You may be surprised, however, by the number of unfamiliar terms associated with college itself. Undergraduate, TA, accreditation, Greek life, the FAFSA—high school counselors and college admissions officers use these terms every day. Unfortunately, they don’t always stop to explain what each term means.
The “College Speak” series will explain the college-oriented vocab that you need to be in the know and focus on the more important questions, such as “which school would be the best fit for me?”
Today’s terms are . . .
Post-Secondary School: Any school you might attend at any point after high school. High school is secondary school. Going back further, primary school is another term for elementary school.
Undergraduate and Graduate: Undergraduate and graduate schools are types of post-secondary schools that you might attend after you graduate from high school.
An undergraduate school requires no additional education beyond high school prior to enrollment. A graduate school requires some specified type of undergraduate education prior to enrollment. In other words, graduate schools are for graduates of other post-secondary schools.
The terms undergraduate and graduate may also refer to students attending either type of school: “He’s an undergraduate student at Grinnell College.” “She’s a graduate student at Duke Graduate School.”