What is an Undergraduate Student?

What is an undergraduate student? Learn about who a U.S. undergraduate student is and what type of degree you get at an undergraduate college or university.

What is an Undergraduate Student?

In the United Kingdom, Europe, and the United States, an undergraduate student is a student pursuing a bachelor’s degree, also known as an undergraduate degree.

They differ from postgraduate students, who study their subject at a higher level than undergraduate students and have (usually) already received a bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject.


What is an Undergraduate?

An undergraduate is the description given to a student who is undertaking a degree level academic course at a college or university.

Following completion of the relevant examinations, you can enter a third level institution as an undergraduate student. 

What is an Undergraduate Course? 

An undergraduate course is typically three or four years’ duration.

When you undertake an undergraduate degree you benefit by obtaining a comprehensive introduction to your chosen area of study in the first year.

This foundation is built on in subsequent years, advancing your knowledge and, depending on the course content, you can gain practical skills that will be required in your future career.  

Some undergraduate students complete work placements as part of their degree programmes, this gives them excellent experience in their chosen industry and helps them make connections with prospective employers.

Where will you Find Undergraduate Students?

In Europe and the UK, you will find undergraduate students in all the same places as postgraduate students, as well as at some institutions that only offer undergraduate degrees, such as some Further Education Colleges in the UK.

In the US you will find undergraduate students in universities and colleges throughout the country, but not in Graduate Schools where only those with an undergraduate degree already can study.

There are increasing numbers of students who choose to study online instead of at a traditional campus and they are often studying part time. 

What Age are Undergraduate Students?

Undergraduate students can be almost any age, but the majority of undergraduate students are in their late teens and early twenties and have usually come straight from school or after taking a year or two away from their studies to travel or work.

However, many students are taking their first undergraduate degrees as mature students or are changing career directions with an undergraduate degree. This means there is no upper limit to the age that an undergraduate student can be. 

How Long do Undergraduate Students Study for?

The duration of an undergraduate degree program is entirely dependent on the course.

Some undergraduate courses in the United States, for example, are only two years long, but these are typically intensive courses with traditional holiday breaks.

Undergraduate courses in the UK typically last three to four years, but some more technical courses, such as architecture, may last five years.

Most of Europe follows a similar pattern, with courses lasting between three and five years.

Some undergraduate students study part-time, and it takes them four to eight years to complete their course. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are some of the frequently asked questions on what is an undergraduate student:

What Undergraduate Student Means?

An undergraduate student is a student who is pursuing a degree at the first level of higher education (meaning the level after high school) at a college or university.

What Type of Student is an Undergraduate?

An undergraduate student is a student who is pursuing a degree at the first level of higher education (meaning the level after high school) at a college or university.

What is Difference between Graduate and Undergraduate?

The major difference between a graduate and an undergraduate is the presence and absence of a Bachelor’s degree. A graduate is one with a bachelor’s degree while an undergraduate is a student who is pursuing a bachelor’s degree.


Conclusion and Call-to-Action

We believe the above piece of information has satisfied your curiosity and has explained what an undergraduate is.

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CSN Team.

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