At many universities, graduate students are employed by their university to teach classes or do research. While all graduate employees are graduate students, many graduate students are not employees. MBA students, for example, usually pay tuition and do not have paid teaching or research positions. In many countries graduate employees have collectively organized labor unions in order to bargain a contract with their university. In Canada, for example, almost all graduate employees are members of a CUPE local.
Graduate students must usually declare their research goal or submit a research proposal upon entering grad school; in the case of master's degrees, there will be some flexibility (that is, one is not held to one's research proposal, although major changes, for example from premodern to modern history, are discouraged). In the case of Ph.D.s, the research direction is usually known as it will typically follow the direction of the master's research.
The online learning format helps working nurses complete a degree on their schedule. Nursing students choose between part- or full-time enrollment to fit their schedule, and many programs do not require set login times to complete coursework. Online nursing students can often complete clinical requirements at their current workplace. Accelerated programs let nurses with a BSN earn their MSN within 12 months.
A graduate school (sometimes shortened to grad school) is a school that awards advanced academic degrees (i.e., master's and doctoral degrees) with the general requirement that students must have earned a previous undergraduate (bachelor's) degree[1][2] with a high grade point average. A distinction is typically made between graduate schools (where courses of study vary in the degree to which they provide training for a particular profession) and professional schools, which offer specialized advanced degrees in professional fields such as medicine, nursing, business, engineering, speech-language pathology, or law. The distinction between graduate schools and professional schools is not absolute since various professional schools offer graduate degrees and vice versa.
In Scotland, Edinburgh maintained separate BA and MA degrees until the mid nineteenth century,[11] although there were major doubts as to the quality of the Scottish degrees of this period. In 1832 Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor and an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh, told the House of Lords that "In England the Universities conferred degrees after a considerable period of residence, after much labour performed, and if they were not in all respects so rigorous as the statutes of the Universities required, nevertheless it could not be said, that Masters of Arts were created at Oxford and Cambridge as they were in Scotland, without any residence, or without some kind of examination. In Scotland all the statutes of the Universities which enforced conditions on the grant of degrees were a dead letter."[12]
Forensic psychology involves applying psychology to the field of criminal investigation and law. Forensic psychologists typically have a master's in forensic psychology at the minimum, but many hold a PhD in clinical or counseling psychology. Forensic psychologists may work in various settings, including family courts, drug courts, criminal courts, or private consulting.
In Scotland, Edinburgh maintained separate BA and MA degrees until the mid nineteenth century,[11] although there were major doubts as to the quality of the Scottish degrees of this period. In 1832 Lord Brougham, the Lord Chancellor and an alumnus of the University of Edinburgh, told the House of Lords that "In England the Universities conferred degrees after a considerable period of residence, after much labour performed, and if they were not in all respects so rigorous as the statutes of the Universities required, nevertheless it could not be said, that Masters of Arts were created at Oxford and Cambridge as they were in Scotland, without any residence, or without some kind of examination. In Scotland all the statutes of the Universities which enforced conditions on the grant of degrees were a dead letter."[12]
There are also discipline-specific differences. A person applying for a doctoral program in Biblical studies or theology from a seminary or theological school must already hold a first professional degree in the field, known as the Master of Divinity degree (M.Div.). The M.Div. is a three-year master's program, however, a thesis is usually not required before completion. The M.Div. is the entry degree for the Doctor of Ministry degree (D.Min) or the Ph.D.
In some fields, research positions are more coveted than teaching positions because student researchers are typically paid to work on the dissertation they are required to complete anyway, while teaching is generally considered a distraction from one's work. Research positions are more typical of science disciplines; they are relatively uncommon in humanities disciplines, and where they exist, rarely allow the student to work on their own research. Science PhD students can apply for individual NRSA fellowships from the NIH or fellowships from private foundations. US universities often also offer competitive support from NIH-funded training programs. One example is the Biotechnology Training Program – University of Virginia. Departments often have funds for limited discretionary funding to supplement minor expenses such as research trips and travel to conferences.
In Italy the master's degree is equivalent to the two-year Laurea magistrale, which can be earned after a Laurea (a three-year undergraduate degree, equivalent to a bachelor's degree). In particular fields, namely law, pharmacy and medicine, this distinction is not made. University courses are therefore single and last five to six years, after which the master's degree is awarded (in this case referred to as Laurea magistrale a ciclo unico). The old Laurea degree (Vecchio Ordinamento, Old Regulations), which was the only awarded in Italy before the Bologna process, is equivalent[83] to the current Laurea Magistrale.
Each student is responsible for applying for his/her degree by the published deadlines for the semester of graduation. The degree application is available online via ONE UF. Students are also required to meet with the Graduate Advisor in the Student Services Office at the beginning of the semester that they intend to graduate to ensure that all degree requirements have been met. If a student fails to apply by the specified deadline, s/he will not receive the degree that semester.

Funding is available for some Ph.D./D.Phil. courses. As at the master's level, there is more funding available to those in the sciences than in other disciplines. Such funding generally comes from Research Councils such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Medical Research Council (MRC) and others. Masters students may also have the option of a Postgraduate loan introduced by the UK Government in 2016.
In some countries such as Finland and Sweden, there is the degree of Licentiate, which is more advanced than a master's degree but less so than a Doctorate. Credits required are about half of those required for a doctoral degree.[10] Coursework requirements are the same as for a doctorate, but the extent of original research required is not as high as for doctorate.[11][12] Medical doctors for example are typically licentiates instead of doctors.
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