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Postgraduate Study

Over 1,700 universities award postgraduate degrees in the U.S., offering Master’s, PhD, and Law and Medicine degrees. Applying for a postgraduate degree in the United States takes hard work and dedication, so it is worth taking your time to do the research and find the right school for you.

For more information on postgraduate study in the U.S. please see the EducationUSA page: https://www.educationusa.info/5_steps_to_study/graduate_step_1_research_your_options.php.

Types of Postgraduate Degrees

Master’s Degree: A Master’s typically takes two years in the U.S., although there are some one year programs. They will combine research and taught components and most likely will require a final thesis. A Master’s can be academic in nature (a Master of Arts) or professional (Masters in Business Administration). They are all Master’s degrees, but requirements and expectations may different. Read the course descriptions carefully to ensure you choose a program that is right for you.

Doctoral Degree: A doctoral degree, or PhD, is typically aimed at students who wish to pursue a career in academia. This is a research-led degree that will often include some taught components and teaching experience. A PhD typically is typically four years in length, but can take much longer. At the culmination of the degree a dissertation of publishable quality is required, plus an oral “defense” of the research.

JD/LL.M.: Law is a postgraduate degree in the United States. Students may complete a three year JD degree following undergraduate study. Upon completion of the JD, students sit a bar exam to become qualified to practice law in a given state. The JD degree prepares individuals to practice law in the U.S. More often international students do a LL.M. (Master’s in Law) if they have a first degree in law in Ireland. LL.M. degrees offer specialized study in a particular area of law, such as international law or tax law.

M.D./D.O.: Medicine is also a postgraduate degree in the U.S. Students typically complete a first degree in a science-related field before completing a four-year medical school degree. This is then followed by residency and internship programs.