4 Ways Grad School Can Be Different From Undergrad 

4 Ways Grad School Can Be Different From Undergrad 

If you are considering grad school, don’t expect it to be just like undergrad. Working towards a higher degree will be a completely different experience from your undergraduate life. Your social life and academic life will be at a constant battle. One thing that may not change is your emergency stock of frozen tv dinners. I must say those have saved me plenty of times. (Chicken Alfredo with Broccoli Lean Cuisines… thank me later ). Here are four differences that you may experience when coming to grad school. 


Age Difference

With undergrad, most individuals go to their university or college of choice right after high school. With that, most people are about the same age averaging 18-22. Once your undergrad years is completed, Grad school is not always the next route for some. In grad school, the ages will range. For me, I was fresh out of undergrad, but some of your classmates could be already mid-career and earned their previous degree a few years back. I know the average age for my Newhouse Broadcast Journalism class ranges 24-26. It’s actually cool to have an array of ages throughout the program. They’re able to give advice and different perspectives on various topics. Early twenties to mid twenties from my experience has meshed well together. You wouldn’t really know anyone’s age unless it was announced. 




Small Grad Class- Small Social Life

I came from an undergrad where our classroom sizes were small, but here in grad school your whole program is small. Your classes are of course small, and your friend group is even smaller. 

You will definitely make new friends, but you might not be able to have a social life with them outside of school as much as you would like to. You will be so involved with your academics that if you do get any down time, you may just want it all to yourself. 

Here at Newhouse, my Broadcast Journalism grad class is about 30 students, and with COVID still in the air there just aren’t as many people on campus as it usually would be. 



Say Bye Bye To Weekends 

You remember those days where you would count down each day of the week to Friday. It was like clockwork, week after week. You were so happy it was the weekend and you would just be able to get a break from everything. Well, those days just might be over. 

In grad school, weekends are still your work days. Some assignments have recurring days to submit your work, and those days just happen to be on Saturday and Sunday. Outside of that, this is your chance to catch up on emails and be really productive because throughout the week you will be getting other academic work completed. At that rate there won’t be much time during the day to look into something else. 



Specific Courses

In undergrad, you had your selected major and along with your major you took courses that were not exactly related to your major. In grad school, everything you do and every course you take will be in relation to your major, even your electives.

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Darasha Singleton
Darasha Singleton is a graduate student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication. She is studying broadcast journalism.