Graduate vs. Undergraduate?

Discussion in 'General Distance Learning Discussions' started by Joe B, Feb 25, 2003.

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  1. Joe B

    Joe B New Member

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    What is the difference between a graduate-level course, and an undergraduate-level course? Is it the idea that graduate level courses involve research, as well as more focused inquiry? I am on a committee trying to figure this out, and I don't want to re-invent the wheel. If someone knows of an authoritative source, please let me know!
    Thanks,
    Joe B
     
  2. roy maybery

    roy maybery New Member

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    As a general rule an undergraduate degree such as B.A. or BSc is a first degree usually taken after high school. The 'B' in B.A stands for Bachelor hence Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science. A post graduate degree is a higher award usually taken after the bachelors degree.
    Some examples of post graduate degrres are: M.A (Master of Arts.) M.Sc (Master of Science) M.B.A (Master of Business Administration.) Sometimes the Master's degree is issued as a first degree, that is without taking a Bachelors first. This happens in such illustrious places as Oxford and Cambridge, also Herriot Watt University in Scotland allows suitable candidates to attempt theit MBA without a Bachelors degree. These are, however, the exception, the general rule is Bachelor then Master.
    After Masters there is another post graduate degree which is the doctorate. These are things such as Ph.D (Doctor of Philosophy) D.Ed (Doctor of Education.) Entry into these degrees are almost never allowed prior to a masters degree or a very good bachelors degree. Sometime the worthy and famous are awarded honorary doctorates. British Prime Ministers or or very famous high brow authors are amongst these.
    The rule of thumb is to bear in mind that the 'Post in post graduate is Latin for 'after'. Therefore post graduate is done after one has done the graduate degree.
    Post graduate degrees do hqve an element of research usually manifest most profoundly in the M.A or Ph.D dissertation. Post grad should also be tougher than undergrad.


    Roy maybery
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 25, 2003
  3. Joe B

    Joe B New Member

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    Roy, thanks for your reply, but I meant not a course of study, but a discrete, individual course, typically, a 3-credit-type course. Traditional and nontrad. institutions list individual courses for credit, and I wondered if there were guidelines, or rubrics, or a simple narrative description of how; in what way a graduate 3 credit course differs from an undergrad 3 credit course with an otherwise similar descriptor.

    Sorry for the lack of clarity in my first post.
    Bob
     
  4. Dennis Ruhl

    Dennis Ruhl member

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    A grad course has a number 500 or over while an undergrad course has a number under 500 with some mingling.

    Difference in content - sometimes. Difference in expectations - usually.
     
  5. Richard A. Suhar PE CMfgE

    Richard A. Suhar PE CMfgE New Member

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    Your committee may want to make an evaluation of the difference using the following tool from:

    http://www.coun.uvic.ca/learn/program/hndouts/bloom.html


    Graduate level coursework is typically higher on the scale with more emphasis on synthesis and analysis.

    From a semester or quarter hour perspective the time frame is consistent.... 1 semester hour is a 50 minute contact session for 15 weeks. 1 Qtr Hr is a 50 minute contact for 10 weeks.

    Way back in the 60s, the rule of thumb for undergrauduate courses was 2 hrs of student preparation for the 50 minute session. I don't know what it is now. Maybe some other posters can shed light on this issue. As you can see, not all 3 semester hours courses are created equally..... a 3 semester hour course in freshman english will not require the same amount of time(effort) as the 3 semster hour course in qunatum physics. Yet both courses carry the same credit.

    Dick


     
  6. me again

    me again Active Member

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    This is purely anecdotal, but I did find three differences in undergraduate and graduate work.
    • The graduate work involved more research that involved empirically supporting or not supporting the data, whereas the undergraduate work relied primarily on the research of others. The graduate students were taught a lot about research methodology, whereas this wasn't discussed in the undergraduate coursework.
    • Our graduate work was also more interactive between the students and the professors, whereas our undergraduate work appeared to be more of a one-way street of "information flow" from the professors to the students.
    • A third difference is that the graduate work is more focused on a major, whereas undergraduate work encompasses a lot of academic coursework that has nothing to do with your major field of study.
     
  7. Mike Albrecht

    Mike Albrecht New Member

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    Another way to look at it is that the undergraduate course is aimed at training you how to use a tool (Probability for an example) while the graduate course is aimed at giveing you the foundation (theory) to develop your own tools.

    Or more bluntly -

    Undergrad = plug and crank
    Grad = Why
     
  8. MarkIsrael@aol.com

    [email protected] New Member

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    a suggestion

    Look at Harvard Extension's course offerings:

    http://www.extension.harvard.edu/2002-03/courses/

    and see how many courses are offered for either undergraduate credit or graduate credit! So obviously the accreditors will let you get away with that.

    So how about this:

    1) If the course is such that undergrads taking it would hold the others back because of their lack of knowledge, make it graduate-level only.

    2) If the course would make it ridiculously easy to complete one's quota of graduate-level courses, make it undergrad-level only.

    3) Allow all other courses to be taken at either the undergraduate or (if the student already has a Bachelor's degree) the graduate level.
     

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