At most institutions, decisions regarding admission are not made by the institution itself but the department to which the student is applying. Some departments may require interviews before making a decision to accept an applicant.[7] Most universities adhere to the Council of Graduate Schools' Resolution Regarding Graduate Scholars, Fellows, Trainees, and Assistants, which gives applicants until April 15 to accept or reject offers that contain financial support.[12]
In Canada, the Schools and Faculties of Graduate Studies are represented by the Canadian Association of Graduate Studies (CAGS) or Association canadienne pour les études supérieures (ACES). The Association brings together 58 Canadian universities with graduate programs, two national graduate student associations, and the three federal research-granting agencies and organizations having an interest in graduate studies.[3] Its mandate is to promote, advance, and foster excellence in graduate education and university research in Canada. In addition to an annual conference, the association prepares briefs on issues related to graduate studies including supervision, funding, and professional development.

Traditionally, doctoral programs were only intended to last three to four years, and in some disciplines (primarily the natural sciences), with a helpful advisor and a light teaching load, it is possible for the degree to be completed in that amount of time. However, increasingly many disciplines, including most humanities, set their requirements for coursework, languages, and the expected extent of dissertation research by the assumption that students will take five years minimum or six to seven years on average; competition for jobs within these fields also raises expectations on the length and quality of dissertations considerably.
Purdue University administers its largest and most comprehensive campus in West Lafayette, Indiana, home to the Purdue University Graduate School. The Graduate School oversees more than 130 graduate programs at the West Lafayette campus, including exciting interdisciplinary graduate programs and a variety of certificate programs.  Browse the programs below to see which one best fits your interest!

A doctoral degree is the highest level of graduate degree. It is achieved by a little more than one percent of the population, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As is the case with all higher education, the cost of a doctoral degree will vary by school, but can be a significant investment. Most students complete doctoral degree programs within ten years, although some finish in as little as four years.
Human development and family studies offers graduate work leading to master of science and doctor of philosophy degrees. Graduate programs take a multidisciplinary approach, preparing students for college and university teaching and research, as well as development, administration, and evaluation of programs serving individuals and families across the lifespan.
Setting GALCIT apart from others are our unrivaled experimental facilities in fluids, solids, materials, biomechanics, propulsion, and combustion; our exceptional faculty; our rigorous graduate student training; and our emphasis on the basics. We also maintain close connections to industry and government labs. An extremely broad range of research is done by the professors in GALCIT, their colleagues, and students. The GALCIT faculty maintain strong connections with colleagues throughout the Division, the Institute, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Our faculty collaborate with colleagues from Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Applied Physics and Materials Science, Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Bioengineering, Geology and Planetary Sciences, and JPL. Research in Biological Fluid Dynamics is carried out by GALCIT faculty and colleagues throughout Caltech.
For overseas students, most major funding applications are due as early as twelve months or more before the intended graduate course will begin. This funding is also often highly competitive. The most widely available, and thus important, award for overseas students is the Overseas Research Student (ORS) Award, which pays the difference in university fees between an overseas student and a British or EU resident. However, a student can only for one university apply for the ORS Award, often before he or she knows whether they have been accepted. As of the 2009/2010 academic year, the HEFCE has cancelled the Overseas Research Student Award scheme for English and Welsh universities.[34] The state of the scheme for Scottish and Northern Irish universities is currently unclear.
Over the past two decades, it has become ever more apparent that many of the most serious problems faced by the nation have both an economic and a political component. Graduate education, however, has remained largely compartmentalized, with most programs producing students who, while well trained in economics or in political science, are not trained in both. The Caltech Ph.D. program in social science is designed to graduate scholars who are well grounded in the theoretical perspectives, the quantitative techniques, and the experimental methods of economics and of political science and who also have been introduced to quantitative history, law, anthropology, and psychology. In addition to providing students with a solid foundation in the underlying disciplines, the program has a substantial policy component that brings institutional design to policy studies in a way that is done at no other institution.

The Environmental Sciences Graduate Program provides curricula leading to M.A. M.S., Professional Science Master's (PSM) and Ph.D. degrees in environmental science. The curricula integrates thinking across disciplines, especially life, physical, and social sciences. Environmental science explores natural processes on earth and their alteration by human activity.
Students are required to complete a 12 credit hour depth/breadth requirement in order to receive a Master’s degree in ECE. To complete this depth/breadth requirement, students must take at least 9 depth credits of ECE coursework from one of the five research divisions housed in the ECE department (i.e., Computer Engineering, Devices, Electromagnetics and Energy Systems, Electronics, Signals & Systems). At least three of these nine depth credits must be at the 6000 level. In addition, students must complete at least three breadth credits of coursework in the ECE department outside of their declared depth research division. Students can determine which ECE courses are housed in each research division by referring to the research division flow charts at the end of this manual. ECE courses used to complete this depth/breadth requirement will be counted toward the minimum 18 credits of ECE coursework required for the Master’s thesis degree.
In the UK, students will normally need to have a 2:1. Students may also have to provide evidence of their ability to successfully pursue a postgraduate degree to be accepted into a taught master's course, and possibly higher for a research master's.[74] Graduate schools in the US similarly require strong undergraduate performance, and may require students to take one or more standardised tests, such as the GRE, GMAT or LSAT.[75]
The Interdisciplinary Training Program in Auditory Neuroscience Program (TPAN) provides graduate student training and research experience at the interface of science and engineering, and in both humans and animal models. This training program prepares students for independent research careers that can advance our understanding of auditory system function using innovative tools and technologies. Graduates of this training program will develop creative solutions, devices and strategies to assist and prevent hearing loss in human patients.
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The Master of Fine Arts, or MFA degree, is a graduate degree that usually requires 2 to 3 years of postgraduate study after a Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Unlike the Master of Arts, the M.F.A. centers around practice in a particular discipline and is recognized as a terminal degree in visual arts, design, dance, photography, theater, and creative writing.
In the Political Science program, you'll learn the ideas of great political thinkers, controversies involved in issues as current as the front page of today's newspapers, and everything in between. You will have engaging discussions and debates from all points of view in class, with students and professors. You'll learn to think critically, write clearly and speak persuasively. You'll learn...
Rural communities—both in the U.S. and globally—face an extraordinarily complex set of challenges due to sparse settlements and geographic isolation, exacerbated by globalization and technological change in an interdependent urban-rural system. Addressing these challenges requires both the theoretical insights of multiple disciplines and the practical wisdom that derives from engagement in...
In 1983, the Engineering Council issued a "'Statement on enhanced and extended undergraduate engineering degree courses", proposing the establishment of a four-year first degree (Master of Engineering).[37][38] These were up and running by the mid 1980s and were followed in the early 1990s by the MPhys for physicists and since then integrated master's degrees in other sciences such as MChem, MMath, and MGeol, and in some institutions general or specific MSci (Master in Science) and MArts (Master in Arts) degrees. This development was noted by the Dearing Report into UK Higher Education in 1997, which called for the establishment of a national framework of qualifications and identified five different routes to master's degrees:[39]
The form "Master in ..." is also sometimes used, particularly where a faculty title is used for an integrated master's in addition to its use in a traditional postgraduate master's, e.g. Master in Science (MSci) and Master in Arts (MArts). This form is also sometimes used with other integrated master's degrees,[50] and occasionally for postgraduate master's degrees (e.g. Master's in Accounting).[51] Some universities use Latin degree names; because of the flexibility of syntax in Latin, the Master of Arts and Master of Science degrees may be known in these institutions as Magister artium and Magister scientiæ or reversed from the English order to Artium magister and Scientiæ magister. Examples of the reversed usage include Harvard University, the University of Chicago and MIT, leading to the abbreviations A.M. and S.M. for these degrees. The forms "Master of Science" and "Master in Science" are indistinguishable in Latin, thus MSci is "Master of Natural Sciences" at the University of Cambridge.
Up to 18 hours of Special Topics (EEL 5934, 6935, and 7936) may be applied toward the degree. Up to six hours of unstructured credit hours total (EEL 5905, EEL 6905 or EGN 5949) may be applied toward the degree. Students can count a maximum of 3 credits of EGN 5949 toward their degree program. No other S/U credit can be counted toward the degree. All non‐thesis students are required to have a one‐member supervisory committee. The ECE department chair serves as the default non‐thesis committee member for all non‐thesis students and is automatically appointed for all non‐thesis students during their graduating semester. Students must receive a final grade of “C” or better to receive degree credit for a letter graded course. A course with a final grade of “C” and above cannot be repeated for credit. If a student receives a grade less than a “C” for a course, s/he may retake the course and an average of both grades will be used when compiling GPA graduation requirements. Courses in which students receive a grade of “C‐“ or lower will not be used to fulfill credit requirements but will adversely affect a students’ GPA.
The Master of Arts, or MA degree, is a type of graduate degree which includes all arts and humanities disciplines as well as some social sciences. The M.A. degree is typically awarded in English, history, communication studies, international relations, international business administration, humanities, philosophy, and social sciences. Generally, an MA degree takes 2 years of full-time study for a non-thesis program, and longer for a thesis option; the Master of Arts (M.A.) may either be entirely course-based, entirely research-based or a combination. Admission to M.A. programs is usually contingent on the applicant having previously obtained their Bachelor’s degree which is often a Bachelor of Arts.

The Australian Qualifications Framework classifies master's degrees as research, coursework or extended. Research master's degrees typically take one to two years, and two thirds of their content consists of research, research training and independent study. Coursework master's degrees typically also last one to two years, and consist mainly of structured learning with some independent research and project work or practice-related learning. Extended master's degrees typically take three to four years and contain significant practice-related learning that must be developed in collaboration with relevant professional, statutory or regulatory bodies.[61]
Online programs offer flexible options like asynchronous classes with no set login times. Working nurses often struggle to attend set class times because of their varying schedules. Furthermore, rather than remaining limited to local nursing schools, as with a traditional program, online students enroll in top programs across the country without relocating.
Lato sensu graduate degrees: degrees that represent a specialization in a certain area and take from 1 to 2 years to complete. It can sometimes be used to describe a specialization level between a master's degree and an MBA. In that sense, the main difference is that the Lato Sensu courses tend to go deeper into the scientific aspects of the study field, while MBA programs tend to be more focused on the practical and professional aspects, being used more frequently to Business, Management and Administration areas. However, since there are no norms to regulate this, both names are used indiscriminately most of the time.
In all cases, comprehensive exams are normally both stressful and time consuming and must be passed to be allowed to proceed on to the dissertation. Passing such examinations allows the student to stay, begin doctoral research, and rise to the status of a doctoral candidate, while failing usually results in the student leaving the program or re-taking the test after some time has passed (usually a semester or a year). Some schools have an intermediate category, passing at the master's level, which allows the student to leave with a master's without having completed a master's dissertation.
Graduate study at the Institute is divided further into several graduate options, which are supervised by those faculty whose interests and research are closely related to the area of the option. Entering graduate students are admitted into one of the following options working towards a specific degree.  Almost all options offer the degree of Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), and a few options will admit students to a terminal Master's (MS).  In all other options, the Master's degree is awarded under special circumstances only.  Please check the departmental websites and/or the Institute Catalog for a list of the degrees offered.

Students must receive a final grade of “C” or better to receive degree credit for a letter graded course. A course with a final grade of “C” and above cannot be repeated for credit. If a student receives a grade less than a “C” for a course, s/he may retake the course and an average of both grades will be used when compiling GPA graduation requirements. Courses in which students receive a grade of “C‐“ or lower will not be used to fulfill credit requirements but will adversely affect a student’s GPA.
Graduate students in biology come with very diverse undergraduate preparation—majors in physics, chemistry, mathematics, or psychology, as well as in biology and its various branches. The aims of the graduate program are to provide, for each student, individual depth of experience and competence in a particular chosen major specialty; perception of the nature and logic of biology as a whole; sufficient strength in basic science to allow continued self-education after formal training has been completed and thus to keep in the forefront of changing fields; and the motivation to serve his or her field productively through a long career.  In accordance with these aims, the graduate study program in biology includes the following parts: (a) the major program, which is to provide the student with early and intense original research experience in a self-selected subject of biology, supplemented with advanced course work and independent study in this subject; and (b) a program of course work designed to provide well-rounded and integrated training in biology and the appropriate basic sciences, 
which is adjusted to special interests and needs. An individual program will be recommended to each student in a meeting with the student’s advisory committee.
Are you interested in embarking upon a career in the federal, public, tribal, or community rehabilitation sectors? Emporia State University's Clinical Counseling with a Clinical Rehabilitation Counseling Concentration offers four options to study: generalist, deaf and hard of hearing persons, autism spectrum disorder, or autism spectrum disorder post-master's certificate. Offered on campus.
A Water Resources Graduate Minor for master of science, master of arts, and doctor of philosophy degree programs is offered with specialization in hydrology, water quality, or water resources planning and management. The first two options are technically oriented, while the third gives added socioeconomic emphasis. Seminars, readings and conferences are offered by the Water Resources Graduate...
Are you seeking a career in the healthcare industry, medical device development, entrepreneurship, or regulatory affairs? Or perhaps you’re interested in combining engineering research and design with clinical care? We are offering multiple exciting new pathways to a graduate degree to meet the diverse career interests of our students and the industry's growing demand of biomedical engineers with advanced degrees.
The MS in Physical Science with Physics Concentration offers study of the relationship between matter and energy. This concentration is designed to serve the needs of those planning to advance in a teaching career, enter industrial or governmental work, or continue graduate education at the doctoral level.Students benefit from small classes, a student-oriented faculty, research opportunities, and a flexible curriculum. Offered on campus.

An MSN prepares nurses for several advanced practice roles, which bring higher salaries and greater responsibility. For example, nurse practitioners must hold an MSN, which qualifies them to prescribe medication and act as a primary care provider. The following jobs with a master's degree in nursing represent options for nurses who pursue a graduate degree.

The Master of Fine Arts, or MFA degree, is a graduate degree that usually requires 2 to 3 years of postgraduate study after a Bachelor’s degree (Bachelor of Fine Arts). Unlike the Master of Arts, the M.F.A. centers around practice in a particular discipline and is recognized as a terminal degree in visual arts, design, dance, photography, theater, and creative writing.


The title of Master of Philosophy (MPhil) indicates (in the same manner as Doctor of Philosophy) an extended degree with a large research component.[49] Other generically-named masters programs include the Master of Studies (MSt)/Master of Advanced Study (MASt)/Master of Advanced Studies (M.A.S.), and Professional Master's (MProf). Integrated master's degrees and postgraduate master's degrees oriented towards professional practice are often more specifically named for their field of study ("tagged degrees"), including, for example, the Master of Business Administration, Master of Divinity, Master of Engineering and Master of Physics.
Producing original research is a significant component of graduate studies in the humanities, natural sciences and social sciences. This research typically leads to the writing and defense of a thesis or dissertation. In graduate programs that are oriented toward professional training (e.g., MPA, MBA, MHA), the degrees may consist solely of coursework, without an original research or thesis component. The term "graduate school" is primarily North American. Additionally, in North America, the term does not usually refer to medical school (whose students are called "medical students"), and only occasionally refers to law school or business school; these are often collectively termed professional schools. Graduate students in the humanities, sciences and social sciences often receive funding from the school (e.g., fellowships or scholarships) and/or a teaching assistant position or other job; in the profession-oriented grad programs, students are less likely to get funding, and the fees are typically much higher.
Postgraduate education, or graduate education in North America, involves learning and studying for academic or professional degrees, academic or professional certificates, academic or professional diplomas, or other qualifications for which a first or bachelor's degree generally is required, and it is normally considered to be part of higher education. In North America, this level is typically referred to as graduate school (or sometimes colloquially as grad school).
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