD is another type of postgraduate degree that symbolizes the highest level of academia. Students typically earn their PhDs—also referred to as their doctorates—after their master’s programs, but they can also go straight on from undergrad. Doctoral degrees are rigorous ventures spanning years of classwork, teaching, research, and writing dissertations. Upon completing their dissertations, doctoral candidates defend their dissertations to a panel of professors that approves or denies the research. People who have earned their PhDs commonly become professors or researchers, but they can also work in a variety of other public or private sectors.
The juris doctor degree is another type of degree to know for after undergrad. It’s a type of professional degree awarded to those who have successfully completed law school. A JD itself does not permit individuals to freely practice law. Rather, it signifies completion of an accredited law program, after which students must then pass the bar examination. Only then are they considered professional attorneys.
There are, of course, alternative careers in law for students who wish to earn their JDs without taking the bar exam. Students can learn more about alternative careers in law through a law school admissions advisor or consultant.
An MD—which stands for Doctor of Medicine—is another type of professional degree for people who practice medicine. An MD signifies one’s successful completion of medical school. That does not mean these graduates are doctors yet, as they still need to successfully complete residencies and fellowships. Specific medical fields also use different abbreviations. For instance, DO represents Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine; MS represents Master of Surgery; and MPH stands for Master of Public Health. An MD-PhD is a further specific type of MD degree that combines medicine and research.
What is a JD degree?
The juris doctor degree is another type of degree to know for after undergrad. It’s a type of professional degree awarded to those who have successfully completed law school. A JD itself does not permit individuals to freely practice law.